It would be an understatement to say that the 2016 presidential election result was disappointing, but I want to clarify the stance that I had going into the election and the electoral strategy for which I advocated. I do not by any means regret voting for Jill Stein instead of Hillary Clinton. Kansas is a red state and we all knew going in that Donald Trump would win its six electoral votes. If you think that Hillary Clinton had a chance here, then I have a homework assignment for you. Hint: it involves math. Look at the results for Kansas. You will find that Donald Trump won by a margin greater than the votes for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson combined.
It was my suggestion that progressives in deep red states should vote with their conscience because a vote for Hillary Clinton would be a waste in those states. My vote for Jill meant much more than only a symbolic nod to the candidate who best represented my political beliefs. The ultimate goal was for her to earn 5 percent of the vote which would have secured federal funding for the Green Party in the 2020 presidential election. That would have made Greens better equipped to hold Democrats accountable by forcing them to take strong progressive stances on an array of issues or risk losing many more votes to the Green Party in future elections. If more progressives in red states like Kansas had only recognized this simple truth, that 5 percent would have been easily achieved.
What was much more apparent to many voters was that Hillary Clinton is the epitome of the political establishment. It was well known that she had given paid speeches for Wall Street bankers and that she had called the Trans Pacific Partnership the “Gold Standard” before flip flopping on the issue in order to compete with Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary. The emotional reaction that thousands of voters had in the key states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin led to a misguided vote for Donald Trump as a means to prevent a Clinton presidency, and it worked. There are certainly things to which we should assign blame for this result, but do not blame third party voters. Blame the electoral college. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but still lost the presidency under this outdated system.
Blame establishment politicians in the Democratic Party who promoted Donald Trump because they wanted an “easy win” for their empress, Hillary Clinton. The emails released by WikiLeaks show that certain Republican Primary candidates were referred to as “Pied Piper candidates”. The DNC also conspired to rig the primaries in Hillary Clinton’s favor. They disenfranchised “no party preference voters” in the California primary by giving them provisional ballots, many of which were not counted. They scheduled the Democratic debates in a way that would minimize voters’ exposure to Bernie Sanders’ message. None of this was done to benefit the American people. If the DNC cared about the average American then they would have been impartial and would have allowed the Democratic process to be carried out without distortion.
The result of their misdeeds has been horrifying. Say it with me now: President Elect Donald Trump. The election of this monster sends a very clear message from the American people. This was a rejection of establishment politics and a call for populism. For many of the people that voted for him, it did not matter that he was a bigot, misogynist, loser, whatever you want to call him. All that mattered to them was that he was “anti-establishment”. If Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic nominee, the American people would have had a better non-establishment choice, and one with a positive favorability rating.
Last but not least, blame the corporate media who seemed to think that Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in. They could not have been more wrong. Networks like MSNBC and CNN do not practice real journalism. Their only purpose is to prop up the establishment. They have no incentive to do real investigative journalism that can shake up the status quo because they benefit from the status quo. We need to stop watching that crap. Find another news source that is independent and not reliant on corporate funding. I would recommend Democracy Now!, PBS, Vice News, NPR, or any of the other news sources listed on the Kansas Green Party website.