1. People say voting Green is “wasting your vote” - does it accomplish anything?
Yes! Each vote for the Green Party helps to build the party, both by building critical mass and by qualifying for concrete benefits when the party reaches a certain threshold of votes. Getting at least 5 percent of the popular vote on Election Day qualifies us for $10 million in federal matching funds so we can build a party for the 99 percent. In many states, getting anywhere from 1% to 5% of the vote earns the Green Party a ballot line, empowering the party to run more candidates at every level. So, it’s not wasting your vote—it’s investing your vote in building a party for people, planet and peace. Learn more: jill2016.com/investyourvote
2. Isn’t voting Green an act of white, straight, able-bodied, cis-gender males?
No. That argument attempts to deny the many people from marginalized communities, including Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, who are supporting the Stein/Baraka campaign and running as Green candidates. People who support Hillary Clinton’s corporatist, neoliberal policies, which are responsible for the oppression of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities at home and around the world, are the truly privileged ones. They are comfortable enough to withstand four more years of a rigged economy, systemic racism and unjust war. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka are the only candidates to have stood with activists from both the Black Lives Matter movement and the Native American uprising against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Voting Green is a true act of solidarity, helping to build a party that puts the concerns of frontline communities front and center.
3. Doesn’t voting Green take away votes from Hillary Clinton and make it more likely Donald Trump will win? Don’t you care about stopping Trump?
Donald Trump says terrible things like proposing to ban Muslims, but Hillary Clinton has done terrible things like bombing Muslims in countries around the world. Both are terrible, unacceptable candidates produced by a broken system; we can and must do better. We need to recognize that consistently choosing the “lesser evil” is a downward spiral we must interrupt. Voting for “lesser evil” is a failed strategy. All the reasons we’ve been told to vote for lesser evil - because we didn’t want Wall Street bailouts, offshored jobs, endless wars, climate meltdown, mass incarceration & deportations - we’ve gotten all that and worse because we allowed ourselves to be silenced and let the “lesser evil” speak for us.
Silence and surrender is not an effective political strategy - we need to stand up for the causes we believe in and build a political party that means what it says, and does what it means. Greens have consistently advocated for ranked choice voting, a simple improvement to the voting system that eliminates the “spoiler” effect. If we give in the the political establishment’s demands that we vote out of fear, things will never get better. Instead, we must demand that they change the system to take the fear out of voting. Voting Green is the only way to use your vote to change the system and build a party for the people. And, no—Jill Stein has not endorsed Trump.
4. Isn’t the Green platform unrealistic? Isn't it economically unworkable?
Every social reform was attacked as “unrealistic,” “idealistic,” “unworkable,” etc., at the time it was proposed. The abolition of slavery seemed impossible, as did getting women the right to vote. Before the Progressive Era and the New Deal, people scoffed at ideas like ending child labor, the 8-hour workday, the weekend, the minimum wage and Social Security. It took committed people working at the grassroots level, building coalitions to enact laws that radically changed society. As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
5. Why don't Greens run local candidates? Why don't you get Greens elected to Congress first?
We do run local candidates - lots of them! The Green Party has elected more than 1,000 local officials around the country, and Greens have won 31 percent of local races we’ve entered. Greens have run many strong campaigns for Congress, but candidates outside the 2-party system face a virtual blackout from the corporate media and are often forcibly excluded from debates. Congressional races have become competitions to see who can raise more money and buy more TV commercials. The big money arms race, together with the media and debate blackout, makes it difficult for Greens to break through because we pledge not to accept money from corporations, lobbyists or Super PACs. However, the Stein/Baraka campaign is committed to building state Green parties and lifting up candidates for local, state and federal office. In fact, we’ve featured a downticket candidate almost every day on our social media accounts. You can view some of these featured candidates here: jill2016.com/downticket
6. People talk about how Bernie Sanders opened people’s eyes, but now he is supporting Clinton, so shouldn’t people do what he says and support her?
Many progressive outsider campaigns within the Democratic Party have been sabotaged by the party elite. Those candidates have then tried to reform the party from within: Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich are just a few examples. This strategy has only allowed the Democrats to take progressive voters for granted while they continually march to the right in pursuit of corporate money. So the strategy of lesser-evilism has a proven track record of failure. We have many points of agreement with Bernie Sanders on domestic policy, if not foreign policy. But we don’t agree with a political strategy that has failed again and again, despite throwing millions of people and hundreds of millions of dollars at trying to change the Democratic Party. Instead, we are investing in a strategy of doing across the country what Bernie Sanders did in Vermont—building power and winning elections outside the corporate two-party system. We can and must have a political revolution, but the Democratic Party’s blatant sabotage of the Sanders campaign showed yet again that revolution can’t happen inside a counter-revolutionary party.
7. Jill Stein doesn’t have the political experience of someone like Hillary Clinton. Doesn’t that make her unqualified?
What kind of experience does Hillary Clinton have? As a U.S. Senator in New York, she consistently served the interests of Wall Street. As Secretary of State, she supported wars, regime changes and military coups. So experience in a broken political system is not necessarily what we need. Nor do we need the experience of someone who’s gotten rich by exploiting people and gaming the system. Presidents don’t do everything themselves - they hire an extensive staff of experienced people to carry out their vision. Qualification to be president should rely on a person’s intentions and their integrity, so the voters can trust they will follow through on their promises. Jill Stein not only has proposed a visionary plan to transform the United States to halt climate change and create a just, equitable society. She also has decades of experience building coalitions of people to stop polluters, get laws passed and fight for the people in the halls of power. Career politicians in the two-party duopoly have given us government controlled by corporate interests, instead of by the people. What kind of experience would you prefer in a public servant?
8. What would a real debate on immigration look and sound like?
First of all, we need to understand that the best way to solve the immigration crisis is to stop causing it in the first place with disastrous US policies on trade, the drug war and military interventions in Latin America. These policies have caused millions to become refugees, and many of these immigrants contribute greatly to our economy while being forced to endure terrible working and living conditions. I would end the night raids, detentions and three million deportations that have defined President Obama’s immigration legacy. As president, I would create a welcoming path to citizenship that is humane and considers the U.S. role in the current refugee crisis.
9. Why is the Green New Deal better than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump’s jobs plan?
Clinton and Trump promote variations on the same policies we’ve seen from the Democrats and Republicans for decades, which have resulted in stagnant wages, offshored jobs, and huge gains for the rich while the majority of Americans struggle just to keep from falling into poverty. The Green New Deal is an emergency plan to create full employment at living wages with millions of green jobs to halt the climate crisis and address the pressing needs of our communities. You can read more about the Green New Deal: jill2016.com/greennewdeal
10. How will you cancel student debt? Is that possible?
Canceling $1.3 trillion in predatory student debt is a top priority for the Stein/Baraka campaign. If we could bail out the crooks on Wall Street, we can bail out their victims—the students who are struggling with an insecure, part-time, low-wage economy. One option for canceling student debt is through a financial tool called Quantitative Easing. Student debt can be ‘removed’ from household consumers’ balance sheets in a manner similar to how the FED removes debt from investors’ balance sheets via quantitative easing, according to Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of political economy at St. Mary’s College. A second option is to create an Education Finance Commission, similar to the New Deal-Era Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The EFC, financed by the Treasury, would purchase and make payments on all outstanding student loan debt—with roughly $1.3 trillion in outstanding student debt, the payments would come to roughly $150 billion per year until all the debt is retired, according to Dr. Randall Wray, Senior Scholar at the Levy Economic Institute. Read more details about both options.
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