HOUSTON — Record-breaking dissatisfaction with the presidential candidates nominated by the two major political parties is leading to a new push for alternatives on the ballot.
However, building a third-party alternative to the Republican and Democratic parties won’t happen overnight.
“This process of making radical change in this country is a protracted one,” Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party candidate for vice president, said during a press conference with running mate Dr. Jill Stein, just after accepting the party’s nomination on Saturday.
“But it is the only direction that we can go at this point because, folks, this thing is coming apart,” he continued. “And, unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
Stein selected Baraka to join her ticket, in part, because of his history of activism. By actively supporting movements for change, the Green Party is positioning itself as an alternative option for Democrats and other progressive-leaning voters increasingly alienated by the choices offered by the two mainstream parties.
“We are here to lift up the voices of the social movement all across America that’s fighting for justice, for living wages, for jobs, to make black lives matter, to cancel student debt,” Stein told MintPress News.
“We’re providing a political home to have this battle,” she added.
Arn Menconi, a Green Party candidate for Senate from Colorado, agreed that support for diverse, intersectional movements for justice and civil rights can help build support for third parties — during this year’s elections and beyond.
“My advice to people is to get involved with top-shelf political movements, the CODEPINKs of the world, 350.org, Black Lives Matter, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” he told MintPress. “Those are four areas we need to keep leaning really, really hard on before the next congressional election.”
Supporting intersectional movements makes sense because the issues the country faces are systemic, Menconi noted. “What we’re fighting is capitalism.”
Because the problems are massive, nuanced and complex, Menconi suggested they require deep solutions.
“Do not write your congressman,” he said. «Writing your congressman is like sticking a note in a dog’s butt.»
Watch “Activist Arrested At Iraq War Hearing Running For Senate To End Wars, Corporatism” from MintPress News’ Behind the Headline:
Kevin McCormick, a Green Party candidate for U.S. Representative of the 24th District of Texas, told MintPress that the Green Party’s strength lies in focusing on people over profit.
“That’s where our strength is going to be: where the public recognizes the Green Party as the only party that cares about them,” McCormick said.
“We’re not beholden to corporate interests, this is not about money. It’s about a better life for people.”
He admitted that “not enough people know about us, but as more people do, we’ll have more strength.”
A McClatchy-Marist poll published Thursday showed Stein could get as much as 6 percent of the popular vote, though those numbers reach as high as 16 percent among voters under 30. But the Green Party faces an entrenched political system determined to keep alternative candidates out of the debates and off the ballots.
Eman Eizenga, a delegate from the Green Party’s Youth Caucus and the creator of the popular Facebook group “Jill Stein Dank Meme Stash,” told MintPress that it’s crucial for the Green Party to keep working for increased visibility in all 50 states.
“Everybody, whether they will vote for Jill or not, needs to say when pollsters call them that they’re going to vote for Jill if they believe in free, fair and open debates,” Eizenga said.
“That’s how Jill can take the presidency, if she gets on the debates.
Watch “Green Party Candidates: How We Can Support Third Party Movement Building” from MintPress News: