Jill Stein interviewed by Ralph Nader September 17 2016. Recording and transcript of interview.


Steve Skrovan: From the KPFK studios in Southern California it’s the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. Welcome to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. My name is Steve Skrovan and along with the man of the hour, Ralph Nader. Hello Ralph, how you doing today?

Ralph Nader: Very good. We have a great program coming up with the Green Party candidate for President.

Steve Skrovan: That’s correct. And if recent activity on our Facebook page is any indication, this is a very anticipated show in what we hope will be a series of interviews with Presidential candidates before election day. We have sent invitations to all of the Presidential candidates whose names are on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance to win the Presidency. That includes, of course, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson.

The first to accept our offer to engage with Ralph is Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein. Dr. Stein is a physician who graduated from Harvard Medical School and practiced internal medicine for 25 years in Massachusetts. In the nineteen nineties, Dr. Stein became increasingly concerned about the links between illness and environmental toxins, especially exposures to lead and mercury and dioxin contamination that comes from the burning of wastes. She helped lead the fight to clean up coal plants in Massachusetts, then known as the “filthy five.” This ended up setting an example for how other states should raise the standards for their own coal plants.

Her first foray into electoral politics was in 2002 when she was recruited by Green Rainbow Party activists to run for Governor of Massachusetts against Mitt Romney. She’s the co-author of two widely praised reports, “In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging. She was the Green Party candidate for President in 2012 and again here in 2016. She joins us just before a rally at the University of Maine. Welcome to Ralph Nader Radio Hour, Dr. Jill Stein.

Jill Stein: Thank you so much. Thank you, Ralph. It’s really an honor to be with you.

Ralph Nader: Well, I can say that you’re my successor on the Green Party ticket so I know a little bit about what you’re going through and I’m sure listeners are eager to hear you out. You don’t have to engage in soundbites here as you may have experienced with some of the mass media.

Let’s start with a little background here. The Green Party is going to be on how many state ballots, Jill Stein.

Jill Stein: It will be approximately 48. So we’re currently on, I believe, 46 and I think we expect two more.

Ralph Nader: That’s very good. That could be a high water mark for the Green Party in its history. What two states, I can only guess, aren’t you going to be on because of horrendous obstacles to getting on the ballot.

Jill Stein: I believe it’s Oklahoma and South Dakota, and we’re on as a write-in in North Dakota in Georgia and Indiana. So, you know, it’s the states which are, you know, just having insurmountable hurdles. We spent money, you know, to augment our volunteer effort but we are still largely a people-powered campaign so we don’t have whatever it is, I think, it was like 30 million dollars the Libertarians talk about that it cost them to get on the ballot. We don’t have 30 million dollars. We’re a people powered campaign.

So where the states are dead set on suppressing political opposition, it’s very hard to overcome that.

Ralph Nader: Right. Well, you’re on the ballot for the states where our listeners are overwhelmingly. Let’s get to the next point, which is your platform. As I read it, and I’m going to summarize it, either it has majoritarian support in this country or very close to majoritarian support.

For example, you want a public works program dealing with public transit; sustainable agriculture conservation; renewable energy?—I think most people would like that: probably comes in about ninety percent. They see their public works crumbling, services inadequate, they have libraries and schools and bridges and highways that have not been repaired.

You also believe in a full employment policy that was the majority Democratic Party policy in 1946. They actually passed a law to that effect. You want to end poverty and when people see how relatively easy it is to end poverty. And one way is to increase the minimum wage: catch up; it’s been frozen for so many years. Fifteen dollars an hour minimum wage. That was one of the reasons why so many people flocked to Bernie Sanders candidacy.

Full Medicare-for-all, free choice of doctor and hospital: that comes in sixty to seventy percent without even further explanation. And if you ever explained it, given all the trouble people are having qualifying and not qualifying for all these healthcare so-called insurance plans, it would go up even higher.

You want to do something about student debt. And that affects conservative and liberal students. That’s going to be a majoritarian position.

You want a global treaty to halt climate change that adds teeth and ends destructive energy extraction.

Ending police brutality and mass incarceration. There is a growing left-right support for criminal justice reform.

I suppose the Green Party doesn’t care for the anti-civil libertarian provisions of the notoriously named Patriot Act, invading privacy, and being able to search your home, and not tell you for 72 hours.

