Why I'm voting for Jill Stein and not Obama

"We see sustainable, local, organic food supply as a key piece of the green economy for the 21st century." -Jill Stein

This summarizes her platform: 2012 Presidential Candidates: Jill Stein On the issues ... which pretty much represents my values.

I'm into the idea of her Green New Deal to jumpstart a green economy...
She summarizes it here, among other topics: 

I actually didn't support Obama to begin with, and didn't vote for him in the last election; I voted for Nader.  This article was highly influential to my decision to do that, back in 2008: The Obama Craze

Here are more reasons why I'm choosing to vote for her instead of Obama: 
  • I support the empowerment of third party candidates and do not give in to this "lesser of two evils" mentality. 
As Ralph Nader said, "The lesser of two evils is not good enough for the American people."  I believe that we should vote based on our conscience depending on which candidate best reflects our values... rather than voting out of fear to keep the "more evil" guy out of office.  History shows that over long periods of time, party politics shift and evolve... and that if we keep giving support to third parties, this will send a message to those in power and ultimately change the political scene.
I understand that a lot of progressives don't want to show their support for the system whatsoever, and choose not to vote at all.  Personally I am not of this sentiment... I agree completely that the system is broken, and that we need a total overhaul... this is why I got involved with the Occupy movement.  Clearly I am in favor of grassroots organizing and democracy building from the ground up... of building a participatory democracy. It's true that many Americans are not at all involved in politics, and only go to the ballot box every four years to participate.  Voting is easy, and it gives the illusion of participation.  Voting alone is not real participation... so I agree that people should participate more, should get informed on the issues, and make their voices heard.  

So that's the thing... voting IS easy.  So why not try a multi-pronged approach?  We can still organize on the streets while casting a ballot... the two do not interfere with each other.  When I cast a vote for the Green Party, I am doing something, however small, to throw a wrench in the two-party monopoly... and if enough people voted Green (imagine, 10 or 15%), I think this could have an impact on our government and on society.  Unless, of course, the vote got manipulated and didn't reveal the truth about how many people actually supported the third party... but in that case, the wrong-doing is on them, and not me.  Even if it is a small gesture, I have done something to show that I support this two-party hegemony no longer... so that's why I'm voting.  I want to see upheaval in the government and to send a message that the system does not work for me.  I think that voting 3rd party, in this sense, is more powerful than not voting at all.  But I know a lot of people would disagree with me about that, and I would very much like to talk more with them and to try to better understand their point of view.

So no, I do not think that a "leader" is going to solve our problems... I think that we are all leaders, and need to realize our own strength and power to create change in society.  I'm not voting for someone to take away our problems while I can sit back and watch... I know I am an active participant in creating the kind of society we want to see.  And still... what's it gonna take to bring the current system down, so we can rebuild this world in a holistic and healthy way?  If I can put one more crack in the wall by voting 3rd party, then sign me up.  I think it can do more good than harm.    

Here, Chris Hedges explains how our current system of democracy is broken, and articulates his position on why third party candidates should be supported: 

It is entirely undemocratic that third parties cannot participate in the presidential debates, and proves the stronghold that the Dems and Reps have over the election.  Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala are on the ballot in the majority of states, yet they are barred from entering the debates, and yesterday, they both got arrested while trying: 

This summary is a bit harsh, but I agree with it... I do think that voting on the premise that you're supporting the "lesser evil" is like an addiction that needs to be broken:

  • Obama is a war president and has carried on Bush's policies... whereas Stein is anti-war:
Covert drone strikes are one of President Obama's key national security policies. He has already authorized 283 strikes in Pakistan, six times more than the number during President George W. Bush's eight years in office. Drone is Obama's weapon of choice
Casualty figures collected from media reports by the nonprofit New America Foundation show that between 1,877 and 3,177 people have been killed by drone strikes from 2004-2012, most of them being civilians. The vast majority of deaths reportedly happened during 2010, President Obama’s second year on the job. 
Nader: Obama is a ‘war criminal’ but Romney would be worse

I just found this website and it looks very informative... and it draws a distinction between what Obama says and what he does:  http://www.obamatheconservative.com/

The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision.  While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. 

