Why I am Voting for Jill Stein

Who we choose to vote for is a personal matter decided by the heart and mind. It will sprout from fear, hope or determination. We vote against people we fear. We vote for people in whom we have hope. And we vote for alternative candidates because we are determined to make a statement for change. A pocketbook vote is driven by hope. Hope in a better future or the continuation of a prosperous present. A lesser of the two evils vote is motivated by fear, cast for the person who will do less harm or help maintain gains. Each of us will listen to our heart and mind and we all should respect one another’s decisions.

In contemplating my decision making process, I know that Romney stokes my fears. Therefore, if I still lived in St. Louis, MO I would definitely vote for Obama. But I live in Newark, NJ where I don’t have to vote against Romney. Instead I can register my disgust with the Republicans and Democrats by voting for a third way. I with millions of others will vote for a different vision, a vision in which war is not the first choice to solve international conflict and global domination is not an objective.

I want to support a party that will change the budget priorities of Washington D.C. and stop the practice of allocating more than 50% of federal discretionary spending to the Pentagon. I want to vote for a candidate that does not support indefinite detention, holding a person without charge, or access to a trial, or possibility of being set free for years, if ever. I want to support a candidate who will begin an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, and work for a fair and equitable peace process in the Middle East, including abolition of nuclear weapons in the region. I want to cast my vote for a party that will not only talk about helping the middleclass, but also talk about helping the working class, poor and homeless. I am interested in a party that understands climate change is one of the most important challenges facing humanity.

On this basis, I intend to cast my vote for Jill Stein and the Green party.

Will those of us who vote for alternative candidates cause another 2000 debacle when Gore lost to George W. Bush?  I don’t think so. Gore lost in 2000 because he did not appeal to enough voters, the incompetence and corruption in Florida and the Supreme Court. Blaming Nader voters for Gore’s loss is reaching for a scapegoat, letting Gore, his lackluster and middle of the road campaign and the shameful election system off the hook.

In 2008, living in St. Louis, motivated by fear of a McCain Administration and inspired by living to see what abolitionist and activists before me could only imagine, and some could never imagine, a Black President, I voted for Barack Obama. Then it was the right thing for me to do. Today, in 2012 the right thing for me to do is to register my vision for change with a vote for Jill Stein.

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About Michael T. McPhearson

Currently Michael is executive director of Veterans For Peace and co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition, A Saint Louis based coalition that formed in the aftermath of Michael Brown's police killing death in Ferguson, MO. From August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He works closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and the Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michel also publishes the Mcphearsonreport.org expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race and other things. Michael also launched Reclaimthedream.org website as an effort to change the discourse and ignite a new conversation about Dr. Martin Luther King’s message and what it means to live in just and peaceful communities.