By Jill Stein / Green Party presidential nominee

Anyone watching this year’s elections knows that Latinos are going to play a critical role. The Age of LatinX is upon us. Without a doubt, LatinXs will play a determinant role in these important elections. As the presidential nominee for the Green Party, I take seriously the urgently critical role of the Latino vote in the 2016 elections. That’s why our campaign continues the work of raising LatinX and other issues at and other social media platforms.

In an election over which some are depressed because they see no path other than one that winds between two obsolete but deadly choices, this is a race to the bottom between the “lesser evil” and the “greater evil,” Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively. Such a choice starkly reflects the problems Latinos and we all face, ones that reach far beyond Donald Trump. Trump’s candidacy is a virulent symptom of a far more sinister problem infecting our entire political system, something every community, including Latinos, experiences in very particular ways, regardless of their political affiliation.

Growing numbers of Latinos are among the millions who helped push the question “How do I vote for Jill Stein?” as a top Google search term for our campaign after Monday’s debate. LatinXs have heard our message and are acting on their desire for change. I am confident and I see every day on the campaign trail that even more are preparing to join us in this election. Our presidential platform is packed with the policies and positions — student debt forgiveness, free college education, fair trade instead of free trade, labor rights, racial justice and police reform, a Green New Deal and more — that we all know are necessary and that Latinos especially have good reason to be concerned about.

This campaign will liberate a generation of young Latinos from student debt, freeing young Dreamers to pursue the work they love and what they have been trained to do. The Green New Deal will provide 20 million new jobs, as well as support for small businesses, worker cooperatives and nonprofits, to help us to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.

Our platform is free of any of the corporate corruption and lies you have come to expect from Republicans and Democrats. We will offer a welcoming path to citizenship, keep families together, put an end to night raids, deportations and detentions, and we will work for social justice. LatinXs are going Green for these and many other reasons. Polls and surveys tell us that, like millions of other voters, Latinos are “sick of political parties” and ready for the urgent changes our country and world need. Their disillusionment with establishment politics is causing many Latino voters to leave the Democratic party. Other polls tell us that there are more Latino voters (44 percent) who identify as independent than there are Latinos who identify as either Republican or Democrat.

Independence is at the heart of the democratic process. Because of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling on political speech and the effects of big money on our elections and candidates, this independence and our democracy are at risk. I’m running with the Green Party precisely because losing our independence by giving in to fear and corporate corruption is not an option. It’s really not an option if you want to save your job, your life or the planet.

For these and other reasons, we need and invite Latinos who are inspired to vote for what they want, not just against what they fear, despite the lies, flip-flops and humiliation doled out to them by Republicans and Democrats alike.

As much as anyone, Latinos know what it is to be taken for granted and humiliated by politicians and their corrupt parties. We need look no further than the nation’s immigration laws, an issue on which President Obama built his campaign. We need remember only that Barack Obama and the Democrats promised, speaking directly to hopeful and frightened families, that they would end an immigration system that, in Obama’s words, “isn’t working … when communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids — when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing.”

What exactly did Latinos get for their vote for Barack Obama? They got Trumpismo: racist, anti-immigrant policies that terrorize entire communities, destroy families and deport millions. That and a massive border wall that’s already built, that already militarizes entire Latino communities. In the words of one border expert, the Trump wall “already exists” because of the policies of Obama and the Democrats.

So, when you hear a candidate for the presidency of the United States like Hillary Clinton voice support for jailing and then deporting Central American refugee children fleeing rape, murder and extreme violence created by her failed policies, that’s Trumpismo.

On immigration and a host of other issues Latinos care about, Trumpismo has a happy home — in the Democratic Party. The Democrats and their operatives would like Latinos to believe that all this unprecedented repression is coming from the Republicans — but it’s not just a problem of Republican hate; it’s also one of false friends. The Democrats have been, are and will continue to be the party of massive deportations, cruel detentions, violent night raids and militarized borders.

The problem facing Latinos and all of us is to end Trumpismo, whatever party promotes it, whichever candidates advocate it. Whether they do so with a hateful growl or the smile of an alleged ally and friend, Trumpismo must go and go fast and go now.

If you are like the growing number of Latinos joining the Stein/Baraka campaign, then take action. Don’t waste your vote on a two-party system that will throw you under the bus after each election; invest your vote in a movement for real change. Visit our website and vote for Ajamu Baraka and me. We would be honored to have your vote and a chance to show you what it means to us.

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