Jill Stein speaking into a microphone.

Another 2016 Nightmare Is Back, and Her Name Is Jill Stein

Is it infuriating that ours is a political system where voters have the chance to choose between more than just one pretty unpalatable old white man and one who is even worse? Yes. Is 2024, when it’s looking more and more like Americans will once again see an all-out election brawl between Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and the criminally indicted former President Donald Trump the time to try to introduce a third-party system? No! Unequivocally no.

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Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein announced last week that she intends to run as a third-party candidate in the 2024 election, and those of us who want to see Trumpism shut down are not happy. 

“The political system is broken. The two Wall Street parties are bought and paid for. Over 60 percent of us now say the bipartisan establishment has failed us, and we need a party that serves the people,” Stein said in a video she posted to social media. “We need a president who will champion a significantly higher minimum wage, the [Protecting the Right to Organize Act], railroad workers’ right to strike, Starbucks workers’ right to organize, and truly all working people’s rights to a living wage,” Stein said of her potential platform. She also wants to pass a full-on Green New Deal, and guarantee quality of life measures.

From a progressive standpoint, what’s wrong with her theories? Not much! Her campaign announcement video is pretty much a liberal Democrat wish list. The problem is experts say it just. Won’t. Work. She will siphon off votes from the more moderate choice, Biden, which will put his reelection even further into jeopardy than it already is, but not nearly enough to be a threat to a Republican challenger, just like what happened with Hillary Clinton during the very real 2016 election disaster.

Stein isn’t stupid. She knows she won’t be elected. So why is she running? Ideals are likely a major factor. She won’t get enough votes to win, but she will get enough votes to draw the public’s attention to the absence of a viable choice that anybody really likes, especially in a year like 2024, where no candidates are polling as very popular. She will likely get votes for people who vote idealistically to express that they support something other than the “broken” system we do have.

She’s not the only third-party candidate running, but since she will likely have the power of the Green Party behind her, she’s likely to be the most powerful of the third-partiers. Like Democrats called Stein in 2016 and Republicans called Independent candidate Ross Perot in 1996, third-party candidates are often thought of as “spoilers,” and that could be what we’ll see in the 2024 cycle as well.

(featured image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.