It was certainly not my intention to get political on this site (I have another blog site where I get political) but this year there is a phenomenon that crosses the line from politics into religion. There has been a lot of attention on third party candidates because of the less than likable nature of the two major party candidates.
For the record, I find that Gary Johnson’s libertarianism might be appropriate for the 18th century, but just doesn’t cut it in the corporate age. I agree with many of the positions of the Jill Stein and the Greens, but they are not in any way an organized, effective political party. Well, same with the Libertarians as well, and I would never vote for either person for President.
Even though I would say that I often agree with Jill Stein’s political positions, I wish she would sit down and shut up. I find her campaign completely illogical and frankly, insulting.
The latest example comes in a Salon piece, which quotes her in the lede as saying, “Democracy needs a moral compass.” This is ludicrous. Democracy is a technique, a way of organizing people. It cannot have a moral compass. Only the people who practice democracy can have a moral compass. I am further bothered with her implication that “We the People,” when we do not act in the oh so pure way that Stein does, that we are lacking in a moral compass. This is exactly what you would expect Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, Jr. to say.
I am not quite sure if this is just smug moralizing or the same kind of delusional thinking that lead Donald Trump to declare that he — and only he! — is the solution to all of our problems.
The article further says that Stein said that her platform is “is an emergency job program that will address climate change and will create an emergency transition to 100 percent renewable energy.” Hmmm…Emergency this and emergency that. Actually sounds kind of un-democratic to me. This is how dictators often take over in other countries, finding an “emergency” that requires a brutally efficient fix. “I’ll just do this for you now and we can work out the niceties later.” Stein seems to think of herself as some kind of philosopher king, that if we would just give her the reins of country for a few years, she will just patch everything up perfectly in her image.
But the sad reality is that she apparently has no clue as to how things actually work in our republic (we are not a democracy, by the way.) If we are to have a massive jobs program and renewable energy program, where does that have to come from? Congress of course. Have such things been proposed? Of course they have. Went no where. Ask Obama what you can get done when Congress is against you.
So how many Greens are in Congress? None. Here is Wisconsin, the Greens are “supporting” four local candidates. They cannot even fill out their own state governing committee here. They can’t get a decent number of local candidates, cannot even fill out their own organizational chart and Stein thinks she is going to push a New Deal style jobs and energy program through Congress? Don’t make me laugh.
If, as Stein says, the future is not in our hopes or dreams, but in our hands, then let her and the Greens get themselves a functioning political party. Senate candidates in every state, a Green for every congressional district. Until then she is just a delusional hoper and dreamer.
Now, some will say that we need other parties to push back against the two main parties that have “sold out.” While I agree that our current political climate has plenty of problems, I have to take issue with the idea that both parties are “just same,” “equally corrupt” and have “sold out.”
This just the fallacy of false equivalence. Yes. both parties take corporate money and billionaire money. But do you really think that Elon Musk and the Koch brothers are “just the same?” What each party seeks to achieve with those donations is very different, and claiming otherwise is just disingenuous. Just as an easy example: do you really believe that Antonin Scalia and Thurgood Marshall were “just the same” on the Supreme Court? Which is a Democrat more likely to nominate? A Republican? You can’t argue that both parties are “exactly the same.” (And just for grins, even if you believe that Stein would nominate, say, Noam Chomsky to the Court, how in the hell would she get him confirmed?)
The same with “selling out.” We all sell out to one degree or another. The college I teach at now insists that all teachers use the same curriculum elements. Same assignments, same grading scale. I don’t think they are that great. Am I selling out by continuing to teach there? Maybe, but at least inside the system I have a better chance of effecting change.
Whether we like it or not corporations are part of our democracy. They have a right to do business here and the people who run them have a right to participate in the political process. The question is not whether but rather how. Stein, in that sense is like a fundamentalist — all or none. In her case none. I find it ironic that her followers are denouncing corporate influence by tweeting from their iPhones over the AT&T network.
Fundamentalism, that is to say rigidity of thinking, is just as bad in politics as it is in religion. For that reason alone, I think no one should vote for Jill Stein.