I made a point of watching the Green Party Town Hall on CNN featuring Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka on Wednesday night.
As a resident of Massachusetts, I am familiar with Stein. She’s run for Governor twice, run for Congress and serve a stint on the town council in Lexington. I met her once when she ran for Governor in 2002 and found her quite kooky.
Nearly 14 years later, not much has changed. If anything, she’s become kookier with age. In fact, Stein makes Bernie Sanders look like Ted Cruz. Stein calls for a 50% cut in defense spending, closure of all U.S. military bases, a Truth & Reconciliation Commission on police violence and wants the Federal Reserve to nullify student debt.
If that wasn’t enough, Stein doesn’t think we should bomb ISIS because ISIS hasn’t attacked us. I gather she’s unfamiliar with San Bernardino and Orlando. Stein believes ISIS exists as a result of poverty. Yes, because ISIS is wanting for jobs and health care, they behead journalists, burns Jordanian pilots alive and subjects Yazidis and American relief workers to sexual slavery.
Stein was far less harsh with ISIS than she was with Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia which she wants to boycott. Clearly she seeks to boycott Egypt and Saudi Arabia so as not to be accused of anti-Semitism. (Interestingly, Elizabeth May is considering resigning as leader of Canada’s Green Party because the party adopted a resolution in support of BDS against Israel).
Still, Israel is not morally equivalent to Egypt or Saudi Arabia much less Iran which she did not see fit to mention. Stein also claimed that we could end up going war with Russia if we implemented a no fly zone in Syria. I know of no such plans, but Stein seems awfully concerned with Russia’s security.
Her running mate, Ajamu Baraka was even stranger. Chris Cuomo questioned Baraka’s claims that President Obama is an “Uncle Tom” and that Bernie Sanders is a tool of the Democratic Party and perpetuates white supremacy. I have described Obama in many ways over the years. An “Uncle Tom” hasn’t made the list. I’m not sure why he would say this of Bernie given that he and Jill Stein need their supporters. If that weren’t enough, he called American inner cities “colonized territories.” Baraka makes Noam Chomsky look like Milton Friedman.
The one virtue that Stein has is that unlike Bernie, she gives a damn about Hillary’s e-mails particularly where it concerns the Clinton Foundation. Although she calls Trump a racist, she holds Hillary in greater contempt because she holds her responsible for the deaths of a million civilians in Iraq. It’s a dubious claim, but that’s where her votes are.
Stein claimed she wasn’t a career politician, but she’s been running for one office or another for some 15 years now. Before she pursued Green Party politics full time, Stein was a physician. Frankly, I wouldn’t want Stein as my physician much less my President.