As Kermit the Frog, America’s most famous Muppet, says: “it’s not easy being green.”
Preliminary results of the Green Party’s latest national campaign confirm the reality of his observation. The Party’s much-touted goal was getting 5% of the vote on Nov. 8, so it could qualify for $10 million in federal funds for 2020 campaigning and maintain broad nationwide ballot access.
Despite fielding Jill Stein, a presidential candidate who was substantive, social media savvy, a good fund-raiser, and experienced at running for office, the Greens received about 1% of the popular vote, based on tallying so far. That’s several million less than in 2000, when Ralph Nader was their candidate, although twice as many as Stein got during her first presidential run four years ago.
While conducting a spirited, if much ignored, campaign this time around, Stein had to endure the slings, arrows, or lamentations of leftists justifiably worried about Trump winning. Writing for In These Times, Kate Aronoff chided Stein and her party for “putting too much emphasis on the presidency and the electoral process itself, while declining to undertake the kind of deep organizing necessary to alter the state of play in these arenas.” In The Nation, Joshua Holland dismissed the Greens as “perpetually dysfunctional and often self-marginalizing.”