Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Gloria La Riva, presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberalism, about how third parties will fare in the wake of Sanders’ concession.
Stein, who has been polling at unprecedentedly high numbers following Sander’s endorsement of Clinton, said, "What Bernie’s doing is not so much endorsing Hillary, as he is mobilizing against Donald Trump… Eliminating political opposition is not what’s good for a wounded democracy."
Stein suggests that the Trump campaign is exploiting worsening economic conditions in the US, and that Sanders’ endorsement will incline people to vote based on fear instead of principle.
"Donald Trump is riding a surge of economic misery which resulted from the policies of the Democratic Party, particularly the Clintons,"he said. "That is, NAFTA and Wall Street deregulation. So the solution to Donald Trump is not more of what created him. Putting another Clinton in the White House is not the answer, and I think what Bernie’s doing here is really validating the whole reason for the existence of the Green Party. We have seen that you cannot have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party."
Loud & Clear host Brian Becker noted that Sanders was booed when he told House Democrats in early June that "The goal isn’t to win elections, the goal is to transform America."
Stein said that very attitude is why Clinton and Trump have been seen as the most unpopular candidates in American election history. "This is not what Democracy looks like," she said, "It’s time for us to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good, like our lives depend on it."
Gloria La Riva was arrested with 13 others on Saturday, while in Baton Rouge, standing in support of police killing victim Alton Sterling. She said Louisiana police agencies were being very forceful and were inventing arbitrary reasons to arrest people.
"What was happening this weekend, was that they got the greenlight from the FBI saying that there was danger for the police in the whole area. Therefore they were given permission to act as brutally as they could…The sheriffs, the cops, the state police, they were all together and they all acted as one when they were arresting people."
La Riva said that during her day-long stint in jail people were very supportive when they found out she was running for president and appreciated her being there to support Sterling’s family. Some of them knew Sterling personally.
La Riva remarked that Sander’s concession has opened a world of opportunity for progressive candidates and that not all of Sanders’ former supporters will follow him back into the mainstream of the Democrat Party.
"I think the time is now for all the movements together to proceed with supporting third party candidates,” she said. “Third Parties should not be seen as a poor alternative, we are the real alternative. Whether it’s the Party for Socialism and Liberation or the Greens, we are talking about Black Lives Matter, money for jobs, healthcare, education and not for the Pentagon’s war budget. It’s necessary to keep on this fight in this most critical of elections where the billionaires and the millionaires always win, and the people lose. But our fight will continue and grow."