  • Obama's actions do not support renewable energy, even though he says he does... whereas Stein's platform is clearly as green as it gets.  This article breaks it down: Obama, Romney, or Stein: Who Has the Greenest Energy Policy? Here are some quotes that dispel the myth that Obama supports green energy: 
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns support expanded use of natural gas and fracking.

...the President has overseen a dramatic rise in US oil production and given the green light to Shell's plans to explore in the Arctic.

The Obama administration has essentially punted on the issue of Keystone XL...

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are enthusiastically supportive of nuclear power...
...Obama has consistently voiced support for coal as part of his all-of-the-above energy strategy—albeit in its so-called clean coal form.

  • Jill Stein values whistleblowers and would pardon Bradley Manning: 

10Death PenaltyShould the death penalty remain a legal option in America?

"While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes- mass murder, the rape and murder of a child- so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment."
2006 Barack Obama

"Governor Romney has been a consistent supporter and advocate of the death penalty for convicted killers."
Nov. 28, 2007 Mitt Romney

"America's experience shows that capital punishment does not effectively stop crimes from being committed. And our judicial system makes mistakes, killing people who are innocent. It's time to move beyond capital punishment, to abolish it, and to instead use life imprisonment as the most severe form of sentencing for those who cannot be trusted to live in common society."
July 13, 2012 Jill Stein

11EconomyShould the US federal government have bailed out US private financial corporations like AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, etc.?

[W]hen this crisis began, crucial decisions about what would happen to some of the world’s biggest companies -- companies employing tens of thousands of people and holding hundreds of billions of dollars in assets -- had to take place in hurried discussions in the middle of the night.  And that’s why, to save the entire economy from an even worse catastrophe, we had to deploy taxpayer dollars." 
Apr. 22, 2010 Barack Obama

"The TARP program, while not transparent and not having been used as wisely it should have been, was nevertheless necessary to keep banks from collapsing in a cascade of failures. You cannot have a free economy and free market if there is not a financial system… The TARP program was designed to keep the financial system going, to keep money circulating in the economy, without which the entire economy stops and you would really have an economic collapse."
Mar. 2009 Mitt Romney

"We've all heard about the bailouts, the big bailouts of Wall Street, and you may have heard it was about 800 billion dollars that we paid out as part of this TARP [troubled assets relief] program. Well it's a well kept secret - it wasn't just 800 billion dollars, it turns out there were many many trillions more, in fact 16 trillion dollars, if you can wrap your head around it, that was basically given away as low interest and zero interest loans that was given to the biggest banks and financial institutions... That's who the Fed, behind closed doors, gave 16 trillion dollars to, when we could have been using that money here instead of loaning it to the big banks to get them out of the hole that they created. We could put that money into our small businesses and to our municipalities and our state governments and start creating jobs right here."
Oct. 9, 2011 Jill Stein

28EnergyShould the US authorize the Keystone XL pipeline to import tar sand oil from Canada?

"Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree. 
This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people... In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security..."
Jan. 18, 2012 Barack Obama

“When someone says we want to bring in a pipeline that's going to create tens of thousands of jobs to bring oil in from Canada, how in the world could you say no?"
Mar. 1, 2012 Mitt Romney

"[T]he State Department makes it clear that the sticking point in their minds is the route of the pipeline. This fails utterly to address the critical issue - which is the amount of carbon that will be exhausted into the atmosphere from the Canadian tar sands. No matter which route is taken, this pipeline is a disaster for the planet. No further study is needed to come to this conclusion. As president, I would terminate this project so that we can move forward to a green energy future."
Nov. 13, 2011 Jill Stein

"[W]e’ve got to have a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. Yes, oil and gas, but also wind and solar and nuclear and biofuels, and more... We supported the first new nuclear power plant in three decades."
Feb. 23, 2012 Barack Obama

"The first step will be a rational and streamlined approach to regulation, which would facilitate rapid progress in the development of our domestic reserves of oil and natural gas and allow for further investment in nuclear power..." Mitt Romney

“A new world really is possible. We can, and must, shift to an economy in which 100% of our electricity is generated renewably. We can and must leave the old economy behind – which was based on mining, extraction, and dirty dangerous expensive nuclear power. We can and must stop poisoning ourselves, our children, and other living beings.”
Jan. 2012 Jill Stein

47IranShould the US use military force if Iran does not dismantle its nuclear program?

