By Kevin Knox
When Jill Stein came to RCC, one might have expected a positive speech about what the country needs and what policies could be implemented to address those needs.
Instead we were treated to a rather negative speech in which she blasted, among other things, the Democratic Party. Interestingly, this led to a rather sharp critique aimed at Sen. Bernie Sanders – a man she has previously showered with praise.
During her tirade against Democrats, Stein wondered if perhaps Sanders would ever “have the courage of his convictions” and leave the Democratic Party to join the Green Party. Later on, during the Q&A portion of the event, a student asked if Stein supports Sanders’ endeavor to transform the Democratic Party from within. She dismissed those efforts as a lost cause and asserted that Sanders could never accomplish his goals as long as he accepted “corporate money.”
But if Sanders’ goals are undermined because he “took corporate money” and if doing so really does make political revolution impossible, as Stein insisted, then she is in no position to criticize.
OpenSecrets.org’s list of top contributors to Stein’s 2016 campaign shows that she received $44,013 from Alphabet Inc (aka Google), $10,266 from Amazon. com, $9,659 from Lockheed Martin, $8,207 from Apple, $6,650 from Microsoft, $4,525 from IBM Corp, and thousands more from other corporations.
So did all those corporate contributions not count? Does the fact that she accepted over $80,000 worth of corporate money in her 2016 campaign not undermine her criticisms of Sanders and indeed the Democratic Party as a whole?
This calls the legitimacy of her criticisms into question. Sanders and Stein have so much in common. One would think she’d support his efforts. Instead she takes every opportunity to deepen the divisions within the Democratic Party, hoping that progressives will convert to the Green Party. It’s obvious that she only attacks Sanders because he’s chosen not to work with her party, which makes him a political rival.
But why shouldn’t Sanders stick with the Democrats?
Since their formation in 2001, the Green Party has proven to be totally impotent, the Federal Election Commission’s tallies of the last four presidential elections prove this.
According to the Commission the Green Party nominee earned 0.10 percent of the vote in 2004, 0.12 percent in 2008, 0.4 percent in 2012, and 1.1 percent in 2016. Stein also ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2010, nabbing 1.42 percent of the vote. There are no Green Party members in Congress, none are governors, and only two are mayors.
Why would Sanders throw in with such a useless party when he’s gaining influence among Democrats, who actually win national and state elections?
More so, th is electoral impotence was not discussed once during Stein’s speech. All she provided was rhetoric. She didn’t discuss any changes the Green Party needs to make in order to be more successful going forward, nor did she didn’t lay out any plans for the 2018 elections.
Why? Because the Green Party has no plan and never will. The only thing they will ever do is spout rhetoric and blame their electoral failures on “the system” instead of their approach.
That is not what America needs. With all the obstacles we currently face, we need competent, organized people with a plan, not professional whiners who can’t convince more than two percent of Americans to support them and refuse to even acknowledge their failures. That is why Sanders has not joined the Green Party and it’s why I won’t either.