Is Jill Stein Worth Voting For?

It hardly needs to be said that the two main candidates running for president are not very popular. Both Trump and Clinton have historically high unpopularity ratings and many voters are voting against a candidate rather than for one they support. Perhaps it is time to consider a third option.

Jill Stein claims to be a candidate worth voting for based on her policies and principles, not just because people are afraid of Trump. She argues that Clinton is just as bad as Trump and voting for “the lesser of two evils” will not solve America’s problems but only allow them to continue. She is hoping that people will reject “the politics of fear” and break the two party system.

Stein has many excellent policies that I (and most other Bernie Sanders supporters would) agree with. Her core policy is a “Green New Deal” which aims to reduce unemployment and poverty by hugely investing in renewable energy. Its aim would be to stimulate the economy through a massive government works programme and directly providing work to the unemployed. She wants free public education and healthcare, as well as reforming the electoral system to make it more representative of voters desires and to give them a better range of choice (by replacing first past the post with ranked choice). She wants to cut military spending in half and improve workers’ rights through a higher minimum wage, stronger unions and workplace democracy. She directly tackles some of America’s largest problems like gaping economic inequality, crushing student debt, militaristic foreign policy and flawed democracy.

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All of these are excellent policies that I completely support, however there is unfortunately another side to Stein and the Green Party. Some of the policies have an air of unreality and wishful thinking. For example, increasing renewable energy is a great idea, but Stein wants the US to be completely reliant on renewable energy by 2030, which has a snowball’s chance in hell of happening. Likewise for her policy of cutting military spending in half and single payer healthcare.

Stein has zero chance of winning the presidency, gaining the support of Congress, getting these laws passed and having them successfully implemented and everyone knows it. Instead these are statements of principles, her ideas of what should happen and what kind of America she wishes we had. A vote for her is not a vote for implementing these policies, but just a statement of what you believe America should be.

There are also some not so laudable policies that certainly need much more thought. Stein wants to forgive all student debt in the country by essentially printing money through quantitative easing. This is a flawed policy for many reasons, such as the fact that middle class people are more likely to go to private colleges (thus the policy wouldn’t reduce inequality) and it seems that Stein doesn’t fully understand quantitative easing. She also has some strange policies such as the Green party support for alternative medicine like homeopathy, which really undermines her reliability. She also panders to anti-vaccine fears (while not fully supporting them) and claims that wi-fi may damage children’s brains.

She has called for a new inquiry into 9/11 to find the truth, by which I’m not sure what she means. Al-Qaeda flew two planes into the World Trade Center, what else does she want to know? She also wants to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to discuss slavery, but who is going to discuss it? The slaves and slave masters have been dead for over a hundred years so who is supposed to be reconciled? She is also considering reparations, but why should people pay for the sins of their ancestors to people who were not directly affected?

Interestingly, Stein has been highly critical of Israel, which is practically unheard of in America (Stein herself was raised Jewish). She has accused the Israeli government of “apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, demolitions, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, infinite detention, collective punishment and defiance of international law.” She even supports the boycott campaign against Israel and called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “war criminal”. This is certainly a refreshing and different view and its certainly beneficial that at least someone is speaking out against Israel.

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She has harshly criticised Clinton’s support for intervention in Iraq, Libya and Syria and repeatedly called her a warmonger. However, blaming someone for a position they took 13 years ago has little relevance today and Clinton voted for the Iraq War based on the false information the Bush Administration provided. Stein also regularly attacks her over her stance on Syria. However, the Syrian civil war is not a clear struggle, there are no simple solutions. No matter what stance Clinton had taken, she could have been criticised. Had she provided no support for the rebels, she could be blamed for supporting brutal dictators and being blind to people’s struggle for freedom. Had she intervened she would have been blamed as a warmonger. She tried to chart a middle path and both sides are blaming her. Some have said the rise of ISIS is her fault because America didn’t intervene enough in Syria and others are saying the rise of ISIS is her fault because America intervened too much.

Her Vice-President Ajamu Baraka is quite simply a crank. He is almost a Fox News caricature of an extremist liberal who opposes everything America does abroad no matter what and sides with whoever opposes America. He is so anti-American that he practically supports the Syrian President Assad and Russian President Putin. His area of expertise seems to be conspiracy theories and everywhere sees manipulation from the hidden hand of America. He suspected that the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a “false flag” operation. When Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls, Baraka doubted whether there was a kidnapping, whether the numbers were inflated and opposed US attempts at a rescue (because it would be a ploy to get oil). Baraka described the memorial march after the Charlie Hebdo shooting as a “white power march” and Je suis Charlie campaign as an “arrogant rallying cry for white supremacy”. He has even referred to Barak Obama as an “Uncle Tom president.” This fanatic alone would almost put me off voting for Stein and makes me question her judgement in picking him.

She has claimed that Clinton is as bad as Trump, which is flat out wrong. Whatever her faults, Clinton is not a bigoted buffoon like Trump. If elected she won’t treat Muslims as enemies of the state and bar them from the country. She won’t treat Mexicans as criminals or try to deport 11 million immigrants. She won’t undermine the ability of the government to function with massive tax cuts to the wealthy. She doesn’t support the use of torture or praise authoritarian leaders like Putin.

Trump will do all this and more. He is dangerous, not only for the hateful rhetoric he spouts, but also for the support and influence he gives to other bigots. I have heard white middle class men claim that Trump really isn’t that bad, but they won’t be bearing the brunt of his policies. Trump is essentially a white nationalist and minorities will suffer hugely if he were to become president. Clinton’s alleged “scandals” are petty in comparison to the dishonesty and deceitfulness of Trump who would easily drive the country into the ground through incompetence and start a war over an imagined slight.

So is Stein worth voting for? She has zero chance of winning and is currently polling at 3% (which would be a tenfold increase on her last presidential run). However, her supporters argue that if you’re not in a battleground state, you have nothing to lose because the electoral college won’t be affected (eg. New York will still go to Clinton even if I vote for Stein). While she has some flawed policies and a terrible VP nominee, she does have some excellent policies too. Some say a vote for her would send a message, but what kind of message?

Clinton has her flaws, but she is still a progressive. She is more moderate and cautious than I would like, but change happens slowly, not in one presidential term. The sweeping reforms of Stein would never pass Congress, so slow change is inevitable. The moderate approach of Clinton has a better chance of success and her platform is essentially a moderate version of Sanders and Stein’s.The next president will have the opportunity to choose several Supreme Court Justices, potentially shaping legal rights for a generation. She is worth voting for in her own right and the risk of a Trump presidency seal the deal.

Stein for all her flaws, is a good candidate. Her good policies outweigh her dubious ones, even if her platform does seem more like a wishlist. Even her conspiracy theorist VP and her occasional joining in doesn’t block out her strengths. However, the simple fact is that the stakes are too high. We are facing an unprecedented challenge from a compulsive liar feeding the flames of bigotry. The enormous damage that would come from a Trump victory (or even a close defeat) are just too great. There are times when a protest vote is the honourable choice, but now is not the time.

I respect Jill Stein, but I won’t vote for her.

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13 thoughts on “Is Jill Stein Worth Voting For?”

  1. I will not vote for Jill Stein, I have read her party’s platform.

    I will not vote for Trump or Clinton.

    If we cannot get a viable third party in this country, the thing to do is vote “anybody else” but vote. (It would be nice if we were given the choice “None of the Above.”) When the election results show the winner getting 41% of the vote and second place 34%, followed by people getting 8%, 7%, 6% etc. maybe the “winner” will get the idea that the American people are not behind them. They will not be able to claim they have a mandate from the people. (They will anyway, but all they will get is scorn (“41% is a mandate?)

