What progressives should say to people who want to vote for Jill Stein and the Green party

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

The correct way to deal with folks who want to vote 3rd party is to talk about amending the Constitution so that America can have 3rd parties, like other Western nations. There is clearly a large group in the USA who would prefer to have a parliamentary system as is common in Europe.

This is potentially a good idea, so it is curious that it doesn’t get more discussion. Perhaps we all know the right-wing will oppose any amendment to our current Constitution, and therefore it doesn’t seem worthwhile to talk about amending the Constitution — we know it won’t happen? But perhaps we should talk about this anyway. Perhaps talking about it can eventually make it more of a real possibility.

Those of us who are not right-wingers need to ask ourselves, why do we tolerate a Constitution that is fundamentally right-wing? The so-called “small state bias of the Constitution” means that Wyoming, with 400,000 people, gets 2 Senators, and New York, with 23 million people, gets 2 Senators.

This system is tolerated because the small states tend to be white, whereas the big states contain a mix of races. If it was the other way around, and the small steps were (say for instance) mostly black, then the Constitution would be quickly amended.

I understand the frustration that would cause someone to vote for Jill Stein. Progressives who don’t want people to vote for Jill Stein need to be ready funnel that frustration into a positive channel. And the only really positive channel would be to amend the Constitution. If that task seems hopeless, it is worth remembering that other amendments, like the one that gave women the right to vote, also seemed hopeless, for a long time. But after 70 years of fighting, women gained the right to to vote.

Likewise, at some point during the 21st Century, the USA can amend its Constitution. And we can adopt a Constitution that allows for more expression of a variety of opinion, if that is what people really want.