I Have a Few Words for Jill Stein and The Green Party

I am absolutely sick and tired of this “holier than thou/idealistic purity” bullshit from the Green “Tea” Party. These folks aren’t bringing effective, constructive dialog and debate to the left — they’re irrational radicals who attack and vilify anyone and everyone who doesn’t meet their “purity standards.”

I’ve often mocked the Green Party by saying, “It’s movement of people who help elect ultra-conservative Republicans by spending most of their time whining about progressive Democrats not being liberal enough.”

In 2000, even though most will deny it until they’re blue in the face, they were the ones responsible for helping elect George W. Bush. At the time, Al Gore wasn’t “liberal enough.” Sounds familiar, right? That’s rather ironic considering the “Green” Party helped defeat a man who went on to become one of the biggest advocates for combating climate change.

Talk about being your own worst enemy.

Yet that didn’t stop these left-wing radicals from doing the exact same thing in 2016. Only this time, they helped elect possibly the worst “president” in American history — Donald J. Trump.

Still, you cannot convince these “liberal” radicals that they had anything to do with it. You see, in their minds, even though they are, by far, the tiny… tiny minority of the left, they feel everyone should bend to their will. If they show up every few presidential elections to bitch and moan — like they did in 2000 and 2016 — helping elect a terrible Republican into office who’ll spend most of their time rolling back the progress we’ve made, it’s not their fault.

Oh, no.

In their minds, it’s everyone else who wouldn’t give into their demands. Forget the greater good, all they really care about is themselves, their own egos, and their own irrational obsession with ideological purity.

Though there’s a thick irony in people who consider themselves “progressives” who are every bit as close-minded, “my-way-or-the-highway,” hostile, angry, paranoid, and hateful toward anyone who disagrees with them as any ultra-right conservative or Trump supporter I’ve encountered.

Doubt me? Just take a look at this piece I wrote last year, or even the comments that will probably be left by these folks on this article. They sound very Trump supporter-like — almost every time.

Or I could prove how similar these two “sides” are by pointing out that, like Trump and many Republicans, Dr. Jill Stein and many of her “greenies” have dismissed the allegations that Russia interfered in last year’s election. The 2016 Green Party presidential candidate has gone on record saying there’s “no evidence” Russia interfered (despite U.S. intelligence officials saying Russia was behind the cyber attack), calling it a “pathetic” excuse by the Democratic Party to excuse Hillary Clinton’s loss.

Quick “fun” fact: Despite the anti-Clinton rhetoric, she still earned nearly 3 million more votes than Trump.

By the way, that 3 million vote margin by Clinton over Trump in the popular vote is more than twice the number of votes Stein received — total.

Furthermore, I’m not entirely sure, if I were a Green Party supporter, that Jill Stein is the person I’d want as the “face” of my party. She seems like an ego-driven radical who’s more in it to promote herself than to be an effective leader for change. Besides, the only person who seems to defend and praise Putin more than Trump is “liberal” Jill Stein.

It’s not as if she’s exactly a great example of ethical behavior, either. Last year I caught her changing her response praising the bigotry-driven Brexit vote, while hoping nobody would notice.

What’s funny is, many of these folks have clung to the “Feel the Bern” craze that Bernie Sanders built during his campaign, often using his defeat in the primary as an example of the “corruption of the Democratic Party.” What they fail to mention was that Sanders could have run as a Green Party candidate, or even endorsed Stein — yet he did neither. Heck, he didn’t even pretend to recognize their attempts to “woo him to their side.”

Like most rational adults, Sanders seemed to realize the Green Party is a joke and buying into their radical left-wing nonsense wasn’t going to do anything but help Trump and the rest of the GOP win last November.

You see, while the Green Party constantly complains about the “lack of progressive purity” among many Democrats, or the progressives who support and vote for them, we are the ones fighting the real battle against Republicans to bring actual progress to the United States. When Republicans lose, we are the ones almost always responsible for backing the candidate who defeated them. Since the Green Party hasn’t won a single national election, they haven’t been directly responsible for passing a single piece of progressive legislation in the 26-years the party’s existed.

But guess who has? Democrats — backed by those of us whom Green Party supporters deem “not-progressive-enough.”

In all these years, what has the Green Party accomplished? Nothing.

Well, besides helping Bush and Trump get elected — two men who rolled back the progress Democrats had made, while standing in the way of passing any further progressive legislation.

See, that’s one of the biggest issues I’ve found with Green Party folks: They have no idea how our government actually works.

