In our wide-ranging conversation, Stein offers her case for why voters in both California and around the country should vote Green this year, explains what she sees as the problem with the Democratic Party (as well as the Republican and Libertarian Parties), offers details on her recent invitation to Bernie Sanders to join forces, given what she describes as a "smear campaign" being run against him by the DNC, and responds to questions about being a "spoiler" in both the California primary, as well as the November General Election.
"The guys running the show in the Democratic Party are basically the funders — and that's predatory banks, fossil fuel giants, war profiteers, and insurance companies," Stein tells me. "With the Democratic Party you see basically a 'fake left-go right' situation, where they allow principled, inspired campaigns to stand up and be seen, but they sabotage them when push comes to shove. That, unfortunately, is what we see go on right now with the Sanders campaign, which is making a valiant effort here to do the right thing and change the party."
Alluding to the moment when media used a rallying cry from 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean in order to undermine his campaign, Stein charges a similar "smear campaign" is now being run against Sanders by the Democratic establishment in the wake of last weekend's raucus Nevada state Democratic Convention in Las Vegas. "I think what we're seeing now is the Dean Scream of 2016," she says. "This is the sabotage of the Sanders' campaign, being conducted by the Democrats." Stein also responds to my questions about why, after arguing for a more inclusive (small "d") democratic process, her own Green Party will be holding a closed primary — open to affiliated party members only — in California on June 7th, as well as on the charge that she might serve as a "spoiler" this November.
"This politics of fear that tells you — you have to vote against what you're afraid of, instead of for what you believe in — the politics of fear has a track record. It has delivered everything we were afraid of. All of the things you were told you had to bite your tongue and let the 'lesser evil' speak for you — we've gotten all those things, by the droves. The expanding wars, the meltdown of the climate, the offshoring of our jobs, the attack on immigrants. We've gotten all of that." Stein says. "Not that there aren't some differences between the two parties, but they're not enough to save your life, to save your job, or to save your planet. This is a race to the bottom between the two sold-out corporate parties." Okay. But if a vote for her might actually result in a President Donald Trump, does she really believe it's smarter to vote Green this Fall? Tune in for her answer.
And speaking of that "smear campaign" against Sanders that has, indeed, followed last Saturday's Democratic state convention in Nevada, with repeated charges made by media and top party officials, such as DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that there was "violence" at the event by Sanders supporters, we join NPR in doing a bit of fact-checking on the evidence said to support those very serious allegations.
You can find Brad’s previous editions here.
And tune in to Radio Sputnik one hour a day, five days a week.