Focus of recount effort shifts to Michigan, Pennsylvania (copy) (copy)

Jill Stein, the 2016 presidential Green Party candidate, defends her recount requests at a news conference in front of Trump Tower in New York in this Dec. 5, 2016 file photo.

MARK LENNIHAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

My frustration over Donald Trump’s win has little to do with Republicans or extremists in their party. It has to do with liberals who ignored reality and voted their “conscience” as they cast their votes for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

As Politico Magazine reported June 20, “In Michigan, Stein garnered more than 51,000 votes, while Hillary Clinton lost by fewer than 11,000. In Wisconsin, Trump’s margin was 23,000 votes while Stein attracted 31,000. And in Pennsylvania she attracted 50,000 votes, while Trump won by 44,000.” Do the math.

I’d doubt any Republicans or Libertarians voted for ultra-liberal Stein. Almost all of her supporters were liberals who didn’t like Clinton. Even though they had to know Stein could never win and that a vote for her was one for Trump, they did it anyway.

A similar thing happened in the 2000 election when George W. Bush won the determining state of Florida by only 537 votes. His Democratic opponent was Al Gore, but many far-left liberals chose to vote for Green candidate Ralph Nader, Worker Party candidate Monica Moorehead, or Socialist Party candidate David McReynolds. According to some analysts, it was McReynolds who cost Gore the election, but votes for the other far-left candidates didn’t help. Then, as now, we can be sure no Republicans voted for those very liberal alternate candidates.

As a result, Bush was elected after which he and his administration got us into two unfunded wars. Those wars cost taxpayers more than $3 trillion, which includes ongoing medical and disability care for veterans. Add the interest on the debt and the costs will surpass $4.5 trillion.

Also during the Bush administration, our country suffered the Great Recession, the worst economic catastrophe since the 1930s Great Depression. What caused it? The deregulation, so loved by Republicans, of banks and investment firms.

In the 2016 election, Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson were the two off-brand party candidates on the ballot with Trump and Clinton. So, who is Jill Stein, the one who popped up out of nowhere in the last two presidential elections?

She was a practicing physician before she became active in politics. She ran for six Massachusetts state offices and lost every time. The only seat she ever won was that of representative in the town of Lexington.

Incredibly, despite all her losses, she decided to run for president in 2011 against Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. She received less than half of 1 percent of the votes except in three states where she won less than 2 percent. That didn’t stop her from running again in 2016. Overall, she won just 1 percent of the national vote, but it was enough to tilt the election.

Stein complained during the campaign that she didn’t get any media coverage. The June 20 Politico article noted: “The only network to consistently cover her candidacy and invite her on air was RT,” (a Russian government-sponsored television news channel). On March 5, 2015, Time Magazine described the network as furthering “misinformation that has turned RT and the Kremlin’s other media outlets into one of the most powerful arms of Putin’s government — at home and abroad.” Why did a Russian-backed TV network encourage Stein’s election if not to take liberal votes away from Clinton?

I can’t understand why anyone voted for her. When asked to explain how the government would pay for programs she wanted, like guaranteed housing and incomes, free higher education and Medicare-for-all programs, she was unable to provide answers.

While her desire to further alternative energy is commendable, her ideas to accomplish it are unrealistic. Her 2016 platform stated: “Ensure that any worker displaced by the shift away from fossil fuels will receive full income and benefits as they transition to alternative work.” Again, she couldn’t explain how taxpayers could afford to pay those goodies for the 130,000 workers who now work in fossil fuel industries.

It’s puzzling that many of Stein’s voters originally supported Sen. Bernie Sanders. Yet after he lost the primary, many of those supporters ignored him when he urged them to vote for Hillary Clinton. Instead, many voted for Stein.

Don’t get me wrong. I love those liberals. They’re good people who want to act for the good of the Earth and for the health of generations yet to come. They’re against bigotry, political corruption and unfair taxation. They fight their hearts out for fair wages, the disadvantaged, good public schools and clean air and water. But on some issues, they’re just as immune to reality as those on the extreme right.

I’m sad to say I believe that flaw helped elect Trump. Let’s hope we all learn from that.

Pat Nash has lived in the Baraboo area, off and on, for more than 30 years. Contact her at patnash5149@gmail.com.

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