The Green Party is not a cohesive political coalition; there are two Green Parties. GPUSA requires that its members pay dues, while GPUS is more like the Democratic or Republican Party, and anyone can declare allegiance. This bizarre division of true believers and casual fans has led to 0.36%, 0.12%, 0.10%, 2.74%, and 0.71% shares of the popular vote going back to 1996. The sum of those five elections is polling 4.5% behind Gary Johnson right now. They are also currently 0 for 8,162 at getting anyone elected to a governorship, House, or Senate office in the federal government, or any U.S. states and territories. The Green Party’s Facebook page is more influential than the Green Party itself.
Political parties need organization. Look no further than Buzzfeed’s reporting this past week on Trump’s racist Hindenburg impression. No one even knows where the one(!!!) state office is in North Carolina, and Hillary Clinton is now pouring resources into Georgia because screw it, why not try to run up the score? The Green Party’s split is quite literally at the center of many of its problems, and they are being exposed in a year where they have a real opportunity to capture the momentum that Bernie Sanders created. Within a couple weeks on the somewhat big stage, it’s become evident that Jill Stein is at best, a little leaguer to Bernie’s Major League all-star. Let’s just start here:
“As a medical doctor, there was a time where I looked very closely at those issues, and not all those issues were completely resolved. There were concerns among physicians about what the vaccination schedule meant, the toxic substances like mercury which used to be rampant in vaccines. There were real questions that needed to be addressed. I think some of them at least have been addressed. I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.”
This is a defter, Trumpesque wink to a fringe sect of voters, and the doctor should know better. Vaccines work. If you don’t vaccinate your kids, you are putting them and everyone else’s children in serious danger. I don’t care what some writer on the internet says (hah). Doctors and the fact that you don’t know anyone with polio say they work, and any links to autism are preposterous.
Moving on, Jill Stein is echoing Donald Trump. She seems to agree with his general premise that we’re living in a pre-apocalyptic hellscape, but she just cites different causes. “Climate meltdown” flies out of her mouth so often that if she were a Democrat or a Republican there would be an inquiry launched into whether someone was paying her every time she said it.
She also opposes nuclear power, constantly fearmongering over its potential to be turned on the populace.
This is a reasonable argument against nuclear energy, due to how many installations are uncomfortably close to major population centers, but every type of energy source can be turned on us. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded in 2014 that if 9 of the 55,000 electric-transmission substations were knocked out on a hot summer day, we could experience a nationwide blackout that could potentially last up to a year. But it hasn't happened yet. Neither has a nuclear reactor wiping out a city. Fear of the unknown isn't a viable argument by itself. So Stein continued to push the issue over the weekend and promoted a study arguing that “we have the tech to phase out fossil fuels globally in 10 years.”
From the article Stein linked to in that tweet:
The study highlights numerous examples of speedier transitions that are often overlooked by analysts. For example, Ontario completed a shift away from coal between 2003 and 2014; a major household energy programme in Indonesia took just three years to move two-thirds of the population from kerosene stoves to LPG stoves; and France's nuclear power programme saw supply rocket from four per cent of the electricity supply market in 1970 to 40 per cent in 1982.
So she's claiming that we don't need nuclear power because we have the tech to eliminate fossil fuels quickly, so says a study that claims nuclear power is a significant part of…um…CLIMATE MELTDOWN!!!!!
This could be explained away as a simple gaffe. Perhaps Jill Stein has nothing to do with her Twitter account and an overwhelmed social media manager basically copied someone else's tweet without checking it, but how does she explain her Vice President's blog and his reference to Syrian refugees as “slimy?”
As a result, not only did popular support for the government hold over the last three years of carnage, it expanded to include those in the opposition who were against the destruction of the country and the slimy Syrian ex-pats who traveled from one European capital to another begging for the U.S. and NATO to do what it did in Libya – destroy the infrastructure of the country through the use of NATO air power and flood the country with weapons.
Ajamu Baraka seems to be earnestly making the argument that Syrian infrastructure should be spared despite the staggering cost of human life associated with its use. Portions of that same infrastructure Baraka defended on June 5, 2015, had been used by a dictator to deliver at least nine reported chemical attacks since 2012, including one on a Damascus suburb whose death toll remains unconfirmed but is universally assumed to be north of 1,000. A wave of chemical attacks was recently unleashed, with Aleppo getting hit again last week. Amnesty International called it a war crime:
The attack on a residential neighbourhood in a part of Aleppo controlled by armed groups is the third reported use of chemical weapons in northern Syria in just two weeks and has reportedly killed at least four people. Amnesty International has confirmed at least 60 others, mostly children, sought medical care after showing symptoms characteristic of a chlorine attack.
An Amnesty International doctor in Syria painted an even bleaker picture of the people directly under the thumb of Assad – a butcher who has displaced 6.6 million people within his borders, while driving 4.8 million out entirely, choosing to risk their lives on the Mediterranean Sea instead of inside their own homes.
“We will soon run out of medical supplies if the frequency of attacks continues like this.”
According to the United Nations, roughly 4 in 10 children have been driven from their homes and polio, which had been eradicated in Syria 21 years ago, now infects at least 80,000 kids. Bakara argues that the Assad government has been misrepresented by Western media, and that it has vastly more support in Syria than has been depicted.
