Halloween Just Got Scarier: The Not-so-Green Party Endorses Trump Over Clinton

[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. #PeaceOffensive

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.

Jill Stein’s Green Party Madness: John Oliver’s Secret Corruption, Trump is Less Scary, Vaccine Dangers

By Bo Gardiner  [Excerpts.  The complete article was published at Patheos on 10/23/2016.]

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein continued her march into absurdity this week, and her claims are worth responding to with facts.

Exposing Big Satire

On Friday, Stein and her party announced that the global corporate conspiracy extends beyond the likes of Big Pharma and into the venerable world of political satire, launching an expose of popular left-wing comedian and TV host John Oliver, who picked apart her policy ideas during a recent segment on Last Week Tonight. She posted this meme on Facebook accusing the former Daily Show star of “secret connections to corporate corruption”:

JohnOliverSteinOliver had criticized her statements on vaccines and portrayed her mechanism for eliminating student debt as unworkable. The meme links to her campaign site, where the “rebuttal” is all ad hominem and no fact, complaining that Oliver’s satirical critique was a “demeaning,” “bitterly sarcastic rant.” So a politician regularly demeans those who don’t support her in bitter, sarcastic rants, but demands immunity from such criticism from the public?

Stein’s campaign then takes the very, very low road of seeking to destroy Oliver by accusing him of being dirty, by definition, due to his income… an income progressives gladly provide him for his brilliant nightly takedown of the right. Finally, and most absurdly, a national presidential campaign lowers itself by blaming declining donations on a comedian and with Trump-like juvenile whining:
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Green Party Was Unashamed To Openly Prefer Bush in 2000, or To Openly Prefer Trump Now

By Bo Gardiner  [Excerpts.  The complete article was published at Patheos on 10/20/2016.]

It’s a nearly forgotten yet proven fact that in the 2000 presidential race, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader openly expressed a preference for George W. Bush in the White House over Al Gore.

eatd7riIt should be no surprise, then, that the Greens’ current presidential and VP candidates, Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, have begun expressing their preference for a Donald Trump victory. Last week on C-SPAN, Stein said:
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There Was Nothing Wrong with Richard Dawkins’ Tweet That “Islam Needs a Feminist Revolution”

[Excerpts from my post at The Friendly Atheist]

By Bo Gardiner

I’ve disagreed with Richard Dawkins before on his insensitivity to women, feminism, and majority privilege. Some of it he’s apologized for, so I’d like to think we’re starting to be heard. I know all too well from environmental campaigns the importance of acknowledging our successes.

And thus, I part with my fellow Friendly Atheist contributor Lauren Nelson in her recent post, which struck out scathingly at Dawkins for the following single tweet:

There is nothing wrong with those words.  The question deserves answers, not attacks.

Lauren wrote:

It’s not unusual for renowned atheist Richard Dawkins to rub people of faith the wrong way. It’s not unheard of for him to get on the bad side of feminists. But it’s not every day that he pisses off the intersection of the two groups. But this week, with a series of tweets, that’s exactly what Dawkins did.

He started the hullabaloo off with this humdinger:  “Islam needs a feminist revolution. It will be hard. What can we do to help?”

When I first saw her headline — “Richard Dawkins Fails Spectacularly on Feminism and Islam” — I sighed and thought “Oh dear, what has he said now?” But when I arrived at his tweet, I kept scanning, looking for the bad part. I couldn’t believe it when I realized that was it. The entire article was a critique on those 15 words, and, in my opinion, it didn’t advance feminist goals, progressive goals, or Humanist goals.

Let’s work through her tally of problems with it.

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How Christians Think They Can Convert Atheists… According to WikiHow

[Excerpts from my guest post at The Friendly Atheist.]

You learn a lot about campaigns when you read their strategy memos. WikiHow contributors have put together a page on How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian, and it’s probably a little more revealing than they intended.

So while I’ve taken the small liberty of providing a helpful title for each step, here are Christian WikiHow authors’ actual instructions for how to convert an atheist:

Think of it as setting them up on a blind date with Jesus

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If you appreciate the message of a nature-loving, humanistic, progressive, and scientifically skeptical approach to life, please support this blog!

charlie-chaplinThe last year has been an exciting period of growth for Under the Greenwood Tree, which is getting increasing attention that’s allowed me to become a guest author at The Friendly Atheist and Doubtful NewsIt really does take a surprising amount of time and effort to:

  • expose psychics, astrologers and promoters of pseudoscience,
  • challenge religious anti-humanist and anti-atheist bigotry, and
  • raise awareness of humanist principles of critical and scientific thinking, love for one another and our planet.

My profile two weeks of a professional astrologer who realized astrology isn’t real after he inadvertently switched clients’ horoscopes but they were just as happy had over 10,000 shares on Facebook after Skeptics Guide to the Universe recommended it as a great story.

My YouTube channel has had half a million views, and included:

  • Several dramatic videos exposing the abusive physical and emotional trauma to which Christian evangelists subject children.  A great many venues picked up my video What in God’s Name Are They Doing to the Children, and with a little help from Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais, it generated thousands of calls for reform of what is clearly child abuse.
  • Humanist looks at the box office hits God’s Not Dead and Do You Believe?
  • Debunking the latest viral 9/11 truther video.
  • Lighthearted use of pop culture to encourage healthy skepticism.

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‘What ISIS Really Wants’ — Digested Version. Read It If You Read Nothing Else This Week.

[Apologies to Graeme Wood and The Atlantic for such long excerpts.   Let me know if you need this taken down.  But more people need to read this who may avoid the longer version.-BG]

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Graeme Wood, March 2015, The Atlantic

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? …In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.

… We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million…

We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature… In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse. Continue reading