Noam Chomsky advocates voting for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party in states that are securely Democratic, and voting for Hillary in swing states where every vote counts. This makes a lot of sense because it’s one way, maybe the only way, to build a third party in this country.
Due to our antiquated voting system, a third party can never be successful. However, it could conceivably replace one of the two present day mainstream parties at some point.
Jill Stein stands for a lot of the things that Bernie and other Progressives stand for. But even if, by some stretch of the imagination, she were to be elected in November, she would still face a Republican Congress. Hillary is right when she seeks to tone down Bernie’s rhetoric and make more modest claims.
If elected President, she will face an intransigent Congress that will thwart her at every turn. Even though the Dems might be able to take back the Senate, it will not be filibuster-proof. Not to mention, the Dems probably will not be able to take back the House. So the Repubs will block all the good stuff in the Democratic party platform, and Hillary will be blamed for not delivering what she had promised.
If Hillary is not able to implement any part of her Democratic platform, a platform shaped by Bernie Sanders, the high expectations of those who will vote for her will be smashed. Then, Donald Trump could come back to haunt us in four years.
Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party don’t have that dilemma. Stein can state her positions unequivocally knowing she will never get them implemented because she probably will never gain the Presidency. But still it’s worthwhile to get those viewpoints out there before the public and let the public ruminate on them the same way Bernie Sanders did.
What does Jill Stein stand for?
So what is Jill Stein’s platform? Here is a sampling:
1)Guarantee economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities. Establish effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American life has dignity.
This is none other than the implementation of Article 25 of the UN Declaration of human rights which states:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Economic human rights are something Republicans are dead set against. They say it’s not in the Constitution and it’s un-American; only political rights are mentioned in the Constitution. The Green Party’s plan to implement economic human rights would end poverty and guarantee everyone a decent existence.
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to accumulate great wealth should use some of that wealth to support those of us who are less fortunate. This support should not be through philanthropy or charity, but through the intermediary of government and the tax code. So far human greed has made this outcome impossible.
Will human nature change, and in particular, the American psyche become less selfish? We’ll see, but I wouldn’t count on it. It would entail rewriting the Constitution to reflect those values.
2) Create living-wage jobs for every American who needs work.
This includes: replacing unemployment offices with employment offices, advancing workers’ rights to form unions, achieving workplace democracy, and keeping a fair share of the wealth they create.
In Sweden unemployment offices have been replaced by employment offices. These offices can be found in Stockholm and other cities and towns and are state run. In order to get a job one must go into this office, input one’s qualifications, and they will help you search a database of every available job in the whole country.
If a suitable job comes up, the applicant has a right not to accept it, and a new search is undertaken. However, after three rejections, his or her welfare is cut off. In other words, you have to accept one out of three proposed jobs or else. This extensive job search should be implemented in this the US to facilitate everyone’s working to the greatest extent possible. If no suitable private sector job can be found, then public sector jobs at minimum wage can be created.
There’s no end of trash that needs to be picked up along the streets and freeways. I’m sure productive jobs can be created similar to FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration.
3) Create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation.
Global warming is serious and needs to be addressed in a serious manner. The Green Party’s platform would do this although the date needs to be moved up to 2025.
4) Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights.
Which would mean: end the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament.
The US has to be weaned away from being the world’s foremost militarist nation if there is ever to be peace on the planet. Peace making activities such as the Peace Corps need to be stepped up. The money saved by slashing the military budget and closing bases can be used to transition to renewable energy and provide other social benefits.
The US military bases in almost every country of the world give credence to the fact that the US is an occupying power that occupies the whole world. It’s world domination pure and simple, something we fought against in WWII when the Axis powers tried to do it.
A lot of these countries, for example the Phillipines, don’t want our bases on their territory. Converting US military occupation to Peace Corps related activities would go a long way to creating world peace. We create enemies and then beef up the military budget to defend against them. Even Russia has been re-created as a new old enemy when friendship would have been and still is possible. Those in power miss the good old days of the Cold War; they want it back so bad.
5) Establish an improved “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings.
With Aetna pulling out of Obamacare, Obamacare’s days are numbered. The big insurance companies are not interested in playing that game, leaving the whole program in jeopardy. It was a jury rigged, Rube Goldberg jumble of incompatible compromises in the first place. Medicare-for-all is the only sane solution. Let’s get on with it.
6) Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude. Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high stakes testing and public school privatization.
5) and 6) agree with Bernie Sanders’ proposals.
7) Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage.
Which means: break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.
The Federal Reserve created $17 trillion out of thin air via a few keystrokes on a computer in order to bail out the big banks, domestic and foreign, in the 2008 financial crisis. It’s obvious they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re in uncharted waters, and the only thing they know is to preserve the system as it already exists until the next financial crisis. That’s the only time when things might change. Until then they are holding onto the current system such that it is for dear life.
The Rich Need to Pay more Taxes to Reduce Inequality
The rich need to pay their fair share, which I define as sufficient to diminish income and wealth inequality. If the US is to remain a democratic country and not become a plutocracy, this needs to happen.
Reagan and Alan Greenspan’s tax breaks for the rich had a lot to do with the increasing economic divide between rich and poor. The balance needs to be regained by taxing the rich to support the poor until wealth and income is more evenly distributed.
There are other parts to Dr Jill Stein’s plan, but the above are the main “planks,” in my opinion.
She mentions public banking, which I have written about extensively in the San Diego Free Press. The champion of public banking is Ellen Brown who has run on the Green Party ticket previously for State Treasurer of California. Public banking is an important concept that would make it possible for the US and its citizens to get away from the debt based economy they now suffer under. It also is a non-violent way to diminish the power Wall Street has over the economy.
In Ellen’s latest blog: Can Jill Carry Bernie’s Baton? A Look at the Green Candidate’s Radical Funding Solution she says:
Bernie Sanders supporters are flocking to Jill Stein, the presumptive Green Party presidential candidate, with donations to her campaign exploding nearly 1000% after he endorsed Hillary Clinton. Stein salutes Sanders for the progressive populist movement he began and says it is up to her to carry the baton. Can she do it? Critics say her radical policies will not hold up to scrutiny. But supporters say they are just the medicine the economy needs.
The Fed Bailed out the Banks
The Fed came up with trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street and they did it with a couple keystrokes on a computer. So why can’t the same thing be done for Main Street? Dr Jill Stein and Ellen Brown say it can. Bernie Sanders demanded that the Government Accounting Office conduct an audit of the Fed which revealed that it had provided a whopping $17 trillion to bail out American and foreign banks during the economic crisis. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else,” said Sanders in a press release.
If the Fed can create money that it doesn’t really have just by a few keystrokes on a computer and give it to the rich, it begs the question why can’t the Treasury Department issue the money directly to the people?
Right now they are forbidden by law from doing so, but there is a way around this since the Treasury can issue coins. It has been proposed that the Treasury could mint a trillion dollar coin and then go from there. Better yet change the law so that the Treasury Department, not the Wall Street controlled Fed, has control over the money supply. If the Treasury Department did this, it wouldn’t have to borrow money and pay interest on its bonds, which goes mainly to Wall Street. Taxpayers would save billions of dollars in interest charges.
The Feds won’t bail out Main Street
The Federal government could do just that: provide money interest free for rebuilding infrastructure, buying up student loan debt and other worthwhile activities. The result would be increased economic stimulus and full employment. This coupled with a financial transactions tax on Wall Street, eliminating the “carried interest” loophole for hedge funds, would decrease the economic divide between the 1% and the 99%.
Bernie Sanders had the right ideas; Jill Stein has the right ideas. But none of these ideas can be implemented with a corporate controlled Congress that likes things just the way they are. After all, it serves their interests very well. They are getting rich off it, and they could care less about the middle class or the poverty stricken.
