WASHINGTON – For campaign management, the Republicans’ tough-talking presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has segued from the window box to the sewer.
Trump’s managers have descended from home-grown Corey Lewandowski, to insider Paul Manafort to Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon, whose news blog dances on the edge of white ethno-nationalism.
The prospect of having to choose between an easily rattled right-wing extremist, Trump, and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who just can’t shake her email controversies, has prompted many voters to take another look at candidates for the two minority parties, Green and Libertarian.
This week, we’ll consider Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein, and her running mate, community organizer Ajamu Baraka. Downstream, we’ll deal with the Libertarians.
Stein certainly offers a possible choice to hard-left liberals who were disappointed when their candidate, Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, lost his primary battle with Clinton.
In Stein’s CNN Town Hall appearance Wednesday with moderator Chris Cuomo, she said she would have trouble sleeping at night with either Trump or Clinton in the Oval Office. Like Sanders, Stein opposes all free trade agreements.
She spoke of cutting defense expenditures in half, closing almost all of our overseas bases and providing federally paid full employment for all. Most persuasively, she urged the government to cancel the trillions of student debt being carried by America’s young people.
If the government could bail out the banks, she said convincingly, then it could do the same for our graduates. Asked to explain, Stein said Wall Street bailouts were paid for by the Federal Reserve Bank’s printing money, in effect.
The Green Party wants to eventually end use of all fossil fuels and nuclear energy. What was not explored in the meeting was the Green Party’s stand on Israel. This column considers the party’s Israel policies clearly repugnant, even repulsive; but this may be a generational issue with me.
The Greens consider Israel a racist, “apartheid” state. The term was once used to describe South Africa’s former policies of keeping its blacks in near servitude. The Greens favor a B-D-S treatment of Israel. That stands for boycotts of Israeli businesses and exports, disinvestment in Israeli owned companies and political and economic sanctions against the state.
The Times of Israel quotes Stein as saying that Israel’s “war crimes and human rights violations are off the charts.” She favors cutting off all U.S. aid to Israel, which is in the billions.
Anti-Semitism under the cover of Pro-Palestinian sympathies has become increasingly fashionable among young elites who attend Ivy League colleges.
However, with anti-Semitism and attacks on Jews on the rise in Europe, this is hardly the moment for the United States to throw Israel to the wolves.
In addition, on the Trump right, a key foreign policy adviser to the real estate mogul’s campaign, Joseph E. Schmitz, has become controversial. McClatchy News said it obtained a complaint against Schmitz that charges that while at the Defense Department, Schmitz downplayed the horrors of the Holocaust and made remarks against Jews. Schmitz denied the charges and noted he has been married to a Jewish woman for 33 years.
Stein, herself raised as a Reform Jew, is a Harvard-educated physician. Baraka says he thinks President Obama is an “uncle Tom.”
As Trump ponders his next management move, he might consider the practices of the “Saturday Night Live” character of the 1970s, “Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber” played by Steve Martin. To treat his ailing 14th century villagers, Theodoric prescribed worms, lizards and leeches. But on the other hand, one doubts that in this PC age, this latter-day healer would prescribe “a good bleeding.”