This year marks the 13th U.S. presidential election in which I have voted, and the most discouraging.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two worst presidential candidates in my lifetime. In a Gallup poll from Sept. 23, only 33 percent said that Clinton was “honest and trustworthy,” compared with 35 percent for Trump. Polls have consistently showed that over half of the electorate believes that Clinton should have been indicted by the Department of Justice. Scandals continue to plague both candidates.
Either candidate would be a terrible president, although for different reasons.
Trump is inexperienced, incoherent and says dangerous and misguided things; Clinton is experienced but corrupt, and she has done dangerous and misguided things – especially her hawkish foreign policy initiatives.
Neoconservatives and the military-industrial complex are eagerly supporting Clinton over Trump in anticipation of a return to the more aggressive foreign policy orientation of George W. Bush.
Some say, “Well, we have to vote for the lesser of the two evils.” I myself have voted in this way much of my life. However, although lesser-evil voting seems to make sense in the short run, when one looks at the effect over time, its problems become clear.
Repeatedly voting for the perceived lesser evil lowers standards and creates a “race to the bottom.” By voting for candidates who do not share our values just because they seem better than the opposing candidate, we have given carte blanche to party elites to choose the nominee. As a result, both parties have moved to the right in recent decades: the Republicans to the far right and the Democrats to the center right. Both parties are increasingly influenced by corporate donors and the military-industrial complex.
I have decided to say “enough is enough” and reject both of the corrupt and undemocratic political parties.
I am working with others to build a progressive alternative by supporting the Green Party and their presidential ticket of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. The Green Party is an international party with parties in almost 90 countries.
Green parties have been particularly influential in Western Europe and Scandinavia, where they work for environmental and social democratic policies. The German Green Party, founded in 1980, has participated in coalition governments for many years.
Green parties have been at the forefront of raising environmental concerns and addressing climate change, but they also prioritize social justice, grass-roots democracy and nonviolence/peace. To learn more about Green party politics, you can find its U.S. platform at gp.org/platform. It is a detailed and excellent platform.
Whomever you vote for on Nov. 8, I would encourage you to vote based on your values rather than your fears. The more that we vote out of fear, the more fearful our world becomes. The more that we disregard our values, the more corrupt and amoral our society becomes. Vote not for the lesser evil but rather for the greater good.
The Green Party ticket will not win this year’s election. However, if it receives 5 percent of the national vote, the Green Party will qualify for millions of dollars in federal matching funds and easier ballot access in future elections, and will become a viable alternative to the two parties that are asking us to make an impossible choice between two unacceptable candidates.