Earlier today, Bernie Sanders ended a long Democratic primary stand-off and endorsed Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid. Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate for president, was not amused. Stein had previously offered to step aside and let Sanders make a third-party run on the Green ticket, with her as VP, but Sanders had always vowed to do his utmost to defeat Donald Trump, and stripping votes away from Clinton in a general election would only make that more difficult. In other words, it was never going to happen—going from hero to demon was never in Bernie’s playbook.
Nevertheless, lots of Sanders supporters took it very hard when he finally gave in today, and Stein—though she’s not truly a Sanders follower—joined them in their disappointment:
Finally, Stein released a statement on her website calling for all Sanders supporters to join her movement. She wrote:
Sanders, a life-long independent who has advocated for building an independent democratic socialist party similar to Canada’s New Democratic Party, has said that his decision to run as a Democrat was based on pragmatism, but there is nothing pragmatic about supporting a party that for decades has consistently sold out the progressive majority to the billionaire class. This false pragmatism is not the path to revolutionary change but rather an incrementalism that keeps us trapped, voting for lesser evil again and again.
Each time a progressive challenger like Sanders, Dennis Kucinich or Jesse Jackson has inspired hope for real change, the Democratic Party has sabotaged them while marching to the right, becoming more corporatist and militarist with each election cycle.
“I call on the tens of millions inspired by Bernie Sanders’ call for political revolution, the 60% of Americans who want a new major party, and the independents who outnumber both Democrats and Republicans to reject the self-defeating strategy of voting for the lesser evil and join our fight for the greater good,” she concluded.
Stein first ran for president as a Green Party candidate in 2012, when she earned almost 500,000 votes—a record for a female candidate, and one which will surely be broken in 2016.