President Joe Biden, already plagued with lagging poll numbers and running without the support of many within his party, might have finally met his match. Jill Stein, a Green Party candidate, has reemerged on the political scene like a bad case of heartburn as yet another challenger for the White House.
While the Green Party has had some success at the local and state levels, it faces challenges breaking into mainstream national politics, where larger, more established parties dominate the political landscape. The Green Party has nominated several other presidential candidates, including Ralph Nader, Howie Hawkins, David Cobb, and Cornel West, who left the party to campaign as an independent. None have achieved widespread national electoral success.
In the 2012 presidential election, Stein received the Green Party’s nomination and campaigned on a platform that included calls for environmental sustainability, social justice, and an end to corporate political influence.
She ran again in the 2016 election, gaining more attention during the cycle for her recount efforts in swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Although the recounts only confirmed former President Donald Trump’s victory, they served as a jumping-off point for ongoing debates about election integrity, the fallibility of electronic voting machines, and the disruptive influence of third-party candidates.
Democrats largely blamed her for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, with critics arguing that her presence on the ballot siphoned votes from potential Clinton supporters in crucial states.
And now that Stein is gunning for the Greem Party nomination in 2024, the left is terrified that she will do it again. And this time, their fear is well-justified.
Running on a platform that promises to implement the baffling New Green Deal, she is a very attractive candidate for climate-change-addicted progressives who feel Biden can’t pull the monstrosity over the finish line.
In addition, she appeals to war-weary moderates through her cries for a “transformative change” in the U.S. to end perpetual warfare and militarism with diplomacy, alongside a new call for “adherence to international law” to address issues like violence, occupation, and apartheid. Her platform of “transformative change” recalls former President Barack Obama’s desire to “fundamentally change” America, a rallying cry embraced by rabid leftists in 2008.
Stein’s stance of “economic justice” for middle and lower-class Americans sounds like Biden’s promises, now essentially broken and forgotten. She calls for an Economic Bill of Rights to establish “entitlements” in housing, employment, food, healthcare, and education. She echoes Biden’s calls to eliminate student debt, further sweetening the deal with promises to eliminate medical debt.
In 2016, she revealed a close alliance with self-proclaimed Democrat socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT). She even offered to step aside and let him run in her place when a hostile Clinton campaign unceremoniously ousted him from the ballot. This action will appeal to the socialist arm of the Democrat party.
Stein bills herself as a “viable alternative” to politicians she calls “bought-off” and cites studies that claim more than 60% of Americans feel that the “bipartisanship establishment” has failed them. “Our democracy is on life support,” she posted on social media. “Belief in our political system is at historic lows, and the number of people who feel neither establishment party represents them is at a record high. We need real choices on the ballot because, without freedom of choice in elections, there is no democracy.”
But the last thing the Democrats want is freedom of choice on the ballot. Calls have been escalating for Biden to eliminate third-party candidates, including potential No Label challengers and those from within the Democrat party like RFK, Jr.
The Democratic Party, concerned about the potential impact of a third-party bid on a closely contested race and fearful that a third-party candidate would benefit Trump, has approved a multi-million dollar offensive to squash third-party challengers. Drawing on resources from the Democratic National Committee, abortion rights advocates, labor unions, major donors, and advocacy organizations aligned with both moderate and liberal Democrats, the offensive would restrict third-party candidates’ access to funding and remove their names from the ballot.
Biden himself has contributed to this effort, expressing in an interview with ProPublica that a candidacy like No Labels would “help the other guy,” signaling a concerted push to deter support for any potential third-party contenders.
But the very nature of Stein’s platform makes her a far more significant threat to Biden than to Trump, as her campaign relies on regurgitated Democrat talking points that do not impress Republicans or drive meaningful changes in their votes.
Stein is genuinely hoping that the third time will be the charm. While it’s unlikely that she will win the White House, one thing is sure – this will be a wild ride for Biden.