As the US edges closer to the 2016 presidential election, many voters are at a loss about who to support. According to a recent national survey conducted by Monmouth University, 33 per cent of people polled had a positive view of Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, and 24 per cent had a positive view of Republican nominee Donald Trump. The survey revealed a plurality of respondents – 35 per cent in total – who didn’t like either candidate.
On election day, most of this 35 per cent will no doubt hold their noses and begrudgingly vote for either Clinton or Trump. However, the historic unpopularity of both the Republican and Democrat picks has raised the hopes of third-party and independent candidates. Beltway conservatives – a la William Kristol – hope an independent, right-leaning candidate will come to the rescue, while other conservatives have jumped ship to Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
Many of the Democrats who supported Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in the primaries have now reluctantly closed ranks around Hillary, for fear of a Trump victory. The memories of Ralph Nader taking votes from Al Gore in the 2000 election still haunt them. Nevertheless, a sizeable number of left-leaning Bernie Sanders supporters still can’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton. Now, many in the so-called ‘Bernie or bust’ camp are turning to the Green Party.
As spiked has often argued, environmentalism, despite presenting itself as left-wing and progressive, is nothing of the sort. Greens’ anti-growth, conservationist outlook is far removed from previous left-wing demands for material abundance. Yet, unfortunately, green parties in many Western countries are now significant forces on the so-called left. The Green Party of the United States, however, is even more bizarre than its international counterparts. In this election cycle, it’s been less an environmentalist party, and more a full-blown conspiracy-theory party.
The Green Party’s nominee, Jill Stein, has already courted controversy for her statements on vaccination. Although she now claims to support it, she has often, in the past, pandered to the conspiracy theories of the anti-vaccination movement. She has floated the idea that the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control, which approve vaccines, are not to be trusted, because they are institutions ‘where corporate influence and the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence’. The implication being that evil drug companies are out to poison children. Stein also thinks that wifi signals are potentially harmful, and has suggested restricting wifi in schools.