Greens’ Stein Faults Two-Party System

Some Democrats blame Jill Stein for “siphoning off” crucial votes from Hillary Clinton and thus helping to elect Donald Trump, but Stein insists that the two-party straitjacket is the real enemy of democracy, reports Dennis J Bernstein.
By Dennis J Bernstein

Former Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, remains undaunted in her belief that the only real and significant change in U.S. politics will come through a third party that can finally break the headlock that the Democrats and Republicans hold on the electoral system.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

Stein, who has been running for state and federal office since her unsuccessful run for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, has yet to win an election and received about 1.4 million votes (or about 1 percent of the total) in the presidential election of 2016.

I spoke with her on March 10 about what comes next for her and the Green Party, as well as her thoughts on the policies of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Dennis Bernstein: You are here in San Francisco, doing a bunch of things. But you’re going to be participating a little bit later in an action in support of Standing Rock and indigenous rights. And I want to ask you for your gut reaction to seeing that almost the first thing that Donald Trump did was go after the indigenous communities, and get those pipelines pumping heavy crude.

Jill Stein: It’s a sign of what we’re up against: this incredibly authoritarian, neo-fascist, anti-human rights predator, and who has pretended to be a friend of the working people, and who has really been revealed in all of his glory with his billionaire cabinet composed of people who are attacking the very cabinet departments that they are said to be head of. Who is enlarging the military, expediting the pipelines, expediting all sorts of destructive fossil fuel projects, attacking immigrants. It’s really reigning down on all sides.

The issue of indigenous rights, and pipelines and Standing Rock, brings so many of these issues together. With incredible courage, and vision, and passion, that so engaged the hearts and minds all across America, that we all saw that we are all Standing Rock. That this is where democracy… our rights to protest, indigenous rights, human rights, and our right to air, and water, and the climate that we can live in. They all converge.

And, it’s like the match here that lit the fire is just the passion of our indigenous brothers and sisters who are ready to stand up. Not just for them: they’re standing up for us all. And that passion is not going away. They may be evicted for now, but the fight is going on. It’s continuing in court. It’s continuing in the local struggles against, I guess, what’s called the Klamath River Pipeline [Pacific Connector Pipeline], and LNG [liquid natural gas] Pipeline, that’s going to go under the Klamath River, and put it at great risk.

The important thing here is that we’ve been successful in stopping fossil fuel projects over the past two years. That has really put the fear of God into this industry. They are in the process of becoming stranded assets. They’re trying to hurry up and get them built before they are no longer financially viable.

Protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 13, 2016 (Fibonacci Blue Flickr)

DB: The price is so low, they can’t even sell the stuff.

JS: And so, the important thing here is for us to just… to double down. And to be strengthened, to be encouraged, to get past their propaganda of powerlessness, and to know that we still have the numbers, in spite of the election of Donald Trump, which was an obvious distortion of the system.

But even more than that, it’s a system that’s become so toxic, so predominated by big money, corporate money, and corporate media, that it’s become unhinged. We have an unhinged, toxic political system. Donald Trump represents, really, the breakdown of this bi-partisan system that people have lost faith in.

Polls last year, well, early on in the election, showed 90% of Americans have lost confidence in our political institutions, in the bi-partisan system in Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary. You can’t get more explicit than that, 90%.

At the other end, at the very end of the election, it was 80% of the people who described their feelings towards the election as one of disgust. And the American people are ready to move on. Had we… we were like one open debate from totally throwing out the bums, and moving forward to the future we deserve.

And everything that we’re hearing now, both in what the extraordinarily destructive actions of Donald Trump, but it’s like the neoliberal runway that he launched from, the deportation of three million immigrants, the meltdown of the climate, where the White House was signing an end to the export ban of fossil fuel. They were actually signing the dotted line to end that ban. In other words, to enable the export of fossil fuels again, while the Paris Accords were being signed. So, with one hand they’re claiming this great environmental world, with the other they’re just massively increasing.

So, the point here is we need to move forward. We need to break up with this abusive political relationship. We need to go forward with the future we deserve, because we’re out of time, and it’s on us. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for. We have the power, people are standing up, joining in. Follow the example of Standing Rock. We can fix these problems.

DB: I love that poem by June Jordan, put to music by Sweet Honey in the Rock […] and I notice that that was sort of the anthem that played in the beginning of the Women’s March, in Washington, D.C. June Jordan is of this community, contributed to this show. So, we’re happy that she is still being evoked.

Well, let’s talk about what’s happening today. You have some expertise. We all saw the dangerous possibilities of the ObamaCare program. We’re seeing something else go on now. You have some knowledge here, you want to talk about this?

JS: Sure. So, ObamaCare was a very mixed bag. We should have had Medicare For All, a single-payer system. Healthcare is a human right. ObamaCare was basically RomneyCare, writ large. It was essentially a national roll out of what we did in Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, who launched that RomneyCare movement in order to stop single-payer. That’s really where all of this originated, because single-payer was going like gangbusters in Massachusetts. We very nearly won a referendum that was only beat back by about two percentage points, having been outspent by 30 – 1 or 50 – 1, whatever it was, by the industry.

Signs and buttons at a rally celebrating the TTP’s defeat and supporting Medicare For All. November 17, 2016. (Photo by Chelsea Gilmour)

DB: It got really close.

JS: It was, and that’s why they came up with this diversionary measure. So, it expanded Medicaid, that was great. It did some other things, no pre-existing conditions, etc. It made care affordable for people who were poor.

But for working people it created this mandate. You shouldn’t be funding health care for some people on the backs of other people. We should be funding health care through the incredible abundance of this country. We are not a country of scarcity. We are not a country of austerity.

We are a country that is being bankrupted by a military budget that has just gone hog-wild, which Donald Trump wants to further expand. But it’s pretty toxic to start with. It’s over 50% of our discretionary dollars. It’s almost half of your income taxes going for what? For wars, and regime change that has created failed states, mass refugee migrations, and worse terrorist’s threats.

So, this doesn’t fix the problem. More of a catastrophic policy of militarism – we’re about to go into Syria now, with ground troops – that’s not going to make it better. This, again, is yet another reason why this is a Hail Mary moment [a desperate effort with little chance of success].

And it’s not only that our water is at risk, our climate is melting down, and in fact, that melt down is accelerating. An entire generation of young people are locked in debt, jobs are just not sustainable when average wages for workers are barely at the poverty level. We’re not going to get out of here alive.

DB: […] What do you think is going to happen here? What’s your best assessment of… we know where the Republicans are going with this. They’re hell-bent on passing this stuff. There’s going to be some resistance but essentially they’re going to be able to get whatever they want. What are the implications?

JS: Well, it’s not clear that they will. And back to the subject on the table about TrumpCare. There’s not agreement about this, at all. It may not pass either House. And Trump is not a uniter, in spite of what he says. It’s very clear he’s not a uniter. He doesn’t bring people together, doesn’t have, kind of, higher order passions and visions.

DB: I haven’t seen him smile once since he’s been elected.

JS: I know.

DB: You notice that? God, they’re disappointed they won.

JS: Not him, and not his wife either, who really looks miserable. The two of them on Election Day… [and] … on Inauguration Day it looked like they were at a funeral. They did not expect this. Now, he’s being progressively cornered. He’s had to lose some of his key advisors, he’s lost some key cabinet positions, his ratings continue to plummet. They were rock bottom to start with. He is a land mine of liabilities: legal, constitutional and ethical liabilities. There’s just case after case, lawsuits against him. His immigrant policy is about to be stopped again, for the second time. So, this is a guy who should not be in office. He’s being stopped.

I think it’s important for us to remember Richard Nixon, one of the most corrupt and authoritarian presidents in our history. What did we do under the rule of Richard Nixon? We brought the troops home from Vietnam. We established women’s right to choose, from a very conservative Supreme Court. We got the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, OSHA, protecting workers’ health and safety. How did we do that? We did it because we were out in the streets with a passion knowing that our lives were on the line, because our brothers were being sent to die, to Vietnam.

Well, guess what? Now, we’ve woken up to find our lives are on the line again, whether it’s from poverty and homelessness; a generation locked into unpayable student debt; from the expanding war which is blowing back at us with a vengeance; from the climate [warming] which is now accelerating, given the news last week that the meltdown of permafrost is well established, and is moving forward at horrific speed. And all the dire predictions from Jim Hansen, that we could see 10 or 20 feet of sea level rise, as soon as 2060. That’s not far away.

Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. August 31, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Well, guess what? Those predictions are coming far closer now, because those models did not include the impact of methane. We didn’t know when this was going to hit. The meltdown of the permafrost, for those who aren’t familiar, it’s basically frozen, organic debris, like dinosaur flesh, and plant matter, and stuff like that. It’s just…  the organic matter, the living creatures and plant life, of the ages, that’s been frozen. It’s becoming unfrozen. That means it turns into methane, which is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases. This is a major accelerator of climate change.

So, it means that it’s time to stand up. It means that we are out of time. It means it’s time to take action, now. So, people are getting out, knowing that our lives are on the line, for all these issues. On account of immigrant deportations, and the attack on women, and all the rest.

DB: Let me just stop you there, because that’s the other issue I want to hit. I’m referring to it [the bulk-up of US Border and ICE agents] as Trump’s jobs program for ex-military. And I was joking when I said to the audience the other day that, I swear, I know I’m going to open Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Army newspaper, and see major ads.

So I got a call right after the show, from a listener who said, “Are you kidding me? Look at page 9, Stars and Stripes, huge, double page ads, $10,000 and $9,000, special courts and expanded private prisons.” This is really the cutting edge of, if you will, the new civil rights movement.

If we have a responsibility, it is in terms of the incredible attack on brown people in this country. Undocumented workers who do the hardest work, and, of course, the whole Middle East. Anything darker than John Wayne, and you’re in trouble. And we’re seeing Sikh, the other day, a Sikh man was assassinated, because he was like Osama Bin Laden, or something.

JS: Yes, you’re right. And this is where immigrant rights come together with unbridled militarism. Because this refugee crisis… it’s a refugee crisis, it’s not an immigration crisis, it’s a refugee crisis. We create that crisis through our military policies, not only in the Middle East, but also [by] overturning democracies: Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador. Where we, […] through our U.S. trained death squads, or through the outright overturning of democracies, we’ve created this culture of violence that forces people to flee over the border. So militarism, economic exploitation, and the role of NAFTA, which was awful for workers here, as well as farmers south of the border.

These are fixable problems. They can only be fixed together. To my mind, that’s what a political party is. A political party is a coalition that’s going to work together around an explicit agenda for people, planet and peace, over profit. The time has come. We have to stand up, like our lives depend on it, because they do.

And, now, this is sort of the silver lining behind this awful scary thunder cloud here that has just descended all over us: That our lives are on the line, so we gotta stand up and do it, in the way that we did under Richard Nixon. And then we impeached him. Trump’s days are numbered.

We just saw the president of South Korea impeached, today, upheld by the courts. Why did this happen? In part it was millions of people getting out into the street. It happened in Guatemala, two years ago. In East Germany, Chris Hedges tells the story, he was there as an investigative reporter. And the democracy advocates were meeting and saying “How are we going to get rid of this awful, authoritarian government?” And they said “Maybe in ten years.” The next week the wall came down, because people came out.

(Photo by Chelsea Gilmour)

We’ve just… we’re at the breaking point, and we’re also at the wake up point, right now. And so, this is going to accelerate resistance. We’re not only creating sanctuary communities, but we’re actually now building sanctuary institutions, where people will be kept safe, where the ICE agents can’t even go. And, there are other plans that may be in the works with some indigenous tribes, and the role that they can play. Because they are essentially independent nations.

So, there are very exciting things here. In the same way that the Muslim community stood up for the Jewish community and raised money in the face of these anti-Semitic attacks, and all the bomb threats that are going on. We’re seeing these wonderful, just life-affirming, humanity-affirming alliances. And, as we wake up to the fact that our days are numbered right now, and that it is in our hands. It’s only us, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. The time has come, enough of the lesser evil. It’s time to stand up, and fight for the greater good.

And even this issue of spoiling elections, and splitting the votes. Well, hello, there’s a system called ranked-choice voting which Greens have been promoting forever. The state of Maine just passed it by voter referendum.

