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If you are a Sanders or Stein voter, don’t let anyone bully you into voting differently

Every generation needs a new revolution.

—Thomas Jefferson

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

—Howard Zinn

There are 244 million Americans of voting age. Some 81 percent of us, about 198 million, are women, millennials, or persons of color. Of the remaining 46 million of us who are white males over the age of 35, a decent chunk are progressive to moderate in their political leanings. With a potential electorate characterized by these demographics, if Hillary Clinton is unable to defeat a racist, sexist, serial liar and provocateur who speaks at a fifth grade level, and has been ensconced on the lowest level of Maslow’s scale of human development for his entire 70 years, Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings as a candidate and individual, and only those shortcomings, would be responsible for a loss.

Every political candidate must earn my vote through ethical behavior, demonstrated consistency, policy positions that are the closest approximation of my values and views, demonstrated good judgement, and by running a campaign in a manner that demonstrates respect for voters, an ability to listen, and a recognition that maintaining the status quo in terms of those with extraordinary wealth and/or corporate influence over all levels of government has all but destroyed our Democracy and turned it into an Oligarchy. By every one of these criteria, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have failed to meet my standards. Conversely, Bernie Sanders has met every one of my criteria. From what I’ve seen of her, so does Jill Stein.
I would have voted for Senator Sanders if he were either the Democratic Party or Green Party nominee. That no longer appears to be a choice.

I will vote for Jill Stein, the presumptive Green Party Candidate. I will not be voting for Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump under any circumstances.

I do not say this lightly. I have voted for the Democratic candidate for President every election since my first vote in 1980. I have always considered myself a Democrat and I still do.

I was the youngest County Democratic Party Chair in Washington State upon my election. I’ve campaigned for scores of Democratic candidates over a 35 year period and contributed thousands of dollars to their campaigns. I was a Washington State Democratic Party Official for eight years. I was a Party Leader Elected Official Delegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention for Bill Clinton and I cast one of 379 Votes for Clinton in the Electoral College in 1996. But as I’ve become more progressive, informed, and thoughtful in my later years, the Democratic Party at the national level has become almost entirely dominated and controlled by an oligarchy of the uber wealthy, corporate interests, and major media outlets that see their news divisions as profit and entertainment centers rather than to inform and report in an unbiased fashion.

The National Democratic Party of 2016, like it’s evil, hideous National Republican Party twin, is influenced and shaped far less by working men and women and their hopes and aspirations and needs than it is by corporations, billionaires, the financial sector, and lobbyists with eight figure retainers and compensation packages.

This must change and it will change, but Hillary Clinton is not the means to change it. She is a product of and the embodiment of the oligarchy. Let me be blunt: She and her husband have received over $200 million of influence and access payments masquerading as speaking fees and control a massive self-promotion vehicle supported by $Billions that represents itself as a charitable foundation but spends the vast percentage of its budget on administrative overhead and promoting the Clintons. The truth of the matter is the Democratic Party is about to nominate a presidential candidate who is functionally a pro-fracking, Wall Street Republican with strong hawkish tendencies on military and foreign policy matters. Clinton’s pending nomination is a testament to the warped priorities and evolution of the National Democratic Party apparatus from a protector and advocate for working families and the middle class to a pliant tool of Wall Street and Billionaires.

I don’t want my nieces and nephews or their peers dying in any more ill-conceived, unnecessary wars to prop up despots, enrich oil companies, or the serve the military-industrial complex’s need for ongoing warfare.

I don’t want the chasm that is economic inequality in this nation to grow any wider.

I don’t want a president who tells us to think small and that we can’t do big things.

I don’t want a president who takes the side of the insurance industry and opposes single payer health care.

I don’t want a President who is politically in bed with the fossil fuel industry.

I don’t want a president who has a history of supporting horrible trade deals.

I don’t want a president who has a habit of repeatedly changing his or her political positions on major issues, apparently for purely political self-interest or political gain.

I don’t want a president whose campaign is primarily based on self-aggrandizement, ego, “inevitability” or because it is “his or her turn.”

I don’t want a president who 60 to 70 percent of the American public don’t trust and don’t like.

No, for these and many, many other reasons, I won’t be voting for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I would have proudly voted for Bernie Sanders. Now, I will gladly vote for Jill Stein. The revolution continues. Not me, US.

If Not Bernie, than Jill.


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