Why I’m Voting For Jill Stein – Cliff Yankovich

Before I get to my reasons for voting for the Stein/Baraka ticket this fall, let me give you a bit of background. I know a lot of you are Bernie-crats. Bravo – Bernie was the first presidential candidate I passionately supported in my 41 years of voting eligibility. Can I tell you a secret? Prior to my running for office as a Green Party candidate this year, the highest level of political involvement was a brief period when I was a Republican precinct delegate.

(I will wait for the booing and hissing to die down.)
Yup, I helped get Engler in office. (Please forgive me.) The bright side of that was it allowed me to see first hand how most politicians speak with ease from two or more sides of their mouths on a very up-close and personal level. I will not go into detail, but I began back then to realize that most pols are just after the gravy train – issues be damned.

Bernie resonated with me. His passion and conviction were palpable. I have NEVER had a t-shirt for a political candidate in my life. I have a Bernie shirt. Bernie is the one who inspired me to declare my intention to run for State House. I am so grateful to the Green Party of Michigan for their willingness to accept a guy with no credentials other than passion and to provide an opportunity for said passionate guy to run under their banner.

Time for another confession – even though I was actively seeking office as a Green, I was not positive that I would be voting for Jill. I think this occurred for a couple reasons. First, I was buying into the “keep Trump out” rhetoric. Secondly, after the crushing disappointment following what the DNC did to Bernie, I was hesitant to get too fired up about ANYONE.

I am proud to say Jill and Ajamu knocked me off the fence I was perched upon, when I got to hear them speak in Detroit. They rocked my world a little bit when I watched the Town Hall CNN was nice enough to air, but that was minor compared to the one-two punch they delivered at Bert’s Warehouse. Two little side notes: Before I found out they were coming to Detroit, I was actually planning to drive up to Mackinac City to protest Pipeline #5 (a major motivator for my run for office), but then I thought I had better drive to Detroit even though I knew no one from my District would be there. Secondly, I was fully expecting Ajamu to deliver with more fire than Dr. Stein. For me that was NOT the case at all. Jill blew me away – which is not meant to take anything away from Ajamu’s message at all.

As I mentioned (mostly tongue in cheek) on the Michigan Green Party Blog, Jill really got my attention when she sat in with a bunch of Detroit’s finest jazz musicians on the congas. I am a hobby level drummer and thoroughly enjoyed her willingness to do that and appreciated her sense of rhythm.

That was the set up for the body slam of her message. The New Green Deal was amazing. I loved when she pointed out – this is NOT rocket science, we have done something of this magnitude before under FDR and we can do it again. We can transform our oil-based economy to one based on renewable energy while providing good jobs and help save the planet. YES MA’AM!! That got me out of my seat and I remained standing, clapping, whistling, and whooping through the end of her talk.

How do we pay for college tuition? Cut the military budget. This does not require an advanced degree folks. We spend enough on a few bombers to send thousands of people to college.

We are creating terrorism so that we can fight it. Preach it, sister! Terrorism has its roots in Saudi Arabia by all credible accounts, yet we consider them allies and give them money. What a vicious circle we have created just so Halliburton, et al, can make billions feeding the war machine. I won’t go point by point over her message, just let me tell you it was tent-revival time for me that day in Detroit. My conversion was powerful and complete. Dr. Stein is the one for me. I’m voting for Jill Stein.

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