[California Governor] Jerry Brown just vetoed it [in California]. There was enabling legislation that was passed by the Legislature and Jerry Brown vetoed it because Democrats are at war with the liberation of our votes. They rely on extortion. They rely on intimidation, and fear, in order to hold people back. Why do they do that? Because they know that they can’t earn your vote.

Ranked-choice voting calls their bluff. It allows you to actually rank your choices. If your first choice loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice. That’s a win-win on our democracy. There are win-wins for every issue that faces us.

Right now we’re looking at a lose-lose [situation], with this corporate-sponsored duopoly. The Democrats might give us ten more years than the Republicans would, of survival, under Democratic policies. But it’s a sinking ship, with the duopoly. It’s time to get off the ship. Our lives depend on getting off that ship and launching the lifeboat. We’ve got it, let’s make it happen.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net.

 

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31 comments for “Greens’ Stein Faults Two-Party System

  1. Skip Scott
    March 15, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Jill Stein is our only hope. Benedict Sanders could have kept fighting with Jill after the wikileaks revelations about the corrupt DNC, but he showed his true colors (yellow being primary), when he caved to Killary. He could have made the National debates by bringing his followers over to the Greens, blew up the entirely corrupted two party system, and been President today. Now we are all paying the price. The Greens are our only hope.

    • Brad Owen
      March 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      10$-a-month to GPUS is what I do. I strongly suspect Sanders was seriously threatened, maybe his family too, so, yeah, he blinked. I hope it was a “live to fight another day” strategic “Withdrawal”. Jill’s got the courage, but Bernie’s got the “bullhorn” and the loyalty of 13 million donors. If he would quit flogging the dead horse of “reform” for brand-D, step out and raise his own flag to rally around, I’d be there in a heartbeat, and I suspect the Greens would fold themselves into Bernie’s new progressive populist party (PPP), totally funded by small regular donations…like union dues. Bernie may be too old for President 2020, but as Party Chairman of PPP, his endorsement would carry much weight. He may even convince 40 or 50 Congressmen/women to cross-over to PPP, from BOTH D an R parties. THAT is the REAL way to establish a third party. The corrupt remnants of R and D would combine to form the E party (Establishment), of 2nd ranking to the PPP which becomes the dominant party.

      • Skip Scott
        March 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm

        Sounds good Brad. I give a little to the Greens myself. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on Bernie though. Being a fellow “conspiracy theorist”, I suspect you’re right about the threat. He seems to be too smart to have believed that his followers would let him take them over to “The Queen of Chaos”. Now his revolution is pretty much DOA, but those same people are still out there waiting to be organized by someone a little younger and braver.

        • Brad Owen
          March 15, 2017 at 2:22 pm

          Scott: I just now read on the Green Party website, in their Press Releases area, that Bernie’s Progressive political action group, “Our Revolution”, endorsed Green Party member Cheri Honkala for a Penn. state rep. position, 197th. As you probably know Cheri was Jill’s running mate in 2012. God it would be great if the Greens got those 13 million donors of Bernie’s. 13 million x 10$ a month= 130 million$ a month for a political “war chest”. That could put progressive political activism into hyperdrive.

          • Skip Scott
            March 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm

            I hear that Bernie has separated himself from the day to day running of “Our Revolution”. Back before the election he endorsed some DINO (the guy was even former GOP) named Mike Derrick against progressive Green candidate Matt Funiciello in NY state.

            http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/30/86203/

            Maybe Bernie’s beginning to see the light, or maybe the revolutionaries are taking matters into their own hands. Anyway, the two groups are natural confederates in the progressive cause, let’s hope they unite.

    • Joe
      March 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Bernie is a senator, Jill is not in any public office. Bernie is one of our hopes, he’s fighting the good fight. I would rather have Hillary than what we have now. Trump is worse than Hillary by a very large margin. But you hate Hillary more than Trump. Voting for Stein was a wasted vote, she got less votes than that libertarian idiot, Gary Johnson.
      I wish we had a viable 3rd party, a workers’ party but we are stuck with this system until the laws can be changed. I wish we had a parliamentary system, the electoral college should be dumped but that’s a pipe dream.