    And maybe, just maybe, viable candidates who are not from one of the two “major parties” will start getting the idea that they could build up to take over second place as it were. An object lesson for all of us, but especially for the second party that gets demoted to third.

  2. If Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton were running in a competitive Democratic primary, I’m not sure I would have chosen Stein over Clinton – even though i voted for Sanders over Clinton. So when it comes to the general election when only one of them has a chance of actually being elected, I’m not going to use my vote to support the other one, even though i live in a safe blue state and would want American elections to have more than two viable candidates.

  3. The problem with Hillary Clinton’s vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq is that she hasn’t learned anything from it.

    The Obama administration has carried out the Bush administration’s policies, only with bombing raids, Hellfire drones and Special Operations teams instead of large-scale use of troops.

    HIllary Clinton represented the leading edge of war policy within the Obama administration. She was behind the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya and an advocate of increased bombing and support for rebels in Syria and is proud of her record on both, despite the death and destruction they’ve caused without any benefit to Americans or the people of any other country.

    She pressed for military confrontation with Russia and China, posing a very real danger of nuclear war.

    Based on her record, experience and network of supporters, Clinton is the best-qualified candidate for President since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Jill Stein is a lightweight in comparison. But Jill Stein wouldn’t start any new wars or escalate existing ones, and HIllary Clinton would.

  4. In conclusion, you’d prefer a higher risk of nuclear war to the greater chance of permanent White supremacy in the United States, a man who understands why Putin is so popular, and a rejection of both Bushian and Clintonian foreign and domestic policy dogmas? There is not one reason to vote for Clinton to anyone who is not obsessed with enforcing political correctness. Unlike you, I’m voting for a sane, competent person for President. I’m voting for Trump.

    “Trump is essentially a white nationalist”

    -Sadly, no. If you look around the world, you’d quickly understand White nations are the best nations. You cannot replace those Whites with inferior (on average) races and expect those countries to continue to thrive. Just look at the fall of Detroit and Flint.

    “and minorities will suffer hugely if he were to become president”

    -Again, these are your fantasies, completely unsubstantiated by anything Trump has said. Do you care the least bit about “minorities” outside the United States? I do.

    “They will anyway, but all they will get is scorn (“41% is a mandate?)”

    -Bill Clinton got 43% of the vote in 1992.

    “Clinton’s alleged “scandals” are petty in comparison to the dishonesty and deceitfulness of Trump who would easily drive the country into the ground through incompetence and start a war over an imagined slight.”

    -You do realize Her is much more likely to get the U.S. into a nuclear (and conventional) war than Trump? Look at their Syria policies and their Ukraine policies. Tell me again which one is more likely to get the U.S. into futile war. Your statement would be correct if the names were reversed. If you really think Clinton’s scandals are “petty”, you know nothing of Clinton.

    BTW, Kerry was also more likely than Bush II to get the U.S. into nuclear war, funnily enough. I only understood this after Kerry became Secretary of State.

    “She won’t undermine the ability of the government to function with massive tax cuts to the wealthy.”

    -You do realize it’s the House, not the President, which makes tax policy, right? And that in mid-terms, it’s usually members of the opposing party who benefit?

    My current ranking of presidential candidates:
    1. Trump
    2. Stein
    3. Johnson
    4. McMuffin
    5. Clinton

    My ranking of presidential candidates in the primary:
    1. Trump
    2. Rand Paul
    3. Ted Cruz
    4. Mike Huckabee
    5. Rick Santorum
    6. John Kasich
    7. Bernie Sanders
    8. Carly Fiorina
    9. Jeb Bush
    10. Hillary Clinton
    11. Ben Carson
    12. Jim Gilmore
    13. Marco Rubio
    14. Chris Christie

    1. In conclusion, you’d prefer a higher risk of nuclear war

      There is absolutely no risk of nuclear war from Clinton, where are you getting this from?

      to the greater chance of permanent White supremacy in the United States, a man who understands why Putin is so popular, and a rejection of both Bushian and Clintonian foreign and domestic policy dogmas?

