Will Jill Stein And The Green 'Feel The Bern'?
The Green party’s presumptive nominee Jill Stein has officially invited Bernie Sanders, the senator out of Vermont who is in the running to for the Democratic nominee, to join them in the third party voter’s circle. As Hillary Clinton draws nearer to becoming the next Democratic Party nominee, following the Democratic convention on the 25th, the notion that Senator Sanders may accept the Green party’s invitation is not out of the question. The extension of this offer means that Stein would have to step aside as the presumptive nominee and afford all rights to Sanders. This decision was influenced by the overwhelming Sanders supporters flocking to the Green party due to the alternative; a Clinton-Trump presidential race. While polling around 5%, Stein believes that she, or Sanders, would be able to stand alongside Clinton and Trump in televised debates. This 5% benchmark also yields federal funding in the next election. Stein stated, “I’ve invited Bernie to sit down explore collaboration; everything is on the table. If he saw that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he’d be welcomed to the Green party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement.”
The Green party has created waves before in not only U.S. state politics, but more so in Austria and Australia, where members have become part of federal government and even the recent president. Being the grassroots activists, social justice advocates and anti-corporate dominated market registers they are, the members of the Green party holds a flame to what Senator Sanders’ campaign is all about. These similarities are what may cause what was a projected miniscule amount of voters to back the Green party, with Stein’s endorsement, as Sanders takes over the bid. Going from underdog to just above 10 million votes, Sanders has made a name for himself as a politician that fights for his voters’ rights and the ability to be heard among a crowd. Overcoming the speculation of a woman whom has been saturated in politics gives him the ability and recognition needed to bring the Green party’s ambitions to life. As big media declares the nominees preemptively, third party campaigns are trying to entice the voters for those previously in the race. This mode of voter collection is the best. Allow your candidate to run, but with a party who not only sides with his ideals, but amplifies them.
Should Senator Sanders take this offer and use his time in the light to couple with a party of similar ideals? Will Sanders be the Green party’s most prominent candidate since Ralph Nader in 2000?
In 2000, Nader removed enough votes from the Democratic nominee, Al Gore, to allow for a recount in Florida. This motion caused George W. Bush to win the presidency, even as Gore held the popular vote. Outcomes like this may strike fear in a democratic voter, looking for an out on the Clinton coronation, but not wanting to see a Trump presidency. Among other negative aspects of this Sanders-for-the-Green-party option, “sore loser laws” are implemented in a few states to reject this exact notion. When one candidate is rejected from their party by not receiving the nomination, they may not appear on the ballot for another party. These laws are implemented towards presidential candidates in only a few states like Texas and South Dakota, but are used in 45 states to keep party hoppers from moving to a new party after they have affected the previous party.
The final call on whether this is fact or fiction will be made August 4th-7th at the Green party convention in Houston. Members will benefit by having a well-known champion of the people and defender of social justice and environmental issues. Senator Sanders will pocket a large and well populated network of like-minded individuals who are able to exercise their power. If, and when, Sanders loses the bid to become the Democratic Party’s nominee, the Green party is the more viable option. But where does this take the country and the voters within it? As a voter looking for a third party nominee in the White House, what is our course of action?