The revolution continues: Plan ‘B’ for the Bernie movement

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Millions of hearts were breaking Tuesday, as Bernie Sanders delivered his long-expected endorsement of Hillary Clinton, with notably less enthusiasm than the passion of his usual stump speech that followed.

Though Bernie urged his supporters to forget the past and focus on the future, we forget the past at our peril. We cannot forget the triumph of Bernie’s campaign, and the hunger of the public for an economy that works for working people, not just the billionaires.

{mosads}My campaign offers real hope for such an economy. Our Green New Deal would create 20 million living wage jobs while solving the climate crisis. Our call to abolish student debt provides relief to tens millions of young people trapped by debt for education that failed to produce the jobs they promised. We can finally make health care a human right.

Within hours of Bernie’s endorsement, thousands of supporters have joined us on Facebook and $27 contributions have surged, as Sanders supporters refuse to be “berned” by a Democratic Party that hopes to absorb their revolution into a campaign that represents the opposite of what they and Bernie Sanders have fought for.

The consistent efforts of the Democratic Party to minimize, sideline, and sabotage the Sanders campaign are a wakeup call that we can’t have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party.

The policies Ms. Clinton has fought for — along with her partner Bill Clinton — created the fault lines of economic disaster most Americans are still struggling with: the abuses of deregulated Wall Street, rigged corporate trade agreements, racist mass incarceration, and the destruction of the safety net for poor women and children.

For decades, the Democrats have increasingly campaigned on the politics of fear, promoting a lesser-of-two-evils voting strategy because “the Republicans are even worse.” But that politics of fear has brought us everything we were afraid of.

All the reasons you were told you had to vote for the lesser evil — because you didn’t want the massive Wall Street bailouts, the offshoring of our jobs, the meltdown of the climate, the endless expanding wars, the attack on immigrants—all that, we’ve gotten by the droves, because we allowed ourselves to be silenced.

People are voting for Clinton because they fear Trump, and vice versa. But democracy is not what we don’t want. It’s what we DO want. And it needs the moral compass of our values to chart our course. So silence is not an option.

Sadly, Sanders is one of a long line of true reformers that have been undermined by the Democratic Party. Each time a progressive challenger like Sanders, Dennis Kucinich or Jesse Jackson has inspired hope for real change, the Democratic Party has sabotaged them while marching to the right, becoming more corporatist and militarist with each election cycle.

Millions are realizing that if we want to fix the rigged economy, the rigged racial injustice system, the rigged health care system, toxic fossil fuel energy and all the other systems failing us, we must fix the rigged political system. And that will not happen through political parties funded by predatory banks, fossil fuel giants and war profiteers.

Fortunately, this November voters across America will still have the choice to cast a revolutionary vote to improve the lives of all Americans, not just the wealthy and the powerful corporate interests. A vote to provide a welcoming path to citizenship, to end mass incarceration and to create a foreign policy based on international law and human rights. 

As the Sanders lead in national polls has shown, our positions are shared by a majority of voters. With the Green Party on the ballot in November, the majority can vote for what they want and get it.

I call on the tens of millions inspired by the Sanders mobilization, the 60% of Americans who want a new major party, and the independents who outnumber both Democrats and Republicans to reject the self-defeating strategy of voting for the lesser evil and join our fight for the greater good.

I ask the rising independent majority to demand our inclusion in the Presidential debates.

I congratulate Bernie Sanders on running an impressive campaign within an undemocratic primary. And I thank Bernie for showing clearly how a grassroots campaign, armed only with a progressive vision and small contributions from everyday people, can win over the majority of Americans. Let’s keep the revolution going and build it into the powerful force for transformative change that it is becoming. Together we are unstoppable.

Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for president.


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