Jill Stein helps Trump as Ralph Nader helped Bush
© Moriah Ratner

A vote for Green Party nominee Jill Stein in November is the equivalent of a vote for GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP-Trump trade fight boils over with threat to cars Trump: Meetings on potential North Korea summit going 'very well' Freed American 'overwhelmed with gratitude' after being released from Venezuela MORE. It is the equivalent of a vote for a conservative majority on the Supreme Court; for the end of immigration reform; for torture; and for climate change denial.

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Dr. Stein is a good and serious person running a destructive and not-serious campaign, the only result of which be will be to take progressive votes away from Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump lashes out at 'rigged' Russia probe in pair of tweets Clapper: 'More and more' of Steele dossier proving to be true Republicans are strongly positioned to win Congress in November MORE, helping elect Trump and bringing to the powers of the presidency everything he represents.

Fortunately for progressivism and America, almost all of those who agree with Stein's progressive positions on issues are following the lead of Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump: ‘Clapper has now admitted there was spying on my campaign’ Overnight Defense: Trump decision on Korea summit coming 'next week' | China disinvited from major naval exercise | Senate sends VA reform bill to Trump Senate sends major VA reform bill to Trump's desk MORE (Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFortune 500 CEOs: The professional athletes of corporate America The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Rising star Abrams advances in Georgia governor race MORE (Mass.) and supporting Clinton for president. It is not even a close call on the merits, nor is it a close call on the politics.

It is almost certain that the vanity candidacy of Ralph Nader in 2000 elected George W. Bush president. Heaven help America and the world if a similar result occurs in 2016!

Consider the final results of voting in Florida in 2000. Republican nominee Bush defeated Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreKeith Olbermann signs new deal with ESPN Legendary speechwriter Richard N. Goodwin proved the power of words Can Trump beat the Nobel odds? MORE in Florida by between 500 and 600 votes leading to the infamous Florida recount and the party-line vote of Supreme Court justices to award the presidency to Bush 43. While Bush won Florida by between 500 and 600 votes in 2000, Nader won more than 97,000 votes in Florida because his Green Party voters believed that Gore was imperfect by their standards.

As a result of Nader's candidacy for president, America had to endure the George W. Bush presidency; the Iraq War, which would not have happened if Gore had been elected; and the Supreme Court majority that made the heinous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case the law of the land, which would not have happened if Gore had been elected and nominated liberal justices and created a liberal Supreme Court majority a decade ago.

Had Nader not run for president in 2000, and had Gore been elected president, Gore could have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for actions he would have taken as president.

There are good reasons the leading progressives in America, such as Sanders and Warren, are campaigning all-out to elect Clinton president. There are good reasons the overwhelming majority of Sanders supporters in the Democratic primary are supporting Clinton against Trump in November.

Is there any progressive in America who wants the powers of the CIA and FBI in the hands of Trump, to wield against those he disapproves of? If Florida voters who supported Nader over Gore in 2000 and ended up with Bush as president have buyers' remorse, imagine how Stein voters will someday feel if their votes in 2016 bring a Trump presidency.

Clinton is not the ideal candidate for true progressives, myself included. But there is no question that Clinton would appoint Supreme Court justices to create a liberal majority on the court while Trump would nominate conservative justices to create a conservative majority. Or that Clinton will battle for major immigration reform while Trump has advocated reactionary immigration policies similar to the Operation Wetback program under President Eisenhower, which Trump has applauded.

There is no question that Clinton will go all-out to end the corruptions of Citizens United, while Trump would name justices who will keep Citizens United the law of the land in perpetuity. Or that Clinton will fight to end the plague of climate change, which Trump denies even even exists. Or that Clinton will battle for civil rights and civil liberties while Trump plays race cards against various minorities and promises to institute torture.

It is no wonder, given these facts, that Sanders and Warren and almost all of their supporters are backing Clinton and not Trump or Stein for the presidency, some with greater enthusiasm than others but all with a clear understanding of the stakes in the election.

I have great respect for Stein and agree with her on many issues. But her candidacy offers a suicide pact for the progressive movement that only helps Trump in his quest to bring the powers of the presidency behind his obnoxious and repellant brand of politics.

Actions have consequences. Voting matters. Every vote should be cast as though the future of the nation is at stake. It is.

Wouldn't it be a better America and a better world today if Nader had not run in 2000 and Gore had carried Florida and been inaugurated as president and commander in chief in January 2001, instead of Bush? Imagine a world that was never plagued by the Iraq War. Imagine an America with a liberal Supreme Court majority that would have begun a decade ago under a President Gore, without a Citizens United decision that would never have happened if justices had been nominated by a President Gore instead of President Bush.

Think about it — it should not have been a close call for any voters in 2000. It is not a close call for any voters today!

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.


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