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Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives

Well, it seems as if the blush has faded from the rose of excitement surrounding the possibility, nay, the likelihood, of the United States electing its first woman president, Hillary Clinton. Perhaps the hope was for a significant change, rather than an old war horse riding the bloody trail to the White House. Maybe the ongoing investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s propensity to use her private email for confidential state department business may be casting a cloud on her candidacy. Could the fact that she never met a wealthy lobby she didn’t love have something to do with this disillusionment?

The list is really rather endless: disdain for international law, as evidenced by her unqualified support for apartheid Israel; the huge donations the Clinton Foundation received while she was Secretary of State, from companies that, oh, just happened to want a favor or two from a high-ranking U.S. official; and her own personal pursuit of the almighty dollar. Mrs. Clinton is a charter member of the 1%, and she has no intention of letting anyone else in.

But for those who think gender has anything to do with the mess presidents have made not only in the United States, but around the world as well, all is not lost. Mrs. Clinton, although the inevitable train wreck that she seems to be engineering appears destined to crash into the White House, is not the only woman running for president. There are others who are certainly worthy of the consideration of all thinking people who find the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency abhorrent.

Two quickly come to mind, and, as a public service, this writer will briefly describe each of them.

First is the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein. Her platform involves such ‘controversial’ (read: common sense) items as clean, renewable energy; the advancement of workers’ rights; single-payer public health insurance, and abolishing student debt. She also proposes ending government surveillance of private citizens, closing the U.S.’s notorious torture chamber, Guantanamo, and abolishing the government’s secret kill lists.

Now if that isn’t enough to make a Hillary Clinton supporter become physically ill, Dr. Stein also suggests foreign policy based, not on U.S. military might, but on those quaint old concepts of diplomacy, international law and human rights. She further supports ending arms sales to human rights abusers (are you paying attention, Israel?).

If, perhaps, the thoughtful reader/voter would like more choice, look no further than the presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Gloria LaRiva. Her 10-Point Program shares some of the policies of the Green Party, but goes further in some areas. It includes ending capitalism, seen as the source of so many of the earth’s problems today; providing free health care and education to all citizens (an idea shared by the Green Party platform); closing down all U.S. military bases (again, in common with the Green Party) and granting Puerto Rico independence; reigning in the U.S. police and ending mass incarceration (Green Party, too). Support for unions is also a key feature of the platform.

On an issue of no little importance to this writer, on June 7 of this year, Dr. Stein officially expressed her support of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement. Her statement, in part, reads as follows:

“The Jill Stein campaign calls for ending support for governments committing war crimes and massive human rights violations, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“It supports the BDS movement as a peaceful, nonviolent set of actions organized by civil society across the world aimed to end Israeli apartheid, occupation, war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.”

This writer looked for such a strong statement from Ms. La Riva’s office, but was unable to find it. Certainly, she condemns all human rights violators, but he would like to see her specifically support Palestine.

Now, what about those people who do not believe a woman should ever be at the helm of that sinking ship known as the United States? Will they all flock to the Republican presidential candidate, billionaire businessman Donald Trump? Will they be able to ignore his racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic and misogynist statements? It seems that, with the greatly flawed candidates the U.S. usually serves up, voters must overlook one or two things they don’t like about a candidate they plan to vote for, but the list with ‘The Donald’ seems quite long; there is only so much that a voter can ignore.

Such a voter looks with horror at Mrs. Clinton, as any thinking person should. What to do? When it appears that Satan has somehow cloned himself, with one manifestation masquerading as a Republican, and the other as a Democrat, where can the thoughtful voter turn?

Well, this writer recommends taking a look at the candidates mentioned above. Their platforms make sense, but, for this writer, Dr. Stein’s strong support of the human rights struggles of the Palestinians wins his vote.

It is said by some that voting for a third-party candidate is simply throwing away one’s vote; such candidates have no chance of winning, so the best one can do is prevent the lesser disaster from being elected.

Sadly, there is no ‘lesser’ evil in the current contest. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump are equally repulsive, in some similar and some very different ways. Voting for a third-party candidate in large numbers this year will be the beginning of the end of the perpetuation of the one-party-with-two-names political system under which the U.S. currently suffers.

This writer has made his selection; he encourages the reader to go online and look at the platforms of the various third-party candidates; there are few that make less sense than the Republicans or Democrats. With the major party choices being offered this year, there will be no better time to support a third party with your vote. Let’s all just hope it’s not too late.

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Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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