By now, it is clear that the two main corporate-backed political parties will never allow ballots to be re-counted in any U.S. Presidential election.
I am writing on the morning that the electoral college will be voting on who will become the next president of the United States. Even at this late date the evidence mounts that hundreds of thousands of voters cast legitimate ballots in the 2016 elections that were never counted. Yet the Democratic Party and its candidate, Hillary Clinton, have refused to file any court challenges to the elections machinery, oversight, or illegitimate processes.
And the Republican Party continues to go all-out to block Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's attempt to force three states to count every ballot by hand.
One would think: “Who could be opposed to counting every ballot?”
Both the Democrat and Republican parties and their candidates each twist rationalizations like pretzels to prevent a re-count.
It has been left to the penny-poor Green Party and the Jill Stein campaign to say: “Hold on,” and attempt to force the American political caste to not only “accept” but be ruled by the will of the voters — whatever it may be.
The Green Party's attempt to enforce electoral integrity is also by way of advocating on behalf of a different way of counting ballots in U.S. elections: Single Transfer Voting is the way the Green Party proposes. Voters would mark candidate ballots by preference, so that if one's first choice does not win the vote would not be lost but would be shifted to one's second choice.
That kind of voting, Greens say, would ensure that every voter would be able to cast a vote for whomever they preferred on the first ballot. It would mean that, for instance, the Green Party's Jill Stein, or the Libertarians' Gary Johnson, or candidates for any and every socialist party, could receive first place votes which would be transferred to other candidates should the candidate one prefers not receive sufficient votes.
No wonder both the Republican and Democrat parties are not exactly thrilled by the plan.
And the revulsion is mutual. Widely felt within the Green Party rank-and-file is that Hillary screwed over Bernie, and then Donald did the same to Hillary, so the Democrats are a victim of their own power-plays and machinations. She's gotten her “just desserts,” they feel, and a plague on both their houses.
Many Greens also liked Donald Trump's rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which has and continues to be a key issue for the Green Party, and Trump's stand against war with Russia. They point repeatedly to Clinton's support for a No-Fly zone in Syria, which would almost certainly provoke a Russian military response potentially leading to a nuclear war.
The entire Neo-Cons, Neo-Liberals, and CIA/State Department apparatus has lined up behind her. In a similar vein, Greens were appalled by the murderous chaos that Clinton's and Obama's policies amounted to in Libya, and in the Ukraine.
The Green Party also condemned Clinton's support for Genetic Engineering of agriculture, nuclear power plants, and the pesticides industry, among any number of poor or reactionary positions she'd taken on environmental issues.
So Jill Stein and the Green Party cannot by any stretch be said to have challenged the massive disenfranchising of voters as a “front” for the Clinton campaign.
Unfortunately, the few million dollars Stein and the Greens raised were hardly sufficient to legally challenge the deep pockets of both corporate parties. They were not even able to enforce the counting (let alone the RE-counting) of over 70,000 ballots in Michigan that were never counted (as Rolling Stone reporter Greg Palast has documented), or to count by hand every ballot cast in Wisconsin and elsewhere (where in many locations and $3 million later, the re-count only resulted in ballots being fed back through the very same machines that had been used on election day — and, strangely, with slightly different results, even there!).
At the same time, as Greens watch Donald Trump abandon and betray his own base (just as Obama had done), support the same “fracking” corporations and pipelines as his Democratic Party opponent, and appoint dozens of Goldman-Sachs, Exxon and other Wall Street billionaires to positions in his cabinet, the Green Party observes that not only did Trump not “drain the swamp” but he left us with no champion to uphold the American working class's vote for “change”.
Not that he ever was.
The Green Party's attempt is part of a longer battle — to seize back the government from the billionaires, giant corporations, and war-mongers who've stolen it from us — well, actually, they've always had it.
Jill Stein and the Green Party should be thanked for carrying forward the fight to count every ballot in such a principled and non-partisan manner. The battle for real democracy in the United States doesn't end here.
The writer is a founder of the Brooklyn Greens, an activist local of the NY State Green Party, and a former editor of “Green Politix”, the national newspaper of one faction of the Green Party a decade-and-a-half ago. He has had no official role in either the national Green Party nor the Jill Stein campaign.