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I must make something clear. I am no fan of the Democratic Party and no fan of Hillary Clinton. But I am a fan and a student of Malcolm X. And Malcolm’s speeches have taught me to pursue revolution by “The Ballot or the Bullet.” The bullet is not necessary (or pragmatic) right now because the ballot remains a viable alternative- but only if that ballot is cast freely and strategically.

And although I wouldn’t dare try to speak for Malcolm, I can say that voting reform leading to political revolution is consistent with his goal of releasing the grip that the quietly racist Democrats have on Black America and the grip that the loudly racist Republicans have on White America. That’s why I’m encouraging Blacks (which includes Browns and Reds), progressives, and revolutionaries to vote for Hillary, even if they have to hold their nose while doing so. Allow me to explain the method to my apparent madness.

But first, I must say unequivocally that Donald Trump is not fit to be president or even dog-catcher. He is the worst presidential candidate in this country’s 240-year history. He is an ignoramus, a fascist, a racist, a sexual assaulter, and a demagogue. And his supporters are even worse because they make him possible. In fact, he is them and they are him. Here’s the breakdown: any White person who supports him is a racist, any Black a sellout, any man a misogynist, any woman a tool, any Mexican a traitor, any Muslim an infidel, any Christian a sinner, any Catholic an anti-pontiff, any poor person a pawn, any Republican a delusional party saboteur, and any American a soon-to-be nuclear war fatality.

Donald is horrible, but Hillary’s no prize either. She’s a proven liar, a documented conniver, a public panderer, a Fortune 500 corporate shill, and an Iraq/Afghanistan/international war hawk. So why am I endorsing her? I’m doing it because of my head and not my heart, because of pragmatism and not emotionalism, and because of reality and not fantasy. It all comes down to the fact that either Donald or Hillary will be elected president. If he becomes president, the door to the White House will be slammed in Black folks’ face. However, if she becomes president, we will have at least some White House access because she has political debts to pay to Black elected officials and Black voters.

We cannot play around with this election. The stakes are far too high. Not only does a president appoint Supreme Court justices, he or she also appoints all federal court judges. And that will determine the legal direction of this country for the next 50 years regarding many critical issues, including, but not limited to, criminal justice, prisoners’ rights, the death penalty, sensible gun control, free speech, campaign financing, and whether the government can invade a woman’s uterus by dictating to her what she can and can’t do with her own body and jailing her if she refuses to comply with those dictates.

The president will determine whether there will be a nuclear war with North Korea or so-called terrorist-enabling countries. He or she will determine whether Blacks will officially be relegated to second-class citizenship status like we were when “America was great” during slavery and Jim Crow. He or she will determine whether Latinos and Muslims will be banned from this country and/or rounded up in concentration camps then deported.

That’s why pragmatic progressives like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are endorsing Hillary. That’s why Angela Davis said “I have serious problems with the other candidate (i.e., Hillary), but I am not so narcissistic to say I cannot bring myself to vote for her.” That’s why South Africa’s African National Congress is endorsing her, just like Van Jones who heads Color of Change, Gwen Carr- Eric Garner’s mother, Sybrina Fulton- Trayvon Martin’s mother, Geneva Reed Veal- Sandra Bland’s mother, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Denzel Washington, Beyonce, Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Patti LaBelle, Snoop, and many other notable Blacks who have spoken out on racial issues.

If anyone other than Donald were running against Hillary, I wouldn’t vote for her. Instead, I’d vote for one of the best- if not the best- presidential candidates in American history. And that’s Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. Jill is revolutionary. Her vice presidential running mate is a Black man, human rights activist Ajamu Baraka.

Jill supports reparations, an hourly minimum wage of at least $15, single payer healthcare, criminalization of police brutality, military budget decreases, education budget increases, racial diversity, gender equity, and opposes the so-called war on drugs, mass incarceration, and private prisons. For more info, log on to gp.org.

Jill’s perfect, but Jill can’t win because she doesn’t have nearly enough supporters. Despite that, some of us must vote for her and others of us must vote for Hillary- depending on which state we’re in It’s called “strategic voting” and it’s designed to ultimately bring about a political revolution.

The idea of “strategic voting” is not new. It was defined by Dr. Robin Farquharson, a South African political and mathematical theorist and author of Theory of Voting, published in 1969. He described it as the kind of “voting that occurs, in elections with more than two candidates, when a voter supports another candidate more strongly than his or her sincere preference in order to prevent an undesirable outcome.” This was used last year in Canada. And it worked when Liberal Party candidate Justin Trudeau beat Conservative Party incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper after progressives in the far left New Democratic Party (NDP), the Green Party, and the Liberal Party who preferred Tom Mulcair of the NDP- who had limited national support- but combined and voted for Trudeau- who had larger national support- in order to guarantee a victory over Harper, the anti-Palestinian, anti-Muslim, anti-healthcare, anti-environment, and anti-marijuana decriminalization candidate.

Remind you of someone? This three-party collaboration, along with “down ballot voting” (which will be explained later), led to a more progressive parliament by causing the conservatives to lose 25 of 29 positions.

We must use “strategic voting” in the U.S. by realizing that, out of the 50 states including the District of Columbia, 28 are swing or battleground states (or pretty close). They are where the election will be won or lost. That is why, in those 28, progressives must vote for Hillary even if they have to hold their nose while doing so.

However, in the 23 states where the polls already show that either Donald is clearly going to win or Hillary is clearly going to win, the progressives can vote for Jill because those votes won’t hurt Hillary. In other words, in the 23 states where Hillary doesn’t need the progressives’ vote, vote for Jill. But in the 28 where Hillary does need the progressives’ vote, vote for Hillary.

So vote for Hillary in the following 28 states (including DC): CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, HI, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, RI, VT, VA, WA, and WI. And vote for Jill in the following 23 states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, and WY.

For more info about safe “Hillary vote” states and safe “Jill vote” states, log on to strategicvoting.ca/us/

There’s another reason to vote for Jill in those 23 states. If her Green Party receives at least five percent of the national vote, it would be legally designated as a new major party and therefore will be eligible to be placed on more ballots and receive public campaign funding. So make this article go viral!

And keep in mind that this reform/revolution movement must be ignited across the entire country, not just at the presidential level but at the “down ballot” level. Down-ballot candidates are persons listed in contested offices in descending order from national to state to local. And the Green Party has a complete list of over 250 endorsed candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, governor, state courts, state houses and senates, mayor, county commissioners, and school district board members. The complete list is available at jill2016.com/downticket.

Remember that voting reform leading to political revolution is consistent with Malcolm X’s goal of releasing the regressive and racist grip that Democrats and Republicans have in this country.

 Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. His “Radio Courtroom” show can be heard on WURD900AM. And his “TV Courtroom” show can be seen on PhillyCam/Verizon/Comcast.

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