Elite media pundits love to degrade “fringe” candidates like Jill Stein as not “mainstream” enough or too much on “the margins” of the political landscape to pull the poll numbers needed to debate against establishment nominees like Clinton and Trump. Well didn’t these experts say the same thing about Bernie Sanders? That no one really knew who he was; that he was a “Socialist” and Americans hate Socialists; that he didn’t have any big-money backers, and as Iggy Pop sang in the 80’s: Blah, blah, blah . . .?
These talking heads also push the idea that Greens haven’t captured the public ‘s imagination even though Jill Stein has replaced Bernie as the candidate for bold change, offering , for example, the Millennials a chance to erase $1.3 trillion in student debt. Gee! That sure as hell sounds like news to me, yet Big Media won’t give the story traction, because they CHOOSE not to.
As Dr. Stein so aptly explained on Fox News this Sunday, Hillary Clinton has already snagged $2 billion in free media while King of Free Media Trump has pulled $5 billion of the same. So it comes down to choice folks. Unfortunately, big, elite media is still the gatekeeper for far too many American eyeballs (and brains), while making decisions based on profit over public service. These plutocrats cover candidates based on their own sense of entitlement as elite members of a privileged class, meaning they screen for prospective politicians who suck up to the corrupt system they perpetuate.
Think about it. If the world is turned upside-down, THEIR world is turned upside-down. If, as Jill Stein proposes, we stop blowing trillions on endless Mid East conflicts, where will all the juicy war stories go? If, as Jill Stein proposes, we use that money to forgive student loans, where will all the” human interest stories” go? If, as Jill Stein proposes, we pull the carbon climate plug, what’ll happen to all those super-storms? Ratings will fall. Hey! Their taxes will go up to finance Medicare for All. They might even have to cover more policy and less gossip. Scariest of all, they might have to QUESTION the very system they are such an integral part of. Woooooo! Now I bet that really spooks ‘em.
See, the 15% poll threshold for national debates is an arbitrary number set by “The Commission on Presidential Debates”. Sounds imposing doesn’t it? Very official and governmental, so it must look out for our best interests right? Wrong. It’s actually a CORPORATE funded, non-taxable, 501c3 board controlled by the DEMORCRATIC and REPUBLICAN parties. Hello! A fourth grader could easily put two and two together, and tell you this entity was created to coddle a two-party system eager to maintain establishment policy, and that 15% aint a random number. In fact, it’s an intentionally high bar which, combined with a deliberate third-party media blackout, makes it virtually impossible for change-makers to mount the debate stage. By the way, establishment policy is a just fancy phrase for incrementalism, also known to my readers as baby-steps, which not only bolster corporate profits, but provide a steady trickle of horror stories for news outlets. Why? Because the status quo means nothing changes, or changes glacially enough to keep those sexy stories in the pipeline.
The plutocracy club fears Jill Stein because, like Bernie, she equals change. If we stop regime change, whack-a-mole terrorist policy, arms exports, and support for corrupt dictators who hate human rights, America will save TRILLIONS and gain good standing in the world, but the current system – THEIR SYSTEM – will collapse. If we pull the carbon climate plug, we’ll build a 21st Century, tech-based, innovative, clean-energy economy that the world will envy. This new economy will generate MILLIONS of high-wage jobs, save TRILLIONS in super-storm costs, TRILLIONS in healthcare, and TRILLIONS more in wasted hours sitting in traffic by expanding mass transit, but THEIR SYSTEM, which BENEFITS THEM in ways unimaginable to average Americans, will collapse.
Remember, Bernie Sander’s political success occurred DESPITE the media’s initial antipathy and outright hostility to his outsider status. Now, they praise him because he’s no longer a threat to their way of life, at least for now, but their coverage is more akin to a eulogy. He moved mountains to even get heard in the first place, which is why despite his current role as an Anyone-but-Trump Clinton supporter, Bernie admitted the 15% bar is too high on Meet the Press today. He also knows, but didn’t say, that Clinton doesn’t want Stein on the stage because she’ll take votes from her, and the fact that Trump isn’t fighting to get Stein up there is baffling.
Bernie’s in a box because he’s a man of his word who promised to support the Democrats if they made liberal concessions at the Convention, which we all know may not be worth the platform paper they’re written on. But while Bernie holds them accountable, some of us may not want to wait. I will vote for Clinton instead of Stein because I live in a swing state and, despite a few interesting ideas, Trump’s immigrant scapegoating, love for guns, regressive tax policy, climate change denial, and narcissistic unpredictability disqualify him in my book. However, whether or not Hillary is president, I’m watching the Democrats, and if I don’t see real progress, I’ll be leaving their party to register as a Green. In the meantime, I urge all Democrats in safely Red or Blue states to vote for Jill Stein, support Bernie’s Democratic candidates through Our Revolution, support Brand New Congress’ candidates through their organization (which I hope is coordinating with Bernie and the Greens), and, of course, support Greens, particularly in primaries against establishment Democrats.
So, once more, like when Bernie’s show hit the road, let’s dream big and fight for real over false freedom, an egalitarian economy over an unequal one, and a shining city on a hill that’s not a myth, but a reality. Peace.