Like many Berners. I was disappointed and frustrated by Bernie’s endorsement of the Whore of Wall Street. And like many Berners I voted for Jill Stein.
And I did much more than vote for Stein. I campaigned for her, urging progressives and animal activists in non-swing states to vote Green.
My motivation was to help the Greens reach the 5% necessary to qualify for federal funding.
But many political newbies actually believed Jill had a prayer. They looked at the registration numbers for independent voters and reached the absurd conclusion that all independents were Bernie voters. Voters registered as independents outnumber both Democrats and Republicans, but they do not vote as a bloc for third party candidates.
Jill Stein received less than a third of the votes that Ralph Nader earned in 2000.
She received one twentieth of the votes Ross Perot garnered in 1992.
For those unwilling to buy into Bernie’s strategy of supporting Hillary, and unwilling to vote for Trump in swing states, Jill Stein was a vote of conscience for many.
But not for very many.
In truth and in fact, the Greens are a joke.
At least in the US.
The grim reality is that even if Bernie Sanders had run as a Green, Donald Trump would still be in line as our next president. Unless one candidate captures 270 electoral votes, the presidential contest is thrown into the House of Representatives. Each state’s congressional delegation casts one vote for the candidate supported by a majority of the delegation. Had Bernie run as a Green, or had Jill managed to deny Trump or Hillary 270 electoral votes, Trump would win in the House, as Republicans control a majority of the state congressional delegations.
Hillary supporters are now up in arms about the unfairness of the Electoral College, where Donald Trump is poised to win the electoral vote while Hillary is leading slightly in the popular vote. Amid cries that the system in undemocratic, there are several attempts being launched to end or circumvent the Electoral College.
The irony is not lost on Berners, who are still furious about Hillary’s use of super delegates to defeat democracy in the primaries.
Senator Barbara Boxer is introducing a bill (likely unconstitutional) to award the presidency to the winner of the popular vote. Several years ago, Maryland adopted a measure which will require Maryland electors to vote for the candidate who wins the national popular vote rather than the candidate who wins in Maryland, once a majority of states adopt similar legislation.
The Electoral College is a roadblock to third parties. But it is not the only one.
The Constitution does not provide for governments to be brought down by lack of confidence votes. It places the Executive branch in the hands of the single successful presidential aspirant, it effectively makes third parties irrelevant.
Those limitations are compounded for third parties in the states, as not a single state in the Union employs parliamentary procedure, either.
The only successes, if one can call them that, are at the local level. Town councils, county executives, school boards, etc. Yet even those offices are being purchased by special interests seeking development approvals, zoning variances, building permits, and school text book contracts.
Government is a sewer. And it is polluted by money and greed.
The absurdity of voting patterns is nowhere more evident than in those whom are elected to Congress. Former Rep Alan Grayson observed that a recent poll found dog poop to be more popular than is Congress. Yet most Members of Congress are routinely re-elected by their constituents. People seem to like their own Member of Congress, but hate everyone else’s.
It is bribery which keeps Members in office. It is bribery which drives our entire political system. It is bribery which clogs the drains and keeps the establishment in power.
There is one “fix” that we should be pursuing: a constitutional amendment to ban private campaign donations and gifts to public officials. Not the absurd “overturn Citizens United” effort, but one which would provide for public campaign financing.
Overturning Citizens United would merely return bribery to 2010 levels, when the lawsuit was originally filed.
With the defeat of Hillary and her Wall Street sycophants, the fight begins for the soul of the Democratic party. A prize easier to win than building the Greens into a national party, and far more likely to effect real political change.
The most passionate and principled of the Democratic left was drawn to Jill Stein. The very people who can drive progressives to winning control of the Democrats and to assume leadership roles in the party.
We just kicked the Wall Street Democrats in the ass. We need to be there to finish them off.
Take the yellow out of Green and it becomes Blue.
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