Once a practicing doctor of clinical medicine, Stein now practices ‘political medicine’ in her quest for a more just, less warlike U.S. government.
WASHINGTON — In a recent TV appearance, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein insisted that American politics, and the nation, are gravely ill.
Interviewed on Monday by Abby Martin, host of The Empire Files on TeleSur English, Stein said that she became a politician, after years as a physician, because she realized that “our democracy is really on life support.”
Despite being the fourth largest party in terms of registered voters, Green Party candidates are virtually shut out of elections, only appearing on the ballots in 20 states. During her 2012 campaign, Stein was arrested while trying to gain access to the presidential debates.
“The political establishment has no credibility, and they are terrified that we the people would start to get together outside the two corporate parties,” she told Martin.
She described “two political parties funded by predatory banks and fossil fuel giants and war profiteers.”
Martin agreed with this view, stating in her introduction that, “Despite their differences, both parties are united around the interests of Wall Street and militarism.”
During their conversation, Stein described her path from doctor to political activist:
“I used to say I practiced clinical medicine, now I say I practice political medicine, because it’s the mother of all illnesses. And we have to fix this one if we’re going to fix the things that are literally killing us.”
As a doctor, she saw falling life expectancies in her patients and an alarming rise in life-threatening illnesses like Diabetes, and realized that those problems were inextricably linked to growing poverty and inequality and the collapse of the climate.
“We have a society here that’s not going to make it and the ultimate yardstick is the collapse of the climate,” she explained.
Stein believes third parties, including the Green Party, are key to curing what ails democracy. She recalled Roosevelt’s New Deal programs of the 1930s: although they were implemented by a Democrat, she explained that the pressure for their creation came from many smaller political movements and third parties, ranging from communists to organized farm workers.
“Everyday working people forced the hand of the Democratic Party which then began to adopt that agenda,” she said.
Now Stein envisions what she calls a “Green New Deal,” which would radically alter the U.S. economy by drastically cutting the defense budget and reallocating those funds into renewable energy. Going further than any other candidates’ job creation plan, it calls for total employment, with every American who can work receiving a job in building or developing green energy.
She told Martin that cutting dependence of fossil fuels would also promote world peace by removing much of the motivation behind Western imperialism and expansion. “We can put our resources back into creating jobs and a livable climate right here at home, which is the source of true security.”
While Stein praised some of the policies of Bernie Sanders, she stressed that they don’t go far enough, and that the Democratic Party has a “kill switch” to keep him from winning the election, including the undemocratic use of superdelegates.
“It’s a fake left while the party goes right,” she said, adding, “the lesser evil that we’re told to abide by really just paves the way to the greater evil.”
Stein condemned voting against a candidate you fear instead of for one that you passionately support.
“In a nutshell, the politics of fear have delivered everything we’re afraid of. In supporting the lesser evil, we silence the progressive agenda. Silence is not an effective political strategy.”
Dr Stein’s prescription?
“We need to stand up and fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it.”
Watch “Abby Martin with Dr. Jill Stein – Symptoms of a Sick Society” from The Empire Files: