"The Green Party is no longer the alternative; the Green Party is the imperative." (Rosa Clemente)
Hey, I'm only one individual, but isn't that where we begin--ourselves? The light just popped on. Me, I'm voting Dr. Jill Stein on Tuesday!
I wanted to vote Green Party here in KY back in 2008, but it wasn't a ballot option then, so I voted Nader. This time, I've the option to pull the lever for a better nation and a greener world. I'm voting for transparency, economic equity, corporate and banking scrutiny, alternative energy, single payer health reform, a more peaceful world.
Lincoln famously spoke at Gettysburg of a government "of the people, by the people, for the people." Come Tuesday, I'm voting not for oil, corporations, hedge funders or banks. I'm voting for the people.
Vote for Obama? Don't bet he'll deliver. If you ask why I say this, just scroll down to my September 12 post that gives instances of 500 promises he made in 2008, but didn't keep.
Romney? Let's not get silly. This guy's worth $250 million, yet paid an effective tax rate of only 14% on his 2010 and 2011 income. By the way, Romney owns several luxurious homes, including a $10 million New Hampshire retreat on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee along with a La Jolla $12 million residence he wants to replace with an 11,000 square foot version, replete with an elevator garage costing 50,000K. But, oh, he cares about you!
The shame of these four debates has been the absence of humanity's greatest challenge posed not by a nuclear Iran or an expansionist China, but climate change. Excuse the oxymoron, but it's a silence that echoes a continuing callousness to what is already eroding our future. Meanwhile, hurricane Sandy portends still more to come.
And just who is Jill Stein? You can, of course, go to her website JillStein, but just a few biography tidbits:
Age 62, she hails from Illinois, but has resided in Massachusetts since graduating from Harvard University (magnum cum laude) and Harvard Medical School. A long time instructor in internal medicine and mother of two grown sons, she lives with her husband, Richard Roher, also a physician, in historic Lexington. Dr. Stein first entered into politics when she ran for governor in 2002. She's authored two well-received medical reports, one of them translated into several languages. Active as a citizen, Dr. Stein has been twice elected to Lexington's Town Meeting and been in the forefront of health and environment reform efforts. She's appeared on TV shoes such as Today and <>Fox.
Some would argue a vote for Stein is a vote for Romney, since it's likely one less vote for Obama. I beg to differ. In some states already in the electoral column for Romney, like Kentucky where I live, casting a Green Party ballot isn't going to supplant destiny. It does, however, allow me a voice. What it helps assure as well, should we Greens poll 5% nationally, is the infusion of $20 million in federal funding that will help build momentum for building the party and setting the agenda for meaningful social and economic justice. In this year's tedious march to the election, Greens have been left out of the conversation. A vote for Stein voices our demand for a seat at the table.
Additionally, third parties have their place in the political arena, even though they don't win. The most recent example was Ross Perot, who gleaned enough of the vote to put Bill Clinton into the White House in '92. The same again in '96, when Perot captured 18% of the vote. By the way, Clinton never achieved a 50% majority in either election. On the other hand, Bush, the son, won because there wasn't any substantive third party opposition, resulting in an election thrown into the Supreme Court in 2000.
Third parties help us draw distinctions. If you took away the party and candidate labels in the recent debates, could you really discern the differences between the candidates?
Third parties, in close elections, teach losers not to play the expediency card. Had Gore tweaked his positions just a bit more to the Left in 2000, he would have conceivably nullified Ralph Nader's 1%, winning the election outright. Iran? Afghanistan? Conversely, Nader with just that one percent may have altered history. This year's election doesn't pose a serious challenge to Obama's reelection. While the ballot numbers may be dead even, Obama leads in nearly all of the battleground states and will likely achieve a plurality of at least 20 electoral votes beyond the required 271. Rest assured, your vote won't be wasted in its underscoring of the salient issues.
Let me close with a quote from Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Chris Hedges:
The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power in small and large ways. I will invest my energy now solely in acts of resistance, in civil disobedience and in defiance. Those who rebel are our only hope. And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein.
Update: Police arrested Dr. Stein Wednesday evening in Texas when she brought food and supplies to protestors at the Keystone XL pipeline construction site in Wood County. In a later statement, Stein said that Obama and Romney were only talking of the symptoms, not the causes of disasters like Sandy.
Note: For specific Green Party goals, see Jill Stein