As Barry Obama stumps for extending the payroll tax cut designed to cripple Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in New Hampshire, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is promoting what she calls a Green New Deal to help put Americans back to work fixing the nation's crumbling infrastructure and finding cleaner, renewable ways to fuel things.
The tenets of her plan include building infrastructure and public transportation, supporting sustainable agriculture, developing clean and renewable energy and restructuring the nation's manufacturing base.
"There is a strong economic argument that unemployment is more expensive than a plan to deal with unemployment," Stein said.
The plan's details have not been worked out, according to Stein, but she said it would be a community-based effort that extends to the local level. Her plan would aim to create 17 million new jobs, and she said that, through a multiplier effect, those 17 million would translate into the 25 million needed to achieve full employment.
And that's not all. Unlike Obama, whose record of suppressing civil liberties reads like something out of some other third world dictatorship, Stein is coming out swinging against the assaults by cops against Occupiers.
"The aggressive, needless police actions across the country against Occupy Wall Street (OWS) are an assault on civil liberties and an effort to suppress a much needed movement for economic justice and democracy," said Stein, a Green Party member and past candidate in Massachusetts elections. "The courageous protesters who have stood up to intimidation by lethal force are standing up for us all."
In the statement, Stein called upon mayors in occupied cities to "follow the example of Green Party Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, Cali., who welcomed the local occupation" and contrasts that with videos and reports from Wall Street, UC Berkley and Occupy Oakland, which she says show public officials are "suppressing rights of free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press."
"The use of police in full riot gear with helicopters buzzing overhead to arrest peaceful and largely sleeping protesters is frightening commentary on the militarization of state and municipal security," Stein said i nthe statement. "Unprovoked police violence against citizens practicing peaceful civil disobedience - clearly documented on videos gone viral on the Internet - is deeply alarming."
Small wonder then, that in a mock election held earlier this month in Illinois (the largest in the nation), Stein and the Greens garnered twenty-seven percent of the vote.
The mock primary/caucus process produced three tickets: Democrats nominated Barack Obama for President and Hillary Clinton for Vice-President; Republicans nominated Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan; Greens nominated Jill Stein and Kent Mesplay. Then, at the mock general election, the results were 39% for the Democratic ticket, 33% for the Republican ticket, 27% for the Green ticket, and 1% other.
Libertarians were involved but they chose to work for Ron Paul in the mock Republican convention. Jill Stein spoke on campus, and this obviously helped the Green campaign, because no other actual presidential candidates appeared on campus.
In a race that, no thanks to Obama's endless and ongoing betrayals of the public interest to curry favor with the top 1%, may be so much closer than it should be, that twenty-seven percent could make the difference. This isn't a bad thing by any means; Stein's candidacy seems to be having an effect already by forcing Obama to adopt policies he ordinarily wouldn't. (For example, Hopey McChangerton seemed last week to back off of plans to open up even more public lands to oil drilling.)
The biggest problem of the 2012 election won't just be the ongoing right-wing policies that have turned America into a fascist police state, but the exclusion of any left-wing voices from the national dialog. But if Jill Stein keeps up her campaign and manages to resonate with more voters, this could change.