Bernie Sanders has been invited to continue his bid to be presidential nominee by running for the Green Party candidacy for president.
Stein said she would step aside to allow Sanders to seek the nomination at the Party's nominating convention coming up in August at Houston Texas.
Stein is expected to be nominated then. Stein claims that overwhelming numbers of Sanders' supporters are joining the Green Party rather than supporting the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Stein has a near term goal of reaching at least 15 percent national support so she can join televised debates alongside Trump and Clinton.
Nevertheless, Stein said: “I’ve invited Bernie to sit down explore collaboration – everything is on the table. If he saw that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he’d be welcomed to the Green party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement.” Stein said she had made the offer to Sanders at the end of the primary sessions. She had yet to receive a response.
Sanders has been busy trying to ensure that more progressive planks are in the Democratic platform. He has been successful in introducing such measures as the $15 minimum wage. However he has not been successful in introducing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership even though Hillary Clinton changed her position from supporting the measure to opposing it. A recent attempt to add opposition to the TPP was defeated by a vote of 10 against to 5 four. Only Sanders' supporters voted to add the opposition.
All 187 members of the platform committee are meeting today and tomorrow in Orlando Florida. If Clinton has her supporters vote against opposition to the TPP, perhaps more Sanders' supporters will join the Greens. Hillary faces a dilemma in that Obama is a strong supporter of the TPP as is Wall Street and most of the business community. Trump has made opposition to the TPP a key part of his campaign. If Clinton blocks any mention of opposition to the TPP in the Democratic platform, Trump will say that this shows she really does not oppose it. The New York Times and other sources indicate that Clinton will pledge support for Clinton early next week. If he does so without getting a plank in the Democratic platform against the TPP, he may find that even more of his supporters move to support the Greens.
Stein said of Sanders: "If he continues to declare his full faith in the Democratic party, it will leave many of his supporters very disappointed. That political movement is going to go on – it isn’t going to bury itself in the graveyard alongside Hillary Clinton.” Stein, an environmental activist and former doctor, is trying to woo young voters by promising to make college free and cancel all existing student debt. It remains to be seen if a plank on the issue is added to the Democratic platform as Sanders wants. Stein at present is polling only between 4 to 6 percent far from enough to join the presidential TV debates. Five percent is required to get federal funding in the next election. Being a third party candidate ensures that the press will not bother to cover you. Nine out of ten voters did not know enough about Stein to know if they supported her or not.
A poll of those who would vote for Sanders if his name were on the ballot showed: “Of those who vote for Sanders when Sanders’ name appears on the ballot, 13% say they will stay home if Sanders name is not on the ballot, 41% vote for Clinton, 15% vote for Johnson, 11% vote for Stein, and 7% defect to Trump.” Gary Johnson is the Libertarian candidate. So the largest number of Sanders' supporters will still vote for Clinton with only 11 percent going to Stein less than to the Libertarian Johnson.
Stein worries little about the fact her candidacy could hurt Democratic electoral chances and result in Hillary losing, saying: “She is the fracking queen. We would be fools to expect Hillary to deal with the climate crisis – the day of reckoning will come closer with her as president. As scary as Trump talks, Hillary has a scary record for warmongering and the neoliberalism. It’s a mistake to think the lesser of two evils will fix things. A lot of people are in the target hairs of a neoliberalist nightmare. Wars are bankrupting us morally and financially. At least when Republicans are elected, people fight – when Democrats are elected, people are lulled into complacency and fall asleep.”
Now that Hillary Clinton is certain to be the presidential candidate for the Democrats leftists are faced with the usual situation in US politics of picking the lesser of two evils. In this case that would presumacbly mean voting for Clinton and helping her defeat Donald Trump.
Bernie Sanders, self-declared socialist, engaged in an exciting run during the primaries which energized many leftists within the party and created important debates about issues.
However, he is now turning his fire on Trump and it seems clear that he will end up supporting Clinton while trying to add some progressive planks to the Democratic platform. Elizabeth Warren another popular figure among leftists has also endorsed Clinton. After all is said and done the Democrats have a candidate who has strong links to Wall Street and is likely to have a hawkish foreign policy that already brought the US the disaster of Libya.
There are alternatives to the candidates of the two main parties, Jill Stein of the Green Party is one. Stein is the presumptive nominee of the Green Party. The convention is not until August 4. Stein represents herself as a Plan B to continue fighting the revolution that Sanders talked about. Stein is not worried that Elizabeth Warren will be able to keep leftists within the Democratic fold saying: “Elizabeth Warren has very good proposals regarding Wall Street, but she really has not been leading the charge for single-payer health care … and is pretty much a war hawk in alignment with Hillary Clinton.”
Warren is very much a pro-Israel politician in contrast to Stein who is quite critical of Israeli policies. Stein has accused the Israeli government of "apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, collective punishment, and indefinite detention, all in defiance of international law". Stein is critical of Obamacare and recommends a "Medicare-for-All," health care system. Stein herself is a physician.
A recent poll by Bloomberg, shows that only 55 percent of Sanders voters are ready to vote for Clinton. There could be a large exodus from the Democratic party by Sanders voters. There is also likely to be a migration towards the Libertarian Party and their nominee Gary Johnson by Republican voters who cannot stomach Trump.
While the platform of Sanders and Stein are similar, Stein opposes the use of drones unlike Sanders. Stein is in favor of free college tuition as in Finland. She would also cancel all student debt. Stein expects to get on the ballot in all but three states. Stein is also beginning to register in the polls reaching 5 percent in one recent poll and 4 in another.
Stein is not concerned by the fact she may hurt the Democrats. She will campaign even in states where she might cause the Democrats to lose. She is critical of Clinton just as she is of Trump saying: “While it's horrifying to hear the draconian things that @realDonaldTrump is talking about, we've actually seen @HillaryClinton doing them.”
She also questioned Clinton as a representative of feminism saying: “I think it’s an offense to the concept of feminism to say that Hillary Clinton—and her advocacy for war, for Wall Street and for the ‘Walmart Economy’—represents feminism.” Of course, both Stein and Johnson are represented as spoilers.
Giving the populace an alternative to vote for rather than Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum spoils things for those who think that there should be no alternative to the two party system. The president, according to this narrative, should be the nominee who gets the most votes in a pure two party race.
When there are others running, votes which should have gone to one of the two parties go elsewhere and spoil the game. Its much cheaper if the establishment has only two parties to buy.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.
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