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Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson for President? Who will you support and vote for in November
She was arrested a couple of weeks ago participating in a sit-in in Philadelphia, protesting housing foreclosures at a Fannie Mae bank. Apparently she spent twenty-four hours in jail for her beliefs. Wow. Here is the “Times” account of her 24 hours in jail:
"Stein says her jail time was 'like living in an outhouse in very close quarters.' She stood up for nearly 24 hours, she says, as there was just one bench for the three people sharing her one-person cell. 'The brave ones lay on the floor in front of the toilet,' she says. Food consisted of white bread and processed cheese. 'It was one of the most powerful events of my life,' she tells The Daily Beast. 'This should be a required experience for anyone in public office.' "
To me that is walking the talk, leading the charge, and not simply an armchair general.
After four years of waiting for Obama to show fighting spirit, all I have witnessed are promises, renegings, cave-ins, wussings, concessions. Obama sure sounded eloquent four years ago. But can anyone argue that he failed to fight the good fight?
I want a leader this time: someone who is not afraid to fight against tyranny. After all, is it not war we are facing? Didn’t Warren Buffett confess, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Incidentally, have you seen the difference in these candidates according to the assessment based on policies recorded by Political Compass?
Although these two candidates may sound alike, according to the assessment available on Political Compass, there is a considerable difference between Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson in terms of political positions and priorities. As you can see from the chart, Jill Stein is very much to the left of Rocky Anderson, who is very much right of center, like Barack Obama. What accounts for this difference? Isn’t Rocky Anderson a progressive?
Perhaps a statement made to me by Rocky Anderson in an interview (http://www.cpa-connecticut.com/blog/?p=5455) a couple of months ago may shed some light on why Rocky Anderson appears to the political right of Jill Stein, and even right of center.
"I really feel strongly that we can’t see ourselves as just simply liberals or conservatives anymore in this country. We have so many things that ought to be unifying us and we need a broad based approach. Maybe I’m naive about this but it seems to me on the most fundamental kinds of issues we can bring all sorts of people together, who say, okay we’ve got these differences; we’re not going to be so doctrinaire about it; we can hash out those differences down the road: but when it comes to getting rid of the corrupting influence money, restoring our democracy, restoring the rule of law, ending these wars, ending this pattern of wars of aggression."
Apparently Rocky Anderson does not feel as strongly about the differences between liberals and conservatives as he does about those between authoritarians and libertarians. But, Rocky, the 99% do: they feel that we can no longer afford this laissez-faire posture of government in the marketplace, and that there has to be much more governmental regulation and control to ensure a level playing field and equity for all. Yes, we need social and environmental justice; but we also need economic justice, too.
That means we need unions for all workers, the breaking up of these huge corporations (i.e., enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act), the re-enactment of Glass-Steagall, the abolishment of trade agreements without equitable minimum wage and enforceable environmental provisions, equitable tax laws, government control of healthcare, a WPA program, etc.
We can no longer wait to resolve these differences with conservatives who are corporatists. Our government is too far right: we need to bring it back toward the center. And that means we need to act now because the rich are winning and the war may be over much sooner than we all realize. Not all of us are recipients of governmental pensions with full health insurance. Many of us are without employment, health insurance, retirement benefits other than social security (about to be axed), and are facing housing foreclosure and the prospect of living on the streets. Time is of the essence.
I recently urged Rocky Anderson to show the kind of leadership of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Jill Stein. I challenged him to be at the front of a civil disobedience movement, comparable to Occupy Wall Street, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War protest movement. I stated that it would get him press coverage and exposure since whenever I mention Rocky to people here in Connecticut, they think I am talking about Sylvester Stallone or the Flying Squirrel. I thought it might galvanize people to listen to his eloquence since he lacks sufficient media exposure. I believed in Rocky’s message.
Here was Rocky’s response:
"Bill – Why don’t YOU go protest and get arrested? You don’t have to be a candidate in order to engage in civil disobedience, you know! One who believes in civil disobedience doesn’t ask of others what he/she won’t do him/herself. I’ve done civil disobedience before — but I don’t do it just because I’m running for office. I do it out of conscience. "
I guess protesting housing foreclosures is not the stuff of conscience. And cannot one run for office and undertake civil disobedience out of conscience, too?
And what is wrong with doing something, like protesting housing foreclosures, in order to promote one’s candidacy if one believes the housing foreclosures are unjust? Didn’t Gandhi and Martin Luther King use the press to their advantage?
Sorry, Rocky, to me your response sounds like a cop out. But you were right about me: I have no right to chide you for not practicing civil disobedience if I am not willing to do so myself. My only excuse, but one totally indefensible and an alibi, was that I was waiting for a leader to emerge for me to follow. Since Jill Stein and Occupy Wall Street have demonstrated that leadership, I will now simply join and support them and get arrested by protesting social, economic, and environmental injustices. Yes, I did this before, following Abbie Hoffman and joining SDS. And it’s time for me to do so again.
But you are running for President. And we rightfully expect more from our leaders than we do from ordinary citizens. And we rightfully expect more than mere oratory. This was an opportunity for you to demonstrate real leadership against what you have termed “tyranny”. Our forefathers sacrificed their lives against tyranny. I guess asking and expecting one to join a movement, or lead a movement, of civil disobedience today is too much to ask of another, especially of a Presidential candidate who represents oneself as the voice of the 99%. Shame on me.
There is already a culture of elitism in Washington today. And I, for one, do not want another elitist in the White House. I truly want a leader to “feel our pain” and not just talk about feeling it, like Slick Willie, our favorite Democrat who repealed Glass-Steagall and gave us NAFTA. As Jill Stein so justly noted after serving 24 hours in jail:
"This should be a required experience for anyone in public office. "
Thank you, Jill Stein.
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