Last Call To Stein Voters And Stay-At-Homers

Some folks who identify as progressive -- and therefore oppose Clinton -- still think it is OK to vote for Jill Stein in so-called safe states. I urge you to think again.

No matter who wins on Tuesday, the only hope to advance a progressive agenda is to build a unified, integrated progressive movement at the local, state and national levels. Ask yourself under which president will organizing and dissent be more possible. Trump is clear in his advocacy for authoritarianism, suppression of dissent and free speech, use of torture, and encouragement of hate-driven mob violence. Make no mistake. He will act on all of it. That should scare everyone. There is a difference between a proto-fascist and a centrist or right-wing Democrat.

Imagine that Clinton wins via electoral votes but Trump wins the national popular vote. Bush-Gore notwithstanding, the right wing and the hate groups it attracts and encourages will claim and act on their self-proclaimed right to delegitimize the election. In fact, many have already announced that intention. They do not need any more ammunition.

Because Jill Stein does not represent an organized movement, your vote for her and her inevitably small total will be ignored, not just by the mass media, but also by natural allies among progressives. Trump's defeat must be decisive and unambiguous. Voting for anyone but Clinton at this special dangerous moment in U.S. history is a grave and unforgivable error. Albeit too far too late, people across the political spectrum eventually united to defeat Hitler and fascism. Was that wrong? Was that a capitulation to the status quo? That is the moment we are in now. Do not bet on the resilience of an already weakened US democracy to keep Trump and his angry mob in check.

Arthur H. Camins is the Director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology. He has taught and been an administrator in New York City, Massachusetts and Louisville, Kentucky. The views expressed in this article are his alone.
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He tweets at @arthurcamins