(Note: This is my personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the views of LoonWatch overall.)
LoonWatch stands for peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding. It is no surprise then that I would support Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party for President of the United States. She embodies the virtues and principles that guide our website; more importantly, she represents the best of our nation’s tradition.
For those of you who don’t know her, Jill Stein is a Harvard-educated physician and activist from Lexington, Massachusetts. She has been involved in politics for over a decade. Dr. Stein just won the presidential nomination for the Green Party, perhaps the most well-known third party in the country. Although a long-shot, she would be the first Jew and woman to be President. More importantly, she is one of the only peace-loving candidates running for office. She strongly opposes America’s wars and military occupations in the Muslim world, which are both the cause and result of Islamophobia. She wants to put an end to the militarism which has defined our nation for at least the last decade.
The Republican Party has been taken over by hate- and war-mongers. But, the Democratic option has failed us miserably over the course of the last four years. President Barack Obama has expanded the misguided “War on Terror”, which is not just the cause and result of Islamophobia, but is itself responsible for causing more terrorism than anything else. Obama has in fact done nothing but establish bipartisan consensus towards the Bush/Cheney world view.
In the past, I’ve spoken favorably of Ron Paul’s foreign policy views. To be sure, Dr. Paul should be credited for bringing national attention to this matter, if but fleetingly. But, the libertarian candidate’s opposition to the wars is based more on Constitutional procedure than moral fortitude, more on financial necessity than humanitarian concern. While opposing U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Iran, for instance, Paul seems to have no problem with an Israeli attack on both of these countries. Jill Stein, on the other hand, opposes such warmongering on moral grounds, no matter who engages in it.
Not surprisingly, Stein’s domestic views are much more in line with my progressive politics than Paul’s. We should be investing more in social welfare, healthcare, education, and the environment, not less. In fact, by de-funding America’s wars and military, the U.S. can easily afford to focus on these sectors. (Additionally, Jill Stein has not sullied herself like Ron Paul has with racist newsletters.)
From a moral standpoint, there is no question that Jill Stein is the superior candidate. There is an argument to be had about practicality and the utility of voting for a third party in a system that makes it virtually impossible for anyone other than a Democrat or Republican (the difference between Coke and Pepsi) to win. Surely, progressives living in non-swing states should vote with their hearts and choose Jill Stein.
But, what about swing states? Is there an argument to be had that the Republican side is just so extreme that Barack Obama must be selected as the lesser of two evils? My personal opinion is that the last four years have proven this argument, logical though it is, false. At least when a Republican was in power, the “progressives” in the Democratic party opposed many of the more extreme measures in the War on Terror. With the ascension of one of their own to power, even this feeble protest has died.
Furthermore, when it comes to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, is there really any substantive difference when it comes to their warrior credentials? Democrats and Republicans merely disagree on which Muslim countries to bomb (Afghanistan vs. Iraq), but they all agree on bombing some Muslim countries. When it comes to the general contours of the War on Terror narrative, there is bipartisan consensus–which is exactly why I look to a third party now.
Nonetheless, I am open to discussion of the question (should those in swing states vote for Obama as a means of choosing the lesser of two evils?) from a purely tactical standpoint, and I could be swayed in the other direction. For now, however, Jill Stein has both my heart and my ballot.