I think most Americans are against illegal surveillance of their emails and telephone calls by the government.

And I think most Americans are ready for waging peace and not just brutalizing our foreign policy which is boomeranging against us.

And you want to abolish corporate personhood. I think the more people learn that corporations are not people that have all the equal rights and even more privileges and immunities than we have.

So here we start out, Dr. Stein, with a majoritarian platform. We live in a two-party tyranny that doesn’t believe in competition, can enforce it with penalties and obstructions, and they’re getting closer and closer to being both one corporate party with two heads having different labels. So how do you explain to the American people why they don’t vote their conscience enough and why they don’t vote for majoritarian issues that you represent and which mostly are off the table by the Republican-Democratic Party. Off the table. Undiscussable.

Jill Stein: Absolutely. You know, I think we’re at a really unique moment right now because the American people are waking up to the fact that it is a race to the bottom between these two corporate parties that are sending jobs overseas, putting downward pressure on wages, starving people out of healthcare, locking an entire generation into unpayable predatory student loan debt.

So, you know, we don’t have to convince people how screwed they are. In my experience what I’m hearing from people now is that they’re just desperate to hear about something else. The two majority candidates right now, the Democratic and Republican candidates, Trump and Clinton, are the most disliked and untrusted Presidential candidates in our history with more than majority disapproval. At the same time you have seventy-six percent of voters saying they want to open up the debates. They want to be able to hear about something else.

You know, it’s rather remarkable Donald Trump has had over four billion dollars of free primetime media, Hillary’s had over two billion worth, my campaign has had essentially zip, yet we are still pushing up around five percent in the polls, which is unprecedented for a non-corporate party without the big money to get the word out. We’re getting out there simply by word-of-mouth, by networking among desperate people. The largest bloc of voters now has divorced the Democratic and Republican parties, which are now minority parties and the plurality of voters now are independent. They’re looking for something else.

So, you know, it’s no surprise that the corporate media, and many of the nonprofits that are dependent on the big money, they are not allowing our campaign the real alternative to see the light of day.

So the key here in my view is not having to change people’s minds, it’s just allowing them to know. In fact I was in a debate, Ralph, I don’t know if I ever mentioned it to you, back in 2002 we fought our way into a governor’s debate in Massachusetts where, you know, this was televised and I articulated our usual agenda: cut the military, put the dollars into true security here at home, provide healthcare as a human right, raise wages which needed to be living wages, green our energy system, equal marriage?—we were the only ones talking about it back in 2002. That agenda went over like a lead balloon inside of the little TV studio, which is just candidates and moderator, but when we walked out, I was mobbed by the press, who told me I had won the debate on the instant online viewer poll. You know, just in the course of an hour, people didn’t need to be persuaded. They just needed to hear, oh my god, there is another plan here which is about the public interest.

So for me that was like the lights went on. You know, that was like the moment of revelation for me that in fact we are not the lunatic fringe. We really are, we represent, the core of basic American community values. And the name of the game is getting the word out, you know, and they are quaking in their boots, which, of course, is why they will not pass ranked choice voting. We could solve this problem of a divided vote, or an unintended consequence of your vote, to a voting system which uses your name, where I am right now, they’ve got it on the ballot for a statewide referendum which enables people to

Ralph Nader: Explain that.

Jill Stein: Ok, you go into the voting booths and you can rank your choices. So your first choice is an underdog that might not win, you know, that your choice number two, which might be your lesser evil, your safety choice, your vote is automatically reassigned from your first choice to your second choice if your first choice losses and there’s not a majority winner. So it essentially eliminates, splitting it, eliminates having to vote your fear instead of your values. It allows us to actually bring a moral compass to our democracy. Democracy cannot function just on who do we fear the most, you know, or who do we hate the most; we need an affirmative agenda.

The fact that the Democrats will not allow this to be passed and, in fact, my campaign filed the bill back in 2002 in the Democratic legislature, 85% Democratic, they could have prevented any possibility of a split vote. And, you know, it was a close vote and the votes for me, you know, might have made that difference. But it turned out they didn’t. The gap was bigger than the votes that I got. But in any event they could have pre-empted any possibility of bypassing rank votes. They refused. That they refused is very revealing. It tells you they rely on intimidation and fear in order to gain your vote and the fact that they rely on fear tells you they are not your friend and do not deserve your vote!

