An Open letter to Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate for President of the United States

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Dear Dr. Stein,
The platform and values of the Green Party are a witness and an inspiration for what the United States needs to become in order to become a more just, peaceful, participatory, and sustainable society. I am thankful for your unwavering commitment to these values that are so necessary in the make or break century for a livable climate and livable planet for both human and ecological communities.

Dr. Stein, as a supporter of Bernie Sanders. I am in agreement with many of the major concerns you have about Hillary Clinton – most notably her corporate connections with Wall Street, industrial agriculture, and the military industrial complex. Clinton has been much too quick to see military interventions as a solution to international relations, and she has real problems with judgment and trustworthiness. One does not have to be influenced by the right wing propaganda machine to see these major problems with Clinton. It was these concerns about Clinton combined with the positive vision put forth by Senator Sanders that led me to support him during the democratic primaries.

You and I agree that Senator Bernie Sanders was not treated fairly by the Democratic National Committee during the primaries and that there were way too many irregularities in the democratic primary voting processes, all of which need thorough investigation and remediation. Unfairness and injustice in our election processes are unacceptable and cannot stand without every effort to bring about systemic transformation for transparency, fairness, and uninhibited access to participation in the democratic process.

In spite of all of these things about which you and I agree, we are in deep disagreement about what our response should be to the current situation. You have decided that the way forward is for as many progressives as possible to cast their votes for you for the office of President of the United States. The stark reality however is that Secretary Clinton is the only candidate left who can beat Trump, and a Trump presidency is antithetical to everything for which the Green Party and you stand. There may be some truth that in some circumstances things have to get worse before they get better, but this is not one of those times. A Trump presidency would be the end of any meaningful work to address climate change. Trump’s energy policies, prepared for him by fossil fuel oligarchs, are based almost exclusively on further extraction and burning of oil, natural gas, and coal with no concern about the social and ecological costs of the methods of extraction or about the global consequences of their use. Trump would void U.S. participation in implementing the Paris Climate Accord, he would kill the Clean Power Plan, and he has already made explicit his plans to dismantle the EPA. Given that a President Trump would have the potential to shape the makeup of the Supreme Court for a generation, reversing these devastating consequences for the environment and a livable climate would take much more time than we currently have to arrest and reverse climate change. A Trump presidency would be ecocide.

Dr. Stein, I am writing to ask you to please stop running for president. This is not the way to build the Green Party or the Green Movement. As much as it disappoints you and me, Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who is capable of preventing a Trump presidency. Her election is the only way to keep the window open for working for a livable planet. It is also the only way to avoid a fascist, racist, misogynist, Islamophobiic, sociopathic demagogue from becoming president of the most powerful country on earth at a time when the earth most urgently needs the United States to create peace, eradicate poverty, and sustain a livable planet. A Trump presidency will bring real and lasting harm to Latinos, African Americans, Muslims, women, LGBTQ persons, and many others while destroying any opportunity we might have to arrest the Sixth Great Extinction on the planet.

It is with the urgency of now in mind that I respectfully ask you to please stop running for president and use the months before the election to promote the Green Party’s solutions for systemic transformation for a more just, peaceful, peaceful, and sustainable society. Please keep challenging Clinton and others to do more for people and the planet and to move away from placating Wall Street and corporations and to move away from over reliance on military interventions. Please call for a 50 state effort to make Ranked Choice Voting a reality across the nation, so that people can vote for their first choice candidate every time without hurting their second choice or helping their least favorite candidate. This is the only way for third party candidates and ideas to gain the traction we need to transform the systems that perpetuate our toxic relationships within human and ecological communities.

I am convinced that among many other horrific consequences for the United States and the world, a Trump presidency represents ecocide, a closing of the window for any opportunity to avoid the very worst consequences of global climate change and ecological degradation. The choice between Trump and Clinton is the choice between no chance for a livable climate and some chance for a livable climate. Anything that the Green Party does right now that contributes to the “no chance” option for a livable climate is complicit participation in the ecocide that a Trump presidency will bring.

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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
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