Voices from Russia

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Dr Jill on the Late Election



This bitter election has left the overwhelming majority of Americans feeling disgusted. Polls show that a fear of the other candidate, not support for their candidate, motivated a large majority of voters. This is another symptom of a democracy on life-support. Many are rightly outraged about the DNC’s sabotage of Bernie Sanders, who by all indications would’ve trounced Donald Trump.

We must also recognise the leading role played by corporate media in turning this election into a toxic reality show. The media elevated Trump at the bidding of the Democratic National Committee… and to boost their own advertising profits. They also marginalised Bernie Sanders, and massively silenced our campaign and Gary Johnson’s in a year when Americans were screaming for more choices. They legitimised corporate-controlled debates that locked out political competition. One study found that our campaign received 3 seconds of coverage on corporate media for every 1,700 minutes for Trump and every 1,000+ minutes for Clinton. We urgently need to support independent media whose only agenda is informing the public of the truth.

In spite of all the barriers to our participation, we earned over one million votes for peaceful revolution, more than doubling our vote count in 2012. Very real suffering in our country drives the anti-establishment revolt we’re witnessing. High real unemployment, falling real wages, lack of affordable healthcare and education devastate our communities, while both establishment parties push corporate trade deals, wars for oil, and Wall Street bailouts to enrich the élite. The anger at economic inequality is easily manipulated to divide the people against each other. We must revive American democracy, if we are to stop our descent into authoritarianism.

One of the most hopeful developments is that Maine became the first state to pass ranked choice voting, which also won in Benton County OR. Ranked choice voting could end fear-driven voting and reverse the race to the bottom that our elections have become. Greens also worked hard to pass state-wide initiatives calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate constitutional rights and the concept that money equals speech in Washington and California. We must build coalitions for democracy reforms including the replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote, ending corporate constitutional rights, public election financing, and free public airtime for candidates to counter the corporate media’s failure to inform the public.

The Green Party also continued its long record of electing grassroots candidates to local office, with Greens winning 10 elections in California, 5 in Michigan, and 3 in Minnesota. I congratulate all our local candidates and volunteers… you’re the heart and soul of our party. It’s clearer than ever that America desperately needs a principled alternative to the predatory political establishment. I hope you’ll continue as an invaluable member of our team, working with myself, Ajamu, and all of our campaign… as we continue the work of building a party for people, planet, and peace over profit. We must work as if our lives depend on it… because they do.

This campaign isn’t ending. To start with, we’ll support actions against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as part of a series of protests in Washington DC from 12-17 November. We’ll build Occupy Inauguration protests in January. Throughout the coming year, we’ll organise campaign schools and training for new candidates. We’ll also organise campaigns to enact Ranked Choice Voting in the presidential race, and for a People’s Presidential Debate Commission… to replace the repressive bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates… for the election starting in 2020.

So stay tuned. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Don’t mourn… organise and keep fighting for the greater good. Together, we’ll create an America and a world that works for all of us. The power to create that world isn’t just in our hopes. It isn’t just in our dreams. It’s in our hands.

Jill Stein

9 November 2016


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