David Cobb, the 2004 Green Party presidential nominee, spoke with the Revolutionary Road radio show in St. Petersburg, Florida, earlier this month as part of his national tour on behalf of Move To Amend, which is campaigning for a constitutional amendment “to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.”
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spoke at a house party in Portland, Oregon, on the evening of Wednesday, January 20. The event was webcast as a Google Hangout, and the video is available below. Stein’s portion begins 49 minutes into the video.
CHRISTI PAUL: Let’s talk to Jill Stein. You’re part of the lawsuit you’ve brought against the Commission on Presidential Debates. I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s look at some of the issues right off the bat. Stocks are tanking, stock market down eight percent in the first couple weeks of 2016. How do you fix the economy? Dr. Stein, can you hear me?
JILL STEIN: Sorry. I couldn’t hear you for a second. Can you repeat that question?
PAUL: I’m wondering, with stocks tanking right now, how would you address the economy, how would you fix it if you were president?
STEIN: Yes, thank you. The economy is not working for most Americans now. We’ve had a huge surge in part-time and temporary jobs. Wages, average for workers, are barely above the poverty level. Household wealth has crashed by 40%. Racial disparities make all this much worse. We have an entire generation of young people who are locked into debt. So we really need an economy that works for everyday people, and we have two political parties who have been managing that economy that are basically controlled by corporate interests and the super-wealthy. So my priority is to create an economy that works for everyone, that puts people over profit instead of profit over people, which is the way it’s going. So specifically, I will create a Green New Deal which is an emergency program like the New Deal that got us out of the Great Depression. The Green New Deal would create 20 million new jobs that would green our economy, green our energy, our food and our transportation systems. By creating 20 million jobs, these are full-time living wage jobs, it would revive our economy. It would turn the tide on climate change and make wars for oil obsolete. In addition, I would bail out the students. We bailed out the bankers. We need to bail out the students who are the victims of that waste, fraud and abuse on Wall Street.
PAUL: Who had student loans at the time —
STEIN: Yes, to basically cancel their loans, exactly.
PAUL: I want to move in to national security. Obviously ISIS has been in the news and it’s frightening an awful lot of people. How would you move forward militarily and how would you handle the national security?
STEIN: That’s a great question. Because what we see the other two parties and virtually all their candidates doing is essentially repeating the mistakes of the past and in fact intensifying them. For 14 years we’ve been conducting a war on terror. It’s cost us $6 trillion, which turns out to be $75,000 per household. We have lost tens of thousands of American soldiers, either killed or maimed, and we have killed over a million people in Iraq alone. It’s no wonder this has been throwing gasoline on the fires in the middle east. We need to really change direction here because it has only made terrorism far worse. All of the terrorist forces, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and now ISIS and their spinoffs. We’re calling for a peace offensive to stop the flow of money and weapons and to focus on what are truly the threats to American lives and well-being, and that is deaths from poverty, from lack of health insurance, homelessness and gun violence.
PAUL: Real quickly, I want to ask you about this lawsuit brought against the Commission on Presidential Debates, seeking fair and equal debate time for all candidates, not just Democrats and Republicans. What is the biggest obstacle you find being in a third party? What do you want the lawsuit to gain?
STEIN: Exactly. I think you put your finger on it. As third parties, it’s not just the candidates that are locked out, it’s really the voters who are locked out. Polls show now that 50% of voters don’t identify anymore with either Republicans or Democrats. Way more of them than Democrats or Republicans. We need to open up the debates. That’s what we’re looking to do through this lawsuit. I encourage people to go to my website and become a part of this because it’s up to us as citizens to open up our democracy so it represents us, and we have more choices and more voices.
PAUL: Dr. Jill Stein, we appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.
MGIP co-chair Gilbert Harris said, “Since taking office in 2011, Le Page’s tenure has been marked by slurs and morally questionable statements about individuals in office and about whole groups of people and he has taken actions that are unconstitutional, arguably criminal, and reflect badly on the people of Maine, the state as a whole, and the governor’s office itself.”
The MGIP cites LePage’s alleged intimidation of the board of directors of a school for at-risk youth into voiding the employment contract of a leading Maine Democratic legislator, as well as his withholding of land conservation funds approved at referendum, his alleged use of political pressure to achieve the resignations of the president of the World Acadian Congress and the president of the Maine Community College System, and a history of what the MGIP called “racist, sexist, and homophobic comments.”
Harris said, “The State of Maine has been subject to his governance-by-bullying for far too long. We deserve a governor that proudly represents the State of Maine, not one that has become the embarrassing butt of late night talk show comedy routines.”
The Green Party of the United States will host a broadcast of President Obama’s final State of the Union address on Tuesday, January, on the party’s livestream YouTube channel. An online chat will take place during the speech, with Green Party candidates commenting as well.
