Friday, September 23, 2016

To Vote Jill Stein is a (Worse Than) Wasted Vote

The Nation is giving opposed points of view space to fight it out about whether voting for Jill Stein and the Green Party makes any sense. I'm posting Joshua Holland's argument that it doesn't, that: "Your Vote for Jill Stein Is a Wasted Vote."

Holland makes a telling point when he writes:

The Green Party’s primary pitch to voters on the left is that there still isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties. When Ralph Nader made that claim in 2000, there was a kernel of truth to it. Today, that claim requires a great deal of dishonesty to make. By every measure, Democrats and Republicans have moved toward their respective ideological poles since the 1990s. According to Pew Research, since 2011, the most conservative Democrat on Capitol Hill has still been more liberal than the most liberal Republican, based on their aggregate voting records. It’s also true of the Democratic base—according to Pew, the share of Democrats who hold “mostly or consistently liberal” views almost doubled between 1994 and 2014. And it’s true of the 2016 party platform, which Bernie Sanders, among others, hailed as the most progressive in the party’s history.

I think Nader was a worse than merely a wasted vote in 2000. His candidacy was part — just part, but an essential one — of the reason we got Bush, and with Bush the catastrophes still flowing from the invasion of Iraq.

But I'm with Holland when he says that to vote for the Green Party in 2016 is even more absurd. Nader did have a certain prestige based on his consumer advocacy. Stein has nothing similar to recommend her.

To this I would add that most, though not all (Christopher Hitchens comes to mind, in the "not all" category), of the "liberal hawks" — liberals gulled by Bush et al into supporting the Invasion of Iraq, including George Packer and Thomas Friedman — have looked back in anguish on their initial advocacy and have done some public accounting.

Can't say I've seen the same from the Naderites. Or heard, from nary a one of them: damn, that was mistake.

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