Ralph Nader: Worse than that. worse than relying on fear, is there excluding you from the seat at the table. One of the ways they exclude you is what you just said: instant runoff voting, they always talk about spoilers, a political bigoted word that should be called that. It’s only aimed at third party candidates, never any other with the major parties. And they got an opportunity to deal with that instant runoff voting ,and they don’t.

Let’s run through the various ways they’re trying to marginalize the Green Party and even the Libertarian Party. One way is to keep you off the mass media. In 2004 Professor Stephen Farnsworth, when I report saying that I got about five minutes on all the networks after Labor Day to election day: only five minutes even though I, like you, were representing majoritarian issues.

Okay, so have you gotten any time on the following: the National CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News?

Jill Stein: Media Research Center just put out a report like last week and what they showed that I’ve gotten three seconds worth of coverage on major media evening news, Gary Johnson have had eleven seconds, and Donald Trump has had approximately 35,000 times as much coverage, Hillary Clinton about 20,000 times as much coverage.

Ralph Nader: And these networks are using public properties, the public airwaves.

Alright the next question is how about the cable shows. Let’s talk about the so-called liberal MSNBC. Have you been on any of those shows: Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Larry O’Donnell, any of these shows and others on MSNBC?

Jill Stein: None of the major shows.

Ralph Nader: Ok let’s go to the radio now. Have you been on NPR?

Jill Stein: Briefly yes. I was on Tom Ashbrook. I did have one hour, Tom Ashbrook, and that was really about it.

Ralph Nader: Okay, have you had any C-Span coverage?

Jill Stein: Yes. C-Span covered our, you know, major events; they covered the convention our news conference.

Ralph Nader: Yes, they were very good in Presidential campaigns. That’s why they are trusted.

How about the following shows: Charlie Rose on PBS, Diane Rehm radio NPR, Terry Gross NPR and have you been on those shows?

Jill Stein: Well I had approximately a ten-minute segment on Diane Rehm’s, that’s all.

Ralph Nader: Well that’s more than I got. The point here, Jill Stein, is–and I’ll make it in a personal way–over eighty percent of the people when I ran for President knew about me but then I realized that when I was running, eighty percent of the people didn’t even know I was running. So you see that gap is exactly how they can marginalize and exclude people from giving the voters more voices and choices

Alright, the third way they block competition and continue the two-party duopoly is with the phony name called the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is a nonprofit corporation created by the Republican and Democratic parties that, you know, in 1987 to get rid of the League of Women Voters supervision of debates. And it is funded by corporations. The debates are greased by companies like Ford Motor Company, AT&T and Anheuser Busch, and except for letting Ross Perot on in 1992, they haven’t let anybody on.

And they get the cooperation of these networks who make money from the ratings to keep everybody off. Now have there been any polls asking the American people whether they want you, the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, on those debates? In 2000 the majority of people wanted me and Buchanan on the debates in two thousand. And me on the debates in 2004. have there been any polls?

Jill Stein: Yes, and the numbers have gone up from where they were when you were running. It is now seventy-six percent of the American public that says they want Gary Johnson and myself included in these debates.

Ralph Nader: So there you are. What’s happening is that the will of the people, the declared opinion of the people, who want more agendas, more ideas, more sensible redirections reforms in our country, are being thwarted by the mechanism of keeping third-party candidates, who are on more than enough States theoretically to get an electoral vote majority, to keep them off the mass media, the commercial media, to keep them off the debates. Now unless you have billions of dollars, it’s impossible to reach tens of millions of American people no matter how hard you campaign. And you’ve been campaigning non-stop, Jill Stein. So if you’re kept off the debates, you can’t reach more two percent of people even if you campaign every state and fill the big conventions like Madison Square Garden. So it is basically a strategy to destroy the essence of democracy, which is the competitiveness and choices of candidates on the ballot.

Now you have been on Democracy Now haven’t you?

Jill Stein: Yes, we have good coverage and you know let me just add to what you said about the Commission, that fake Commission, a very public and official sounding name, that the League of Women Voters quit after the two corporate parties took over this Commission. And they quit saying that this is a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter. There’s the pretense that this is official when it’s actually the two parties who are colluding in order to silence political opposition. This is true to party tyranny and it locks people in, especially outrageous at this time that people feel like they are being thrown under the bus by these two political parties and are demanding, you know, other options in large numbers.

Ralph Nader: Let’s get back to the debates. The first debate which you are excluded from, Dr. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson as well, is September 26, it’s coming up fast at Hofstra College in Long Island and then they have two more debates at the Presidential level and one at the Vice-Presidential level. I wonder why they’re rationing debates. You want to talk about people wanting more debates at this stage the election: probably 95%.

What are you going to do about the Hofstra debate? Are you going to go there?

Jill Stein: Yes, I’m going there. We now have over a hundred thousand people who are signed up on our campaign and our petition to open up the debate, and we’re encouraging people to come and to join us and to insist that we need to be included. So exactly what the plans are at Hofstra, we will be advising people as the time gets closer. But we are not just going to go quietly into the dark night.

In this election. we are not just deciding what kind of a world we will be, but arguably whether we will have a world or not going forward. If my campaign is not in the debate, we will not have a real discussion of the emergency of climate change and why in fact we need a Green New Deal type national mobilization at the scale of a wartime mobilization in order to address this emergency.

If my campaign is not in the debate, we will not be talking about how we really fix this problem of endless and expanding war, why we need to cut the military budget by 50%, why we need to bring back our troops scattered overseas, the police force of the world, in over a hundred countries, something like eight hundred bases, but who’s counting, why we need to basically bring those troops home and why we need to stop this policy of regime change, these wars on terror, which only create more terror. This needs to be debated.

And a third issue, Ralph, that is potentially putting us all in the target hairs now is the reactivation of a new nuclear arms race. This arms race and this cold war is potentially hotter than it’s been at any time in my lifetime. And we have two thousand nuclear weapons on the trigger alert right now and Hillary Clinton wants to start an air war with Russia, a nuclear-armed power, over Syria as the means of addressing ISIS and the crisis in Syria. This kind of stuff, nuclear weapons, needs to be on the table and it won’t be if I’m not in the debate.

Ralph Nader: That’s true because both Trump and Hillary want bigger military budgets and Hillary supports President Obama’s one trillion dollar expenditure to so-called upgrade nuclear weapons. President Eisenhower warned us, five star general, he said watch out for the military-industrial complex. That’s a threat to our freedom, to our economy, and what we have now is a gigantic taxpayer draining empire that is devouring itself, which, as you say, it’s creating more resistance, more fighting, against us oversees. The threats are coming to this country, which will, of course, increase the massive industry known as the anti-terrorism industry, and crush our civil liberties and civil rights, And it’s devouring our priorities here in communities all over the country which are in such disrepair and are so neglected in terms of public works and public services.

In the meantime the big corporations are fleeing America for tax havens and places like Ireland, Luxembourg and the Grand Cayman Islands; the rich are finding more tax loopholes to expect; so when are the people going to basically roll up their sleeves and say, we’ve had enough, we’re going to recapture Congress.

As you know, Jill, a lot of progressives, they have great agendas and they have great solutions, but they don’t pay enough attention to recapturing Congress. And recapturing Congress, 535 men and women who put their shoes on every day like you and I, is the key to begin turning this whole process around.

And I hear people who are worried about climate change tell me, oh, Congress that’s gridlock, that’s not where the action is. Hello, that’s where the action is. When I go up there, I see coal lobbyists, oil lobbyists, natural gas lobbyists, nuclear power lobbyists, somehow they think that’s where the action is in Congress.

So I want to ask you this question: how do you read the Bernie movement, the Bernie Sanders movement before and after he endorsed Hillary Clinton without qualifications, I might add, and how is it going to help you? So how do you read before, after, and how’s it going to help you?

Jill Stein: Well let me just say that on the day that Bernie endorsed Hillary, the floodgates opened into our campaign. Our fundraising went up about a thousand percent and that’s largely been sustained. Our Facebook went off the charts and volunteers poured into our campaigns and actually helped us achieve the ballot access status that we have now on the ballot in just about 48 states and this has continued.

So Bernie, the team player, he made it known from the very start that he would be supporting the Democratic nominee, presumably Hillary Clinton, and what we learned in the course of Bernie’s campaign is that you cannot have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party. The party pulled out its kill switch against Bernie and sabotaged him. As we saw from the emails revealed, showing the collusion between the Democratic National Committee, Hillary’s campaign, and members of the corporate media.

And it wasn’t the first time. This happened to Dennis Kucinich. It happened to Jesse Jackson. They did it even to Howard Dean, creating the Dean scream. This is how they work. And it’s been a huge wake-up moment. And Bernie’s campaign was very principled in most regards, I think, you know, he certainly didn’t go far enough in questioning the military policy, the military-industrial complex, and so on, but you know I think that’s the price you pay for being in the Democratic Party. And Bernie has to pay that price. If he were liberated from the Democratic Party, it might be a whole new ballgame.

You know, as he said himself, it’s a movement, not a man. And that movement continues to move into our campaign. It’s going strong. I think it’s a marriage made in heaven. The Green Party provides the infrastructure, kind of the culture of watchdogging the electoral bureaucracy, and how you participate, how you get on the ballot, stuff like that which is very difficult to do unless you have billions of dollars. So with the passion and the vision of the Berners coming into the Greens–we call it berning green–and the events that I’m going to that are being created around the country right now, it’s the Bernie folks who are showing up in huge numbers along with the traditional Green. It’s very powerful.

There’s one other element I just want to be sure to mention here: that is that there are 43 million young people who are locked into predatory student loan debt for whom there is no way out in the foreseeable future given the economy that we have: this predatory Wall Street driven financialized low-wage service industry economy. The jobs that have come back have been extremely insecure low-wage benefit poor temporary jobs. Young people are screwed. They don’t have a way to pay off their debt. And when they discover that they could come out and vote Green to cancel that debt, that I am the one candidate who will bail out the students like we bailed out the crooks on Wall Street, then it becomes an irresistible motivation to actually come out and vote Green.

And I just want to note that 43 million young people in debt is enough to win a three-way Presidential race. So when they tell us that resistance is futile, just remember that is the toxic kool-aid, that is the propaganda, that they’re trying to use to keep people from self mobilizing. If ever there was a mobilizing energy, it is the millennial generation. So we have the power to turn out and even to win this race. Not to split the vote but to flip the vote.

Ralph Nader: You know, we’re trying to convey how much easier it is than most people think, especially young people, to turn the country around if they focus on the levers, if they focus on Congress, and state legislatures. If a hundred people in each congressional district started a Congress watchdog club with a letterhead and a summons to the members of Congress to come to town meetings, even just a hundred people out of 690,000 people in each congressional district, they will begin to feel their power and feel how they go to 200, 500, 700, how they can challenge these corporations that control the majority of the members of Congress even though they don’t have any vote. We’re the ones that have the vote.

So we have to convey the sense that in American history it’s always been a few people that started movements against slavery, women’s right to vote, the farmer Labor revolutions in the late 19th century, always third parties have been first–Jill Stein as you say to your own audiences–have been first with the great issues way before the two major parties. They were first to recommend a social security program, a Medicare program, the first to push for a 40 hour week, for progressive taxation.

And that’s one reason why they are discriminated against and repressed. It’s because they want to shift power from the few to the many. So why don’t you give the website. I’m sure our listeners are saying, how do we get in touch, how do we become part of this justice movement.

Jill Stein: Great. So go to Jill2016.com, or on social media go to DrJillStein and that’s Dr no period. And join the team, because we’re here for the long haul. And you know in the words of Alice Walker, the biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with. We have it: just to look at the power of fighting student debt or 25 million Latinos who learned that the Republicans are the party that hate and fear but Democrats are the party of people deportation and detention.

We have all the numbers we need to turn this system on its head. The anti-slavery parties were also called spoilers, including the Republican party that went on not just to abolish slavery but they actually take over the Presidency moving very quickly from third-party into the Presidency. At a time of great social upheaval, all things are possible. We must challenge, as Ralph was saying, you know, to fight at every level, including Congress and to make that challenge political and to organize as a political party is how we get traction.

In the words of Frederick Douglas, power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will. We must be that demand. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Don’t let them talk you out of your part.

Ralph Nader: So that’s your opening statement if you’re on the Presidential debates at Hofstra on September 26th. Let’s get your view on the two major candidates. Let’s start with a question that I have to you about Donald Trump. He has made every mistake possible, any one of which would have destroyed his candidacy if he was an ordinary candidate. He has been a bigot against Hispanic-Americans, Muslim-American, he wants to build the wall, he engages in repeated daily factual misstatements, where even people on Fox News have to follow up and correct his false statements again and again, and he never corrects them himself.