Candidates slated to appear include U.S. Senate candidates Joe DeMare (Ohio), Margaret Flowers (Maryland), Arn Menconi (Colorado), and Shamako Noble (California); and U.S. House candidates Matt Funiciello (New York 21st District) and Joe Manchik (Ohio 12th District). Green Party national co-chair Andrea Mérida will host the event.
The Maine Green Independent Party says in a statement that it “supports the Penobscot Nation’s effort to protect the Penobscot River waterways as their recognized territory, and condemns the ruling handed down by U.S. District Court Judge George Singal” last month that said “Penobscot territory included only the islands and not the ancestral waterways of the Penobscot River.”
The MGIP said it “bases its support for protecting both the Penobscot River and the sovereign rights of the Penobscot Nation on its ten key values, which include ecological wisdom and social justice.”
Maine Green Independent Party Co-Chair Gil Harris said, “It seems to reason that if the water standards are not regulated so as to maintain a food source that is edible in the river, then the state would be in breach of the U.S. treaty with Penobscot Nation, which guarantees sustenance fishing rights in the river. There are no fishing rights if the state poisons the fish.”
I did not intend it but my life has been a living dialectic. Raised in a family of both academic and political background, I sustained myself with academic work for a half century but interspersed that livelihood with what I felt were necessary forays into the real world of politics. Overeducated, with both a J.D. and a Ph.D. in political science, I found myself teaching politics in such a way that almost forced me to go before the public to promote the ideas I espoused behind the ivy.
In 1977, for example, my Anti-Authoritarian Personality completed the principal model that linked psychology with politics by extending the variables found in the classic Authoritarian Personality across the ideological range. The need for power and order, for example, rise and decline as one dances across ideologies. Does the American political system favor certain personalities along that continuum?
In 1980, taking LWOP, I entered a U. S. Senate race to discuss the imbalances of American politics and propose needed remedies. That campaign was covered by The Christian Science Monitor, the TRB column in The New Republic, The Washington Post, and other journals. I called for a bicentennial review of the American constitutional order, that call leading to the formation of the prestigious Committee on the Constitutional System which presented its findings and recommendations to the president and congressional leadership in 1987. Neither corporate party responded.
Taking LWOP again, I campaigned in selected presidential primaries in 1984, and again in 1992, speaking to the dysfunctionality and inequity of the political system while expanding on the importance of psychology to political ideology in books like Relativism and the Natural Left (1984), and Psychology, Relativism, and Politics (1992), both published by NYU Press.
Also troubled by what I saw happening to the middle class, I wrote America’s Middle Class – From Subsidy to Abandonment in 1997, three years before Professor, now Senator, Elizabeth Warren’s work on the middle class, she citing me generously in her work.
I entered but one presidential primary in the year 2000, engaging in civil disobedience by intentionally violating several F.E.C. regulations and being written about by Molly Ivins for doing so. I sought a legal battle to challenge the infamous Buckley v. Valeo campaign finance case that I saw underpinning an inexorable drift into oligarchy that unlimited campaign expenditures were leading to. The F. E. C. did not bite. In 2007, I published The Twenty-First Century Left – Cognitions in the Constitution and Why Buckley is Wrong. Three years later, the Supreme Court issued its odious opinion in F. E. C. versus Citizens United, an utterly predictable case.
In sum, I know of no political figure, in the Green Party or any political party, that has anticipated, may I immodestly say acted as a first responder, respecting three core public issues, a) governmental gridlock, b) the decline of the middle class and c) the prostitution of our electoral system, in both writings and political activity.
To 2016. Approaching age 75, I weighed carefully whether to become a Green Party presidential candidate. Surely, the energy level has declined. Memory sometimes fails. Yet, buoyed by the open mindedness of so many Green Party members, I chose to take one more turn at bat, espousing four levels of understanding that I believe to be foundational if this country is to pull itself back from the oligarchy that academic studies and prominent political figures now say engulfs us. I shall be brief, pointing out that just as all knowledge is not of the same order of importance, so too political issues import a hierarchy of concerns. I candidly disclose that my campaign is primarily concerned with the first two of the four levels. I do this because I feel them to be the most important, and because I agree with other candidates in large measure at the third level, the fourth level being small in size.
First, I submit that the very paradigm of political ideology is changing, rapidly. My half century of ideologically-centered writings, along with the new realities of something like voting behavior, point to the fact that the principal ideological variable is now subjective rather than objective, a matter of the mind rather than matter. In the year 2000, the principal correlate for voting right or left switched from income, or SES, to whether or not one regularly attended religious services. That is a significant change. Let us build on the research that demonstrates the superior complexity of the progressive mind and its attention to a greater number, and more sophisticated, variables.
