After Wednesday’s debate, Democracy Now! spoke to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee. She and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: After Wednesday’s debate, Democracy Now! got response from Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee.
DR. JILL STEIN: What a—what a distressing, you know, hour and a half to sit through: Donald Trump’s psychosis and Hillary Clinton’s distortions of her record and what the future would look like. And the picture they paint of unbridled militarism, which is already robbing us blind, taking up more than half of our discretionary budget, almost half of your income taxes, only making the world a more dangerous place, you know, that’s terrifying enough. Add to that, you know, what they want to do with the economy. Donald Trump is all about more—more trickle-up. Actually, it’s not trickle-down: He wants more tax breaks. But, you know, Hillary is also not being clear with us about where we’re going and what her track record is. Hillary laid the groundwork for the financial crash of 2008—not Hillary alone, of course, but she was certainly supporting the policies of Bill Clinton that not only sent our jobs overseas, but which also laid the groundwork for Wall Street deregulation and, in fact, you know, enacted Wall Street deregulation, not to mention the anti-immigrant legislation, the anti-African-American legislation that opened the floodgates to this racist war on drugs and the endless expansion of mass incarceration, particularly of people of color. It’s a very dystopic future.
And, you know, I think it’s really important for us, as Americans, to look at what we’re facing. You know, this is a race to the bottom. We have to exit this—this incredible spiral downward. The sooner we exit this, the better. Those who would say that you have to vote for the lesser evil now, you know, it’s really important to look at the track record for that, because the lesser evil simply paves the way to the greater evil, because people just stop coming out to vote for a lesser evil politician and a lesser evil party that’s throwing you under the bus. The base doesn’t come out, so the Congress flips from being blue to being red, as the Democratic Party has thoroughly established itself in a lesser evil party. So, when is it going to get better? You know, if we don’t stand up and fight now, when exactly are we going to stand up and fight?
And what is really important to remember is that there are actually enough people right now, 43 million young people locked in debt, that if that word alone got out, we have the numbers. That is a plurality. That’s a winning plurality, let alone 27 million Latinos who have had it, who understand that the Republicans are the party of hate and fear and the Democrats are the party of deportation, detention and night raids and imprisonment of children and families in these horrific private prisons.
So, you know, we have a very bleak reality. And for people—you know, everybody knows that Donald Trump is, you know, terrifying and dangerous. But to think that we are secure with Hillary Clinton in the White House, where Hillary Clinton is telling us right now that she wants to start a war with Russia over Syria, creating a no-fly zone, which means, folks, get ready. It’s going to be very hard not to slide—excuse me—into World War III here with Hillary at the helm, starting off her four years, or whatever her term is—starting off with declaring war against Russia by enacting a no-fly zone.
We need a weapons embargo to the Middle East. We need to put a freeze on the bank accounts of our supposed allies who are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises. We got this mess going. We can shut it down. We need a new offensive in the Middle East. It’s called a peace offensive. We’re not going to hear that from either of the corporate-sponsored political parties who are rolling in dough from the weapons industry, from the fossil fuel giants, from the war profiteers, from the big banks. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. In the words of Alice Walker, the biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you the question that was put to Donald Trump and to Hillary Clinton around whether you will accept the results of the November election, Dr. Jill Stein.
DR. JILL STEIN: Well, put it this way: If there’s evidence of fraud, we would certainly challenge that in court. And in the Green Party, you know, we have sort of led the charge in pursuing election fraud. So, we wouldn’t be—we wouldn’t hesitate to do that, you know, to the extent that it’s possible.
However, let me just tell you, there’s no question about there being a rigged election here, not in the terms that Donald Trump is saying. But, you know—and, actually, the media has been enormously rigged on his behalf: $4 billion of free prime-time media. Hillary had over $2 billion. Bernie Sanders had under half a billion. And, of course, I’ve had practically zero. So, you know, between that and the rigged debates, which the League of Women Voters themselves called a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter, the silencing of opposition voices through the fear campaigns and the smear campaigns, we don’t create a better democracy out of our wounded democracy by silencing opposition voices. We could move to a ranked choice voting system in the blink of an eye. That could be done right now on an emergency basis, so that we actually liberate voters to vote their values. They can rank their choices. If your first choice loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice, but the Democrats won’t pass it. My campaign had filed this bill in the Democratic Legislature of Massachusetts, you know, 16 years ago. They won’t let it out of committee—
AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you—
DR. JILL STEIN: —because they rely on fear, because they know they can’t—
AMY GOODMAN: Let me something—ask you something very quickly, before the end of the show, Jill.
DR. JILL STEIN: Sure.
AMY GOODMAN: And that is, 5 percent of the vote nationally is a very important threshold. Can you talk about what would happen, what the Green Party needs to reach and how much money they would get in matching funds from the government?
DR. JILL STEIN: Thank you, Amy. Five percent would be an absolute game changer. And the polls suggest we are something under that, but not by far. And, in fact, the polls do not tap unlikely voters, which is our base. That is millennials. That is people of color and Latinos—really, disenfranchised voters. That’s who will be coming out to vote for us. So, we may be actually very close to that 5 percent threshold. We could even be beyond it. So, you know, it’s really important for people to stand up—
AMY GOODMAN: But if you get it, what happens?
DR. JILL STEIN: If we get that 5 percent, we not only have ballot access then in most states, so that when we begin the election campaign, not only in the next presidential but on all the down-ballot races, as well, we don’t have to first fight for ballot status, which has taken us like the first year of the campaign. It means we can hit the ground running. It also means that we are then—we receive $10 million as a legitimate major party.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: That’s Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee, speaking last night.