Why Voting Jill Stein is a Wasted Vote

This election shouldn’t even be close. There are only two candidates running for president who have a reasonable chance of winning a majority of electoral votes and one of them has zero political experience, no political skills, is thin-skinned and self-centered and is actually dumb enough to make George W. Bush look nearly competent. He has no political contacts and no foreign policy knowledge. And his ego would never allow him to take the oath of office and immediately resign because he’s not up to the job.

And look at his Party. They have spent the last half-century recruiting the dregs of our society; their entire constituency consists of people who are pissed off for no particular reason; rich white people and fake white “Christians” who hate everyone who isn’t them. They are a fringe party, whose entire ideology is based on the silly notion that the government can do nothing right, so what’s best for the people is to do nothing at all. They don’t address problems, they ignore them, and they do so because their ideology dictates it. Their biggest donors are rich Wall Street types, fossil fuel companies, and rich interests who count on government deregulation and inaction to screw people out of as much money as possible. They are authoritarians who want to control what the average person does to the extent possible.

On the other hand, you have the Democratic Party, the only other major party with a chance to win. Democrats represent most working people, especially minorities, immigrants, women, LGBT people and the poor. The largest contributors to Democratic Party coffers are labor unions, trial lawyers and academics. And most of their constituency is not pissed off; they are happy with just making a good living, making a great life and paying their bills with a bit left over. They work hard and they just want a fair shake, which means regulating those with the bucks, to make everything fair.

There are 134 registered political parties in the United States, but only two that have a chance of winning in almost every election. A third party won’t every win an election, based on simple math. The two major entrenched parties control roughly 80% of the electorate, who will vote habitually for either one party or the other. That leaves 20 for the other 134 political parties to split. In order for a political party to win, it will have to become a second party. That can be done, but never if a party starts by running candidates for president.

And that is why a vote for Jill Stein is a wasted vote. At most, she will get 2% of the vote, and it’s likely she’ll have a hard time getting one percent. Even the Libertarian Party, with its best ticket in history, will have a hard time breaking 10%, and they are in a better position than the Greens to make gains, since the GOP has nominated what can only be described as an “unconventional” Republican candidate. Years ago, the Libertarian Party gave up on its own windmill tilting and invaded the GOP in a big way. They understood that they couldn’t get anything done by sitting on the sidelines. So they joined the GOP and have gotten more done that way. Now, this year, the GOP has nominated the least Libertarian candidate, and they plan to show some muscle by going out on their own. That’s why it’s possible that the Libertarian Party could drain enough votes from Trump to cause the biggest landslide in history. In the wake of this election, Republicans will invite the Libertarians back into the fold with open arms and they will resume having significant influence within the party. Either that, or moderate Republicans will jettison them and take back the GOP for moderates and actual conservatives, who are only conservative, not right wing crazies.

That’s the problem with the Green Party and why Jill Stein can’t win. No one likes them because they don’t do the ground work necessary to gain a foothold. They started to, in the 1990s, when they ran candidates for school boards and local races, as well as some state legislatures, but they abandoned that strategy in 2000, when they ran Ralph Nader as president and Nader ran the dumbest campaign in history. The same happened in 2004.

What made those campaigns stupid is that, rather than align with the closest candidate ideologically, which was Gore, they decided to go against Gore. I will never understand why they think this is a good idea, but it seems to be an ideological mainstay because they did the same thing this year when they supported Bernie Sanders. Many of these people think that being against Hillary is a requirement for being in favor of Bernie. Subtlety is not their strong suit, nor is nuance. And they continue to bash Hillary. What is really odd about this is, Bernie’s no longer in the race; it’s between Clinton and Trump now, but they can’t let go of their Hillary hatred. So, they support Stein, not because she’s going to do great things as president, but because they are committed to hating Hillary. It makes no sense.

Jill Stein cannot win because she doesn’t have enough support. Period. More than 80% of the electorate will vote for either Hillary or Trump, no matter what, and that number will probably be over 90%. Libertarians may get 5-6 percent of the vote and the Greens will be lucky to get 1-2 percent. That’s just a fact, unless something drastic happens, like a major party candidate dies and is replaced with an unknown.

This election is a rare opportunity to finally get rid of the current Republican Party and repudiate everything they stand for. And make no mistake; voting for a third party candidate with no chance to win because she says everything you want to hear is not “progressive.” What would be progressive would be to elect Hillary Clinton and Democratic Congress and then hold their feet to the fire to undo everything the GOP has done in the past 40 years. And spare me the old trope; “My state is (Red/Blue) anyway, so my vote won’t matter.” You don’t get to claim your vote for Jill Stein “sends a message” and then also claim it doesn’t matter what you do. If you want to send a message, it’s time for all progressives and liberals to repudiate everything the GOP stands for. Giving Hillary Clinton a huge landslide and getting rid of the obstructionist Congress is actually a hell of a message.

Don’t waste your vote. None of us gets a unicorn, but we can all have a pony.

About Milt Shook

A writer with more than 45 years in the political game (and let's face it, it is a game). I am a liberal because facts have a liberal bias, and I really like facts. If you like facts, you'll like this blog. If not, you'll have a hard time.


Why Voting Jill Stein is a Wasted Vote — 8 Comments

  1. this makes good points about the need for third parties to grow locally but the insistence that ‘it makes no sense’ just underlines what he doesn’t understand. it wasn’t about hating hillary in the primary and it isn’t now. it’s about supporting a candidate who represents the issues you care about. for me, that was bernie. now it’s jill.

    he quotes statistics out of thin air and follow it up by saying ‘that’s a fact.’ bernie was virtually unknown before the primary debates and now he beats trump in polls. let’s see if the same thing happens after jill debates in the general.

    if a third party ever had a chance it is now with the two most hated gop/dnc candidates ever.

    and if you live in a red state, building a progressive movement for the future is way more important than giving hillary, the corporate shill war hawk, a landslide.

  2. This article has some good points. However, I am supporting Jill Stein because she encourages Activism; getting involved. I asked Jill Stein her education plan, and she told me to peacefully mobilize. Being a Green, I have to do my homework. Bottom line, the Democrats have some of the same foreign policies as the Republicans. For example, the invasion of Libya and taking out Gaddafi. That was unnecessary. Jill Stein wants a more diplomatic foreign policy. How has Hilary Clinton foreign policy experience created more Peace. It had not. Furthermore, I am supporting the MOVEMENT BEYOND THE ELECTION.

    • The point is, since her most fervent hope is to get 5%, which means you are purposely voting for someone who will never do anything. That is the opposite of activism.

  3. I tell Bernie die hards that Jill Stein cannot possibly build a liberal SCOTUS. One replied: “Yes she can.” That should tell us the nonsense (no sense) we are dealing with.