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Green Party Nominee Jill Stein: “We Are Saying No to the 'Lesser Evil' and Yes to the Greater Good”

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In Houston, Texas, Dr. Jill Stein formally accepted the Green Party’s nomination for president at the party’s convention over the weekend. Interest in the Green Party has jumped in recent weeks since Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, defeating Bernie Sanders. In 2012, Dr. Stein ran on the Green ticket and won less than 1 percent of the national vote. But according to CNN’s Poll of Polls, Stein is now polling at 5 percent. The same poll finds Clinton at 45 percent, Republican Donald Trump at 35 percent and Libertarian Gary Johnson at 9 percent. Neither Stein nor Johnson will be invited to take part in this fall’s presidential debates, however, unless they top 15 percent in national polls. For more, we hear excerpts of Dr. Jill Stein speaking at the Green Party convention.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. We are “Breaking with Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency.” I’m Amy Goodman. Dr. Jill Stein has accepted the Green Party’s presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Houston. Stein is running alongside longtime human rights activist Ajamu Baraka.

Interest in the Green Party has jumped in recent weeks since Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, defeating Bernie Sanders. In 2012, Dr. Stein ran on the Green ticket and won less than 1 percent of the national vote. But according to CNN’s Poll of Polls, Stein is now polling at 5 percent. The same poll finds Clinton at 45 percent, Republican Donald Trump at 35 percent and Libertarian Gary Johnson at 9 percent.

Despite Stein and Johnson’s rise in the polls, neither will be invited to take part in this fall’s presidential debates unless they top 15 percent in national polls. Last week, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit by Johnson and Stein against the Commission on Presidential Debates over the debate rules.

Well, we’ll spend the rest of the hour airing excerpts from the Green Party convention in Houston. We begin with Dr. Jill Stein speaking Saturday as she accepted the Green Party nomination.

DR. JILL STEIN: You know, hold onto your hat, folks, because we are in a whirlwind right now, a whirlwind that is way bigger than any of us. We have a job to do. We have a role to play that will not be played by anybody but us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. When they tell us to, you know, get out of the way, because we’re standing in the way of the lesser evil, you know, the answer to that is that this politics of fear, which we’ve been told to bow down to, has only delivered everything we were afraid of. All those reasons we were told to vote for the lesser evil—because we didn’t want the offshoring of our jobs, the meltdown of the climate, the massive bailouts for Wall Street, the expanding prison state, the attack on our civil liberties and on immigrant rights—all those things we didn’t want is exactly what we got by allowing ourselves to be silenced and letting a lesser evil speak for us.

Remember, when they try to tell you you are powerless, remember what Alice Walker says: The biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with. We have it. We are going to use it in this election.

We are saying no to the lesser evil and yes to the greater good, because we are not only deciding what kind of a world we will have; in this election, we are deciding whether we will have a world or not, going forward into the future. The day of reckoning is coming closer and closer. On climate change, we are told that there will be a civilization-ending development in the form of massive sea level rise as soon as 2050. Anybody plan to be here in 2050? I think a few of us do, myself included. So, we cannot wait, because we have to act now if we want to stop that sea level rise from happening in 2050. We need to declare a state of emergency right now and undertake a wartime-scale mobilization to create those 20 million jobs and create that 100 percent clean energy now. We have a crisis in nuclear weapons, and again thanks very much to the Democrats. Bill Clinton, who removed us from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty framework for nuclear disarmament, and then Barack Obama, who created a trillion-dollar budget for us to spend on a new generation of nuclear weapons and modes of delivery.

So, on the count of climate, on the count of nuclear weapons and this insane nuclear arms race that we are once again headlong plunging into, and on account of these endless and expanding wars, that are blowing back at us all around the world, we cannot afford to sit this one out. The lesser evil is a losing strategy, because people stop coming out to vote for lesser evil politicians throwing them under the bus. So the Republicans will win anyhow.

And to look at Donald Trump, Donald Trump does not stand alone. Donald Trump is about the rise of right-wing extremism, not only in this country, but in Europe. And as Bernie Sanders himself so often said, the only solution to the likes of Donald Trump is a truly radical, progressive agenda that restores our needs and ends the economic misery that promotes the kinds of demagogues we are seeing in Donald Trump. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Hillary Clinton is the problem; she is not the solution to Donald Trump. We are the solution. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. This is our moment. Together, we do have the power to create an America and a world that works for all of us. The power to create that world is not just in our hopes. It’s not just in our dreams. Right here and now, it’s in our hands. We will make this happen together. We are unstoppable. Thank you so much. On we go. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein speaking Saturday at her party’s convention in Houston. When we come back from break, you’ll hear from her running mate, human rights activist Ajamu Baraka. Stay with us.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

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A New Day & Another Way: Green VP Nominee Ajamu Baraka Urges Progressives to Reject Two-Party System

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