      • Brad Owen
        March 16, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        Stein was on YOUR ballot (unless you live in one of those 3 states where she wasn’t on the ballot). YOU didn’t HAVE to vote for either Trump or the war criminal Clinton. Stein was on well over 90% of the ballots. Read their platform; the Greens ARE a workers’ party already, and accept only small donations (no billionaires’ club in the back room, unlike Hillary). Sanders wasn’t on ANY ballot in the general. With Trump at the helm, the Progressive activists have awakened, are mobilizing, gaining critical mass. With Hillary, we would have been sleep-walking our way into WWIII by now, for crying-out-loud. She stands with the war criminals. She represents the putrid, rotting Establishment, who is slowly-but-surely being dislodged by the New Era/New Paradigm coming in, on a Silk Road.

      • John
        March 26, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        Voting for a candidate whose positions I oppose would have been wasting my vote.
        Voting for Jill was most definitely not a waste, as I agree with her on basically every position.

        If Hitlery has been elected, would there have been massive resistance to her plans to continue mass deportations, further expand the wars in Yemen, Syria, etc, push through oil pipelines and trade agreements, etc ad nauseum?

        Keep in mind her history shows that, on basic matters of policy, there is little, if any difference between Lady MacBeth and President Tribblehead. The only difference is in tone and the level of complacency amongst so-called “liberals”

        I agree that we are stuck with the system that we have. However, I do not see the remedy as some nebulous “until the laws can be changed” that gives us no agency at all. Instead, I recognuze that the remedy is that we need to change the laws. We will not change the laws by supporting those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

        If you actually want to change the laws, support those who wish to change them, and oppose those who do not. If you are unwilling to actually support what you claim to support, then obviously, you do not really support what you claim to support.

  2. Ted
    March 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Can anyone tell me what, besides trotting out a perennial lamb-to-the-slaughter every 4 years, the Green Party does? As a former Green, I am at a loss to know.

    I have known a few candidates for governor and the state legislature who have received very little, if any, support from the Green Party “organization” in their campaigns and after. I do remember one candidate for governor who told the assembled at the GP state convention that we could help her by first not stabbing her in the back.

    The Green Party is not ready for prime time. Hell, they’re not even ready for the graveyard shift. Still, they continue to suck all the air and money out of the green movement via the general election instead of actually doing what their first Key Value is – building grassroots democracy.

    • March 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      existing with a decent platform is alot in itself. bernie blew his oppurtunity at revolution when he rejected the first slot above stein. greatest missed political oppurtunity in decades.

      • Ted
        March 16, 2017 at 9:38 pm

        “existing with a decent platform is alot in itself.”

        Not anymore. That’s grown very thin and irrelevant.

        People, especially hurting people, don’t give a rat’s ass about platforms.

    • Peter Loeb
      March 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

      THE ONHCE AND FORMER JILL STEIN….

      Agreeing with “Ted” above, I too supported the US green effort.

      Innocence and self-delusion can be noble indeed.Perhaps
      Dr. Stein can write a book.

      The fact remain that the US does have a two-party system.
      There have been many attempts to change this through US
      history and none has succeeded.

      There are other forms of governance in other nations. The US
      does have have such a government.

      Personally, I voted Green because I could not stomach either
      of the main two parties’ candidates.

      I think the basic reasons for the Trump victory and H. Clinton
      failure are “the economy, stupid!” (There were naturally
      other factors as well.) See Jack Rasmus, EPIC RECESSION,
      PRELUDE TO DEPRESSION” (2010)

      Jill Stein is probably a well-intentioned woman. The Green Party
      will not defeat the two-party system. That’s my prediction!!!
      You can bank on it. Any nonsense about doing so belongs
      in a classroom somewhere. It is unreal.

      —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • Peter Loeb
        March 16, 2017 at 6:35 am

        CORRECTION: …”The US does NOT have such a system…”
        Peter Loeb

      • ThisOldMan
        March 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

        You seem to have missed what is, in my opinion, the most important point of this article: rank-order voting is the best way to kill the two-party monopoly! And since you’re in Massachusetts, you should get behind “Voter Choice Massachusetts” (https://docs.google.com/document/d/14-MVJQxMtrwauoEEzO6tID4n0EdvHRXg3LDpEoC2XZ4).

