FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Demonizing the Green Party Vote

Photo by Tar Sands Blockade | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Tar Sands Blockade | CC BY 2.0

Third parties, especially during presidential election years, are subjected to a variety of criticisms from supporters of the candidates of the duopoly and their corporate media enablers.  The level of virulent denunciation in 2016 of the Green Party’s presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, by Democrats and partisans of Hillary Clinton may be a reflection of how paranoid they have become over the thought that a misogynistic and xenophobic white nationalist like Donald Trump might actually win the election.  Although that is highly doubtful, especially given the demographics, the Greens have become, nonetheless, a target to be browbeaten and censured.

At the core of much of these criticisms is a profound misunderstanding of what a vote for a third party like the Green Party means.  To denigrate that vote as merely a “protest” neglects the fact that people have strong political perspectives and deep values for which voting is only one manifestation of those perspectives and values.  In addition, the presumption by HRC supporters that Green Party proponents are engaging in “white privilege” or self-indulgent moralism overlooks  the criticisms of HRC by Black Lives Matter and other groups promoting racial justice, the level of diversity within the Green Party, and the degree to which many Greens also operate out of a strategic and tactical sense for their voting.

Thus, the blanket condemnation of anyone voting for the Green Party’s ticket of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, even in states that Clinton will dominate, such as California, Oregon, Massachusetts, etc., is a reflection of the inability to acknowledge the adoption by individual or organized Greens of a “safe-state” strategy.  One also sees among some of the hysterical attacks on the Green Party a level of fear mongering that infects much of the Democratic Party electoral strategy.  While there is certainly much to dread about Trump, Pence, and the right-wing politics of the Republican Party, that in no way negates the neo-liberalism and warmongering that is openly advocated by Clinton, Kaine, and the Democratic establishment.

One can also find evidence of deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of the positions of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka.  For example, the baseless allegation that Stein does not support vaccinations continues to rear its ugly head even after myriad statements by Stein of her endorsement as physician of vaccinations.  Ajamu Baraka’s perspectives on Barak Obama have been taken out of context and used to diminish his important voice as a human rights activist within and outside the African American community.

Another major problem confronting third parties like the Greens is that the electoral system is rigged to favor the duopoly.  Only in certain cities can one find ranked-choice voting or Instant Runoff Voting.  It is on the ballot in Maine for the November election and looks like it might pass, becoming in the process a template for electoral reform around the country.  Beyond this change in voting, there are so many other reforms needed that are not on the duopoly’s agenda that working for an alternative voice and movement like the Green Party is essential if there is ever going to be substantive change in the political life of this country.

More articles by:

Fran Shor is a Michigan-based retired teacher, author, and political activist.  

November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail