Archive for the tag 'the Green Party'
Most voters will likely never know her name, let alone cast a vote for her at the ballot box, but that’s not deterring Dr. Jill Stein from running for president in 2016.
Stein was the Green Party’s presidential nominee in 2012 and is expected to announce Friday the she’s exploring another White House bid in 2016.
Prior to making the announcement, Stein sat down exclusively with “Power Players” to explain why she’s stepping forward as an alternative to the current field of likely presidential contenders that she characterizes as “corrupt and sold out.”
“There are rules that make it possible for the very rich to buy politicians — that’s what’s going on,” Stein said. “There’s a horse race around grabbing the money right now, and I think it speaks volumes about what a really sorry state our political system has come to.”
In her 2012 campaign, Stein received fewer than half a million votes across the country – less than 1 percent of the total popular vote – and was even arrested for trying to get into a televised debate from which she was excluded.
Stein recalled the arrest – and subsequent holding – as “the most bizarre experience you can imagine.”
“For trying to get into that debate, I was actually arrested, taken to a dark site where no one knew where I was — the site was secret — and held handcuffed to metal chairs for approximately eight hours,” Stein said. “It speaks volumes about how terrified the political system is that the voices of principled opposition may actually get heard.”
Before entering politics, Stein was a practicing doctor and authored two books on medical topics. Now, Stein said she’s practicing a different type of medicine.
“What I’m doing now is practicing political medicine, which I call the mother of all illnesses,” Stein said. “If we want to fix what’s ailing us — both our health, our jobs, our foreign policy — which is generating incredible blowback … we need to fundamentally fix our democracy and the political system.”
On a quest against the current political system that she believes has been “bought and paid for by the one percent,” Stein acknowledged that she is waging an uphill battle.
That battle is particularly steep given the Green Party abstains from collecting any corporate donations, at a time when Super PACs and dark money bankroll most major political campaigns.
“What we will raise will be a drop in the ocean compared with what the Koch brothers are spending,” said Stein, who estimates that her 2012 campaign raised a total of around a million dollars. That’s compared to the $900 million that the conservative billionaire businessmen Koch brothers alone plan to spend in the 2016 cycle.
“If we as Americans allow our electoral system to be just bought and sold and that’s it, then there’s really not very much hope going forward in the future,” Stein said, defending the Green Party’s decision not to collect corporate dollars.
In the 2000 presidential election, some Democrats blamed third party candidate Ralph Nader for taking votes away from Democratic nominee Al Gore and helping advance President George W. Bush’s narrow victory.
As a third party candidate herself, it’s a critique Stein is used to hearing – and dismissing.
“We’ve heard of that, what we call the politics of fear, that tells you, ‘You have to be very worried about secondary effects of your vote,’” Stein said. “If you don’t stand up and vote for what you want and you need, then you’re never gonna get it and the system won’t get it.”
For more of the interview with Stein, including why she disagreed with President Obama’s declaration of a strong economic recovery in his State of the Union address, check out this episode of “Power Players.”
ABC News’ Ali Dukakis, Gary Westphalen, Richard Norling, and Shari Thomas contributed to this episode.
After several years as a Democrat, followed by more than a decade as an unaffiliated voter, I decided to change my registration to the Green Party for this year’s election. I joined the Greens not because I support every plank of their platform, but because I am tired of voting for the least bad candidate. The response of both major parties to the 2008 financial crisis compels me to join a party that really believes in changing the power structure in the United States.
The Green Party seemed the most reasonable choice. I think it is now beyond arguable that voting for Democrats and/or Republicans is essentially voting to maintain the status quo, which is precisely what needs changing. The personnel in office is less important than the system that personnel serves.
A vote for Obama (not to mention Romney), is a vote for the status quo. I am choosing to vote for a party, and a presidential candidate in Jill Stein, that would actually change things if elected. Like a lot of independents who voted for Obama in 2008, I thought I was voting for change. I was not naive, I knew he was a politician from the Democratic Party Establishment, but I thought a liberal intellectual, our first black president, might change things in important ways, especially in foreign policy.
But I was wrong. He withdrew from Iraq, yes, but on Bush’s timetable; he escalated the war in Afghanistan; he spent a billion dollars intervening in Libya; he continued the “extraordinary rendition” program; and failed not only to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but even to prosecute its inmates in our civilian federal courts.
Domestically, I don’t even want to discuss Obamacare, which is not national health insurance by any stretch of the imagination, but we must. I still find it surreal that the Democrats, controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, failed to institute national health insurance, partly because the administration, and the party’s recent vice-presidential nominee (Joseph Lieberman), bowed to the insurance lobby.
On the energy front, the U.S. has not even begun a serious transition to alternatives to carbon fuels. And, somehow, the Democrats have become a party that supports capital punishment, despite massive evidence that it has failed miserably and is applied in a racist manner. Economically, the president extended the Bush-Paulson bailouts and acquiesced in renewal of the Bush tax cuts, despite repeated vows to the contrary.
As for social spending, I expect the Republicans to advocate cuts in Medicare and Social Security, but I’m still trying to figure out how the Democrats can, with a straight face, do the same. Furthermore, in a policy that boggles the mind, Obama brags about having cut the payroll tax, the primary source of funding for Social Security.
The Green Party is on the other side of all those issues, foreign and domestic. I don’t agree with everything the Greens advocate, but on the issues that I consider most significant for America’s future, the Greens are on the right track. They certainly do not represent the status quo. For one thing, Green candidates do not accept corporate donations. Their program, which is called the “Green New Deal,” calls for a cut of 70 percent in military spending, massive public investment in renewable energy, a carbon tax, single-payer national health insurance, tax reform and limits on credit interest rates.
To my friends who argue for economic justice, tax fairness, and true campaign finance reform, I say: you will never see any of that if you continue to support candidates and parties that are beholden to wealthy donors, whether they be individuals, unions, or the financial, defense and insurance industries. The system works as well for the Democrats as it does for the Republicans, and I no longer think being an unaffiliated voter choosing between the two is a viable option.
I know Jill Stein has no more chance of getting elected than Ralph Nader had, but I reject the argument that a vote for her is wasted. Either Obama or Romney will lose the election, so by that reasoning a vote for one of them is going to be wasted, as well. Change has to start someplace.