By EDDIE CELAYA
It’s time folks. Time to vote. Here at the Aztec Press, we’re gearing up for the election (and depending on the result, the end of the world) with a few endorsements and an election-day theme.
I wanted to write something inspiring about what it means to be an American. As of writing, it looks like Hillary Clinton is somewhat comfortably in the lead. However in the waning days of this heroine-fantasy of an election, I need to address my tribe.
For those liberals who have abandoned all sense and are throwing their lot in with the Donald, this isn’t directed at you. You are lost, my children, but you’re shepherd is not I.
I want to address the few dissatisfied, restless liberal constituencies.
If you’re of the mind to vote third party in this presidential election, reconsider. Now is not the time to let the ideal of the perfect become the enemy of the realistic good.
Let’s start with the Green Party and Dr. Jill Stein. The good doctor’s main claim to fame (other than not being Ralph Nader) is her spray-painting of construction equipment in North Dakota during the recent Standing Rock protests.
Forget for a second the image of a potential president of the United States spray-painting fences with a hippie-bandana on her head.
Also forget that “doctor” Stein plays footsie with a proudly ignorant, thoroughly debunked theory proposing a link between autism and vaccinations.
Instead consider that Stein is wholly uninformed on international relations and naive in her understanding of current events
Take the recent, disastrous Brexit for example. Though widely (and rightfully) viewed both domestically in Britain and internationally as an upset victory for neo-conservatism in Europe, Stein would have none of it.
She called the result “a victory.”
For who? For nationalists and racists?
“For those who believe in the right of self-determination and who reject the pro-corporate, austerity policies of the political elites in the EU, a rejection of the European political elite and their contempt for ordinary people.”
Actually, no. Brexit was a reaction to mounting fears on immigration and a ginned up financial crisis that neo-conservatives used to convince just over 50 percent of Britons that it was a good idea to isolate themselves from Europe.
Stein either can’t see this, or tried to spin a near total rejection of her party’s platform into a win. Either way, it was not Stein’s “victory.”
Which is why Stein, after receiving immediate blowback for the statement, ended up jumping online to scrub the “victory” language, then offered-up an explanation that she was actually against Brexit before she was for it.
This is you’re replacement for feel the burn? I’m supposed to go Jill, not Hill? Sorry, not buying it.
Still, ever since Saint Bernie Sanders ascended to political heaven with the sparrow that landed on his mic, Stein has been slowly rising in the polls. This is due, in part, to her unabashed courting of the “Bernie Bros.”
It’s also due to Americans’ overall willingness to consider a vote for a third party this election cycle. A recent Gallup poll found that 57 percent of Americans want a third-party option.
It’s just that, as a RealClearPolitics average of polls shows, they don’t want these third options. Stein and her fellow third-party-pooper Libertarian Gary Johnson (he of “what is Aleppo?” fame) are currently polling at just under 10 percent support combined.
While it is a large increase in the share of the vote third-party candidates received in the last election, it ignores such recent history as the pre-millennial ‘90s.
That would be 1992, kids. An eccentric, “outsider” billionaire who spoke his mind and did his own thing got nearly 19 percent of the popular vote. In ’96, he ran again and got about 12 percent.
His name was Ross Perot, but it was the ‘90s, so ignore that. Just listen to Stein, because the revolution Bernie promised is now being led by her (or if you’re a big fan of Ayn Rand, led by Johnson) and it’s coming.
“We’re going to continue the amazing work that that campaign did and ensure that we will be at it until we prevail,” Stein said on MSNBC. “Peace in our lifetime.”
If only. According to the same RealClearPolitics average of polls, Stein is currently polling at just about 3 percent support nationally as of Oct. 19.
The point of this isn’t just to cast shame on voters who vote Stein or Johnson by telling them a vote for either is a vote for Trump. It’s not just to remind them of 2000 when Ralph Nader swayed the election for George W. Bush.
The point is to show how spectacularly unqualified and underprepared these third party candidates are. Surely Hillary Clinton is not perfect, and does not share some of the core liberal beliefs on hot button issues like Wall Street and foreign policy. Still…
When I look at the alternatives, though they may claim to align perfectly with a certain ideology, it’s apparent the ideologies don’t comport very well with what is happening in the real world.
Plus, the “perfect” candidate has already held office for the last eight years. And his wife won’t be running for at least another eight.
So, until then, I’m with her.