He’s cheated about everything and everybody he’s dealt with. He cheated against his workers, his consumers Trump University, that fraud, he’s cheated against his small business suppliers, he’s cheating against his investors with his bankruptcies, he’s cheating against his creditors, he even has boasted about cheating against his matrimony and he’s cheated against taxpayers by being a corporate welfare king and not paying any taxes, refuses to disclose his tax returns which would show all kinds of interrelations that might lead to his disapproval by people.

Now given all that and given the so-called conservative values of his supporters, why is he now surging on Hillary Clinton, the latest poll he’s five points ahead in Ohio, he’s almost tied in Florida when a few weeks ago he was 10 points or more behind, what does this say, first, about the voters who are supporting him and what does this say about the media that is replaying as you say billions of dollars of free propaganda by him? What does it say about the Trump movement?

Jill Stein: Well, you know, as Bernie Sanders himself said, you know, the Trump movement reflects the economic despair and misery that’s been inflicted not only on the American people but people around the world. And we have been subject to globalization and financialization and austerity and workers have been thrown under the bus while the one percent is rolling in dough. So, you know, the way that you address this right-wing extremism is actually by putting forward a truly progressive agenda. That’s the only solution here.

And the economic misery: who passed NAFTA? You know, Bill Clinton signed that with Hillary’s support. Who passed Wall Street deregulation that enabled the meltdown of Wall Street and the disappearance of nine million jobs, the theft of 5 million homes? You know we have Democratic centrists here to blame for the economic conditions driving this rightwing extremism. So the solution here, you know, is not Hillary Clinton and more of the Clintonism centrist, the centrist Clinton philosophy that is greeding this economic misery.

But let me put this another way. Polls show it’s a majority of Trump supporters don’t actually support Donald Trump, they actually dislike Hillary Clinton, they’re looking for something else. So what we need to do is to give them something else. And in terms of the role of the media, that is my candidacy which does provide that truly progressive agenda that gets to the heart of what is driving this right-wing extremism.

It’s not just Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton is not going to be the solution here. She’s going to be more of what is driving this incredible economic insecurity and this shift to the right, The media, the factor, is summed up by the CEO of I think it was CBS who said Donald Trump may be bad for the country but he sure is good for our bottom line. And it reflects Ralph I think how important it is what you’ve said before, that it’s time to use the antitrust laws and to break up this conglomerate corporate media that has now poisoned our democracy to the point that our very survival is at risk for the kinds of monstrosities that are flourishing in our corporate media dominated discussion.

Ralph Nader: It’s amazing how the media is degrading itself to the level of the Republican primary, scurrilous back and forth, and the media, I keep telling people in the mass media you’ve got a privileged position in the First Amendment and you should have a higher estimate of your own significance and not just be ditto heads for political scum and political slander.

And in substantial presentations Hillary has been seen by the commentators as one of the reasons as you say, her weakness as a candidate, her duplicity her untrustworthiness, her more Wall Street, more war, you could have a button with a nice picture of Hillary in the middle and on the top is more war and on the bottom is more Wall Street and you be very prophetic. She just can’t disentangle herself from those two. She gave Bernie Sanders a few slogans in order to mimic him but she’s back again becoming more aggressive overseas and even Obama and she scares the generals.

So we’re in a very very serious point as you said around the country. Jill, in this country I know every four years they say serious point. but when you’ve got these two candidates, all of whom want more militarism and more corporate power and who knows what else Trump wants, he takes everything personally. I can see him attacking a country whose leader insulted him. He has no self-control. He has no impulse self-control. He has a very serious personality defect on that.

And so here we are, we have a few weeks left before the election and people have got to rally Hofstra: you want to go and rally Hofstra. A lot of people in New York city area on September 26, Monday September 26th, the first Presidential debate. The media is going to all be there. If there are twenty, fifty a hundred thousand people there, saying open up the debates for the third parties, I think that will begin getting the attention of the mass media. So I urge listeners in the greater New York City area to go to these peaceful rallies and with your placards and make your demands known because the press is all there. You go where the press is.

What do you say, Jill?

Jill Stein: Yes definitely. This is where the American people are. This is what we demand. Over three-quarters of the American people are saying it’s time to open up the debates. We have rejected these two candidates at the highest levels of disapproval in our history.

What’s wrong with this picture? You know, what’s wrong with this picture is that Americans not only have a right to vote, we have a right to know who we can vote for. It’s time to override this fraud being committed on the American voter of the two-party tyranny of this private corporation of the Commission on Presidential Debates. We the voters demand the right to be in charge here, to be informed, to be empowered.

And let me add that at this moment we are seeing before our very eyes a political realignment. We’ve seen the Republican Party come apart at the seam with Donald Trump taking the remnants over the cliff. We’ve seen the basic foundation of the Republican Party move into the Democratic Party inside of Hillary’s campaign.

And you have endorsements, everyone from Meg Whitman to the neocon John Negroponte and others who are all saying, you know, we’re with Hillary now. So we’ve got a big happy, one corporate family now uniting the corporate Democrats and the corporate Republicans. The people of integrity inside the Bernie campaign have split off and are unifying with the Green.

So this is actually a transformative political moment, that realignment,that has been in the works here for quite some time. It has to be.

Ralph Nader: As I was saying, half a democracy is showing up and people have got not only to agree with this agenda, some of these third parties listeners, they’ve got to show up. People have got to show up, showing up at meetings, rallies, marches, City Council, courtrooms. You’ve got to show up.

We have a Democratic Party that cannot defend the American people from the worst Republican Party in history because it’s a Democratic Party of war and Wall Street. And we have two parties who are basically hijacking our country for their corporate paymasters. And if we focus on 535 members of Congress, that’s not all that many, we’re going to see a fast turnaround. So focus all your concerns, all the information, the kind of agenda the Green Party has. Turn it right on your Senators and Representatives.

So I want to have, Steve, Steve, wants to ask a question Jill.

Steve Skrovan: Dr. Stein, talk a little bit about your vice Presidential running mate Ajamu Baraka. Who is he and how does he compliment you as a candidate?

Jill Stein: Great. So Ajamu Baraka is a human rights advocate and an international human rights advocate, who’s been defending racial justice, economic justice, worker justice, indigenous justice, and justice for black and brown people all over the world, and in the United States has been helping to lead the charge against the death penalty here, and is an extremely eloquent and empowering person. And one of the great things about running with him is that we speak to all of America.

He comes out of the tradition of the African-American intellectuals, the people who really been standing up for African-American rights and economic rights and workers rights. And because he speaks in the language of his community, and makes no bones about it, he really invites in a whole new demographic of voters who have been locked out?—African-American and black and brown people and indigenous people?— who have felt like this system has no place for them. And he is unapologetic about standing up for the rights of the oppressed people and against colonialism and against imperialism. And he’s very inspirational.

And it is so much fun to be out there on the campaign trail with him because who comes out is totally different from anything I have seen before in progressive campaigns because he is so empowering and inspiring.

Ralph Nader: When I have heard him, he talks in a very calm voice, too. He talks in a very steady, calm voice, full of facts.

Now as we close, Jill Stein, the Presidential candidate for the Green Party, tell our listeners how they can get to read your agenda, how they can get to your website. Say it slowly and twice.

Jill Stein: Ok, to get in the website, it’s Jill2016.com. That’s Jill2016.com. And our social media is DrJillStein and that’s Dr, no period, DrJill Stein: all one word. And you can see our media appearances as well as connect to Our Power to the People Agenda, Our Green New Deal, our plan to abolish student debt and our plan to actually create a whole new foreign policy based on international law and human rights.

That means we don’t supply a hundred billion dollars worth of weapons to the war criminals in Saudi Arabia nor do we supply eight million dollars a day to the Israeli army that is also violating international law and human rights. So there are real solutions right now for us if we stand up with the courage of our convictions.

There is no stopping us. So join the team. Come out to Hofstra again on September 26, and let’s begin to take our democracy back. We are in the target hairs in this election. We are all asking whether we are going to have a world at all or not going forward.

If we are going to save our hides, we need to start with democracy. Democracy needs to start with an open Presidential debate. So come on out and let’s take back the promise of our democracy.

Ralph Nader: And listeners, you can call your local newspaper, your local TV, radio station, say why aren’t they putting third-party candidates on. Call NPR, call PBS, why aren’t they putting third-party candidates on.

You had an experience recently with Judy Woodruff of PBS. Can you explain that to our listeners. It’s the Public Broadcasting System Judy Woodruff on the News Hour.

Jill Stein: That’s right. I had a taped interview which was approximately six or seven minutes long and it was actually posted, I think it was live-streamed in fact, on Facebook. And then it was played on the News Hour that night, and some of our astute watchdog supporters compared the two and they discovered that some of my most important statements critiquing Hillary Clinton and why she is not going to save our hides, whether it was her war policy or for shipping our jobs overseas with NAFTA, her history of dismantling the social safety net and supporting the destruction of aid to families with dependent children, putting millions more children and families in poverty, you know, I told some hard truths about Hillary Clinton and why the lesser evil is not okay, that apparently my discussion of Hillary Clinton was cut
out and also my discussion about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. and why it is an absolute betrayal of our democratic sovereignty and why it must be stopped, and why anybody supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership is essentially betraying the basic principles of democracy.

So those two discussions were cut out of the PBS broadcast, which essentially took the teeth out of it. So, yeah, I think PBS needs to have us on again for a longer segment in fact so that we can tell the whole truth.

Ralph Nader: What’s interesting is this election year has made the citizen groups off-limits. All these citizen groups?— local, state, national?—that really do things and improve the country, they’re never asked to be in these electoral campaign discussions. It’s all these pundits, all these consultants, and the candidates, as if they’re in a bubble leaving democracy off-limits.

Now you campaign around the country, Jill Stein, you connect with local issues, you connect with local citizen groups, don’t you?

Jill Stein: Oh absolutely. And you know we’re not out holding fundraisers in the Hamptons or in Beverly Hills. My running mate, Ajamu Baraka, was out camping out with the homeless in Baltimore last night. We were both recently at the Standing Rock Sioux encampment where in fact we are both now, a warrant is out for our arrest for participating in civil disobedience to support this very critical stand being taken on behalf of our water, on behalf of human rights, on behalf of our climate. We were out there with the people whose homes were flooded out in Southern Louisiana. We are out there on the front line with everyday people fighting the real frontline battle that real Americans are fighting.

And let me support what you just said, Ralph, about everyday Americans really having the power here. People may remember, or you may have heard if you weren’t there during the Nixon years, we had one of the worst Presidents ever on record but we the American people have the sense of our own power. We were in the driver’s seat. We forced Richard Nixon and the Congress who established, and thanks to your leadership, Ralph, we supported you and we got the Environmental Protection Act and Agency. We ended the war in Vietnam, and brought the troops home. We got OSHA established with your leadership. We got the Supreme Court, we pressured the Supreme Court into supporting women’s rights to choose.

So there should be just no end to what we can do when we operate with the courage of our convictions and we get out there in the street, in the voting booth, we assert our power and we take our democracy back.

And I’m getting the sign now from my campaign that we are about to run into our next event here at the University of Maine in Orono so I will have to bid you adieu, but it has been really wonderful and inspiring as always talking with you, Ralph, and you, Steve. And I just so greatly appreciate, in fact, I give you credit or perhaps the blame for my candidacy. From the very start you have been the inspiration to me to get involved with politics, someone who was not politically active for the first 50 years of my life. I think for the next 50 years I’m not going to be able to stop because of the light that you shine for me and so many millions of Americans. You may have been ahead of the curve but the curve is catching up to you, Ralph Nader, right now in a big way. Well we can’t thank you enough.

Ralph Nader: Well thank you very much, Dr. Jill Stein. We’ve been talking with the Green Party Presidential candidate. She is at Orono, Maine as we record this interview, and she’ll be at Hofstra on Monday, September 26 for the big first Presidential debate. And we’re looking for a huge peaceful protest when the eyes of the mass media are focused on that location. Thank you very much, Jill Stein.

Jill Stein: Thank you so much, Ralph. Take care, all the best.

Steve Skrovan: We have been speaking with Green Party Presidential candidate, Jill Stein. For more information on her candidacy, go to Jill2016.com. We will also link to it on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour website.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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One Response to Jill Stein interviewed by Ralph Nader September 17 2016. Recording and transcript of interview.

  1. Messina says:

    Thanks for this article/transcript. I started transcribing this radio broadcast as well on my website and got through a portion when it occurred to me that someone else may have beat me to the punch.

    Thanks for your great service.

    My article featuring this radio broadcast also includes comments and relevant notes, such as the unfortunate silence on, or ignorance of, modern monetary theory, the job guarantee program, and Bernie Sanders’ radical chief economists’ policy proposals, which can end involuntary unemployment as we know it.


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