CounterPunch, February 26, 2016
Robert Fantina: The Farce That Jill Stein Could Resolve
Well, it appears that the curtain is about to drop on Act 1 of that quadrennial tragic-comedy, the United States elections. The pundits tell us that billionaire buffoon Donald Trump will be the Republican (Tweedle Dum) standard-bearer, leading the masses to nothing good with his hatred and bigotry. On the Democratic (Tweedle Dee) side, those same self-proclaimed experts tell us that, with her razor thin victories in Iowa and Nevada, the nomination of former First Lady and long-term Israeli puppet Hillary Clinton is all but assured. Her victory in November would mean more war and untold suffering abroad, and more poverty and oppression at home. This upcoming election doesn’t bode well for the republic.
On the GOP side, the only suspense is which of the remaining two stooges (the third, we are told, has basically locked up the nomination) vying for second place will achieve that goal, perhaps with a view to garnering a vice-presidential nomination. Will it be Florida Senator Marco Rubio, or Texas Senator, the snarling Ted Cruz? Regardless of who wins second place in the primaries, it seems unlikely that either would be vice-presidential material on a Trump ticket; Mr. Trump only seems to like people with an immigrant background when he is looking around for a new wife, and neither of the two senators qualifies; Mr. Trump has made clear his views on marriage equality.
The rest of the world must be shaking its collective head, wondering why, in an industrialized nation with a population of nearly 320 million, this motley crew is the best it can do. Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton? Ted Cruz? Bernie Sanders? Marco Rubio? That’s it? These are the people best qualified to lead the oligarchy known as the United States of America? Can it offer no one better than two aging, establishment-entrenched Democrats (don’t believe Mr. Sanders proclamations that he’s so different; if he were, he would have done something significant after all this time in office), or an arrogant, ego-fueled businessman and two junior senators with limited experience and even more limited compassion?
The news media, of course, depending on its particular view, will fawn all over these reprobates, listening to every word that drops from their lips, as if they were statesmen, worthy of respect, and not opportunists selling out to the highest bidder, and basking in the adulation of people who hate anyone who is ‘different’. In their efforts to install any of these in the White House, they ignore at least one candidate without a track record of lies, distortion and corruption. That candidate is Jill Stein.
Why is it, this writer wonders, that a candidate who makes so much sense can be ignored. Ah, he can answer his own question: Money. Dr. Stein does not accept money from the various political action committees (PAC), so as not to be beholden to anyone but the people. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, never met a PAC she didn’t love, as long as its budget exceeded six figures, and there was someone at its head willing to write her name on its checks. And unlike Mr. Trump, Dr. Stein does not have a huge personal fortune to pour into her own campaign, or the kind of name recognition that one gets from having one’s own reality television show. Yes, it has come to this: a reality TV show star may become the next president of the United States.
Let us look at just one sentence, and one sentence only, from Dr. Stein’s official campaign site. “My Power to the People Plan creates deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.” This, in and of itself isn’t a ‘plan’, but one is struck by a two things:
* ‘Moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism’. Finally, someone said it. During the 2012 presidential election, the Republicans, led by that epitome of greed and exploitation, Mitt Romney, started using the term ‘free enterprise’ rather than ‘capitalism’. A rose by any other name, and all that.
And then Dr. Stein says that we would, under a Stein presidency, move toward to:
*”A human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.” Harsh words indeed, in the lexicon of Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, two extremely wealthy people who put profit, and its ugly sibling, power, over everything.
But is it possible? Is there any way that a corrupt nation, with grinding poverty on one hand, extreme wealth concentrated on the few, on the other, and a rapidly-shrinking middle class, can, indeed, ever put people over profit? Is this not too difficult a task, one for which the door of opportunity has long since slammed shut? One is referred to Dr. Stein’s website to see that it is, in fact, possible.
In a true democracy, candidates would be provided equal exposure by the press. Some minimum standard would have to be reached, perhaps a certain number of signatures on a petition. Certainly, fringe candidates with little following (one is reminded of Vermin Supreme, a performance artist registered as a Democratic candidate in New Hampshire, who promises a free pony to every U.S. citizen, should he be elected president) would not long have that same exposure. But today, the system is stacked against any but a Republican or Democratic candidate. With all the major media outlets owned by just a few corporations, and the goal of news to be entertainment rather than information, and business always wanting to increase its profits, Dr. Stein’s candidacy will not be much welcomed by the corporate powers that be.
And yet, with the current, major party candidates to which the U.S. voter is being inflicted, there could be no better time than now for the sense, reason and compassion of Dr. Stein. Four more years of either Democratic or Republican rule will provide an unspeakable human rights disaster around the world in terms of war, poverty and oppression. We can avoid it, but voting for a Republican or Democrat will only prolong the agony.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).