Bernie Sanders was the first presidential candidate I’ve ever donated to or knocked on doors for and I am proud to say that the CNP platform takes the best of his ideas and expands on them. Unfortunately, he’s out of the race.
So am I Bernie or Bust? No. My refusal to vote for a kleptocrat who ran the State Department as the acquisitions arm of her bogus “charity” in order to enrich herself has nothing to do with Sanders.
Clinton’s foreign policy record is atrocious. She not only voted for the Iraq war, she lobbied for it and called it a business opportunity. She deported orphaned Honduran children to a country where they would be executed by a dictatorship that she helped put into power. She was also the biggest advocate for overthrowing Libya’s government. Declassified emails show her explicitly saying she advocated that war to gain access to Libya’s gold and oil. Libya is now a major ISIS stronghold and the millions of refugees fleeing their homes can thank Clinton. Republican strategist Steve Schmidt recently said during an interview on MSNBC that “the candidate in the race most like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a foreign policy perspective is in fact Hillary Clinton, not the Republican nominee.”
The last Clinton administration pushed through NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China which together destroyed millions of good-paying working class jobs – the rust belt is rusting because of the Clinton’s. Further, Bill’s bank deregulation directly led to the housing market collapse that forced millions of Americans out of their homes and wiped out 53% of black America’s wealth. Hillary’s longstanding support for the TPP (and the fact that she picked a man who voted to fast-track the TPP as her VP after pretending to oppose it due to pressure from Sanders) indicate her administration will be more of the same.
She described opposing gay marriage as a “fundamental bedrock principle… a foundational institution of humanity.” Even now after switching her public position to fit popular trends she continues to take tens of millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton foundation from countries where being gay carries the death penalty. She has repeatedly changed positions on major issues after receiving campaign contributions. Don’t take my word for it, ask Elizabeth Warren. As Obama said, “she’ll say anything and change nothing.”
During the primary she sent spies to infiltrate the Sanders campaign and paid online trolls to make the internet a worse place. She spent months talking up how much money she was raising for the party, but spent more than 99% of the money on herself. Her allies in the DNC used every dirty trick to tilt the race in her favor. When they were exposed and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign, Hillary hired her onto her campaign the same day. She’s so brazenly corrupt she doesn’t even attempt to hide it.
So no, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. Not that my vote matters! California is reliably blue and if the Democrats had nominated a bag of avocados it would get California’s electoral college votes. Which is of course why they don’t even pretend to care about our issues. Clinton couldn’t even be bothered to keep her promise to debate here!
So what’s the alternative? Trump isn’t even worth considering, he’s a pathological liar, a cheat who makes a regular habit of stiffing the people he does business with, and is such a phenomenally bad business man that he would be wealthier if he had just stuck his inheritance in a market-indexed fund and spent his life golfing with his buddy Bill Clinton. That’s before you even talk about the fact that he’s built his campaign on white nationalism(1 2 3) and borrows rhetoric from Mussolini. The man is truly scary. Fortunately he’s made it clear he doesn’t intend to actually do the job of president and will leave governing to his VP. Not that Pence is much better!
The fact that one of these two will be America’s next president is proof of how dysfunctional American politics have become.
Unfortunately, no third party can win a US presidential election because the US uses first past the post voting instead of proportional representation (the system used by most other democracies), so the majority either don’t vote or hold their noses and vote for a “lesser evil”.
Even if a third party for president could win, neither Stein nor Johnson moves the needle for me – Stein talks the talk and I have great respect for her as a dedicated activist for social justice, but her only elected experience is two terms on a city council. She is very valuable to the larger progressive movement as an activist but bluntly lacks any experience that would qualify her for the presidency. As a former governor Johnson has experience and his advocacy for civil liberties and against war makes him clearly a lesser evil than Trump or Clinton; but his economic platform is every bit as bad as Clinton at her worst. I can’t vote for either of them in good conscience.
I will vote on all the local elections where third parties can actually compete and on the ballot initiatives, but as a Californian who cares about the issues there is no candidate for US president I can support.