It’s not easy being green.”— Kermit the Frog Survival in the wild, or in cities for that matter, is not easy for animals or humans. To make matters even harder, both must survive election outcomes. Critters can be subjected to dangerous and stupid human decisions governing their habitats and food, but humans have it even worse. They are subjected to each other.
At this juncture in national politics, environmentalists face harrowing choices. Sensing that Clinton’s born-again nods and concessions to ecological issues are based more on political expediency than a bred-in-the bone green world view, many who’ve spent their lives and finances fighting for our species’ survival are among those most distrustful of her. There has been too much bad water under the bridge, too much flip-flop, too much hedging of bets, too much mid-air correction of positions, too much of not really “getting it” regarding climate change and fossil fuels, and too much money donated to her from the corporate players that environmentalists fight every day. Words of assurance are one thing; actions and non-actions are something else entirely.
Seemingly out of the blue, along came Bernie Sanders, who for decades has put himself on the line politically, financially, physically and emotionally to support civil rights, economic fairness, health care, social security, free education, fair elections, environmental issues and getting big money out of politics. At last enviros saw some hope, a rare commodity in their political experiences. Much to their surprise, as well as to Sanders’, he began to have tens of thousands show up at rallies to hear among his various messages his stands against fracking, foreign company pipelines like Keystone, climate change and the bone-chilling Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which could affect our nation’s environmental laws. He spoke of a revolution to reform political parties and saying the right words while taking action. Amazingly, he came very close to getting enough elected delegates (not the unelected super kind) to be the Democratic presidential nominee. He may have been the actual winner if reported election irregularities, rampant in numerous states, were true. However timing is everything, and there is little time left for all the election fraud allegations and lawsuits to play out before the Democratic convention.
Most voters are risk adverse and with them neck and neck in the polls, the fear of a future with Trump’s face on it has made Hillary seem a safer choice in spite of her baggage. But many Bernie supporters, feeling the burn of the Bern’s apparent cave-in to the dark side, are taking him at his word that the revolution isn’t about him, but the issues. Bernie did not give his supporters an official heads-up that he was endorsing Hillary in order to not be shut out of the convention and lose his leverage on platform gains. Also, most people do not realize that he has not suspended his campaign nor conceded his candidacy because that would have cost him his delegation. Consequently, because they did not know his reasoning or strategy, some who are more afraid of Clinton than of Trump are turning to other logical and viable candidates like Dr. Jill Stein, who is representing the Green Party. Her donations increased 1,000 percent after Sanders endorsed Clinton.
Stein, who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1973 and Harvard Medical School in 1979, has long fought for issues “including health care, local green economies, environmental protection, labor rights and grassroots democracy.” Believing that a healthy environment is a human right, she “gets it” about climate change and fossil fuel and also fully recognizes that toxic chemical exposure is delivering global illness and death. Stein’s platform positions can be heard on a Facebook video at, “What’s Next for Our Revolution?”
Since politics is a numbers game of dollars and votes, a third party option may actually emerge this year. Because the Democratic Party has not yet recognized that Bernie’s strength against Trump is greater than Hillary’s, his role may be to hold onto platform gains and work toward getting progressives elected to Congress. But Stein has said, “I call on the tens of millions inspired by Bernie Sanders’ call for political revolution, the 60 percent 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.”
Now that would be a switch!
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Fran Alexander is a Fayetteville resident with a longstanding interest in the environment and an opinion on almost anything else. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Print Headline: Another choice for environmentalists