      I do not want White supremacy and the fact that Trump is an admirer of Putin is a flaw not a benefit. Trump wants to continue the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush years, especially against Islam and you’re only fooling yourself if you believe he won’t.

      Sadly, no. If you look around the world, you’d quickly understand White nations are the best nations. You cannot replace those Whites with inferior (on average) races and expect those countries to continue to thrive.

      Oh fuck off

      You do realize Her is much more likely to get the U.S. into a nuclear (and conventional) war than Trump? Look at their Syria policies and their Ukraine policies. Tell me again which one is more likely to get the U.S. into futile war.

      Trump has claimed he wants to send troops after ISIS and the Obama administration has been too soft on terror. He wants a war.

      You do realize it’s the House, not the President, which makes tax policy, right?

      And you do realise that the President is the leader of the party, right?

      And that in mid-terms, it’s usually members of the opposing party who benefit?

      Which happen two years after the Presidential election and doesn’t always change control of Congress

      1. “There is absolutely no risk of nuclear war from Clinton, where are you getting this from?”
        -Just like there was absolutely no risk of Obama creating a Caliphate in the Middle East amirite? The fact is, the unpredictable happens all the time in international affairs. Would you have predicted in 2010 that a Caliphate would be ruling Raqqa today? I certainly didn’t.

        “I do not want White supremacy”

        -Cuck, cuck, cuck. You move from one historically White country to another one, one with even less history of non-White immigration. What sort of opposition to White supremacy is this? Were I opposed to White supremacy, I would have long taken the Greenwald route and moved to Brazil.

        “and the fact that Trump is an admirer of Putin is a flaw not a benefit.”

        -Learn Russian already, will you? Putin is the greatest leader Russia has had in generations and is nearly universally approved of in Russia. The fact Trump appreciates his contributions to his country is not a flaw, but a major benefit to US-Russia relations. Meanwhile, Clinton, that champion of the oligarchs and the 1%, goes to visit billionaire (and wildly unpopular) Ukrainian President Poroshenko to make promises she will not be able to keep.

        “Oh fuck off”

        -I.e., I’m right, and this is your (weak) way of admitting it. Come on, don’t be angry. Admit it with strength.

        “He wants a war.”
        -Answer straight: do you support US ground troops in Syria? They’re already there. Obama created ISIS and started the “war” to defeat it. If elected, Trump will finish it. There is no such guarantee from Clinton.

        Saddam Hussein was “Islam”? I was not informed of this. I thought it was Obama who killed Bin Laden to take control of the global jihadist movement, but whatever.

        If Trump’s simply gonna continue GWB’s foreign policy, why is the entire Bush family against him? They wouldn’t be against Liddle Marco (a real disaster in foreign policy).

        “Which happen two years after the Presidential election and doesn’t always change control of Congress”

        -The Senate is at a knife’s edge right now, so even tiny swings in the popular vote will probably change partisan control of it. The House will stay under Ryan’s control no matter what. Ryan’s OK with big deficits, but he has little regard for Clinton’s more left-wing agendas.

        “And you do realise that the President is the leader of the party, right?”

        -True. And a party out of power in either chamber of Congress (as the Democratic Party currently is, and probably will be next year) is useless for the creation of tax policy.

        1. Just like there was absolutely no risk of Obama creating a Caliphate in the Middle East amirite?

          ISIS was formed in 2006 so how was that Obama’s fault? The caliphate was a result of the destabilization caused by the Iraq war and the Syrian uprising, to simply blame it on Obama is completely naive.

          “Cuck, cuck, cuck.”

          Seriously fuck off. Why are you even here?

          “You move from one historically White country to another one, one with even less history of non-White immigration. What sort of opposition to White supremacy is this?”

          So either I leave my home and move to a country where I don’t know the language, the culture, the history, or else I’m just as much a klansman as you? You really are an idiot.

          “Putin is the greatest leader Russia has had in generations and is nearly universally approved of in Russia.”

          Comparing him to communist dictators is a low bar to beat. He had to resort to vote tampering during the last election so is far less popular than you suggest. Although his crushing of dissent does help him a lot.

          “I.e., I’m right, and this is your (weak) way of admitting it.”

          I suppose that means your gibbering about cucks means I’m right?

          “Meanwhile, Clinton, that champion of the oligarchs and the 1%”

          Donald Trump literally is a 1% oligarch. Have you no self-awareness?

          “If elected, Trump will finish it. There is no such guarantee from Clinton.”

          At first you were saying Clinton wants war and Trump wants peace, now you’re arguing the opposite.

          1. What part of “Trump will finish it” don’t you understand? That’s peace.

            “He had to resort to vote tampering during the last election so is far less popular than you suggest. Although his crushing of dissent does help him a lot.”

            -Wrong on all three counts, as well as completely unsubstantiated on all three counts. This is what you get when you only read Anglo-American propaganda, not fact. Again, learn Russian. You’re embarrassing yourself. This is Dean Chambers level of ignorance.

            “Donald Trump literally is a 1% oligarch.”

            -Unlike Mitt, he’s a traitor to his class. This is proven by Trump having a higher chance to win than Mitt while having far fewer 1%er donations.

            “I suppose that means your gibbering about cucks means I’m right?”

            -Naw; it just means you’re a cuck.

            “Why are you even here?”

            -Why shouldn’t I be? You write better than the average man. Your posts are the only ones I’ve seen to be pure distilled far-left “common sense”, whether right or wrong. Comments are not supposed to be filled only with agreement.

            “either I leave my home and move to a country where I don’t know the language, the culture, the history,”

            -But you already did that. Doing the same for a historically non-White country shouldn’t hurt. In any case, when in Slovakia, do what the Slovaks do, so learn Russian.

            “ISIS was formed in 2006 so how was that Obama’s fault?”

            -Where was it in when Obama came into office? Weakened and largely defeated.

            “The caliphate was a result of the destabilization caused by the Iraq war”

            -Nope.

            “and the Syrian uprising”

            -Yup. Are you denying Obama has given arms to the rebels? In 50 years, I’m reasonably confident documents will come out showing step-by-step how Obama (re-)created ISIS.

        2. As soon I read “cuck” I know I am dealing with an alt-right buffoon who’s smitten with Trump, Breitbart, and most likely Alex Jones. In short, an empty intellectual shell, creating fragrant word salads, saying nothing much at all – like Trump – and yet saying the most insane, ridiculous things. I wouldn’t even debate these idiots in the future. Your blog is excellent, BTW. I’d merely delete these morons. They now have a voice in the White House.

  5. Robert… you have a fine blog here, and you cover a lot of territory.

    I’ll bookmark and come back.

    So far as the 2016 election… to be crass… my response to Clinton supporters that give me grief because “not Trump” seems to be as precious as their breath… “F**K YOU! YOU are the very reason we are in this mess.”

    We will continue to get s**t candidates unless Americans are willing to vote 3rd party, and quit kowtowing to political thought police that tell them “…if so and so gets elected… it will be the 3rd party voters fault.”

    No… it won’t be. It’s because too many Americans haven’t got any damn integrity about what they will or will NOT put up with in behavior from parties or candidates.

    At least Trump is an honest to goodness a**hole… and he doesn’t pretend he’s not. The DNC and Clinton should have been dropped on their asses as soon as we saw what they did to Sanders. If a Trump presidency is what it took to destroy the establishment RNC/DNC one party system… it might even be worth it… except for the fact that party politics are like cockroaches… they would probably survive a nuclear holocaust… the mother-****ers

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