The Repubs have their southern “tribe” locked up and fully imbued with the idea of voting against their own interests. They are busy ginning up anger against the less rugged. This seems to be sufficient for getting people to vote against their own interests. Corporate Democrats like their perks too like going to work as lobbyists after they quit their “public service.”
bob dorn says
We’re in California, too-Democratic-to-fail California. Vote for Jill Stein, or write in Bernie. We have the relative luxury of being able to vote for what we believe in. No harm done to the Supreme Court (or to the protection racket our politics has become) because California will be won by Hillary. At some point, progressives have to say the time has come to vote truthfully.
Larry Githens says
As a native of California, I will take pleasure in voting for Jill Stein and the Green Party. I’d vote for her even if I wasn’t voting in “safe” California! Hillary will have no problem carrying CA in the November Election.
I’m so relieved to have a candidate on the ballot that represents my values and beliefs! It makes me sick and saddened and ashamed to think how many of my tax dollars have contributed to drone attacks, terror and destruction overseas. Emphatically and enthusiastically Jill 2016!
Many of the pilots are quitting. http://www.salon.com/2015/03/06/a_chilling_new_post_traumatic_stress_disorder_why_drone_pilots_are_quitting_in_record_numbers_partner/
Even the drone pilots themselves would agree with you: see here and here
Editor dude, just delete this. It’s a duplicate.
Frank Gormlie says
Then, of course, there is the national popular vote and the legitimacy of an anti-fascist front.
Frank Thomas says
Dr. Jill Stein has said, “My campaign represents the continuing agenda of Bernie Sanders campaign … Forget the lesser evil, fight for the greater good like your life depended on it. When we stand up with the courage of our convictions, we actually have the critical mass we need to stand up for our future and take it back.”
I sense the Green Party’s objective is to win at least 5% of the popular vote – qualifying the party for $10 million public campaign funds to use in the 2020 presidential campaign.
Soft Clinton supporters on the left may feel set free to vote for Dr. Jill Stein in obviously uncontested states supporting Hillary. Jill’s quest is to become a strong liberal voice for the American left – a refreshing 3rd party choice in the face of our utterly polarized do ‘nothing constructive for the commons’ two-party system. Ralph Nader didn’t make it; perhaps Jill will.
She’s one of those gifted, self-effacing, dedicated people in politics – along with many other exceptional people – who can help get us back to whom we really are: a nation of, by, and for the people.
Frank J says
Not so fast on Jill Stein and the party that shows up briefly (relatively speaking)every 4 years. Originally she was for Brexit (likely changed on the party site now). She has some issues with policies and history, and sometimes panders so far left its almost full circle. Really, how long dedicated to politics? Stein is the least supportive of Israel, if that matters to you. And Bernie quite simply threw in his support for Hillary, knowing fully well in this rigged system the Green Party has no chance. Next best thing to Bernie…. No. And if this gains enough momentum in swing states, I shudder to think what happens.
In my lifetime I really hope a 3rd party and more has a chance. Not now. Lets vote for the only candidate that can win who will appoint justices to the Supreme Court that represent us. Lets vote for the only candidate that can win for the sake of our children and their children. Lets vote for the only candidate that can win that may save our air, water, and food. Lets vote like it may be the last opportunity to vote again.
John Lawrence says
Not so fast about the appointment of Justices to the Supreme Court. Obama didn’t have much success with that. Remember it was his prerogative to do it. Repubs will filibuster the hell out of Hillary too. Who says they won’t do it for four years, and there never will be another Democratic appointment to the Supremes.
Frank Gormlie says
There’s other factors: for one, the future of the US Senate – not so fast on assuming it will remain Republican.
John Lawrence says
Prediction: They’ll filibuster Hillary’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
Frank J says
Obama had his hands tied and feet shackled for sure, starting with the 14 prominent repubs meeting at the Caucus Room restaurant the night of his inauguration. But the public is waking up.
Also, Obama was republican light, at least by the standards of the RNC in 1956, the year I was born. So was Bill.
So unless some states are stolen,(read the bradblog for voting issues), and everyone votes against capital ‘R’s, this misuse of the filibuster will go down.
As long as we keep pulling left, Hillary will have to follow.
Betty DeGroat says
Thanks, John. Great article; have shared with a few friends.