I interviewed Jill Stein at the Democracy Convention in Madison Wisconsin a few years ago. I find that she is a warrior for a cause. I do have a problem with her, however.
Jill Stein interview at Democracy Convention
Jill Stein is a mother. She is a Harvard-educated medical doctor by training. Stein is a real Liberal. Jill is an activist. Jill said her awakening came when she had kids. She realized the world wasn't going in the direction for her children, communities, and people getting the short end of the stick.
Jill Stein claims that "the system won't let you change it" working through the legitimate channels. She makes the case that many are already fighting, money is corrosive in our politics.
When asked then if her third party candidacy is more damaging than good to the Progressive Movement, Stein pushed back. She said it was propaganda. She pointed out that the abolition of slavery and other significant socio-economic changes benefited from the presence of a third party.
Jill Stein rightfully attacks the Defense Industrial Complex that is nothing more than the promotion of war for profit. She is right about the Trans-Pacific Partnership which by definition normalizes wages and remove sovereignty. Stein is right about all of that. She is wrong that either her third party run or Gary Johnson's third party run could be beneficial in these times.
Because something historically worked does not guarantee that it will work again. The history of movements in a time of very slow communications is vastly different than now. The internet, social media, and the 'AirBmB & Uber' economy create different forces to contend with in today's world.
Jill Stein is fighting the battle with weapons of the past. One does not have to run for president to be effective in building and mobilizing a movement. The truth is she has the privilege to do so. Stein is wealthy. Not only is she wealthy, but she maximizes her investments like anyone allowing their money to work for them.
An article in The Daily Beast titled "Jill Stein’s Ideology Says One Thing—Her Investment Portfolio Says Another" is noteworthy. Two paragraphs correctly point out a soft hypocrisy immersed in privilege.
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has largely based her campaign on her uncompromising positions on the environment, opposition to big banks and Wall Street, defense contractors, and the pharmaceutical industry. But an analysis of her financial disclosures, which she was required to file as a presidential candidate, show she is heavily invested in the very industries that she maligns the most and as a result of her investments, she has built significant wealth.
According to the financial-disclosure form she filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on March 30, 2016, Stein and her husband, Richard Rohrer, have investments (with the exception of real estate) valued at anywhere from $3,832,050 to $8,505,000. (Stein told The Daily Beast she inherited “over a half-million dollars” from her parents.) We don’t know their exact net worth because filers are only required to provide a range of the value of their investments as opposed to exact values.
As the article points out, Stein currently owns mutual funds that invest in the Financial Industry, Big Pharma, Big Carbon, Big Tobacco, and The Defense Industrial Complex. Why would she do that? One can only assume because the rate of return affords her the ability to retire and work full time on her 'passion' for making life better for the rest of us.
Most political activists with websites have advertising widgets on their sites where corporations or politicians they rail against may pop in ads. Having the corporatocracy aid financially in its reform even if unwittingly is not a bad thing. Activists investing blindly in mutual funds is not a bad thing. If one uses that income for good, so be it.
The problem with Jill Stein is that she campaigns as a purist. She is asking American citizens to vote for her knowing that in this election, a person who is a clear and present danger, could benefit from that vote. Stein is privileged. She can withstand that eventuality. In fact, the rate of return of those mutual funds invested in the defense industrial complex, financial sector, 'big carbon,' big pharma, and more will do just fine. But it is you who could be left holding the bag without health care, college assistance, assisted child care, and much more.