They think a three-party system can somehow work in a nation where a simple majority can control all of Congress and splitting the vote during an election will result in the “side” that’s not split running away with unprecedented victories. No matter how many times I’ve tried to explain this basic math and civics lesson to these “we need a third party” individuals, my facts and simple arithmetic fall on deaf ears.

They. Simply. Don’t. Care.

And I’m not going to say that the Green Party doesn’t have some good ideas. But there’s a difference between having a few good ideas, and being an irrational, emotionally-driven borderline cult that buys into conspiracies and demands “purity” from everyone.

That’s not progressive.

Being a progressive — a true progressive, anyway — is about diversity, accepting a difference of opinion, compromise, working with people who might come from a different background than you, being open minded, caring more about facts than ideology, and not demanding everyone think exactly how you do. It’s about realizing that getting 50-60 percent of what you want is better than almost none of it.

The Green Party is filled with people who, to this very day, think Trump being in office is a “good thing” because they think he’s so awful it’s going to lead to some massive progressive rise within the United States that will never fade.

It’s utter nonsense.

Once again, their ignorance is shown by not realizing that’s exactly what people thought at the end of Bush’s presidency. Yet it took less than two years before people’s memories faded, Republicans seized back control of the House, and the rest, as they say, is history. Never again did Obama have the ability to pass any truly progressive policies because House Republicans were never going to allow that to happen.

And guess who were some of the loudest people whining about how “not-progressive” Obama was? That’s right, the Green Party. Once again, proving that they have no idea how our government works or the powers a president actually has.

If Republicans control the House, and refuse to pass any truly progressive policies, there’s practically nothing a president can do to make them. That means for six of Obama’s eight years in office, he dealt with a Republican-controlled House that was never going to pass or support anything progressive he wanted sent to his desk.

But, please, continue to blame Obama for not being “progressive” enough for your tastes.

Meanwhile, as many of them still believe Trump was a better option than Clinton, he’s:

  • Pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.
  • Appointed someone who doesn’t believe in climate change to run the EPA.
  • Is more pro-coal than any president in modern history.
  • Wants drastic cuts to the EPA’s budget.
  • Supports a health care bill that would gut Medicaid, strip health insurance away from 23 million, and remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Pushing to give more massive tax cuts to the rich.
  • Staunchly opposed to raising the minimum wage.
  • Not in favor of free college education for all Americans.
  • Putting people in place who want to privatize public education.
  • Opening up federal lands for drilling and fracking.
  • Someone who thinks climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.
  • Still refusing to release his tax returns.
  • Appointed a host of billionaires and Wall Street bankers to key cabinet positions.
  • Rolling back the financial regulations put in place by Obama and supported by Clinton and Sanders.
  • Repealing many of the protections Obama put in place to protect DREAMers and other illegal immigrants from inhumane deportations.
  • Going to slash funding for Planned Parenthood.

There’s a long list of horrific policies he supports that Clinton would have staunchly opposed — yet many within the Green Party still think she would have been as bad if not worse. Why? Because, in many ways, they’re just like Trump supporters who don’t care about facts, they simply believe whatever the hell they want to.

If it was up to me, I would much rather work with these people than against them. Unlike many of these folks, I embrace those with a different viewpoint on things. I’ve always found that the best “spot in life” is where there’s a free-flowing of ideas between open-minded people who aren’t afraid to admit that they were wrong or someone else might be right. As critical as I am of the party, I do admire their passion and, despite what they seem to think, their policies aren’t all that different from Democrats. The biggest difference being, Democrats win elections, forcing them to actually have to govern and compromise to accomplish anything — while the Green Party can say pretty much whatever they want, because they’re not actually having to apply any of their often-unrealistic talking points in the real world.

Again, if Jill Stein, the Green Party, and the rest of the far-left who spend most of their time vilifying actual progressives for not being “liberal enough” (at least according to their standards) want to work with us to improve this country then, by all means, let’s do that. If we worked together, Republicans couldn’t stop us.

But I’ll be damned if I’m talked at, lectured, insulted, and being given ultimatums by the left-wing version of the tea party because they expect the vast majority of progressives — and around 98 percent of Americans, overall — to meet their purity standards.

They have the choice to make:

  • Work with the majority of progressives and the Democratic Party to move this country forward, albeit at a pace they might not think is fast enough because governing doesn’t happen overnight (especially with how many seats we now have to take back from Republicans). — or —
  • They can keep vilifying Democrats while having just enough power and influence to help Republicans keep power, continue lying to themselves by denying that they’re helping conservatives win, then sit back and watch the GOP destroy this country even further.

The choice is theirs.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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