There have been quite a few Bernie Sanders supporters that have told me that they are thinking of voting for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or even Donald Trump. I am not going to spend this article talking about how asinine I think that mentality is, because that is a topic for another day.
Here is the truth: Jill Stein is nothing like Bernie Sanders, and neither is Gary Johnson if you’re considering going the Libertarian route. If you really believe that Jill Stein is the best qualified person to continue the Bernie Sanders revolution, it’s time for a reality check.
Unlike Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders has a long career in Congress where he has worked with members of both parties. Jill Stein has run for political office many times, including a failed campaign against President Obama in 2012.
Ralph Nader’s former campaign manager, Theresa Amato, writes in the New York Times that we should expect to see “an exodus” of Sanders supporters to Stein’s camp – yet admits there is no chance for her to win the presidency.
After a week of Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine ceremonies, don’t be surprised to see an exodus of wannabe Sanders revolutionaries for Stein, a practicing physician, environmental health advocate and married mom with two Harvard degrees. Stein has held local office and her platform overlaps substantially with Sanders, but in 2012, with an incumbent Democratic president and ballot access in only 37 states, she earned just 0.36 percent of the votes.
Nonetheless, Stein, who calls Clinton a “Wall Street, war and Walmart” candidate, can appeal to voters battling for the Democratic Party’s soul. Since Sanders endorsed Clinton, Stein has benefited from noticeable Sanders-denominated donations of $27, which double with federal matching funds. Stein can at best hope for ballot access in 47 states at this point, but her sincerity could attract those aghast with the “truthiness” of the two-party nominees. (Source)
As I’ve stated before, I still live with the regret of voting for Ralph Nader in 2000. Two wars, thousands of dead or wounded American soldiers and trillions of wasted dollars later, the futility of trying to elect a weak third party candidate in a tight election isn’t being emphasized enough.
Bernie Sanders had a massive, nation-wide base of support that allowed him to get onto the ballot in every single state. His fundraising without the backing of a Super PAC was unprecedented, and he was competitive in every race.
Jill Stein has not only failed to get on ballots across the country, but her fundraising is also anemic. The Green Party doesn’t even hold one seat in Congress, or one state governor’s mansion, or even a seat in any state legislature. Then there is her camouflaged appeal to anti-vaccine advocates where she states that she has questions about who approves vaccines, rather than come across as a full-blown conspiracy nut.
Bernie Sanders had the political savvy to know that if he wanted to run a serious national campaign, he had to run as a Democrat – and he gave Hillary Clinton a serious run for her money. Jill Stein can’t even answer questions correctly when interviewed by my friend Sean Illing for Salon.
Jill Stein has been content to launch one failed campaign after another in hopes of trying to peel off discontent Democrats. Personally, her platform does border Bernie Sanders, but Stein’s supporters tend to be so far to the left that they have little in common with mainstream Democrats.
If you want to vote Green Party in this election, go ahead. But please don’t pretend Jill Stein is anything like Bernie Sanders, it’s insulting to those of us who understand politics beyond clickbait headlines and outrage memes.