A week ago I wrote that I had no idea who I should vote for, but to be honest, I was being facetious because I thought the title made for a nice click-baity article. Anyone who actually read it saw that I was actually heavily leaning towards the Green Party’s Jill Stein; I was, however, legitimately unsure how active and involved I wanted to be with her campaign, and to be honest, with the presidential election in general. I seriously considered writing another article entitled “Why I’m Giving Politics A Break,” or something along those lines, discussing my dissatisfaction and ennui with the presidential election and American politics in general.
I’ve since decided that to even “take a break” from writing about and being involved in politics is akin to surrender, and so I’m going to pick myself up and get back in the fight. After many hours spent in discussion with friends, acquaintances, and strangers, I have come to the conclusion that the only candidate I can in good conscience support is Dr. Jill Stein.
In the aforementioned article from last week I mentioned a few things that turned me off from her, but now I’ve realized that those reservations are extremely minor in comparison with the real issues Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka have built their campaign around.
Issues like Stein’s “Green New Deal” a massive environmental infrastructure plan that will move the United States to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and act as a stimulus to the working class at the same time (hey, they don’t call ’em the “Green” party for nothing). Issues like guaranteed single-payer healthcare for all, and a real commitment to ending racism that actually includes reparations for slavery.
Stein has also taken up the mantle of the Bernie Sanders “political revolution,” calling for “public campaign financing, ranked-choice voting, proportional representation, and open debates.”On top of that, Jill Stein is calling for a complete and total forgiveness of student loan debt, which sounds an awful lot to me like Jubilee.
I look at these issues and wonder to myself what I was ever doing on the fence. It’s clear now that based on issues alone, Jill Stein is the only person in the race whose vision for America looks like the Kingdom of God I strive for.
The obvious objection, of course, is that Jill Stein can never win and by supporting the Greens I am somehow handing the nomination to Donald Trump, who for some reason is much scarier.
I reject this bit of nonsense out of hand. First of all, I live in Illinois and so my vote does not matter unless it’s for a third party candidate. Secondly, I was never going to vote for Hillary Clinton anyways. Third, why do Democrats presume that they are entitled to my vote (or anybody’s vote, for that matter?) They’ve done nothing to earn it. Fourth, does anyone seriously believe that Trump will actually be able to ban all Muslims from entering the country, or deport 11 million immigrants, or start a nuclear war? I understand that he says ridiculous things, but surely you understand that we have a system of checks and balances specifically designed to prevent dictatorships, right? If you thought the obstructionism Obama has faced was bad, wait until you see President Trump being opposed by both political parties.
Perhaps Stein has literally 0% chance of winning. I’m far from convinced on that matter, however, and even if it is true, democracy only works as a concept if people actually vote their interests. I am against neoliberalism as much as fascism, and right now, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are neoliberal to their core. Their ideology is antithetical to the vision of justice taught by Jesus and must be opposed.
Supporting Jill Stein for president is the only way to build a massive grassroots coalition of all the peoples marginalized by our current system. Win or no win, Stein’s message, her movement, are worth fighting tooth and nail for.
It’s time to end the two-party trap. Jill Stein 2016.