The dominant narrative on Syria, carefully cultivated by Western state propagandists and dutifully disseminated by their auxiliaries in the corporate media, is that the conflict in Syria is a courageous fight on the part of the majority of the Syrian people against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. As the story goes, the al-Assad “regime,” (it is never referred to as a government), can only maintain its power through the use of force. By attacking “its own citizens,” the regime, representing the minority Alawite community, can only maintain its dominance over the rest of the country through sheer terror.
Calling refugees “slimy” for lobbying for help against a historically murderous regime that you assert is more popular than is depicted sure sounds like an effective strategy to win the votes of bleeding hearts. Maybe Bakara can shoot a puppy on live TV just to drive his point home. There may be a kernel of truth inside his “its own citizens” implication given the histories of American and Russian meddling in the region, but he's not drilling down to it with that angle. Sadly, this isn't the most ignorant and laughably idealistic thing you'll find in this candidacy, as Jill Stein provided two minutes and seventeen seconds of awkward rambling that would be legendary if the Green Party ever received enough attention to qualify for that term.
According to Stein, she attended a “conference” in Moscow this past December that was “wonderful” and “inspiring.” The “conference” was actually a birthday party for Russia Today, the Kremlin funded “news” network. They even gave her a front row seat.
Stein left the “conference” so giddy that she just had to post a video.
“It’s been so inspiring to see, rising up at this very critical and perilous moment that we’re in. A moment of great militarism, potential nuclear confrontation, climate meltdown, and expanding war, it’s been so wonderful to see people come together from across all borders and from across the political spectrum really, come together around basic human values, around human rights, around the need for international law…”
I’m going to pause the quote right there because the words after “the need for international law” make me want to throw my computer out the window. Here we go…
“…including the need to reign in US exceptionalism, and uh, totally reform and revise our foreign policy so that it is based on international law, human rights, and diplomacy.”
Putting aside the fact that she’s right about the US violating international law, human rights, and eschewing diplomacy far too often – holy hell is this an ignorant statement given the context she’s making it in. She sounds like a freshman who just came back from a semester abroad in Barcelona, and now every time she pronounces a word with the letter c in it, “th” trickles out of her mouth instead.
No one will disagree with the ideals of people coming “together from across all borders and from across the political spectrum around basic human values,” but when that’s the setup for the “reign in US exceptionalism” punchline, she sounds like she’s running for mayor of Moscow, not President of the United States. Putin openly pines for the golden days of the U.S.S.R. and is currently amassing exponentially more troops around Ukraine as we speak, but yeah Dr. Stein, please tell me more what the RT “conference” taught you about American exceptionalism.
Now you might be saying “we should be reigning in US exceptionalism, who cares where she said it?” That’s a fair sentiment. US exceptionalism has led to far too many military adventures that have cost countless lives. This was a symbolic mistake and those are real life consequences. So long as she demonstrates an understanding of the greater context of events she wants to be a part of, we should hear her out.
“It’s been very exciting to see our message and our vision really resonate with others, who are really looking for a way to bring us all together around a world that works for all of us. And that’s really what our message has been here: that we don’t need war in Syria, we don’t need nuclear confrontation, we don’t need climate meltdown, we do have a way forward.”
“We don’t need a war in Syria” “resonating” at the RT “conference.” Good lord.
Russia never pulled their military out of Syria like they very publicly announced they would, they just shifted their strategy. On August 13th, two days after the aforementioned chemical attack in the city of Aleppo, a joint Russian-Syrian airstrike was launched in Aleppo province, where over 300,000 civilians are trapped (roughly the population of Pittsburgh). According to al-Jazeera:
The air raids hit the only hospital for women and children in the town of Kafr Hamra, killing two staffers, including a nurse, while 10 people were rescued from the rubble, the Syrian Civil Defence said.
I wrote that portion before yet another Russian bombing in Aleppo on August 16th that killed at least 40 civilians. Odds are by the time you read this, there will be even more civilian casualties from Russian bombings. What does Russia Today’s extremely active YouTube page have to say about these events? (They call themselves the most watched news network on YouTube)
If you search “Aleppo,” the most recent story is from August 7th, titled “Urban warfare in Aleppo as rebels claim siege breach, reportedly suffer heavy losses & setbacks.” Most videos with the word Aleppo in the title highlight regime advances, with the only mention of chemical attacks coming from the “rebels” or “Islamists.” Weird, when Putin spoke (lovingly into Stein’s eyes?) at the anniversary party, he said RT does “not weigh viewers down with heavy, blunt propaganda clichés. Your greatest strength is presenting information freely and independently.”
Maybe they just forgot to upload their extensive coverage of their chief Middle Eastern ally’s well-documented atrocities. I don’t know. There were real questions that needed to be addressed. I think some of them at least have been addressed. I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.
This is embarrassing. Criticizing US foreign policy is a central theme in every presidential campaign, but to leave a propaganda party for a propaganda machine and run into the middle of Red Square and declare the need to “reign in US exceptionalism” is disqualifying to be a TA at the Air Force Academy, let alone President. The Green Party seems to be disorganized by design, and they have picked the ideal ticket to reflect their near-constant state. Three of our presidential candidates consistently spout Kremlin talking points, and the fourth just accepts cash from them in exchange for uranium. We really aren’t kidding when we say that all of our 2016 candidates are terrible.