[A version of this was published at Daily Kos]
The Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, posted today on Facebook a link to an “Open Letter from the Social Media Director of the Stein/Baraka Campaign,” by someone whose name was given only as “Jillian.” The message reads:
…A Clinton presidency is D A N G E R O U S … If a Trump presidency would mean that we have to fight ignorants in the streets—I’m ready for that. “
Stein commented “I couldn’t have said it better.”
I consider that sufficiently official. Journalists have been pushing Stein to answer this question throughout the campaign; it has now been answered.
Stein has been increasingly preparing her followers and the public for idea over the last few weeks. She tweeted on Oct. 14:
Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy is much scarier than Donald Trump’s, who does not want to go to war with Russia.
She retweeted an article by her running mate Ajamu Baraka on Oct 15 titled “Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump,” which states:
The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton.
and on Oct. 16 retweeted Baraka’s tweet:
Expecting people of color to fear Donald Trump after all we’ve been through the last 200 years, is absurd.
On Oct. 21 she posted on Facebook an article titled:
What’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social Security
Greens heavily spreading this message on social media and in articles such as this, that states “Donald Trump as president will do ‘less damage‘.”This may surprise many unfamiliar with Green Party history, but it fully adheres to Green Party tradition. In 2000, Ralph Nader said on several occasions that he would prefer to see George W. Bush in the White House over Al Gore. Green Party leaders were open in their desire to stop Al Gore.
More history and analysis of this strange and very under-reported aspect of the Greens may be found at The Green Party Openly Preferred George W. Bush in 2000 and Openly Prefers Donald Trump Now. It includes credibly-sourced quotes such as these from Ralph Nader:
When asked if someone put a gun to his head and told him to vote for either Gore or Bush, which he would choose, Nader answered without hesitation: “Bush… If you want the parties to diverge from one another, have Bush win.”
In response to a reporter’s question “…does that mean you would not have a problem providing the margin of defeat for Gore?”
“I would not — not at all,” Nader answered. “I’d rather have a provocateur than an anesthetizer in the White House. “
A news article reported:
After lambasting Gore as part of a do-nothing Clinton administration, Nader said: “If it were a choice between a provocateur and an ‘anesthetizer,’ I’d rather have a provocateur. It would mobilize us.”… in the past Nader has said that a Bush victory could have an oddly beneficial effect for the Green movement… Bush, Nader has said, could be the same kind of “provocateur” if elected.
In an interview with Tim Russert:
RUSSERT: Would it bother you that…Al Gore lost the election?
NADER: No, not at all… There may be a cold shower for four years that would help the Democratic Party… It doesn’t matter who is in the White House.
RUSSERT: … Would [Al Gore] not be better on [environmental and consumer] issues than George W. Bush?
NADER: …no… regulatory agencies under Clinton/Gore are as bad or worse than under Reagan/Bush…
Greens are currently defending Stein over revelations of her investments in the world’s largest financial backer of palm oil plantations, the number one cause of deforestation in the world.Stein has come under heavy fire from progressives for her call to ban GMOs, which scientists and, increasing, environmentalists, agree that by increasing crop yields and improving disease and drought resistances, they mean less wildlife habitat lost, less water usage, less pesticides, less impact to biodiversity, and more of humanity fed.
Last week Stein bizarrely called for a national conversation on oppressive comedians, following criticism by John Oliver of her vaccine views and economic plans.
It will be interesting to hear Bernie Sanders’ reaction to the news, who is urging his followers to support Clinton.
I’d suggest these views place the Green Party as more of a bizarre alt-right then an alt-left political party. I also recommend that journalists referring to the Green Party now use quotes, modifying the phrase to “Green” Party.