HER PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN has continued in the wake of the political momentum that has developed for Bernie Sanders, but Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is campaigning on a slate of equally progressive policies.
The main planks of Stein’s presidential platform include a “Green New Deal,” ending mass incarceration and police brutality, a $15 per hour federal minimum wage, a single-payer health-care system, universal public education and the abolition of student debt, breaking up the big banks and nationalising the Federal Reserve, initiating a global treaty to reverse climate change and ending extreme forms of extraction.
While the Green Party is not an explicitly socialist party, some of its principles are. The politics of the Green Party aspire toward greater democracy, an extension of democratic rights into the economy, and the importance of a democratically planned economy. Unlike New Zealand's Green Party it rejects the misguided ideology that there is a 'environmentally friendly capitalism'.
While New Zealand Green Party co-leader James Shaw is quoting arch-capitalist Michael Bloomberg, Jill Stein is pulling out a quote from Naomi Klein, the author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism the Climate.
But while Stein freely admits that she and Sanders share a similar vision, she is critical of Sanders' loyalty to the Democratic Party. Sanders unfortunately won't get the nod to be the Democratic Party's presidential candidate- the party's czars will ensure that - and he will then throw his support by the corporate approved Hillary Clinton.
Stein says that the Green Party's independent campaign means that "“that vision will not die, it will not be absorbed back into a party that is essentially hostile to that vision.”
In another interview she has commented:
" Bernie Sanders has tapped into the massive wellspring of dissent in our society. The surge of his campaign reflects the breakaway moment that we're in. People are supporting him as an insurgent, non-Democrat inside the Democratic Party. But just like we used to say that the revolution will not be televised, it will also not happen within the Democratic Party."
Stein says that, once again, ordinary people, who clearly want more than what Clinton is prepared to offer, will be expected to vote for the so-called 'lesser of two evils' - corrupt poison that has also curtailed the development of left wing politics in New Zealand. Jill Stein describes this as 'the politics of fear'.
"We had Bush and all the terrible things under Bush. Then we had Obama, even with the Democratic Congress in both houses for two years. And what did we get under Obama? It was Bush on steroids. He was continuing to bail out Wall Street. He was looking the other way at predatory mortgages and the continuing foreclosure crisis, the offshoring of our jobs. On all cylinders, Obama really led the charge in the absolute wrong direction, and so people then rejected the Democratic Congress when they then had the option.....
The bottom line is the politics of fear delivers what we’re afraid of. We need to look at those facts on the ground. When you have a friendly Democrat who speaks your language and uses the right buzzwords, of course you want to vote for that person over the vicious Republican, but they’re both funded by the same guys. The Democrats have every bit as bad a record as Republicans....So are we going to confine ourselves to those two choices? It’s outrageous, because to do so really tells the largest sector of the population not to vote. It locks them out of the election, and then all hope really is lost."
Stein says the future for the American left does not lie with the Democratic Party.
"It's time to get serious about building the alternative--a party for people, planet, and peace over profit. So it's time to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good. Like our lives depend on it--because they do. And the clock is ticking. It's in our hands."