        • Ted
          March 16, 2017 at 2:17 pm

          Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) was just voted in via a citizen referendum in Maine. It’s currently being challenged by…who else…the status quo.

          However, RCV will likely never be used in the Presidential election as it would require an amendment the U.S. Constitution. I can’t see that happening. And anyway, that’s really the wrong place to be start. RCV (if/when Maine voters’ wish is acknowledged) will allow Mainers to use it in elections for governor, state legislators, and our federal Congresspeople. That is HUGE, and the more states that can do that, the more we will start to see real alternatives in representation. Trump (and his Mini Me in Maine, Paul LePage) are what we get when the people are fed up with the status quo, but have nowhere else to go. It is a losing proposition.

          That, or insurrection, which I don’t think would end well.

          • Jerry
            March 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm

            Right now, the President is chosen by the Electoral College, whose members are chosen by the voters in the general election conducted according to state law. The current system, first past the post, is not mandated by the U.S. Const. Nor does it prohibit RCV. RCV could require constitutional amendments by the states, if their respective constitutions say so.

            One way or another, without major improvement, we are declining and heading for ruination.

      • March 16, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        a few major pariies have come and collapsed. usually two parties but the two vary and some large third parties have appeared. bernie might have won with stein.

      • Ted
        March 16, 2017 at 9:45 pm

        “Personally, I voted Green because I could not stomach either of the main two parties’ candidates.”

        That was certainly your right, but one I don’t agree with, at least as far as a tactic goes.

        I voted for Hillary Clinton knowing full well what she is about. I voted for Hillary because she is not Donald Trump with a pack of racist xenophobic sycophants as a base.

        Sometimes, you are forced to take a step backward so that you can live to fight another day. I’m not sure I can say that we will have another day now. At least, not one we will recognize.

        • John
          March 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm

          If Hitlery did not have racist xenophobic sycophants as her base, then why would they have supported her attacks against Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Russia, or her support for Apartheid in Palestine?

          Obviously, Hitlery’s base has just as many racist, xenophobic sycophants in her base as President Tribblehead does, the difference is simply that President Tribblehead’s supporters are more honest about it.

          If one was not a racist, xenophobic sycophant, then Palestinian children would matter just as much to them as the kids at Sandy Hook. Libyan women would be just as important as Meryl Streep. Unaccompanied minors fleeing Honduras would be cared for exactly as much as kids in our school lunch programs.

          One would have to be a racist xenophobe to support either the Red Queen or Herr Hair. The difference between the followers of the two is that The Big Cheeto’s fans are at least honest about their racism and xenophobia, whereas those who idolize the woman who said “they are superpredators that must be brought to heel” pretend that they are the Great White Hope.

    • Brian Setzler
      March 16, 2017 at 12:21 pm
  3. Miranda Keefe
    March 15, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I do not believe it is possible to reform the Democratic Party.

    Unfortunately I do not believe it is possible to build the Green Party as long as the current two parties exist.

    I am afraid our only hope for a future alternative is for the Democratic Party to die and that will only happen as they lose more and more to Republicans until large numbers of leaders and pundits leave it.

    This is what happened in the 1850s to the Whigs. The Whigs had to die before the Republicans could arise.

    This is a horrible way to move to the future. It means that instead of Trump’s agenda being frozen with a lost of Congress in 2018, it means bigger majorities and re-election in 2020.

    That’s big cost.

    So we’re in a terrible place.

    • Jeremy
      March 15, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      My thoughts exactly…why, after voting for Stein, I was probably less dismayed with a Trump presidency than had Hillary won…to me, as with alot of healthy change, things have to get worse before they get better. Let’s just hope we can bounce back.

  4. Vera
    March 15, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Two-party system could be equated with “take it or leave it” or “the lesser of two evils”. More political parties is what is needed and along with this proportional representation so what voters really get to express their opinions. Not voting is not the answer. And of course, take money out of the entire electoral system…and do away with the Electoral College.

