Dr. Jill Stein, who is running as the Green Party candidate in the 2016 presidential elections, visited several places in Colorado over the weekend. Speaking to crowds in Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Denver and Boulder, she emphasized the need to keep the progressive momentum going that started with the Bernie Sanders campaign in the state.
“In the same way that Colorado was leading the charge on the Bernie Sanders campaign, that momentum for democracy, for justice and sustainability is still going strong and it’s been really exciting to begin solidifying the bond between that movement here in Colorado and our campaign. In this race we are looking at unprecedented levels of dislike and distrust for the major candidates and I think there is a very strong feeling that our debates need to serve the american public and educate the american voter who not only has a right to vote but who has a vote to know who they can vote for. So we look forward to building on the incredible level of excitement and interest in our campaign by expanding public information and empowerment by opening up the debates.”
Last week Bernie Sanders endorsed the Colorado Care campaign, a state-wide ballot initiative that would bring universal health care to everyone in the state. Speaking to the Colorado Independent on Saturday however, Stein declined to endorse the campaign saying her supporters were split on the issue. On Sunday, Stein said the Green Party would be making an official statement on the measure shortly, but she said that while she supports many parts of the Colorado Care campaign, she sees a national movement as the real way forward.
“In principle I think what Colorado is doing in grappling with the system now to move towards a universal health care system is very important. There are limits to what a state can do and that’s why my focus in particular is about our responsibility at the national level to make this possible by creating an improved medicare for all system at the national level. It’s really at a state of emergency and I think the people in Colorado are feeling that… I applaud the efforts at the state level to go as far as they can, but they cannot truly create a single payer system because they are not allowed to do so at a federal level and if you don’t have a single payer system it’s much harder to achieve the cost efficiencies and the streamlining of the tracking system for payments. And that’s the real benefit of a single payer system. That’s why it’s really essential that we move to a single payer system nationally. That’s why Obamacare is not going to do it for us and why we’ve seen costs sky rocket, we’ve seen insurers congregate further and merge creating even greater monopolies and we’re watching the prices skyrocket.”
Stein urged progressive voters in Colorado to break away from the lesser of two evil paradigm and cast a vote for a candidate who truly speaks to their values.
“I think the track record here speaks for itself that lesser evilism just keeps digging us in deeper. It doesn’t get us out of this cycle and the lesser evil cycle has prevailed for the last many elections and we just keep marching to the right. Remember that Donald Trump and this extreme right wing surge is a product of these policies of globalization these policies of austerity, of worker disempowerment, that’s exactly what the Clintons represent. And in fact the economic misery that has driven the rise of Donald Trump comes right out of Wall Street deregulation, thank you to the Clintons, comes right out of NAFTA, thank you to the Clintons. And Hilary again is going to be driving forward the Trans Pacific Partnership, there’s little doubt about that, so there is no relief here by putting another Clinton in the White House. We’re only going to see right wing extremism continue to surge. The only real solution as Bernie Sanders himself said many times are truly radical progressive policies and we need to put our feet down and begin growing the power to do that. Sometimes in order to build your power you may have to lose an election or two, but we’ve got to be willing to recognize that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. The corporate political parties are not going to hand this to us on a silver platter. By silencing ourselves and allowing the lesser evil to speak for us is exactly what the system wants in order to disempower us and move us out of the way and continue their march over the cliff.”
Jill Stein spoke with local reporters for 30 minutes on topics such as healthcare, banning fracking, transitioning to greener energy, tackling student debt and dealing with racial justice issues in policing.