As some of my readers may be aware, in November, I voted for Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party, and I have no regrets (Hillary ended up winning my home state of New York with 80 per cent of the vote anyway). When presented with two unsatisfying options, it is important that we are given the option to vote for candidates that share our values as opposed to the lesser of two evils. The thing is, though, a lot of loyalist Democrats in the media and in party leadership insist on blaming Dr. Stein on Clinton’s embarrassing loss to an orange game show host. A publication to jump on that bandwagon was The Daily Banter, who recently wrote a smear job on Stein, and we’re going to break it down together.
“There is every reason to believe she knows more than she has let on thus far, given her appalling behavior in the lead to the election and its aftermath.”
Exactly right! How dare Jill Stein run for President and get in the way of anointing Queen Hillary? That’s so selfish of her! It’s this kind of arrogance that made Hillary Clinton so unappealing to many people on both sides; the idea that she acted like she was entitled to the Presidency, and that anyone who dared challenge her was selfish and demonic. We saw this with people who supported Bernie Sanders and were called “Bernie Bros” and with people who supported Barack Obama in 2008 and were called “Obama Boys.” The Democratic establishment thought it was appropriate to rig the primary in order to shove Hillary down our throats and then tried to pin her loss on us.
“Historically, the Green Party has served as an election spoiler, peddling the appalling myth that by ‘voting your conscience,’ you rid yourself of the taint of association with the two major parties, but mostly the Democrats.”
A VOTE FOR STEIN IS A VOTE FOR TRUMP! BOW YOUR HEADS YOU PEASANTS! To be fair, the first half of this talking point isn’t entirely wrong; third parties can be spoilers in swing states where every vote counts. The nuance arises when you realize that, historically, 80-or-so per cent of votes cast have no impact on the outcome of the election due to the freak of nature called the electoral college. If you live in a deep blue or deep red state, unfortunately, your vote does not matter. We have to be open to shades of gray when discussing politics, which the Banter utterly failed to do.
“[Ralph] Nader siphoned off enough votes to cost Al Gore the election [in 2000]”
Again, it’s not that black and white. Although Nader did get 90 thousand votes in Florida, a state that Al Gore lost by only 537 votes, the Banter doesn’t mention the very important fact that 200 thousand Florida Democrats crossed party lines and voted for George W. Bush, and that’s what actually cost Gore the election; his failures as a candidate to earn those votes. Oh, and by the way, when the votes were recounted in Florida, Bush lost EVERY. SINGLE. RECOUNT. It’s not the constituency’s obligation to vote for a candidate, it’s that candidate’s job to earn their vote. If Hillary hadn’t been on record saying she has a private and public position, or saying that single-payer healthcare would “never ever come to pass,” or that the rich are oppressed, or that she wants totally open trade borders, or wasn’t so fundamentally broken in every way, nothing Stein could have done would have mattered. In short, Hillary, don’t blame us; BE A BETTER CANDIDATE.
“The Purity Left, who loved Bernie so much that they couldn't bring themselves to vote for Behillzebubba, switched to Stein, with the most high-profile of these being Susan Sarandon, who lost whatever credibility she had left with her claims on All In with Chris Hayes that a Donald Trump presidency would "bring the revolution.”
Another quote taken out of context. Sarandon never said Trump would “bring the revolution,” period. She said he would bring the revolution faster than Hillary, and that’s 100 per cent true. If Hillary had won, people would’ve gotten complacent and not done anything to fight for progressive principles like Medicare-for-All or an end to imperialist offensive wars, both of which Hillary was opposed to. After Trump bombed a Syrian airbase, Hillary went on national television and said that not only would she have done the same thing, but she wouldn’t have warned the Russians. In other words, she would be fine with starting a conflict with a nuclear power.
“Russia sought to manipulate this election away from the Democrats, and one of their strategies in doing this was by propping up "useful idiots" like Stein and the Greens, and manipulating voters who had supported Bernie Sanders in the primary.”
Here we have another classic case of condescension. Since Bernie Sanders’ supporters aren’t smart enough to think on their own, so they must’ve been susceptible to “Russian meddling.” We didn’t support Hillary not because she voted for the Iraq War or the Patriot Act, not because it took her years to support gay marriage, not because she was complicit in the rigging of the Democratic Party primary; our impressionable little minds were just the victims of propaganda from Vladimir Putin and his ilk. Months after the DNC and John Podesta leaks hit the scene, mouthpieces for the Democratic establishment focus on the source of the information in the emails rather than the content. I don’t care where the information came from because the information we got was true, they were verbatim what the people in question said.
"All of this begs the question: how does a wannabe hippie from a liberal bastion like Massachusetts, with two degrees from Harvard (the Kremlin on the Charles, as Nixon called it), wind up at a dinner sitting across from Vladimir Putin in winter 2015?"
Now the Banter is going so far as to associate one of the top colleges in the country to the Russian government, because that makes total sense, right? Stein is a Russian puppet because she…went to Harvard! Oh the horror! They cite as further proof of her Ruski business the fact that she filmed a YouTube video from Red Square in Moscow, she appeared on the RT news network, she chose Ajamu Baraka as her running mate, and she was praised by alleged Putin BFF Julian Assange (even though there is little conclusive evidence Putin was directly involved with the hacking of the DNC’s emails). Do I even have to explain how silly those arguments are?
"The disinformation campaigns from RT and WikiLeaks were enough to tip the election to Donald Trump."
Shortest explanation ever: WikiLeaks has a 100% journalistic authenticity score. Nothing they leaked was untrue or propaganda, they were Hillary’s words verbatim.
"And one last thing: guess which Presidential candidate isn't under investigation for doing anything wrong, in spite of what Stein said about her at the time? That's right, Hillary Clinton."
And that’s the underlying narrative of the article in a nutshell. The Daily Banter are the kind of people who desperately want to be buddies with establishment Democrats so they regurgitate talking points to get on their good side, no matter how wrong those talking points are. In that sense, they aren’t that different from Breitbart, Fox News, or Prager University. These talking points are really convenient because they allow the Democratic Party to not have to take responsibility for losing the most easily winnable election in American history. Jill Stein isn’t why we have Trump; we have Trump because there was a 20-year-long neoliberal bubble that was bound to pop. We have Trump because the Clinton campaign was so arrogant and so filled with hubris that they didn’t even bother campaigning in key swing states and didn’t even feel the need to write a concession speech. That’s why you lost; stop looking for scapegoats.
And if there’s anyone from The Daily Banter reading this right now, I have a few things to say to you. First of all, for God’s sake, stop Googling yourself. Second of all, don’t you dare call me biased for Trump just because I’m throwing tomatoes at you. I’m a die-hard progressive who genuinely wants the Democratic Party to go back to its roots of supporting principles like universal healthcare, banning fracking, ending the influence of money in politics, ending the War on Drugs, and other progressive priorities. Call me whatever you want, but it’s just a little weird that you’d call someone who voted for the two most progressive presidential candidates in the election a Trump supporter. But, hey, I guess misleading people is what you’re all about.