Bernie or Bust Voters Have a Home with the Green Party’s Jill Stein

08/01/2016 12:06 am ET Updated Aug 01, 2016
AARON RICKETTS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Philly.com

The fear tactics used by the “fall in line” folks regarding Donald Trump ignore months of false accusations and insults hurled at Bernie supporters by the Democratic establishment. While Bernie Sanders has honorably played by the rules of the Democratic Party, not all of his supporters are willing to endorse a Democratic hawk. From being labeled Bernie Bros to violent extremists, the logic behind “falling in line” rewards such vile tactics, while ignoring the WikiLeaks DNC emails showing a rigged primary. However, there’s a home for Bernie or Bust voters, even after Senator Sanders endorsed Clinton.

Jill Stein expresses the value system of all Bernie or Bust voters during an interview with The Intercept’s Alice Speri:

I have heard from you and from many of your supporters that we shouldn’t vote for the lesser evil, that we should vote for the greater good. Is the prospect of a Trump presidency equal in your view to that of a Clinton one?

I think they both lead to the same place. The lesser evil, the Democrats, certainly have a better public relations campaign, they have better spin. The dangers are less evident, but they’re catastrophic as well. Just look at the policies under Obama on climate change.

Come November, is there a worst-case scenario?

No, the two-party system is the worst-case scenario. In my view, the worst horror of all is a political system that tells us we have to choose between two lethal options, and that’s what we have to fight and we shouldn’t be manipulated into thinking it’s one or the other of these villains out there, one or the other evil.

There’s a readily available solution right now: ranked-choice voting, which would take the fear out of voting and would ensure that people can vote for their values as their first choice, and their pragmatic choice, whatever that is, as their number two. That would actually enable us to move forward in a good way and bring our values back to democracy.

You cannot have a democracy in a moral vacuum. When there’s a moral vacuum, it allows the predatory political actors to swoop in and take control. 

One of the main criticisms of your campaign is that the “moral choice” is a privilege that those who have the most to lose out of a Trump presidency can’t afford. Poor people, people of color, immigrants, people who need a higher minimum wage, health care access, immigration reform.

I think that’s really subject to debate. Because who is it that ushered in the agenda of globalization, of rigged trade agreements, of Wall Street deregulation? This was the Clintons. This is the core of Clintonism. That’s what’s creating the right-wing extremism.

In fact, the lesser evil inevitably leads to the greater evil in the same way that Barack Obama lost both houses of Congress. He had two years with two Democratic houses of Congress — they could have passed any law that they wanted. They could have provided health care as a human right, they could have pulled back on these wars for oil and the war against terror, and the assault on immigrants, and assault on the press and our freedom of speech and privacy. They could have done any of that. And what did they do? They bailed out Wall Street and installed Larry Summers, the architect of Wall Street deregulation. They’re not on our side.

You think Congress wouldn’t stop you?

No, because we won’t put our ground troops on the shelf. That’s what Barack Obama did. When he got into office, he took his ground troops out of commission. That’s what enabled him to win the primary, because he had such an active grassroots movement. He dismantled that grassroots movement at the same time he was appointing Larry Summers, and it became perfectly clear what his agenda was.

Here in Philadelphia I have seen large support in the streets for your campaign, particularly from former Sanders supporters. Are you starting to receive support from any elected officials?

Yes. We’re at the point where it’s still the very principled people. There’s not a bandwagon effect yet, but there is an opening. And certainly with Bernie supporters the floodgates have opened, and they are here lock, stock, and barrel, and it’s been really wonderful.

During her interview with Alice Speri, Stein articulated what so many Clinton supporters can’t comprehend: “With Bernie supporters the floodgates have opened, and they are here lock, stock, and barrel, and it’s been really wonderful.”

As Stein explains, “the two-party system is the worst-case scenario.” With Clinton, we’ll likely get the Trans-Pacific Partnership and she’s already stated she wants to intensify the fight against ISIS, including more U.S. ground troops. Then of course, there won’t be any discussion of breaking up Too Big to Fail banks with either Trump or Clinton, which ties into Stein’s viewpoint of the two-party system.

As the for the American president and foreign policy, it’s Congress that votes on gun control legislation, while the president can wage virtually unilateral war with the AUMF. While Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders have stated they oppose never-ending counterinsurgency wars and quagmires, Hillary Clinton is now openly backed by Bush’s neoconservatives. Clinton’s neocon backers are highlighted in an Intercept piece by Rania Khalek titled Robert Kagan and Other Neocons Are Backing Hillary Clinton:

AS HILLARY CLINTON puts together what she hopes will be a winning coalition in November, many progressives remain wary — but she has the war hawks firmly behind her.

“I would say all Republican foreign policy professionals are anti-Trump,” leading neoconservative Robert Kagan told a group gathered around him, groupie-style, at a “foreign policy professionals for Hillary” fundraiser I attended last week. “I would say that a majority of people in my circle will vote for Hillary.”

As the co-founder of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, Kagan played a leading role in pushing for America’s unilateral invasion of Iraq and insisted for years afterward that it had turned out great.

Despite the catastrophic effects of that war, Kagan insisted at last week’s fundraiser that U.S. foreign policy over the last 25 years has been “an extraordinary success.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s know-nothing isolationism has led many neocons to flee the Republican ticket. And some, like Kagan, are actively helping Clinton, whose hawkishness in many ways resembles their own.

While Bernie or Bust voters view Iraq to be one of the fundamental causes of today’s chaos in the Middle East, many neoconservatives believe it “turned out great.” Furthermore, they hate Donald Trump, and while his obnoxious Tweets get all the headlines, it’s Clinton’s neocon advisers that get lost in the media spin. As Ms. Khalek writes, Hillary Clinton “has the war hawks firmly behind her.”

If you’re voting for Hillary Clinton, would you still vote for her if Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney advised her on foreign policy?

Well, Henry Kissinger and George Bush’s neoconservatives are openly supporting Clinton’s future foreign policy objectives. Again, the fear mongering pertaining to “falling in line” and defeating Trump ignores the fact that Trump is actually less hawkish than Clinton. On CNN, Professor Stephen F. Cohen of Princeton recently stated “That reckless branding of Trump as a Russian agent, most of it is coming from the Clinton campaign...And they really need to stop.”

In fact, the Russia expert believes that Clinton’s rhetoric ignoring a potentially new Cold War with Russia is far more dangerous than whether or not Russia hacked Clinton’s campaign or the DNC.

Ultimately, Dr. Jill Stein provides an antidote to our two-party illness, where Julian Assange believes voting for Clinton or Trump is like choosing between “cholera or gonorrhea.” Dr. Stein’s plans and policies are located here and all of them correlate to the values of Bernie or Bust voters. As for the DNC WikiLeaks emails showing the Democratic Primary was rigged in favor of Clinton, I explain in this YouTube segment why Bernie or Bust voters are never voting for lesser evils.

The Trumps and Clintons are friends. It’s difficult to spread fear about Trump, when Bill Clinton and Michael Bloomberg both go golfing with Trump. For many Bernie supporters, the charade ends in 2016. We’re voting for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, and if you wanted our votes, you should never have cheated Bernie Sanders.

 

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