Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox recently joined the McResistance pile-on attacking 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in the wake of the Senate Intelligence Community’s attempts to bully and harass her campaign with a senseless high-profile and time-consuming document search.
In a spectacular display of unfathomable narcissism, Fox publicly cited the fact that the Stein campaign ignored his offer to help build the Green Party in exchange for dropping out in swing states as evidence that it was “NOT a serious campaign” and “a sham”.
Like that’s a thing. Like any serious presidential campaign anywhere would consider dropping out of multiple states in exchange for the help of some random documentary guy.
I don’t know what Fox’s relationship status is (his Wikipedia page reads like a glowing promotional column he wrote himself), but consider this a public service announcement that women everywhere should avoid this man. The amount of narcissism it would take to believe that someone declining your help in exchange for sabotaging their own agenda is proof of nefarious behavior, combined with the total lack of empathy it would require to be incapable of imagining why someone might be disinterested in such an offer, suggests a dangerously detached personality that nobody should ever engage with intimately.
The notion that the Green Party is supposed to build its presence from coast to coast before earnestly running a presidential candidate is a fairy tale that Democrats have been advancing with increasing aggression for the last year and a half, and it depends upon a fundamental ignorance of facts and reality. Running a presidential candidate is a required aspect of building total party viability. As Jill Stein told Time last year in response to a question about whether the party should allocate resources for state and local elections instead of presidential campaigns:
“Races have to fund themselves, and what the presidential race does is help bring attention to the fact that we have down-ballot candidates. So running at the national level, in fact we are required to do that in order to get ballot status for our down ballot races. We don’t have a choice about this. But in addition, running at the national level does some very important things… We need to challenge these candidates. We have to stand up and hold their feet to the fire at the national level.”
For over a year Democrats have been relentlessly attacking and slandering the woman who wound up serving as the presidential nominee of the Green Party, which has run a presidential candidate every election since 1996. If Stein hadn’t run, the Green Party would necessarily have run another candidate in her place. This will always necessarily happen every single presidential election, without fail. Democrats are simply doing their best to humiliate and degrade whoever is brave enough to step into that role so that in the next election public sentiment will be poisoned against whoever the next candidate ends up being.
They accuse Stein of “splitting the vote”; that’s the vote, singular. Like there’s only one, and it belongs exclusively to the Democrats, and anyone else who tries to take it away is some vandal running up and shattering it. Never mind the fact that there’s zero reason to believe a large percentage of Stein voters would have supported Clinton had the Green Party made the unprecedented move of declining to run a candidate in 2016. Never mind the fact that far more Democrats voted for Trump (nine percent of them) than all Jill Stein votes combined. Never mind all the 42 percent of eligible voters who stayed home. Today Democrats are beating up on the Green Party candidate. Because those votes belonged to them. Because fuck democracy.
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Last year I watched people viciously attacking their own friends and family members on Facebook just for expressing tentative support for Stein. Anyone who expressed a desire to invest their vote in an attempt to shatter the good cop/bad cop extortion scheme the fake two-party system has been using to pace America into becoming a full-fledged imperialist corporatist oligarchy was pummelled and torn down to the point where only one percent of voters ended up choosing the only candidate on the ballot who was not a right-winger. This is not democracy.
There is also a tremendous amount of overlap between the people who declare it forbidden to vote for a Green Party candidate and the people who are still saying that Sanders deserved to have his campaign sabotaged by the DNC because he isn’t a Democrat. The message here is clear: unless you are an unwaveringly loyal imperialist steward of global metastatic neoliberalism, do not run for office. At all. Not inside the Democratic party, and not outside the Democratic party.
Only neoliberal empire loyalists may run against the neoliberal empire loyalists of the GOP. Unless you have been fully processed by the Democratic party’s corporatist conformity machine, only allowed to move up party ranks as you demonstrate brown-nosing fealty to Wall Street and the military-industrial complex, you must never be permitted access to the “democratic” system of elected representation.
These people are violently opposed to democracy, and yet they call themselves “Democrats”. And Americans are so alienated from what democracy is that this is accepted as normal.
Whenever I bring this up, I always get conservatives scrambling in to say things like “America is not a democracy! It’s a representative republic!” No it isn’t. It’s not a representative republic, a democratic republic, or any other combination of words which indicates human will gets any say in governance to any extent. America is a corporatist oligarchy. Period.
But it shouldn’t be.
So to that end, I think Americans need a gentle reminder of what democracy is. It’s the process of running a country with the will of the people at the helm. One person, one vote, and you get to vote however you like, for whatever you like, and for whatever you want. That’s your sacred sovereign democratic right.
In practice, it’s messy. Parties surge in their youth as the enthusiasm of the people elevate them to leadership quickly, and then die just as fast as corruption takes them over and the people lose faith in their ability to lead. Leaders are dropped in a New York minute if they make a misstep or act in their own self-interest rather than in the higher interest of their constituents. With a strong and uncorrupted media watching on, democracy serves the function of holding leaders accountable to the will of the people by taking them to task at the ballot box.
It’s not a system like a monarchy where some people are entitled to lead whether the people want them or not. It’s not a system where your vote is worth more than millions of other people’s votes because you donate to the party a la Stephen Cloobeck. It’s not a system where one group of plutocrats fund two established elitist parties who decide for themselves who they want and then the plebs are forced to choose between a shit and a shit sandwich. It’s not even a system where you bully another person into voting to your way of thinking by abusing your own personal power. In the US, people lost their jobs for supporting Bernie and/or Jill Stein. That happened, and no one even batted an eye because the culture of bullying is so prevalent. In a democracy, your vote may be just one vote, but it is yours and it is sacred.
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Democracy is when you get to vote for what you want, and those votes are counted and the will of the people is heard and acted upon. It’s not a system where some narcissistic schmuck who thinks his shit doesn’t stink can override the will of a whole fucking party, all its members, all its supporters, and all its donations which were given in good faith that the party would contest the presidential race with everything it had, by demanding that they drop out of key electoral races. How insanely up your ass to you have to be to even think that that’s a thing? Josh Fox, you seemed like an okay guy before, but your vote did not outweigh the votes of hundreds of thousands of other people. You are not that special, Josh. Your vote is worth one vote like everyone else’s.
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