Dr. Jill Stein: Feeling a “Burn” of Her Own

Dr. Jill Stein: Feeling a “Burn” of Her Own

by Jim Luken
Dr. Jill Stein speaking in Cincinnati Photo: Jim Prues

“The Holy Land is everywhere”: Black Elk

July 12, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had promised to take his Presidential campaign all the way to the Democratic Convention floor, suddenly endorses Hillary Clinton.

Two things happen.

One: many Bernie supporters go into a kind of catatonic sticker shock, feeling abandoned by the 77-year-old white (haired) knight who, they believed, would lead them back to Camelot.

Two: Many thousands of others flock to Green Party champion Jill Stein, realizing that they don’t need to choose between the lesser of two evils.

July 18, Jill Stein comes to Cincinnati, bringing charm, depth, character, conscience, competence, enlightened policies and sensible programs. Speaking to 150 electrified supporters at Lydia’s (OM Cafe) on Ludlow, Dr. Stein made believers of most of us in the crowd. Everyone sensed that this strong woman could make a difference. She made us believe that — while chances are extremely slim — she could actually pull off a win this November. Or at least shake the establishment to its roots.

In an exclusive Streetvibes interview after the presentation, Dr. Stein declared, “It’s all about taking ourselves into our own hands.”

Stein believes that she can tap into the millions of millennials who will or should be voting. She told the audience, “There are 42 million people who are trapped in student debt.” More than half of the crowd raised their hands to indicate that they were among those trapped.

Stein said that the first thing she would do should she become President was to appoint a chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank who had the intention and the authority to eliminate all that debt. “We bailed out Wall Street to the tune of 17 trillion dollars, or more, but who’s counting. We can do the same for you.”

Her point was that, if those 42 million voters could be mobilized in their own self-interest, that number was large enough to swing the election to the Greens. “They don’t want you to know that,” she said. “They don’t want us to know how powerful we are.”

She pursued the point. “This isn’t just theoretical power. This is power that is absolutely life changing and critical if we are to survive as a society.” “…There will be no stopping us if we actually get the word out.”

Stein, 66, is married with two children. She received a degree in social anthropology from Harvard in 1972, and went on to become a medical doctor, also at Harvard. After practicing internal medicine for 25 years, she decided to move in the direction of environmental activism, initially fighting the construction of new coal burning plants in her home state. “I’m still practicing medicine,” she said Monday night, “but now it’s political medicine. Because that is the mother of all illnesses.”

Stein ran for governor of Massachusetts twice. Running as the “Green” candidate for President in 2012, she garnered almost half a million votes, more than any woman candidate ever. Jill Stein is the real thing.

During the Streetvibes interview, Stein seemed aglow with the new reality that had entered her campaign when Bernie pulled himself out of the race. Her Facebook “likes” went from 5000 per week, to 90,000 per week. A lot of new money began coming in to the Green Party, by way of donations from the former Sanders­nistas. Many of these donations are in checks for exactly $27, the average donation people made to Bernie’s mercurial campaign.

Also during the Streetvibes interview, Dr. Stein explained her belief that all the things we associate with the poor: homelessness, crime, opiate abuse, violence, are the direct result of poverty, which is inflicted by our system on the poorest and most vulnerable. “Neo­liberalism generates neo­fascism. Governmental austerity policies make poor people vulnerable to hate and fear.”

This was a theme that she pounded away on during her general remarks. “We have an epidemic of violence in this country, and around the world. We Greens have been all about…non­violent solutions. We call for a truth and reconciliation commission so we can get to the bottom of the living legacy of slavery, and its expression in racism. Not just in police violence, but in economic violence, where the average African American family has 5 cents on the dollar as to what the average white family has. These are problems we need to tackle and to tackle in a comprehensive and holistic way.”

After its convention in Houston in August, Jill Stein will no doubt once again be the Green Party candidate for President. The Greens are focused always on issues of environmental safety, and justice, and common sense. Therefore, Stein’s talking points use the ecology as their starting point. As she sees it, everything relates to the environment, including the US’s grotesque foreign policy.

She speaks with great passion against the war on terrorism. “If we stop these crazy and catastrophic wars, we will be safer and the world will be safer, and we will have hundreds of millions of dollars every year to put into building true security here at home.”

“…Our foreign policy is essentially a marketing strategy for the war products industry, and we need to shut that down. We have the power to actually stop these wars.” “…We have essentially a military budget that is making us more endangered not more safe.”

Stein glows with hopefulness. She has a plan. “This is a win­win­win, just waiting to be enacted, but in order to enact it, it means resisting the propaganda and standing up and voting for what we believe, not against what we fear. The politics of fear,” Stein avows, “brought us all the things we were afraid of.”

Unlike the two major political parties, The Green Party, and its standard bearer, Dr. Jill Stein, provide a shopping list of progressive solutions. “Referring to the job­creating “New Deal of the 30s, she demands “a Green New Deal,” one which “not only solves the emergency of the jobs crisis, it also solves the emergency of the climate crisis.”

“…We do this,” she says “by creating 20 million jobs on an emergency basis. That’s enough to put everyone to work in a good­wage, full­time job that transforms our economy to a 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.”

Referring to the dilemma of many voters, fed up with having to choose between the two wings (Democrat and Republican) of the Corporate Party, she concludes, “It’s time to forget the lesser evil and fight for the greater good. We need to take back the promise of democracy and to create that peaceful, green future that’s within our reach. We have the power to create the America and the world that works for us.”