Update: Since this story was published, Jill Stein secretly changed her statement online without indicating she did so. What’s posted now is not what her original statement was.
While I admire the passion of Green Party people, too often I’ve found many of them to act like a liberal version of the tea party. One of my main issues with some of these folks is that they spend more time bashing and attacking Democrats for not being “liberal enough,” while almost never going after Republicans. If anything, their “goal” seems to be to pull support away from Democrats to help Republicans gain more victories — which makes absolutely no sense.
After all, that’s what happened in 2000 when “not liberal enough” Al Gore lost to George W. Bush thanks to the help of Green Party hero Ralph Nader.
Meanwhile, the “not quite liberal enough” Gore went on to be one of the leading advocates for combating climate change, while Nader being in the race helped one of the worst presidents in U.S. history spend the next eight years destroying this country.
But in 2000, you could not convince these Green Party folks that Gore was much better than Bush — they weren’t having it.
Now, 16 years later, we’re seeing a similar situation play out as the Green Party is trying to seize on Bernie Sanders’ success, not to go after and defeat Donald Trump, but to seemingly do whatever they can to keep Hillary Clinton from winning. Because, you know, apparently these folks didn’t learn anything from how that worked out for us the last time.
Well, following the Brexit vote, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein came out praising the decision — though all she really did was showcase that she doesn’t seem to understand what this vote was really about.
Here are a few excerpts from a statement she posted online:
The vote in Britain to exit the European Union (EU) is a victory for those who believe in the right of self-determination and who reject the pro-corporate, austerity policies of the political elites in EU. The vote says no to the EU’s vision of a world run by and for big business. It is also a rejection of the European political elite and their contempt for ordinary people.
Unfortunately, the rejection was also motivated by attacks on immigrants and refugees, which must be opposed. That is a defeat.
The Brexit vote is one more sign that voters are in revolt against the rigged economy and the rigged political system that created it. People want change and they will get it one way or the other.
We must build a culture of inclusiveness and respect, and challenge the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim pronouncements of demagogues who divide and distract us from the real source of economic distress – the economic elites throwing us all under the bus.
The rest of it is just her complaining about trade deals, banks and the typical talking points you’d expect to hear from her.
She can try to exploit this vote to push whatever rhetoric she wants as a means of getting herself some attention, but Brexit isn’t about trade deals, a “rigged” system or any of that, this was about racism and bigotry — period.
The push for the British exit from the EU was something heavily supported by Ukip, a radical right-wing populist party built on racism, bigotry and intense anti-immigrant policies. They’re basically the “Donald Trump” of Britain, though actually worse.
Even British millennials (one of the key demographics for people like Stein), overwhelmingly opposed Brexit. In fact, since its passage, there’s been quite the, “Oh, crap, what did we do?” movement that’s been growing in Britain to try to find a way to hold the vote again.
This is what I mean when I say ideologues get blinded by their agenda to such an extent that they’re often unable to see the bigger picture. While some within the Brexit movement seized on economic frustrations to lie to and manipulate people, what these folks were really doing was using the legitimate issues of income inequality to mask the truth that Brexit was being driven by the same racism, bigotry and ignorance that’s supported by Donald Trump.
So, when someone like Green Party icon Jill Stein comes out praising the vote, all she’s really doing is finding herself on the same side of ignorant racists like Donald Trump and those in Britain who used this vote, and blatantly lied to the people, as a tool to help them facilitate their anti-immigrant, racist policies throughout the country.
Supporting bigotry, racism and borderline fascism is never worth it just because you like their thoughts on trade agreements and banks.
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