A friend of mine has told me that he plans to vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for President who will appear on the ballot here in Virginia. He’s disappointed in President Obama and feels that Stein’s policy positions are more closely aligned with his own, and he thinks America needs more vibrant multi-party system. I've told him he's making a terrible mistake, with potentially disastrous consequences.
I can understand my friend’s appreciation of Stein’s policy views. I’m sure that many Liberals also agree with her on policy. However, voting for a fringe candidate is not going to create a multi-party system—at least not one that results in any meaningful change. For that we would need a constitutional overhaul, and in most ways I think our system is fine the way it is, especially if we can take power away from corporations and return it to the people as the system’s designers intended. And being president is not only about policies. It's about politics and governing; it's about negotiation and diplomacy; it's about managing and communicating. Is Jill Stein really the right person to meet those challenges?
And then there’s the matter of my friend’s disappointment in President Obama. This I don’t understand at all, not after reviewing all of the President’s accomplishments in three and a half years—particularly in view of the mess we were in when he was inaugurated. I think my friend has forgotten the deep, dark hole George Bush left us in. It hasn’t been easy to climb out of that hole, but thanks to President Obama, we’re nearly there. We haven’t made all the improvements in environmental protection that we want, but we’ve made progress. Tim Geithner may not be the guy we want running the Treasury long-term, but we needed someone like him to help us avoid the complete collapse of the economy in 2009. In so many areas we’ve made very large steps forward, and it’s time for Liberals to open their eyes and see that, to thank President Obama, and to give him our support for re-election.
Because this election is not a choice between Jill Stein and Mitt Romney. She has zero chance to be elected, and so a vote for her isn't a vote at all. It may be a "statement" of some kind, but it's actually abdicating the right to help choose our next President. The choice in reality is between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney--not Jill Stein, not Virgil Goode, not Gary Johnson, and not any other fringe candidate who has made it onto the ballot in your state. As between Obama and Romney, which one do you want to be leading us for the next four years? Because it’s going to make a very big difference.
There will likely be at least 2 Supreme Court Justices replaced during the next four years. Israel is likely to take aggressive steps against Iran. Climate change will accelerate. Republicans will continue to wage their war on women and marriage equality. Republicans will continue to fight for lower taxes on the wealthy, higher taxes on the middle class, the elimination of estate taxes, looser restrictions on gun ownership, fracking and expanded oil exploration on and offshore, and so many other areas where we cannot afford to let them have their way.
Obama may not be perfect, but he is the only one standing in the way of the disaster that would be a Romney administration. But this is not about choosing "the lesser of two evils." To me, that statement reflects ignorance of the significant achievements of the Obama administration. I think it's clear that he's the best candidate for President out of all the names on the ballot, and it's absolutely certain that he's the only choice as between him and Romney.