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18 October, 2016

Stein: in times of great social upheaval, third parties occasionally prevail

'We, the people, were standing up and leading the charge towards the kinds of policies that we actually deserve. It’s important for us to lead with the politics of courage. The politics of fear, unfortunately, has delivered everything we were afraid of.'


After our call to independent media for a 'counter-debate' with the US third parties, the independent news network Democracy Now! made a first revolutionary step to break the US bipartisan debate monopoly.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! explains again the process, in this second presidential debate: “We spend the rest of today’s show airing excerpts of the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate and give Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to the major-party candidates. Again, Dr. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. We invited both Stein and Johnson to join us on the program; only Stein took us up on the offer.

In this third part of the second debate, Jill Stein showed again why she is a real alternative against the bipartisan establishment, especially when she referred to the key issue of the US healthcare system.

In the corresponding question, both Clinton and Trump avoided to take a clear position and give an idea of how will they deal with the currently ineffective healthcare system. Clinton tried to highlight the benefits of Obamacare, acknowledging though that it had some weaknesses, while Trump fully attacked it as totally ineffective, without however, presenting his plan for an effective and viable healthcare system.

On the contrary, Jill Stein spoke about the root of the problem, through real figures. As she pointed, a terrifying percentage of US citizens are effectively excluded from the healthcare system, as one out of every three Americans now cannot afford healthcare. Furthermore, a monstrous 25% of healthcare costs are spent on wasteful paper pushing, on CEO salaries, on advertising, etc., on exorbitant pharmaceutical costs.

So, you have immediately a key part of the solution. The healthcare system needs to be redirected to those who should truly serve: US citizens. Therefore, as Jill Stein pointed, “Under an improved Medicare-for-all system, that 25 percent overhead is reduced to about 1 percent, 1 to 2 percent overhead. So it enables us to put our healthcare dollars truly into healthcare, [...] It gets corporations off your back, and it gets CEOs out of the business of deciding and micromanaging your healthcare.

Neither Clinton nor Trump dared to mention that the healthcare system could function effectively, simply by removing lobbyists' interests for the benefit of ordinary people.

Finally, Jill Stein sent her message to the American people, stating that it's up to them to beat the establishment and its favorite policies. As she mentioned: “Abraham Lincoln was a third-party candidate, and that in times of great social upheaval, third parties occasionally prevail.

She also referred to the example of Richard Nixon, and how people through their struggles managed to beat some Nixon's bad policies: “I just want to underscore for people to remember what happened under Richard Nixon, one of the most terrible, regressive, oppressive presidents we’ve ever had, where we had the courage of our convictions. And under this terrible president, we achieved bringing the troops home from Vietnam, women’s right to choose, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, protections for workers in the workplace, because we, the people, were standing up and leading the charge towards the kinds of policies that we actually deserve. It’s important for us to lead with the politics of courage. The politics of fear, unfortunately, has delivered everything we were afraid of.

Key points:

It’s not rocket science how to fix this disaster that the Affordable Care Act is. In fact, healthcare costs are skyrocketing. It’s now—you know, we pay essentially $3 trillion a year, is what the price tag is for healthcare, when you include government, business and out-of-pocket expenses. One out of every three Americans now cannot afford healthcare. Yes, the numbers of coverage have gone up, but there is massive underinsurance, and it is prohibitive.

Right now 25 percent of healthcare costs are spent on wasteful paper pushing, on CEO salaries, on advertising, etc., on exorbitant pharmaceutical costs like paying $400 for an EpiPen, which contains $1 worth of medication. This is the kind of abuse that is built into this program, because we do not have the capacity to negotiate and do bulk purchasing, which needs to be built in.

Under an improved Medicare-for-all system, that 25 percent overhead is reduced to about 1 percent, 1 to 2 percent overhead. So it enables us to put our healthcare dollars truly into healthcare, so that you are covered, head to toe, cradle to grave, your mental health, your pharmaceuticals, your hearing aid, your insulin pump, whatever, and your reproductive healthcare and your mental healthcare. And the healthcare decisions are between you and your doctor. It gets corporations off your back, and it gets CEOs out of the business of deciding and micromanaging your healthcare.

Donald Trump’s abusive behavior and abusive language towards women and everybody else is shameful and despicable [...] At the same time, it’s very important that we not lose sight, not allow this despicable incident here to overshadow the other issues that are very much at stake. Let’s just look, for example, at the condition of our youth and our younger generation, not only the sky-high rates of unemployment they’re facing, the incredible skyrocketing of the costs of college education, the fact that 43 million young people are locked into predatory student loan debt with no way out in the economy as it exists, with low-wage, part-time, temporary jobs having, you know, become available since the Wall Street crash. That recovery is pretty much limited to the upper 5 to 10 percent, a few little, you know, changes around the margins, but this hasn’t been a recovery for everyday people.

Hillary’s statement about the public views versus the private views, that’s certainly borne out by her history, where, you know, her public statement is that she is the friend to women and children, but, in fact, privately and her actual track record is to dismantle Aid to Families with Dependent Children, to have supported NAFTA and the offshoring of our jobs, to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In Haiti, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton led the charge to push down the abysmal poverty wages of the Haitian people from 60 cents an hour down to a shocking 40 cents an hour, so as to boost the profits of the American corporation. So, you know, and on Black Lives Matter, you know, there was lip service to the cause of racial justice. But the Democratic Party official position, revealed again in some leaked emails, was that, you know, pat them on the head, you know, meet with them, but don’t make any concessions to them, do not give them any ground, do not, in other words, acknowledge what a crisis situation this is, where African Americans are at risk, driving in their cars down the street, from police violence.

Abraham Lincoln was a third-party candidate, and that in times of great social upheaval, third parties occasionally prevail. And for so many people, the issue here is the politics of fear and the greater fear of Donald Trump that overrides everything else, including Hillary Clinton’s record creating the economic misery leading to the rise of Donald Trump. So I just want to underscore for people to remember what happened under Richard Nixon, one of the most terrible, regressive, oppressive presidents we’ve ever had, where we had the courage of our convictions. And under this terrible president, we achieved bringing the troops home from Vietnam, women’s right to choose, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, protections for workers in the workplace, because we, the people, were standing up and leading the charge towards the kinds of policies that we actually deserve. It’s important for us to lead with the politics of courage. The politics of fear, unfortunately, has delivered everything we were afraid of.



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