The Norwich Bulletin, May 6, 2016
Our View: Sanders voters can turn to Stein
Much has been made of recent polling showing that more than half of voters dislike the front-runners in their respective presidential primary races, Donald Trump (R) and Hillary Clinton (D). But provided her Connecticut petition drive is successful, voters here will have at least one more option: Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate.
“We are made to feel like we are the lunatic fringe when actually we are the heart and soul -- that is, this vision of a just and sustainable future really resonates with the basic community values of the American people, more and more,” Stein said in a meeting with our editorial board last week.
Indeed, the dynamics for the third party are different this year -- in 2012, Stein took about a half-million votes, about one-third of 1 percent of the total -- thanks to the unexpected strength of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Stein’s platform and Sanders’ have plenty of overlap, and if and when Sanders is no longer a factor, Stein is in a position to pick up some of his votes.
Stein would push for a so-called “Green New Deal,” a plan to invest massively in renewable energy and get the U.S. off coal by 2030, in so doing creating 20 million jobs. But it relies on cutting the military by half and raising taxes on the wealthy and their investments. Stein also says a greener energy picture would create huge savings on public health care spending.
The Green candidate sees the country and the world as an interconnected web: Economy, energy, health care and national security are all intimately related, she rightly says, and she proposes to begin addressing them all with unprecedented public investment in green energy.
Stein said voters don’t have to settle for the “lesser evil” between Trump and Clinton: “The lesser evil is a false solution. It paves the way to the greater evil.”
Rather, Stein calls for a “principled vote” for her and a calibrated “moral compass.” And with so many voters willing to accept Sanders, formerly seen as a card-carrying member of the “lunatic fringe,” and with Trump and Clinton widely disliked, Stein’s pitch ought to resonate more strongly this year.