  5. Geoffrey de Galles
    March 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Both the DNC and the GOP are afflicted right now with potentially lethal schisms — the Democrats with the rift between the Clintonites & neocons vs the Sanders & Ellison progressives; and the GOP with the rift between the traditional Republicans (like McCain and Graham) vs all those who’ve more or less thrown in their lot with Trump. Optimal, then, would be a synchronous seismic disintegration of both parties, such as might be precipitated for instance by an impeachment or attempted assassination of Trump, whereupon both the Greens and the Libertarians would surely stand to benefit greatly were they to confidently enter the affray and boldly raise their flags. My own fantasy is that Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard would affiliate, form a new party (or resurrect the Greens), and lure Bernie into joining up with them on being afflicted by the much-belated epiphany that, by then, the DNC was well & truly fucked. — I must confess, Dr. Jill Stein struck me as the only truly intellectually competent, altogether astute, consistently principled, and consummately articulate candidate in the whole 2016 race. Mind, I’m no more than a foreign observer; so — at least in the modern American sense — my judgement must rank as far from exceptional.

  6. dhinds
    March 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    This is what it takes. If Jill Stein doesn’t receive your support and vote it isn’t her fault, it’s yours!

    • Brad Owen
      March 16, 2017 at 5:14 am

      True. Her name was on well over 90 per cent of the ballots in November 2016. Nobody had to vote Hillary or Trump.

  7. March 16, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Jill Stein is a good woman and would make a great president . From what I know of her I feel she would stand up to the one percent elite and not back down like trump has. These people are extremely evil and standing up to them would probably put her life in danger. You can tell they have got to trump. He has done so many backflips. The most notable being the big backflip with sorting out the CIA. You don’t mess with them if you value your life. The other notable one was drawing the swamp, haha. It’s got worse if anything, more scumbags have come out of the woodwork. One wonders where all this will end, but one also hopes common sense will prevale.

  8. March 16, 2017 at 8:06 am

    For sure, this country does need more political parties in real contention for election to high office. But the historical record does not suggest that new minor parties have any significant chance to break into the big time, though they sometimes have made contributions by raising an important issue. Bernie Sanders’ decision to run as a Democrat surely was made in recognition of this cold, hard reality.

    Certainly ballot access for third parties has been made difficult and access to the debates has been denied. But the fundamental problem that likely helped to motivate these roadblocks was our insistence on using plurality voting. This is a voting system that gives great preference to celebrity voters and which often fails to make reasonable selections when faced with choosing between more than just two candidates. Instant runoff voting solves this second problem though not the first.

    There are alternative voting systems, balanced voting systems, that solve both of these problems and the sensible approach to breaking up the two-party duopoly is to change to one of these alternative voting systems.

    • John
      March 26, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Although 3rd parties do have a bad tevord at winning, they do have the ability to drive policy. The New Deal only came about due to Eugene Debs forcing FDR to do something good.

  9. Compassion
    March 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    The two-party duopoly is deeply entrenched. Part of the problem is money in politics (duplicity), and MSM propaganda — this has gone on for more than 100 years, MSM is very proficient at it and this is what keeps them afloat (financially). The other issue is, just one of many examples is the rise in wages, this will lead to job losses and the inevitable “Automation Economy,” which will be a boost for big corporations however, as population continues to increase, the former and later will lead to unprecedented rise in unemployment (or working hours dramatically reduced), far more people will become homeless by 2020-2025.

    Malevolence was seeded centuries ago, the monetary and central banking system has and always will be open for abuse, The so-called free-trade, tax avoidance and crony capitalism will continue to ensure the wealthy get wealthier off the backs of the working poor and the devastated middle class. Nothing much will change within the next 100 years — the two-party duopoly will continue with business as usual, and MSM backed by some of the wealthiest people on the planet will be the gate-keepers that keeps the wealthy cronies stranglehold and the duopoly in power.

    Democracy and the trickle-down economy are the biggest cons of the centuries, this is to ensure inequality and corruption mostly from the top-end of town continues. Unfortunately, oligarchy has been the norm for so long, and will remain the dominant force all whilst the far majority of people continues to live in hell — billions of people (globally) are destitute, further destruction of the environment and extinction of species, all this is likely to get much worse. I don’t mean to engage in pessimistic views however, this is the reality and needs far greater support to steer all of life on path towards prosperity, malevolence must be defeated. To know right from wrong is to simply follow the most simple core principle with respect to all life and the environment, “Do No Harm.”

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