Rick Knobe is considering a third-party vote to send a message that the two major parties have failed by putting forward the “nauseating” and “dangerous” Donald Trump and the “not much better” Hillary Clinton. Knobe will have Libertarian Gary Johnson and Constitutionist Darrell Castle to pick from, but not Green Jill Stein. Jay Pond, South Dakota Stein organizer, publicly threw in the towel Monday evening, a day before Stein’s nominating petition was due in Pierre. Stein needed 2,774 signatures; her people collected… not that many:
Jay Pond here,- a huge thank you to all who helped gather signatures to get Jill Stein on the ballot in SD. We fell short of the number needed and unfortunately she will not be one of options.
We had a tough challenge and many of us had to endure criticism for having the audacity to willing participate in our own democracy. I heard the words: ridiculous, stupid, selfish, out of touch, angry, childish. The truth is the opposite. You are all amazing smart people who believe in a future that is responsive to our needs [Jay Pond, Facebook post, South Dakota for Jill Stein, 2016.08.01].
I will on principle reject the notion that anyone trying to place Jill Stein on the 2016 Presidential ballot is “ridiculous, stupid, selfish, out of touch, angry” or “childish.” I could see how a smart citizen of good conscience could say that Jill Stein would bring a more positive, progressive agenda to the White House than Hillary Clinton.
I won’t rule on how “smart” all of the Stein circulators are. I will say they fell short of “amazing.” Circulators in Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania apparently got the job done for Stein without recognized party status. Getting the job done didn’t even require “amazing” performance. Placing Stein on the ballot required finding 11% of the South Dakotans who voted for Sanders in the June 7 primary who were disgusted enough or democratic enough to sign a Stein petition. Placing Stein on the ballot could have been done by naming electors, rallying circulators, and distributing petitions by July 1, then dispatching twenty circulators to each gather five signatures every day in July. Five signatures a day: that’s an hour on a bad day at the courthouse. That’s five minutes in the parking lot at Jazz Fest.
Coulda woulda shoulda—doesn’t matter. Results matter. If Stein/Green people want results, they need to turn their amazing smarts to electing progressives here in South Dakota. Tilt the balance in Congress by volunteering and voting for Paula Hawks and Jay Williams. Tilt the balance in Pierre by contributing to and electing Democrats like Clara Hart, Mark Winegar, Michael Hanson, Kathy Tyler, and me. And then think about organizing another petition drive to win ballot access for the Green Party in the next election.
Amazing smart people don’t always win, but they won’t dwell on loss. Amazing smart people will do what can be done with the options available.