VIDEO: Green Party Pres. Candidate Jill Stein Discusses Iran And The State Of The Democratic Party
In addition, she revealed how her position on Iran differs from President Obama’s, and then she delved into the details of her Green New Deal, revealing why it would be so much more effective than Obama’s stimulus plan, despite costing roughly the same amount.
Video follows the partial transcript:
So when you run a campaign with a party that’s essentially within the realm of progressive politics, you need to kind of explain to people, I’m sure, over and over again why you aren’t doing this in the Democratic Party. President Obama recently did describe himself as a progressive candidate or president—presidency. So, first of all, why a new party? Why—I shouldn’t say new. Green Party’s been around. But why not working in the Democratic Party?
You know, people are hurting. We’re in crisis in so many ways. You know, let me count the ways. You know, people are hurting for jobs, they’re losing their homes by the millions. They cannot afford their health care. The students are coming out of college up to their eyeballs in debt. Our civil liberties are under attack. And our climate is in great peril. You know, really, across the board we’re facing crisis.
Yet the wealthy few who got us here, who crashed the economy, are making out like bandits, rolling in more dough than ever. And meanwhile we have a political establishment which is making things worse—not only failing to fix it, but actually making it worse, imposing austerity on people while they squander trillions on wars, Wall Street bailouts, and tax breaks for the wealthy.
So, in short, people are clamoring for something different, and there’s a movement out there for democracy and justice that’s alive and well out in the streets and in our communities. It deserves to have a voice in this election and choice come November that’s not bought and paid for by Wall Street or K Street.
And we’ve seen about as far as we can go with the Democratic Party. You know, we just had—we elected a president who claimed to be that progressive. He had both houses of Congress for two years. And people were so bitterly disappointed, they didn’t show up to the polls in 2010. And, you know, we got where we’re going.
We really need real change, not just the change of the corporate representative. We need a party fundamentally about people.
So before we get into some of the big domestic economic questions, which certainly are going to be the overriding issues in the election, let’s take on a bit on the issue of foreign policy. Where do you differentiate, for example, with President Obama when it comes to Iran?
President Obama is waving the flag, you know, for keeping all options on the table, including a preemptive attack on Iran. Yet 16 security agencies for this country and other international agencies agree that there is no evidence that Iran is currently building a bomb or intending to build a bomb. It’s very clear the case needs to be made to Congress and to the American people that there’s reason for war. That’s why we have a congress empowered to declare war. And that case hasn’t begun to be made.
So where we stand is basically with a foreign policy that’s guided by international law, by national law, by human rights, not by the drive for oil. We need a foreign policy that we can stand up and defend. And currently there is no discernible threat to the United States from the actions of Iran.
We do need to watch carefully. We should be pursuing nuclear disarmament, starting in the Middle East. There are many countries who already possess bombs whose governments are extremely unstable and not necessarily friendly to the United States. So the region would benefit enormously from pursuing a very vigorous and active policy of nuclear disarmament. But attacking Iran is only going to get us into very deep trouble.
So let me go back to my first question, then. Some people are raising the issue that, then, why aren’t people like you fighting this out within the Democratic Party, where there’s, in a sense, some access to power? And not that you can—just by joining the Democratic Party you’re going to get power, but could have primaried Obama and forced him to have this debate in some kind of primary campaign. Why not that, versus, you know, a separate-party campaign?
You know, I think people have been there and done it. You know. And it’s fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I think people considered Obama really the Hail Mary for the Democratic Party. It was—people went all out, and then double that and triple that, and people really went to the wall to try to move progressive politics through a corporate-sponsored political party, and discovered that it just wasn’t [incompr.]
There were people, you know, who really tried to get someone to primary Obama, and nobody would, and to my mind that also speaks volumes about the condition of the Democratic Party. It just is a creature of its corporate funding. That’s not where we’re going to make change.
If you look through the history of progressive politics, independent political parties have played an enormous role in driving forward key issues—abolition, women’s right to vote, 40 hour workweek, the right to organize in our workplaces and form unions. These have all been pushed forward by independent political parties, and we clearly need that in droves.
Read the Full Transcript for segment pertaining to the details of her Green New Deal.
Gallup Poll: More Americans Identify As ‘Independent’ Than At Any Time In Over Sixty Years
A new Gallup poll helps to quantify the American electorate’s increasing disenchantment with the nation’s two-party electoral system.
