Gary Johnson Polls: Johnson is at Six Percent, While Jill Stein is In Jail


The third party debate between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson has been moved from October 30 to November 5, which gave Green Party nominee Jill Stein a chance to get arrested...again. This will be the second debate hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation. In addition to Stein and Johnson — the Libertarian Party nominee — the first debate included Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. Registered viewers of the first debate were allowed to vote for two candidates from the last debate to advance to the second and final third party debate (not including Johnson's and Stein's online debate on Google+). Johnson and Stein came in first and second, respectively. While third parties are in dire need of media coverage, getting arrested merely does a disfavor to the Green Party by framing Jill Stein as an unserious, radical candidate.

All third party candidates are not equal. Johnson is polling at 6% nationally, while Stein does not even come close even if you count her as the amorphous “someone else” that appears on poll questionnaires. Johnson is running as a third party using ideas and conviction, There is no reason for Stein not to do likewise. There is also no reason the Green Party should be "less legitimate" than the Libertarian Party. The Former Green Party nominee Ralph Nader obtained 2.7% of the vote in the 2000 election, majorly impacting the overall election. Stein getting arrested twice in a campaign season is unacceptable for someone seeking votes to become leader of the free world. It is a short cut to a means (publicity) that hurts an end (becoming president).

Stein is getting arrested on purpose. Not getting arrested is a feat most people accomplish every day, sometimes even for years at a time. It is not too much to ask for a candidate not to get arrested during the course of a campaign. Many would consider it a prerequisite.

Stein's efforts are getting her publicity but most of it comes as notoriety. The public that does hear about her is putting her in a “radical” box — one not to support, but to be wary of. Being arrested is not a badge of honor among the majority of Americans. Politicians with conviction always must balance between the radical and the passionate. Stein should at least try to mask her law-breaking inclinations with more acceptable behavior and tactics. While Stein's approach may have succeeded in influencing certain segments of the population in the 1960s, the political climate has changed. Jill Stein should focus on actual politics more, and theatrics less.