Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Campaign 2016: The Greening of America

This just got interesting.
The two major presidential candidates for 2016 have done nothing but undistinguish themselves in conduct unbecoming a President, and while Donald Trump is clearly the top Katzenjammer Kid, Hillary Clinton should be called out too.  But first, the Donald.  He actually had the nerve to discredit a Muslim Gold Star couple, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, for their speech at the Democratic convention against Trump's stand on Muslims in light of the sacrifice they made with the 2004 death of their son, Captain Humayun Khan, in the Iraq War.  Mr. Khan called on Trump to stop demonizing Islam and, also, respect the contributions of American Muslims to the country and respect the Constitution's protection of religious freedom.  He added that Trump has sacrificed nothing and no one during the fight against terrorism.  Trump, whose statements on Muslims demonstrated that he doesn't know anything about Islam or the Constitution, insisted that he has sacrificed to create jobs (he had to fly commercial first class instead of in his own jet?), demonstrating a tin ear to the sacrifices of Gold Star parents of any creed, color or faith.
As for Hillary, she got herself in hot water again over her State Department correspondence, insisting this past Sunday that she neither sent classified e-mails on her e-mail account  nor used more than one server. Both claims are untrue. Although FBI director James Comey saw no reason to prosecute anyone, his statements contradicting Hillary's claims suggests that she misremembers the recent past, just as her erroneous recollections of being under sniper fire on an airport tarmac when she visited Bosnia in 1996 as First Lady suggest that she misremembers the distant past.
Meanwhile, the Green Party rolls merrily along.  Presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is now expected to be on the ballot in six more states, including - drum roll, please! - New Jersey! And Pennsylvania!  (The other four states are Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Vermont.)  Mind you, the petitions in these states still have to be certified, but get this - in these states, the number of signatures submitted surpassed, and in some cases doubled, the minimum amount required.  In New Jersey, petitions bearing two thousand signatures - more than the eight hundred needed, and two and a half times the minimum - were submitted.  It looks like I won't have to write her in after all.  
Meanwhile, meet Dr. Stein's vice presidential running mate! :-D

His name is Ajamu Baraka, and he is a renowned human rights activist.  (As far as I can make out, he is not related to the Baraka family of Newark, New Jersey, where Ras Baraka is the mayor.)  A native Chicagoan like Dr. Stein, Ajamu Baraka is a founding member and a former executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network, which has sought to improve basic human rights in These States, and he has also been on the boards of Amnesty International and the National Center for Human Rights Education.  His credentials in fighting for basic humanity and dignity are impeccable, and he is a staunch advocate for the dispossessed.
"Ajamu Baraka," says Dr. Stein in a statement, "is a powerful, eloquent spokesperson for the transformative, radical agenda whose time has come - an agenda of economic, social, racial, gender, climate, indigenous and immigrant justice."
Just like the woman at the top of the ticket.
The Stein/Baraka ticket has its work cut out for itself, and the media are already trying to scare people from voting for any minor-party presidential ticket by saying that Trump could have the advantage in a three-way or four-way race. The insufferable Chuck Todd of MSNBC has already said that.  Perhaps it's time to scare both parties by getting behind the Green ticket.  Even if Dr. Stein is unlikely to be the next President, a respectable showing would send a strong signal that the days of the nation's current two-party system, in place since 1856, are numbered.  

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