The Green Party's presidential candidate Jill Stein tells its national convention that the high voter dissatisfaction with both Clinton and Trump is an opportunity for a third party like the Greens to make inroads with disaffected Americans fed up with the two major parties.
THE U.S. GREEN PARTY held its national convention in Houston last weekend, where it nominated Jill Stein as its presidential candidate. Her acceptance speech can be viewed above.
Ajamu Baraka, a prominent human rights activist, writer and organizer was nominated for the position of vice president.
Two notable speakers at the convention were academic and activist Cornel West and, via video link from London, the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange.
Cornel West was appointed to the Democratic Party's platform drafting committee by Sanders. He raised concerns over the party's position on Palestinian rights, and later endorsed the Green Party, saying "there’s no way, based on moral grounds, those based on my own moral conscience, that I could support (the Democratic Party) platform."
Stein and Baraka accept they face a difficult task to break the grip that the Republican and Democratic Parties have on the American political system. Said Baraka : “We understand that because we have a program that promises real, radical change that we’re going to be up against the entire state apparatus."
But, at the same time, the Green Party are entering an election at a time when dissatisfaction with 'politics as usual' is at an all-time high. As Stein pointed out to the convention, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump "are the most disliked and untrusted candidates in U.S. history."
Stein said that Americans were sick of being told that the only alternative was to vote for "the lesser evil".
"The political system is melting down. The Republicans are abandoning Donald Trump … and the progressives have been kicked out of the Democratic Party. so we’re seeing an incredible realignment, and word is getting out.”
Much of the convention was devoted on how to galvanise the support of disgruntled supporters of Bernie Sanders.
In her address to the convention Stein said:
“I want to recognize the people coming out of the Bernie Sanders campaign who launched a political movement and refused to let that movement die in the Democratic Party. You have completely changed the political dynamics going forward, it will never be the same and there will be no stopping you, there will be no stopping us until we have achieved that change that we have all put on the platform together."
Since Sanders tossed his hat in with the Clinton campaign, the Green Party has seen a surge in financial support.
A Green Party spokesperson told The Guardian that the attendance of approximately 500 people at the convention was the largest in the party's history - with about half having registered in the immediate aftermath of Sanders' decision to endorse Clinton.