Gallup has been polling Americans’ political identification for over 60 years, and for the first time a staggering 40% of all Americans now identify as Independent, versus 31% who identify as Democrat, and 27% who identify as Republican.
Fourteen percent of those who identify as independents reported leaning to the Left, whereas eighteen percent reported leaning to the right.
At a time of near-unprecedented economic turbulence, and when more Americans feel negative towards their government than at any other time in history, there appears to be a real opportunity for a Third Party to enter the fold and to offer the country real solutions that neither of the two major parties appear capable of delivering.
The Most Effective Way To Protest At The Ballot Box
Are you disgusted with the Democrats, and their cynical attempts at impeding the very ‘change’ they promised us in 2008? We ushered them in with a clear mandate to make good on their promises, and once given complete control of the government, they’ve taken every opportunity to legislate the status-quo — all under the guise of ‘bipartisanship’. As if voters are too dumb to understand that reconciliation has remained a tool available to them to actually legislate their promises into law. When Republicans previously held a smaller majority in both houses, they used reconciliation repeatedly to enact all three of Bush’s major tax cuts which added trillions of dollars to our national debt.
That’s the kind of conviction we believed we were getting in 2008, when we put Obama in the White House and gave Democrats majorities in both houses. Boy were we fools!
Ever since its passage, the Democratic Party has cited Health Care Reform as its greatest accomplishment. Back in May, Speaker Nancy Pelosi ecstatically claimed:
“Healthcare reform is my proudest achievement in Congress,” she said. “But it would not have been possible without the leadership of President Obama.”
However, with the President’s job approval ratings plummeting, Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton complained recently that they aren’t getting their due credit from their base (whom his boss had previously referred to as the ‘professional left’):
there is some “frustration” in the White House that activists on the left are criticizing President Barack Obama for not being liberal enough instead of giving credit for his accomplishments, including health care reform. Still, Burton said the administration will continue pushing its agenda even if liberals don’t give them credit.
It is a bit ironic that what the Democratic Party feels to be its greatest achievement, Health Care Reform, essentially sent its own base packing. And they feign feelings of ‘hurt’ and ‘frustration’ by it all. As if they don’t already know:
Candidate Obama promised his supporters a robust public option without a mandate. Once elected, he immediately embarked on cutting back door deals with hospital groups (where he secretly promised them there would be no public option in the final bill), and with Big Pharma (where he secretly promised to oppose Congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to negotiate drug prices downwards. He also agreed to prohibit US citizen’s from re-importing drugs from Canada). He then lobbied the Senate to drop the public option and any expansion of Medicare.
As if this weren’t bad enough, he additionally imposed a mandate on all American citizens, who would now be forced — or suffer financial penalty — to purchase expensive and crappy insurance policies (often with unaffordable deductibles and premiums) from the ‘for profit’ health insurance industry. A HUGE gift to the very industry most Americans hold responsible for creating the worst and most expensive health care system in the world.
It’s clear that the Democratic Party is out-of-step with its own base. The party shrewdly believed they could promise us what we demanded, meaningful change, and then ignore us once elected. They used the straw men available to them, obstructionist Republicans and their Blue Dog cousins, to evade ‘Change’. And President Obama’s call for ‘Change’ suddenly transformed overnight to a call for ‘Bipartisanship’ (his excuse for not using reconciliation to fulfill his campaign promises). Obama supporters, they figured, would just blame the obstructionist Republicans for Obama’s abandonment of the platform he ran on. Well, now they’ve discovered that in this new internet era, the blogosphere has made triangulation and political shell games very difficult for politicians to pull off.
Morale is low on the left, and many have concluded that Democrats no longer represent their interests. So for those of you wondering what to do at election time this November, here are your options, along with my two cents on each:
1. Vote Democratic — reward them for screwing you over. Nothing reinforces bad behavior quite like an unjust reward. Result: Democrats get reelected and continue to screw us over, as clearly there are no repercussions for anything they do.
2. Stay home / don’t vote — Perfect! Then the main stream media can interpret all the Republican victories as an indicator that the electorate wants Obama to move even further to the right. Hypothetical headlines: “Americans Reject Obama’s Big Government Policies”. Result: Obama and Democrats in Congress move even further to the right.
