Jul 30, 2016
Many of my friends and acquaintances have been fervent Sanders supporters over the last year. I myself shared the posts, made the arguments and voted for the man who I dearly hoped to be the nominee for a democratic party that would align further left as a result.
Unfortunately, as we now all know, these dreams have not come to pass. Hillary has taken this coveted spot. Yes this is a history making event. One that should have come long ago, to have a female nominee to a major party. That being said, there is another female nominee.
Jill Stein is, again, representing the Green Party. I have agreed with the Green Party platform for the 16 years that I have been a voting citizen. I do however, remember the 2000 presidential election. I was one of many who voted for Ralph Nader. I still personally blame those of us who were swayed to vote for Mr Nader for the two terms served by George W Bush, and all that came with it. Certainly many factors can be blamed for Mr Gore’s loss in that election, but 2016 puts more on line. There is much to be upset about within the US electoral system. Our two party system and entrenched politicians leave much to be desired. Corruption and crony-ism is rampant. The electoral college is outdated and needs to be abolished. The money that Citizens United has allowed to be legally injected to the political system is tantamount to bribery. It may be true that the nomination was stolen from Sanders, but the fact remains that we need to work with what we have. Sanders would be the first to say that political revolution does not happen overnight. To exact the amount of change necessary to fix what is wrong with the US political system will require true will of the people. we must force the hands of our congressional representatives, and push them to enact laws that will remove money from politics and set term limits on all political offices. Given the state of our federal government today, we must accept this as a long term goal. But, this November’s election approaching quickly, with large scale implications both immediate and future. The risk of electing such an unpredictable and reckless figure as Donald Trump to the presidency should bring fear to any person who cares for our nation and all that has been built under US policy since the end of World War II. The consequences would be dire for civil rights of all people within our borders as well as our international allies.
We can not let this come to pass.
I may not agree with all that Mrs Clinton has done in the past, but I can not say that she would be a harmful president. I do not fear that she would cause real harm to the American people or our nation’s position in geopolitics.
I would love to believe that Jill Stein and the Green Party has a chance to gain the presidency, but I, unfortunately, see no path to victory for her. The fact is that the reason Senator Sanders is not, in my opinion, placing a third party or independent bid for the presidency is because he is pragmatic enough to know that splitting the party will only result in a Trump victory. He understands the dire implications that that outcome would hold.
Idealism is something that should never be lost, especially in politics. However, in the end, one must be pragmatic. To stick too strongly to ideals causes either no change to take place, or a change too far in the wrong direction.
I ask all followers of Bernie to follow his wishes, and vote Hillary come November. Rather than taking a stance by “never voting democrat again”, change the system from the inside, as Bernie is trying to do. Increase the positioning of the Green Party by building up its base in LOCAL elections first; gaining traction from the grassroots. And, most of all, as President Obama said, “Don’t boo, VOTE”.