Second, I submit that the same structural and procedural difficulties that were cited in the CCS report mentioned above have only worsened. Simply put, centrifugal forces have overwhelmed centripetal forces, providing even more vulnerable access points for powerful interest groups to unduly influence legislation and regulation in ways that further imbalance income and wealth distributions. We must make constitutional level changes that lead to something closer to the functioning European parliamentary systems.
Third, contemporary or topical issues, still have importance. As above, I do not have significant differences with, say, Jill Stein, a leading presidential candidate. Where I find need for expansion of our view is in the matter of the so-called Middle East. I have long suggested that problems in that area will be solved only by the residents of the Levant, and that the patriotic position for our country is to unwrap the divided loyalty hands of groups like the Israeli Lobby that have contributed to our unwise involvement in other people’s wars. We are still in the grip of the Military-Industrial-Religious complex. Disclosure: I am a Taoist, with no theocratic linkage to this seemingly everlasting arena of conflict.
Finally, I suggest that the Green Party reconsider one Key Value, that being the value of decentralization at the national level. We are shooting ourselves in the foot. The most decentralized government on the planet no longer works.
Bill Kreml – Green Party Presidential Candidate
In a Saturday email message, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein writes that as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris “progressed and its final outcome took shape, it became clear that COP21 has failed to take the action necessary to prevent global climate catastrophe.”
Stein continues, “The voluntary, unenforceable pledges being produced by COP21 are entirely insufficient to prevent climate crisis. Scientific analysis shows that these pledges will lead us to 3 degrees centigrade global temperature rise — and that will be catastrophic. … Despite the seriousness of the threat, some of the major polluters remain committed to protecting the fossil fuel industry rather than taking serious action. I include in that group the United States, where President Obama’s promotion of the hydrofracking industry is leading to a spreading cancer of polluted groundwater and fracked gas pipelines.”
Stein says the U.S. “and other industrial nations are failing to adequately fund transition and adaptation efforts in developing countries. It is the US and major industrialized countries that are primarily responsible for climate change. We have both a moral and legal responsibility to compensate other countries for the damages we have inflicted, and to enable them to find sustainable paths to development that will raise their standards of living.”
The Green Party of the United States said this week that it hard endorsed the Global Climate March that will take place in Paris on Sunday. The march “will challenge the leaders of 190-plus nations meeting at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) to achieve a legally binding global agreement on post-2020 action to offset the advancing climate crisis.”
GPUS co-chair Audrey Clement, who is co-chair of the party’s Eco-Action Committee, said, “Ratification of a legally binding deal by every nation is absolutely urgent, after the U.S. undermined the Kyoto Protocols and national leaders failed to agree on a legally binding treaty at the 2009 Copenhagen summit.”
Flowers is asking backers to “pledge not to vote for candidates who support union-busting legislation like so-called ‘right-to-work’ bills and the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” and “pledge to only support local businesses during your holiday shopping this year.”
So far, Stein is backed by 63% of respondents, with Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry at nine percent, Darryl Cherney at seven percent, Kent Mesplay at three percent, and Bill Kreml at one percent. Seventeen percent prefer “someone else”. You can vote here.
MinnPost reports that Cam Gordon, a Green Party member of the Minneapolis city council, is among three councilmembers who have been taking part in protests over the police shooting of Jamar Clark. Gordon has faced some criticism for joining the demonstrations, but said it does not bother him. He said, “We can be supportive. We can encourage positive people to come out there and be part of the solution.”
The Green Party of Minnesota denounced police use of force against protesters at a Wednesday rally, with party spokesman Brandon Long saying, “Last night’s actions by the Minneapolis Police were entirely unacceptable. If, as Mayor Hodges is claiming, officers are exhibiting ‘maximum restraint,’ I sincerely fear for the well-being of the peaceful protesters currently occupying the precinct.” Gordon tweeted, “I am proud of the peaceful protesters tonight. You help make us all better.”
MinnPost said that tension over the shooting “spilled over into a meeting of the 13-member city council Friday,” as activists tried to get the council to amend its agenda to discuss the matter.
Ballot Access News reports that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein “has met the legal requirement for primary season matching funds in nine states: California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. She needs eleven more states to be eligible.”
Connecticut’s Torrington Register-Citizen reports that Green Party Fifth District U.S. House candidate Stephanie Piddock was among the participants in the Rally to End Hunger and Homelessness in Torrington on Saturday.
Piddock and other participants toured The Gathering Place, a homeless hospitality center. During the tour, Piddock said, “Eradicating poverty is the most important issue facing society today. There may be refugees in need but there are plenty of people in this country who are in need, too.”