Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
UPDATE at end.
The Green Party presidential candidate is Jill Stein. The Libertarian presidential candidate is Gary Johnson. In the world of the Duopoly, these candidates play, at best / worst, a “spoiler” role.
From the The Green Party: “Another U.S. is possible. Another party is necessary.”
From the The Libertarian Party: “Minimum government, maximum freedom.”
Both, obviously, exist and function within our electoral system, both challenging the Duopoly from within. The SCOTUS decision regarding the Affordable Care Act, or more fundamentally, the whole ACA / Obamacare / Romneycare / Health care as taxable, mandated product fiasco, brought negative responses from Stein (who is a physician, and long time advocate for “single payer.”) and Johnson.
From Jill Stein.org:
Romneycare and Obamacare are class warfare and failures, says Stein; calls for ‘real solution’ of Medicare for All. …
Stein noted that ‘Obamacare is based on Romneycare, and as with so much else, Obama implemented a Republican scheme to impose mandates that are a regressive tax on working people.
A President Mitt Romney would not undo ObamaCare. He’ll make it permanent. …
A first-term President Mitt Romney would be far more dangerous to small business, the private sector, and taxpayers than a lame-duck President Obama – no matter what the Supreme Court decided.
On the Two Party System in general, both Green and Libertarian parties are clear.
The Green Party:
Why does the Green Party run presidential candidates, when it’s so unlikely they will win on Election Day?
The most important reason is that Americans deserve a real choice on Election Day. Voters deserve the right to vote for whichever candidates best represent their interests, ideals, and values – without being told that their choice is restricted to two candidates. The Democratic and Republican parties together represent a narrow range of ideas and policies. Both established parties and their candidates accept millions of dollars in contributions from powerful corporate lobbies. The Green Party and Green candidates accept no corporate money.
The Libertarian Party:
The two-party system is broken and both parties now support big government policies that are driving us to bankruptcy and eroding our Personal freedoms.
Johnson will be on all fifty states and DC ballots. Stein is currently on ballots in: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawai’i, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Delaware. There are ongoing petition efforts in: Alaska, Alabama, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia. Both Libertarian and Green presidential candidates (a first for the Greens) will receive matching federal funds
Of course, the chances of media giving anything but passing and sporadic attention to either party, or any of the other “third” or “fringe” parties, is small. And when a “third” party candidate does get much attention, it’s usually in the “spoiler” role, a framing which assumes that anything that actually presents a challenge to a legacy party candidate is a bad thing. Silly voters, thinking they need, or will be allowed, more than the two Established choices.
In an interview with Matthew Rothschild, Editor of Progressive Magazine, Stein addresses some of the usual questions asked of most everyone except Republican and Democratic candidates. Obviously she’s speaking from the Green perspective, but the underlying arguments can apply for Libertarian and other non-legacy parties challenging the Duopoly. (Transcript via FDL).
‘Rothschild: What is the effective response? Would it be better to raise these issues within the Democratic party? Nader had name recognition, and only got 3%. What is the use?
Stein: That is the question isn’t it?
If an effort isn’t made, it’s clear what direction we are going in. The solutions are only getting further away. An effort has already been made to do this within the Democratic party; it’s not a question of if it should, but as a practical matter, it’s just not going to happen.
Many good people have tried a debate within the Democratic party; but the party has been so moribund that there is no prospect of debate on these issues, or salvage from within. …
We need to be there as the old paradigm is falling apart, and as it continues to fall apart. …
Rothschild: What about the spoiler question that comes up; that you are going to elect Romney … & (he) … will be worse than Obama.
Stein: That argument does not stand the test of time.
The politics of fear have brought us everything we were afraid of.
Obama has embraced or intensified all of our worst fears of George Bush. We have learned that silence is not an effective political strategy. …
The question is do we bring back democracy here? And if we absent ourselves right now, and by ‘we’ I mean those who are not corporate sponsored or Wall Street, if we disappear right now, we are going to get more of the same.
We have to at least engage the fight … . If we don’t … it’s all over… .
And when you talk about ‘spoiling,’ in the eyes of most people what’s being ‘spoiled’ is their healthcare, their education … .
They are not thinking about ‘spoiling’ some politician’s career … .
For any hope of ending the choke hold of these Two Corporate Parties, challenges from within the existing political / governance systems – like the Libertarian and Green parties – and challenges from without – like Occupy – are essential. I’m quite happy with efforts to “spoil” the Two Party Front for the Oligarchy’s reign.
UPDATE: An excerpt from Jill Stein’s victory statement on matching funds:
… The surge of support in the matching funds campaign arose despite the constant diet of Obama/Romney that the corporate media is feeding the American people. People are hungry for alternatives – they want to hear about the solutions that are being kept off the table by the establishment parties – they want real debates, not stage-managed squabbles between two defenders of war and Wall Street. They want the truth. …