Green Party Jill Stein appeals to Bernie’s 99% via #OccupytheDebates

Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka Green Party 2016

Dr. Jill Stein believes she can win. She so believes this that she emphatically states that if 43 million millennials voted for her—if only because she promises a college debt jubilee—she could win the U.S. Presidency.

A trained family physician and twice-presidential nominee of the Green Party, Dr. Stein’s soft-spoken voice belies her determination and skill in rhetoric. This is obvious after watching her “Response to the Hofstra Debate,” a live-streamed event in which she provided answers to the first-debate questions put forth to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In truth, there is nothing really new that Green Party members have not heard before. Her #OccupytheDebates was taped live on September 26th after being escorted out of Long Island’s Hofstra University for trying to crash the exclusive two-party debate sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

In fact, this is a dramatic improvement over 2012, when Dr. Stein and then-VP Cheri Honkala were arrested by police and held in custody during the entire debate!

The live-streamed event provides viewers and prospective supporters the chance to see what a real democracy might look like, one in which there are multiple parties. It counters the myth that third party leaders cannot speak truth to power. Dr. Stein provides mock ripostes as if she were addressing the replies to each candidate, whether Donald or Hillary. She exposes their insincerity or hypocrisy while voicing Green Party solutions on issues.

When the moderator, Lester Holt, NBC news anchor, asked about jobs growth and economic recovery, Dr. Stein provided her trademark answer to a stagnant economy: The Green New Deal.

My administration would create a Green New Deal like the New Deal that got us out of the Great Depression….investing in people, investing in the real economy, we call for 20 million living good wage jobs that will move us into a sustainable economy; a healthy and sustainable food system; as well as public, energy-efficient renewably powered transportation and restoring our ecosystems. This revives our economy, it turns the tide on climate change; it actually revives our health. We save so much money from improved health that that alone is enough to pay the costs of the Green New Deal!

In response to Mr. Trump’s avowed concern against more international trade pacts, Ms. Clinton, while not denying support of the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP), rebutted that Mr. Trump “had been leading the pack” in outsourcing his company products. Dr. Stein concurred and added:

Yes, we do need to renegotiate these trade agreements; not to create trade barriers, but rather to create trade based on what works for workers on both sides of the border.

Later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a popular appeal appeared to blame Trump-admiring millionaires for the excesses in financial leveraging that led to the Wall Street meltdowns. However Jill Stein cut in with an explanation worthy of Matt Damon in the documentary Inside Job, exposing how financial services deregulation led to over-speculation and also predatory lending practices.

The unethical bundling of these insecure investment packages and their peddling to unsuspecting consumers grew directly out of Wall Street deregulation which was brought to us by none other than Bill Clinton, with the support of Hillary Clinton. So that’s why another Clinton in the White House is not the solution to the economic crisis.  

In fact, her arguments are familiar ones from progressives, whether Senator Bernie Sanders or Socialist Kshama Sawant. No small wonder third leftist parties have strategized to recoup where “Feel the Bern” left off. In July, Jill Stein and Kshama Sawant even joined forces during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Socialist Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaking to the 99%:

A mass party of working people completely independent of corporate money and influence would help raise class consciousness. It would reinforce the idea that working people have common interests across the divide of race, national origin, and gender identity. It would also crucially make clear we have nothing in common with the billionaire-class who have used our economy, politics, and even culture to meet their narrow agenda of greed and profit.

Dr. Stein, who delivered a keynote address at the People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014, recognizes that only by declaring a climate emergency, can we overthrow the mantle of impending climate disaster of rising tides, rising temperatures, stronger hurricanes, mass deforestation, and ecological loss. Even if the jobs are manual labor, Stein’s 2016 platform promises to “create living-wage jobs for every American who needs work, replacing unemployment offices with employment offices.”

Jobs in solar, and in wind, and in particular, are growing very fast. People know that this is the right thing to do, this is where the new economy lies. And I might also say this is where our survival lies, because the science is very clear now…for every American that wants to work, we have a full-time job for you, not only small businesses, but also worker-cooperatives, and nonprofits.

The Green Party approach blends well with the Socialist Alternative Party beliefs that Black Lives Matter. Socialist parties want to end the school-to-prison pipeline and the unfair criminal justice system in addition to ending police brutality. This is also why in August 2016, Dr. Cornel West decided to switch his support from Bernie Sanders to Jill Stein, particularly after all the concessions made to the Democratic Party Platform of Hillary Clinton. (See Cornel West “Every Black Person Should Vote For Jill Stein Instead of Hillary Clinton” on YouTube).

With regard to ISIS and problems in the Middle East, Jill Stein unequivocally states that both Donald Trump (“I support NATO doing this: knock the hell out of ISIS”) and Hillary Clinton (“No Fly Zone”) are essentially both pro-escalation of military intervention in Syria, even though Mr. Trump appears to be “untried.” In contrast, only Jill Stein believes in launching a “Peace Offensive”:

Going forward we call for a peace offensive. We are the major supplier of weapons that gets into all hands in the issue. Russia is also paying dearly for the terrorism crisis. We need to work together and collaborate, but not to bomb, but to create a weapons embargo, stop the flow of troops from Turkey, freezing the bank accounts.

Stein, much like Physicians for Social Responsibility, is calling for an end to the nuclear arms race once and for all, thus ending Obama’s proposed trillion dollars for nuclear weapons upgrades.

Going forward, it appears that Dr. Stein is the only debater to seriously address climate change; the ecological, economic, and social costs of a world which is already projected to change within the next few decades. She is the only one to link the costs to the U.S. drive toward militarism for control of world resources no matter if there is a world war. Her vision is based on peace, environmental, and social healing; she is cognizant of the pain of being homeless, without health insurance, and without work:

42 million young people locked into predatory student debt–that alone is enough to help us win this election. I’m the only candidate who will cancel student debt, like we did for Wall Street in bailing out Wall Street. It’s time to bail out the students. And with the power of that bail out, we actually have the ability to bring out enough people who could actually take over this election and win it for the future we deserve. To end student debt, make public higher education free, and create a Green New Deal that will provide an emergency jobs program as well as tackling the crisis of climate change.

In summary, Jill Stein and others believe that the concessions they made to Sanders went too far. They don’t believe they are stealing votes away from Senator Sanders “Our Revolution” ploy to capture votes for Hillary. Key differences included a foreign policy emphasizing human rights, dismantling all nuclear weapons, a detailed agenda to address climate change, and genuine connectedness with all communities of color.

View the entire video at YouTube: