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If you are a Bernie Sanders supporter, and are thinking of writing his name in for 2020, I fully understand. After investing time, money, and mental-physical energy into promoting a candidate that was fighting against the establishment resistance, his departure from the race and endorsement of the presumed nominee is heartbreaking. But since Sanders himself does not want you to write him in, it does not make sense to do so. On the other hand, as Sanders knows, every voter makes their own decisions, and this freedom to follow your conscience is at the heart of democracy. I am following mine to support Dario Hunter/Darlene Elias in 2020.

If you vote Green Party, that is not a protest vote. It is a good use of your voting rights. It will contribute to getting the Party the 5% popular support which allows it federal funding and ballot access. This money and access is a privilege that Democrats and Republicans both enjoy, but have never earned. For the Green Party to have it as well makes a huge difference toward opening up political debate in the United States.

I think people should realize that, if the Democratic Party is running against a candidate that it believes is so monumentally evil and incompetent, it should be able to afford to do without just 5% of the vote. (In fact, it would really be less than 5%, since many Green voters are not Democrats to begin with.) If the Democrats cannot beat Trump by more than 5% (remembering that this is the popular vote, and not subject to the Electoral College buffering) then the U.S. has problems bigger than presidential politics can solve. If people tell you the danger still is that great, then maybe they should be calling on foreign governments to come over and intervene on our behalf to save us. (After all, that's what the U.S. imagines people around the world are asking it to do when their elections don't go the way it wants.)

All things considered, we of course do not want foreign intervention any more than foreign countries want ours. And of course Trump is a comprehensive disaster. But I believe Dario Hunter/Darlene Elias 2020 can do more than just get the 5% popular support needed to establish the Green Party as a trustworthy home for the left in the United States. I keep seeing on social media people talking about how much the natural and social world has changed just in the last month. Why is it unthinkable that a candidate --especially one who is obviously more intelligent, interesting, and inspiring than the other two--can come from obscurity to prominence and then to the Presidency? Change can happen, and Hunter/Elias would be an extraordinary change arriving during extraordinary times.   

This is especially true given that Dario Hunter and Darlene Elias are the only people of color in the presidential race in a time in which white supremacy should be challenged in a comprehensive way. For the other campaigns, a person of color being chosen as a VP choice seems to show less dedication, as if color were being added to a campaign only for show. Dario and Darlene have lived as people of color, and are not here for show. They are here to both challenge and reform America in ways that other candidates are not as interested in considering.

Tadd Ruetenik, Ph.D.
Davenport, IA.

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