"I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.
Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests."
Mar. 4, 2012 Barack Obama

“The president should have built credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the United States of America is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Look, one thing you can know-- and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you'd like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon…
Well, it's worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It's worth working with the insurgents in the country to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done, there's nothing else we can do beside mil-- take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
Nov. 12, 2011 Mitt Romney

"A hallmark of a Stein administration will be respect for international law and a rejection of the Bush doctrine of preemptive war that Obama and his party have come to embrace. The interests of the American people are not served by illegal attacks on other nations based on hypothetical future transgressions. Yet President Obama is threatening Iran with attack by saying that 'all options are on the table'. It’s a terrible replay of Bush's run-up to the invasion of Iraq over the mythical weapons of mass destruction...
A US or Israeli airstrike on Iran would have severe repercussions for the American people. It would produce a global oil supply crisis that would send our entire economy into a tailspin. And it could lead to retaliatory attacks on Israeli and American citizens. We need to take a clear stand against nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, but preemptive attacks, especially for a problem that is not even in evidence, are counterproductive and must not be on the table. The mindset that every problem requires a military response has gotten us into trouble again and again, and its disappointing to see the Obama Administration going down that road yet again."
Mar. 5, 2012 Jill Stein

48Iraq WarHas the war in Iraq made America safer?

Look how Obama flip-flopped on Iraq: 

"Perhaps the saddest irony of the Administration's cynical use of 9/11 is that the Iraq War has left us less safe than we were before 9/11. Osama bin Ladin and his top lieutenants have rebuilt a new base in Pakistan where they freely train recruits, plot new attacks, and disseminate propaganda. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan. Iran has emerged as the greatest strategic challenge to America in the Middle East in a generation. Violent extremism has increased. Terrorism has increased. All of that is a cost of this war."
Sep. 12, 2007 Barack Obama

"Thank you to all the men and women who have served in Iraq and who are currently serving in Iraq. Your dedication, your bravery, your courage, has made America safer and has helped to stand up democracy in Iraq..."
Aug. 26, 2010 Barack Obama

“It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now. It was not well managed in after the takedown of Saddam Hussein and his military. That was done brilliantly, an extraordinary success. But in the years that followed, we were undermanaged, underprepared, underplanned, understaffed, and then we come into the phase that we have now. The plan that Bush and General Petraeus put together is working. It’s changing lives there. Perhaps most importantly, it’s making sure that al Qaeda and no other group like them is becoming a superpower, if you will, in the communities, and having a safe haven from which they launch attacks against us.”
Jan. 24, 2008 Mitt Romney

"As we found on issue after issue — the war, reappointing George Bush’s secretary of defense, sticking to George Bush’s timeline on Iraq, expanding the war, expanding the drone wars all over the place... We’re certainly not more secure, more equitable, more healthy or safer internationally, with what Obama has brought."
Feb. 14, 2012 Jill Stein

"I understand the frustrations being expressed in those [Occupy Wall Street] protests. In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party. Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren’t looking out for them." Oct. 18, 2011 Barack Obama

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, said in response to a question about Occupy Wall Street at an Oct. 4, 2011 campaign stop at a Florida retirement community, available at nationaljournal.com:
“I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare.”
Oct. 4, 2011 Mitt Romney

"I stand firmly with those brave Americans in the Occupy Wall Street Movement in hundreds of communities across our country who have been willing to put their bodies on the line for democracy. The demand to end the rule of the 1% is the civil rights movement of our time. People are rising up to demand a more just nation, and police brutality and state violence are being unleashed to suppress democracy for the 99%...
Occupying public spaces as protest is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. I call upon local, state and federal officials to stop attacking the Occupy Wall Street movement. I also call upon our courts to enforce the constitution and protect the first amendment rights of the occupiers."
Feb. 1, 2012 Jill Stein

Another good vid: