VIDEO: Green Party Pres. Candidate Jill Stein Discusses Iran And The State Of The Democratic Party
The Green Party Presidential Candidate, Jill Stein, appeared yesterday on The Real News Network, where she explained to Senior Editor Paul Jay why she chose NOT to run as a Democrat.
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.
Originally published at AlterPolitics