Why I am Voting for Jill Stein & Ajamu Baraka
I have been pressed by fellow leftists recently about why I am voting for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka instead of Hillary Clinton. Others like Paul Street, Chris Hedges (and here), and
Cornel West have provided solid reasons for their support of Stein/Baraka, but here’re just some of mine:
First, as of the writing of this blog entry, Clinton leads by a significant margin in a vast majority of states—even so-called “contested” states—such that the race is no longer close. Thus, the argument that voting for Stein will put Trump closer to the White House is a weak argument.
Second, leftists need to keep the long game in mind here. If Jill Stein can capture 5% of the popular vote, the Green Party will be eligible for $10 million in federal matching funds for a 2020 presidential campaign. That’s significant.
Third, there is precedent for the long game in recent Greek elections. In the Greek general election of 2004, the (at the time) “fringe” leftist Syriza party earned just 3.3% of the total vote. Ten years later, in 2014, the Syriza party took the Greek general election winning 27% of the vote. Voting for Stein increases the possibility that the same thing could happen here in the U.S. In 2012 Stein received 0.37% of the vote. If she gets 5% this time, that would be a 1400% increase, a result that would send a clear message to a Clinton White House to pay attention such a leftist constituency.
Fourth, to argue as many Hillary supporters do that we shouldn’t vote for Stein because she has no chance of winning overlooks the fact that voting for a candidate primarily because you think she has a chance of winning is not the only good reason to vote for a candidate. I have just provided three others above. A question I have for Hillary voters is this: Imagine that current poll numbers indicated an overwhelming landslide for Trump. Imagine that Trump’s victory was predicted to be similar that of Reagan over Mondale, taking 49 of 50 states. Were that the situation today, would you think that a vote for Hillary is a “wasted” vote? Or would you vote for Hillary anyway? I imagine the latter.
For these reasons and others, I am voting Green in the 2016 presidential election.