Originally published at MintPress News.
HOUSTON — As the Green Party’s Presidential Nominating Convention convenes in Houston, there’s renewed attention on the party’s presumptive nominee, Dr. Jill Stein, and increased interest in third-party alternatives to the American two-party duopoly.
On Saturday, MintPress News will be at the University of Houston, where Stein and her running mate, human rights scholar and activist Ajamu Baraka, are expected to accept the Green Party’s nomination for president and vice president.
Polls consistently show that Americans are deeply dissatisfied with the political status quo. Just 9 percent of U.S. residents voted for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the primaries, according to The New York Times. In a poll conducted in May by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, some 90 percent of voters expressed a lack of confidence in the American political system, while 40 percent said that the two-party system is “seriously broken.”
Stein appears poised to take advantage of the heightened sense of disenfranchisement among Democrats and Republicans. At last week’s Democratic National Convention, Stein appeared frequently in the streets and even inside the convention itself, urging Bernie Sanders supporters and other progressive Democrats to transfer their votes to her after Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Stein often says voters should stop voting for the lesser evil. Instead, she says, “Fight for the greater good — like our lives depend on it, because they do.” Recent polls show that now, more than ever, voters are beginning to seriously consider her advice. Support for Stein increased to 3.5 percent in July, with her Libertarian Party counterpart, Gary Johnson, at 7.2 percent, and those numbers surge even higher among younger voters. A poll by McClatchy, published in The Washington Post on Friday, shows Trump in fourth place among voters under 30. He received just 9 percent of their vote, leaving him to trail behind Stein and Johnson at 16 and 23 percent, respectively, and Clinton, at 41 percent.
Along with the rise in her visibility, Stein’s words have come increasingly under a microscope, with controversy erupting over her past statements on everything from WiFi to prostitution, and forcing her to respond to what some have called a smear campaign that accused her of opposing vaccinations.
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) August 3, 2016
Stein’s selection of Baraka as her running mate could further attract progressives and left-leaning Democrats, especially those angered by Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine, the senator from Virginia known for his strong ties to Wall Street, as her running mate.
In an announcement on her campaign website, Stein called Baraka an “activist, writer, intellectual and organizer with a powerful voice, vision, and lifelong commitment to building true political revolution.”
Ajamu Baraka 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. Ajamu’s life’s work has embodied the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
MintPress News’ coverage of the Green Party’s Presidential Nominating Convention begins Saturday, with updates on Twitter at @MintPressNews and @KitOConnell, and live coverage on our Facebook page.
Watch “Jill Stein: Time To Reject The ‘Lesser-Evil’ & Stand Up For The Greater Good” from MintPress News’ Behind the Headline: