Many Americans watching the presidential debate two weeks ago wished we had a third option to listen to. Unfortunately, neither Jill Stein nor Gary Johnson were allowed to participate in the debate due to their less than 15% support in five national polls. (I reported previously about how these polls may not reflect reality.)
Over half of all Americans want to see third party candidates included in the debates. Luckily for them, Democracy Now! invited Jill Stein and Gary Johnson to participate in their segment, “Expanding the Debate.”
Gary Johnson declined; Jill Stein agreed. The format was as follows: Amy Goodman plays a clip from the debate with Lester Holt asking a question and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s responses. Then, Amy Goodman prompts Jill Stein to deliver her response to the same question.
Jill Stein provided her own ideas for each topic, while simultaneously getting in a few attacks on Trump and Clinton. On the topic of jobs and prosperity, she mentioned her “Green New Deal,” cutting the military budget (to use that money elsewhere), and “bailing out” the students (by forgiving student debt). Later in the debate, she also called for increasing the inheritance tax, general tax rates on the wealthy, and wall street taxes.
On race, she talked about needing police accountability using citizen/police review boards, independent investigators to review every police shooting, and a truth and reconciliation commission to generally explore race relations (both past and present) in our country. She also denounced the policy of stop and frisk and called for: more “policing” and regulation on wall street; an end to broken windows policing; better training in de-escalation; demilitarization of the police; and better hiring practices to have police forces look more like their communities.
On education, Jill Stein condemned the “school to prison pipeline” and standardized testing, while advocating for teaching to the lifetime of the student, incorporating art, music, recreation, and community engagement.
On foreign policy, she criticized regime change, saying that “if we want peace at home, we need peace abroad.” She then listed the cost of these regime changes in both dollars and lives. Her solution would be a “peace offensive” in the middle east, starting with a weapons embargo and working with Russia diplomatically. She also urged a freeze on the bank accounts of countries funding terrorists. She did not shy from America’s responsibility, stating multiple times where American involvement had made things worse.
On nuclear weapons and energy, she urged for nuclear disarmament and warned about the dangers of the widespread use of nuclear power in light of the likely sea level rises that will occur in the future as a result of climate change. She also talked about the dangers workers face in the fossil fuel and nuclear power industries and urged a shift to renewable energy. Contrasting Trump, Stein called climate change as great a threat as nuclear weapons.
Other topics mentioned by Jill Stein include: advocating for a Medicare for all system; calling for both Trump and Clinton to release more information about their potential conflicts of interest (e.g. business relations, foundation donations, etc.); and criticizing drone use as a violation of international law.
In her closing remarks, Jill Stein condemned the two party system that she says has let down the American people and forced the two major party candidates on us. She promoted her lack of a PAC and stated that she does not take money from lobbyists and corporate interests. She then argued against the claim that a vote for third party is a wasted vote, saying that a plurality of Americans is not affiliated with either party and that if they banded together, a third party candidate could win.
Finally, will Jill Stein accept the outcome of the presidential election? If there is evidence of fraud, she says she will bring it to court and challenge the results.
You can watch all six of the Democracy Now! segments below. For the full transcripts of Jill Stein’s answers, see text below the videos.
Part 1: Jill Stein “Debates” Clinton & Trump in Democracy Now! Special
LESTER HOLT: We’re calling this opening segment “Achieving Prosperity.” And central to that is jobs. There are two economic realities in America today. There’s been a record six straight years of job growth, and new census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation. However, income inequality remains significant, and nearly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton, why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: So, I’ll start just by thanking Democracy Now! for holding a real debate, which the American people are clamoring for. Over 75 percent of Americans are saying they want an open debate. The two candidates of the establishment parties are the most disliked and untrusted in our history, so we owe the American people a full debate.
On this question of prosperity, I think Donald Trump knows what he’s talking about, about the offshoring of jobs, because, in fact, Donald Trump has offshored all of his jobs, aside from his real estate. All of the products that he manufactures and markets, in fact, are produced offshore. And he, in fact, has been an advocate of closing factories, moving them offshore or down south, and then moving them back—in this case, to Michigan—so that workers’ wages could be suppressed. So, indeed, he does exemplify the very problem that he is talking about.
The prosperity issue has really reached crisis proportions, because prosperity has gone to the top, not to American workers who are struggling. Half of Americans are basically in poverty or near poverty and struggling to survive. So we need truly transformative solutions. This won’t be solved around the margins.
My campaign is calling for a Green New Deal, which is an emergency jobs program that will create 20 million good-wage, living-wage jobs as part of solving the emergency of climate change. So we—we call for 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030, in time to actually solve the climate crisis. And in doing so, we would revive the economy, turn the tide on climate change and actually improve our health so much by phasing out fossil fuels, which in fact kill 200,000 people every year and cause lots more illness in addition to that, but we gain so much money by saving on these needless sick care expenditures that that savings alone is enough to pay the costs of the Green New Deal.
And in addition, 100 percent renewable energy makes wars for oil obsolete. And we call for cutting the military budget from this bloated, dangerous budget, in fact, which is bankrupting us, and putting our dollars into true security here at home.
[There is a break for more responses from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.]
JILL STEIN: So, clearly more heat than light coming out of much of the discussion in last night’s debate. In addition to establishing an emergency jobs program, we need to do another major initiative, and that is to end the predatory student loan debt, which has basically held an entire generation hostage, unable to actually participate in the economy and create a decent future for themselves. So we call for bailing out the students, as the Democrats and Republicans bailed out Wall Street. After Wall Street had crashed the economy through their waste, fraud, and abuse, we say it’s about time to bail out the victims of that abuse. This would be the stimulus package of our dreams, to unleash an entire generation that is already trained. They have the skills. They have the passion and the vision. They need to be turned loose by canceling that debt.
There are many ways we can pay for it. It’s $1.3 trillion. We came up with $16 trillion to bail out Wall Street when they needed it. We can pay for ending student debt by creating a small tax on Wall Street, for example, or by increasing the income tax on the highest bracket of earners up to, say, 60 or 65 percent. We also call for making higher education free, because, in fact, it pays for itself. For every dollar that we put into higher education, in fact, we get back $7 in return in improved benefits and in actual increased revenues. So, we simply cannot afford not to make public higher education free.
LESTER HOLT: I want to move to our next segment. We move into our next segment talking about America’s direction. And let’s start by talking about race. The share of Americans who say race relations are bad in this country is the highest it’s been in decades, much of it amplified by shootings of African Americans by police, as we’ve seen recently in Charlotte and Tulsa. Race has been a big issue in this campaign, and one of you is going to have to bridge a very wide and bitter gap. So how do you heal the divide? Secretary Clinton, you get two minutes on this.
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: So, first, just to be clear, immigrants are among the most peaceful and nonviolent populations in the United States, so one should not be misled by Donald Trump’s efforts to do fear mongering and create animosity towards immigrants.
Where we need to start in addressing this crisis of police violence and the issues of the Black Lives Matter campaign, we need to begin with accountability. We need to ensure that police do not have impunity to wreak havoc in communities of color. And that needs to start with police review boards, or so-called citizen review boards, where the community actually has the ability to control their police rather than having the police control the communities. And those review boards should have the power to hire and fire police chiefs. They should also have the power of subpoena.
In addition, communities should have independent investigators who are available to look into every case of death or serious injury at the hands of police, so that every person who dies in—with—due to police actions, their family has a right to know what happened. Each case should be investigated.
And in addition, we call for a truth and reconciliation commission, because we are a society that is divided by fear, that is divided by suspicion, long-standing hatred. In fact, it’s known that when slavery was ended, it simply transformed into lynchings, which then led to Jim Crow, which then led to redlining and segregation, and then the war on drugs and then this epidemic of police violence. So there’s a long-standing and cumulative legacy of racism and violence that we must come to terms with as a society. So we call for a truth and reconciliation commission in order to truly have a conversation about race, so that we can transcend this history of division and violence and racism.
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond to stop and frisk questions and continue discussing race.]
JILL STEIN: Well, let me just comment that Hillary Clinton knows what she’s talking about when she refers to the injustices and the racial biases in our criminal justice system. Indeed, it was Bill Clinton’s omnibus crime bill of the 1990s, which Hillary supported, that opened the floodgates to mass incarceration and to this assault by police and the criminal injustice system on communities of color. So, indeed, that bill, that she herself promoted, saying how we needed to, quote, “bring them to heel,” referring to African-American communities and youth, that indeed does need to be put behind us.
When Donald Trump talks about law and order, the place where law and order is most needed in our society, the place of greatest lawlessness and crime, is actually Wall Street. In fact, all the cops on the beat were laid off prior to the Wall Street crash in the years leading up to it; that is, from the Department of Justice, the FBI investigators, the security and exchange watchdogs had all been laid off. So, we call for actually bringing back the cops on the beat. Wall Street does not regulate itself. It needs people on Wall Street watching Wall Street, so we can in fact catch the crooks before they crash the economy again.
Stop-and-frisk was indeed unconstitutional and was indeed a flagrant case of racial profiling. It’s also true that it was not effective. In fact, crime rates were dropping in cities all over the country while they were also dropping in New York. So, to attribute that to stop-and-frisk, which was not causing the reduction around the country, is just wrong thinking.
And then, let me say also, regarding policing, we need to end the broken windows policing, which is confrontational, aggressive policing that results in the kinds of tragedies we saw last week, particularly with Keith Scott, who in fact was just sitting in his car reading a book. It’s disputed that he had a gun, as the police claimed, but in fact it is legal to have a gun and to carry a gun openly in North Carolina. So, this is really a classic study of the violence, the inherent violence, of this broken windows policing. Police need to be trained in de-escalation techniques. We need to be demilitarizing our police and changing the hiring practices so that police actually look like the communities that they should be a part of.
LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump, for five years you perpetuated a false claim that the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple of weeks, you acknowledged what most Americans have accepted for years: The president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: So, it’s important—excuse me—that Hillary Clinton point out Donald Trump’s record of flagrant, blatant racism. It’s also important, I think, to point out the record of Hillary Clinton’s actions that have also been hurtful, particularly to the African-American and Latino communities. In addition to the omnibus crime bill that opened the floodgates to mass incarceration and massively disproportionate locking up of African Americans, particularly young men, in addition to that, Secretary Clinton—prior to being secretary, of course—supported the destruction of Aid to Families with Dependent Children and the replacement of this basic social safety net with a new program, so-called TANF, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, that locked out a large proportion of the families that needed assistance, throwing an additional 1 million-plus children and their families into poverty. And that problem persists to this day.
Secretary Clinton also has a track record for suppressing the minimum wage. This was in the African-American country of Haiti, where Secretary Clinton led the charge to push down the minimum wage from an abysmal 60 cents an hour down to a mere 40 cents an hour, in order to prop up the corporate profits of American corporations that were residing in Haiti. So, she certainly has a track record of her own that needs to be aired.
To talk about racial healing, it’s important to recognize not only do we have to end violent policing—not one more violent, racist killing—but we need to look at where the money of our municipal budgets are going. In Los Angeles, for example, where the police department has a particularly violent record, half of the city’s budget actually goes into policing. Well, what the Black Lives Matter movement is suggesting there is that a substantial portion of that money needs to be spent on prevention. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure in this case. We need programs for youth. We need quality schools. We need to end the school-to-prison pipeline and the sense of hopelessness that it creates. And, in fact, we need school systems that teach to the whole student for lifetime learning, that incorporate art, music and recreation and community engagement, not this high-stakes testing which is used as an excuse to shut down public schools, to abuse teachers, to fire them and to turn our public schools into a resource for the private charter industry.
LESTER HOLT: You mentioned ISIS, and we think of ISIS certainly as over there, but there are American citizens who have been inspired to commit acts of terror on American soil—the latest incident, of course, the bombings we just saw in New York and New Jersey, the knife attack at a mall in Minnesota, in the last year, deadly attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. I’ll ask this to both of you: Tell us specifically how you would prevent homegrown attacks by American citizens. Mr. Trump?
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: So, this is another example of why we need to open up these debates, because mostly they are arguing—Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump are arguing about their record and who said what, when, and when did they take various positions. We’re not discussing the fundamental fact that we have a catastrophic failed policy of regime change, of a foreign policy based on economic and military domination, which is blowing back at us big time. If we want to have peace at home, we need to achieve peace abroad. And in the words of Martin Luther King, “Peace is not simply the absence of violence: It is the presence of justice.”
So, let’s look at our foreign policy. What have these regime change wars accomplished? They’ve cost us $5 to $6 trillion since 9/11, which comes out to about $50,000 per American household. Tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed and maimed, over a million people killed in Iraq alone. And what do we have for all of this? What we have to show are failed states, mass refugee migrations, which are tearing apart the Middle East and Europe, for that matter, and worse terrorist threats. They are not getting better. They only get worse with each turn of the cycle of violence.
So, we need a new kind of offensive in the Middle East, what we call a peace offensive in the Middle East. And it begins with a weapons embargo. Since we, the United States, are supplying the weapons directly or indirectly to all parties, all combatants on all sides, and we are the major supplier of weapons to the region, as well as around the world, it’s clear that we have enormous power here to initiate this weapons embargo and to work, in fact, with the Russians to achieve it also, because they, too, are paying a price that they cannot afford for these failed wars. In addition, we need to put a freeze on the bank accounts of those countries, largely our allies, who are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises. Hillary Clinton’s own leaked emails as secretary of state identified the Saudis as still the major funder, even many years after 9/11, still the major funder of terrorist Sunni jihad enterprises. We got this started. We can put it to a stop.
LESTER HOLT: And I want to talk about taxes. The fundamental difference between the two of you concerns the wealthy. Secretary Clinton, you’re calling for a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. I’d like you to further defend that. And, Mr. Trump, you’re calling for tax cuts for the wealthy. I’d like you to defend that. And this next two-minute answer goes to you, Mr. Trump.
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: So, we need a just tax system. Both Democrats and Republicans, over the past decades, have shifted the tax base from corporations and the wealthy far more onto the backs of the middle class and working people and the poor. So, the things that Donald Trump is talking about, indeed, they don’t work. They’ve been tried before.
The Democrats and Republicans essentially eliminated the—well, Donald Trump is proposing to eliminate the inheritance tax, after Democrats and Republicans reduced it through the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which then Barack Obama made permanent. So, that inheritance tax needs to be restored, because the inheritance tax helps us prevent the establishment of an aristocracy, which is what we now have in the United States, where 22 billionaires have the wealth, among them, equivalent to 50 percent of the American population. And this wealth is being massively accumulated and passed on, which establishes the kind of aristocracy which was not supposed to be a part of this country. So we need to put the inheritance tax back where it was before the Bush tax cuts.
We need to increase the top marginal rates in the income tax. You could put them back to where they were even under Ronald Reagan, and they would be at the 55, 60 percent tax level. And we should put a tax on Wall Street. Why should the wealthiest sector of the economy be the one sector which is not contributing a sales tax to our general revenues? So, even putting a tiny tax on Wall Street transactions would generate hundreds of billions of dollars, which are critically needed.
In addition, as I mentioned, we need a Green New Deal to actually create the jobs directly, government-funded jobs, which create incentives, grants and loans for small businesses, for worker cooperatives and nonprofits, and with government as an employer of last resort to ensure that we have the jobs that we need to transition the economy in the time frame needed to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030, a healthy and sustainable food system, which is currently the source of many of our fossil fuel emissions, and efficient, renewably powered public transportation, also to restore our ecosystems. And finally, healthcare as a human right needs to be provided as a basic right for everyone through an improved Medicare-for-all system. It doesn’t cost any more. We simply eliminate the middleman and the profiteering, and put our healthcare dollars into real healthcare.
LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump, we’re talking about the burden that Americans have to pay, yet you have not released your tax returns. And the reason nominees have released their returns for decades is so that voters will know if their potential president owes money to who he owes it to and any business conflicts. Don’t Americans have a right to know if there are any conflicts of interest?
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: Well, they’re both right. They should both release their information. For Donald Trump, not only his tax returns, but we really deserve to know what his business dealings are. The investigative report by Newsweek suggested that Donald Trump seems to be engaged in business relationships with some of the most corrupt and Mafioso-type characters that exist around the world. For example, one of his business deals is with a member of a family that does laundering, money laundering, for the Iranian military. He also appears to have connections in South Korea who would benefit by this policy he suggested of providing nuclear weapons or encouraging nuclear weapons to be developed by South Korea. So, Donald Trump has a number of business dealings that are—shall we say, have major conflicts of interest with U.S. policy positions. So, the American people deserve to know what those conflicts of interest are, and, in particular, we need to know who the unsavory business partners are of Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton herself, you know, has some disclosures that are owed the American public. With her Clinton Foundation, we know, for example, that she received some many millions of dollars from the ruling prince of Bahrain in exchange, apparently—now, we don’t know for sure, but there was a suspicious sequence of events here whereby she received a major donation in close proximity to providing a major weapons deal for the ruler of Bahrain around the time of the Arab Spring, when there were massive human rights violations going on in Bahrain. We also know that Senator Clinton, or, I should say, Secretary Clinton, approved the purchase of a major portion of the U.S. uranium supply by a Russian company around the time she was receiving major donations to the Clinton Foundation from those parties.
So, indeed, Secretary Clinton’s—half of her emails while secretary of state were declared her private business. If half of your emails while you are serving a busy job like secretary of state—if half of your emails is spent on your private business, you know, one has to ask: What are you doing on company time while you are being paid by the taxpayers of the United States of America, engaging half of your emails in your own private business? So, this represents the kind of merger of the economic and political elites that the American people are so very concerned about and are essentially rejecting. That’s why the American people are not happy with these two candidates and badly deserve not only a right to vote, but to fully know who they can vote for in this critically important election.
LESTER HOLT: On nuclear weapons, President Obama reportedly considered changing the nation’s long-standing policy on first use. Do you support the current policy? Mr. Trump, you have two minutes on that.
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: So, let’s also be mindful here of Secretary Clinton’s track record. Was the invasion of Libya an example of how we lead with strength consistent with our values? It would be hard to imagine a more catastrophic war than what took place in Libya, that helped strengthen ISIS, that helped release an incredible stock of—stockpile of weapons, further inflaming the crisis and the violence in the Middle East.
Hillary Clinton has said she would like to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, which basically means we are going to war with Russia, because that’s what you do when you impose a no-fly zone, is you shoot down people that are in that airspace. And remember, we have 2,000 nuclear weapons now, between us and the Russians, on hair-trigger alert. So, this is certainly a very dangerous territory, where Hillary Clinton has continued to beat the drums of war with this idea that we are showing strength and leadership, but leading us in exactly the wrong direction and a very dangerous direction.
Instead of spending a trillion dollars creating a new generation of nuclear weapons and modes of delivery, it’s time to instead change direction here and move as quickly as humanly possible towards nuclear disarmament. And instead of blaming the Russians, we need to acknowledge it was actually the Russians who tried to engage us in a nuclear disarmament process, again, several decades ago. We need to revive that proposal, take them up on it and move to nuclear disarmament—excuse me—as quickly as we possibly can, because this is sitting on an absolute catastrophe into which we could stumble at any point, particularly given the crazy circular firing squad that’s taking place now around Syria, where there are so many allies at cross-purposes with each other that any of us could be dragged into a larger, full-scale, and even nuclear, war at any moment.
And it’s important to remember, not only is this a trillion dollars which has been proposed—actually, is underway, a trillion dollars’ worth of spending over the next decade and a half, approximately, on new nuclear weapons, but let’s look at our whole war budget, which is half of our discretionary budget. Nearly half of your income taxes are going to pay for these absolutely catastrophic wars.
So we need an approach, not—a whole new approach, not one which is basically bought and paid for by the weapons industry, who is the only beneficiary here, because these regime-change wars, this militarization of our foreign policy, is not creating a more stable world. It is not benefiting democracy in the Middle East. It’s not helping women’s rights in the Middle East. It’s causing nothing but the greater proliferation of violence. In fact, the drone wars kill nine unintended victims for every intended target. And even that intended target is essentially an assassination victim, which is a violation of international law to start with. So, we need to start over. We need a foreign policy based on international law and human rights. That is the direction we need to go to create true stability and peace in the world.
JILL STEIN: So, let me just add that, yes, nuclear material in the hands of terrorists is a very dangerous thing. This is yet another reason why nuclear power and nuclear power plants and their proliferation around the world is an intolerable threat, not only because of the nuclear weapons that can be made from their—their materials once they have been used, but also because of the inherent dangers of nuclear power, particularly in the era of climate change. In our country, we have something like 16 nuclear power plants which are located at sea level. Right now, the most recent studies, for example, by Jim Hansen, the foremost climate scientist, who has never been wrong yet in the many decades that he’s been alerting us to this crisis—he is now predicting we could see as much as nine feet of sea level rise as soon as 2050, which means that our 16 or so nuclear power plants are all going Fukushima.
So, this is just another example of why nuclear power is something that must also be urgently phased out and is part of our call for 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030, which doesn’t mean ending jobs, it means creating jobs and moving the workers who are in the dangerous jobs right now of nuclear power, and particularly in the fossil fuel industry, where walking into a refinery or onto a frack site or into a truck and driving some of these materials, these very explosive and toxic materials, around—to walk into a fossil fuel job is to increase your risk of dying by 700 percent from explosions and crashes and motor vehicle accidents, because these workers are not protected. So we are—we are proposing a just transition, first and foremost, for the workers and the communities that are dependent on the fossil fuel industry, on the nuclear industry and also on the weapons industry, so that we can transition to a new economy which is safe and sustainable, which creates far more jobs, many more jobs. In fact, the fastest area of job growth right now is in the solar and wind industries. In solar, in fact, jobs are being created right now at 12 times the rate of the rest of the economy. So this is a win-win, which, in fact, pays for itself by the reduction in military expenditures, because we no longer need the wars for oil, and by the improvements in our health.
So, this is how we get to true security, not only security against nuclear weapons, but security, as well, for our climate, which is the other number one threat, right up there with nuclear war. They must both be addressed. And the fact that the other two candidates have managed to duck their way around a real discussion and a real examination of these catastrophic wars and this catastrophic nuclear weapons reality that we face right now, that they cannot put these issues on the table, is another reason why it’s really critical for us to stand up and insist on the open debates that the American people are clamoring for. You can go to our website, Jill2016.com, to join our campaign for open debates.
LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump, this year Secretary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major party. Earlier this month, you said she doesn’t have, quote, “a presidential look.” She’s standing here right now. What did you mean by that?
[Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond.]
JILL STEIN: More heat than light, I’m afraid to say, throughout much of this so-called debate between the two corporate candidates. In this country, you know, we have two major political parties, which are, in fact, no longer the major voting bloc. The largest voting bloc has repudiated both the Democratic and Republican parties, because, in fact, Americans are tired of being thrown under the bus. They are tired of this rigged economy, and they are tired of the rigged political system that has created this economy. And they are also rejecting, at unprecedented levels, the two candidates that are being forced down their throats as the most disliked and untrusted candidates in our history.
I am the only candidate in this race who is not taking money from lobbyists, from corporations, from—I do not have a super PAC to coordinate with or not. I’m the one candidate that actually has the freedom to stand up for what the American people are clamoring for. That means an emergency jobs program, which will solve the emergency of climate change. It means bailing out the students, like they bailed out Wall Street, the crooks on Wall Street who crashed the economy. It’s time to bail out the victims. And let me just mention about that. There are 43 million young people right now, and not-so-young people, Gen Xers and on into middle age and well beyond, who are trapped into student loan debt, because once you get in, you cannot get out. Very few get out, actually, in the current economy that we have of low-wage, part-time and temporary jobs. So people get stuck in student loan debt.
But it turns out that 43 million is actually a winning plurality of the vote in a three-way race. So when people say, “Oh, resistance is futile. Why even bother? Surely, you know, you’re wasting your time,” you know, that is part of the propaganda to keep us locked in this system. In the words of Alice Walker, “The biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with.” We do have the power. It’s time to stand up and use it. And just by students coming out, people who are carrying student loan debt coming out, to cancel that debt, and voting Green in 2016, we actually have the power to turn this election on its head.
LESTER HOLT: One of you will not win this election. So my final question to you tonight: Are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters? Secretary Clinton?
JILL STEIN: Well, this is a very wounded democracy. If there is evidence of voter fraud, we will challenge it, and we will bring it to court, as the Greens have led the way in doing before. But, you know, I think our job here is not to surrender to a very corrupt system, whichever one of these candidates wins. Donald Trump has had $4 billion worth of free prime-time media. Hillary Clinton has had $2 billion worth of free prime-time media. We’ve had essentially zip. And as a non-corporate campaign, we don’t have big bucks to put the word out, but we are doing well in the polls relative to how other non-corporate third-party candidates have done.
So, this is the time for us to stand up. In this election, we are not just deciding what kind of a world we will have, but whether we will have a world or not going forward, looking at the climate change that’s barreling down on us, the threat of nuclear weapons and these massive, expanding wars, for which there is no end in sight under both Democrats and Republicans, and specifically Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This is the time for us to stand up for the future we deserve, to reject the lesser evil and to fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it, remembering that we do have the votes if we stand up with the courage of our convictions.