3. Vote for a Green/Independent left candidate on the ticket — Even if (s)he has a slim chance for victory, this is by far the most ideal method of sending a message. Result: It’s a vote for the Left (the message can’t be misconstrued by the MSM), and it helps to strengthen (build momentum) for third party candidates. The defeated Democratic candidate will view that third party candidate as a ‘spoiler’ and the party will realize that for the next election in that state, they better move to the Left or lose even more detractors to independent parties.
4. Write-in ‘PUBLIC OPTION’. Assuming you ONLY have Republicans and Democrats on your ballot, and you’ve realized that option 2 (above) is not going to accomplish anything, what should you do? Cast your vote for a ‘public option’ as if you are treating this election as a referendum. Remind the party that is parading this HCR bill around like a trophy wife, that you are not voting for them BECAUSE of that very bill. Result: If the MSM sees that the Republican candidate won 200k votes, the Democrat won 185k votes, and ‘PUBLIC OPTION’ won 16k votes, that sends a clear message that the Left protested this election. It provides indisputable clarity that the Left abandoned the Democratic candidate, and instead wrote-in a HUGE Democratic betrayal in its place. Imagine if the press were to report that the Democrat would have won this race had he won all the votes cast for ‘PUBLIC OPTION’ .
5. Write in whatever you want. Some commenters made the suggestion on TheMalcontent’s FDL diary (which introduced this ‘write in’ idea) — that voters should just write in whatever they want. For example, if the wars are your main problem with the Democrats then write-in ‘Iraq’ or ‘Afghanistan’. If you are out of work, and pissed about it, then write in ‘job creation’. Or if you’d prefer ‘Medicare for all’ then just write that in, instead of ‘public option’. Result: You may potentially get more write-ins, but you will most certainly muddle the message, possibly to the detriment of the entire effort.
When the press gets ballot box results they aren’t going to report seemingly insignificant numbers. For instance, if the Republican won 200k, Democrat 185k, public option 25, Iraq 4, Ralph Nader 1, medicare for all 7, Guantanamo Bay 6, Bush war crimes accountability 1, … They’ll only report the bigger numbers. The more numbers any single write-in gets the more you ensure it gets reported, and brought to the media’s attention.
For those of you who have reservations about writing-in ‘PUBLIC OPTION’, I’ll just say this: whatever the write-in is, please pick something that the Left, and specifically the Left, is furious about so that the MSM will disseminate the message correctly. It’s crucial that if you decide to protest this election with a write-in, and get others to do the same, that you send a clear, simple, distinct message that can’t be spun into a victory for the Republicans or Glenn Beck. For instance, ‘Obama must resign’ may be a popular write-in for some on the Left, but I suspect Tea Partiers who might hate the Republican incumbent option on their ballot, will take full credit for it, if it were to be successful. Glenn Beck will be doing victory dances all week long.
We are striving for headlines the morning after which read something akin to, “The Left Abandons Democrats For Their Betrayal On The Public Option”, AND NOT, “Americans Reject Obama’s ‘Big Government’ policies”. Essentially, we want this message to be one that makes Democrats feel the wrath of their base; the same ones they routinely call names, like ‘fucking retards‘. We want Democrats to begin to govern to the Left, and fear the very ones who elected them.
We either control the message, or the media will happily create its own narrative for the Republican victories. And as always, it will be a call for the Obama administration to move further to the right. So if you were already planning on sitting out this election, please consider option #3 above, and if that’s not an option in your district/state then please consider option #4. These are the two best strategies for insuring that the main stream media disseminates correctly that the Left played a huge role in Democratic defeats.
Gubernatorial Election Result Spin And The Mythical Independent Voter
In virtually every election where the Republican Party under-performs, the beltway pundits always attribute their defeats to an unenergized base. In contrast, anytime Democrats under-perform, those same pundits tend to assert that Democrats have moved too far to the left to appease the middle — the Independents. Here’s neo-clown Michael Gerson’s spin on the Gubernatorial […]
How An Instant-Runoff Voting System Would Restore Democracy To America
One year ago — as Americans counted down the final months of the Bush Presidency — a progressive firestorm ushered the Democrats into power with a resolute mandate for CHANGE. The electorate had turned its back on nearly a decade of neo-con lies, the biggest warmongering con job in our nation’s history, war crimes, mismanaged […]
Forcing Democratic Politicians To Legislate Progressively
One thing has become crystal clear over these last nine months — the Democrats do not give a rat’s ass about the core concerns of the Progressive movement. On the campaign trail ‘candidate’ Obama said all the right things and with eloquence; with passion. He articulated a whole host of issues important to us, and […]