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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