Jill Stein Appears on PBS’s Tavis Smiley

From Peter Orvetti at Green Party Watch:

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein appeared on PBS’s Tavis Smiley Thursday evening for an interview that ran about 25 minutes. The complete video is available here.

Stein discussed her call to open the presidential debates to alternative party presidential candidates, saying the current debates are “basically a sham…that’s been orchestrated and controlled by the big political parties. … Debates are a good thing. I think the public airwaves really belong to the public and they should be used for legitimate candidates who are in this critical election.”

Asked about how she differs from Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Stein said, “There is an enormous overlap between Bernie and I. I want to frame that by saying that in my view what’s wrong with Bernie’s campaign is not Bernie’s campaign but where he’s running it. Bernie is part of a long tradition of principled rebels inside the Democratic Party. … The party insiders are not going let a truly principled people’s candidate get the nomination.”

20 thoughts on “Jill Stein Appears on PBS’s Tavis Smiley

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    Jim, I don’t know why strange things happen to you here. There’s nothing at all in the trash folder, and everything in the spam folder looks like spam. After you click “Post comment”, do you stay until the screen changes, showing that the comment has been posted? I’m wondering if you are leaving too quicklly.

    I’ve lost a comment or two like that.

  2. jim

    Incorrect: “There is an enormous overlap between Bernie and I.”
    Correct: “There is an enormous overlap between Bernie and me.”

  3. Jojen

    What an absolutely wonderful woman. I’m hooked; she is speaking my language. Power to the people!!!

  4. jim

    Jojen: I, too, want debates which include the Libertarian candidate. And, I will grit my teeth and let the Green-on-the-outside-red-on-the-inside party, too. But we libertarians have been saying this for 35+d years. How long have you been for that?

  5. paulie

    I read it, and as far as I can tell your sentence that we have been saying something for 35 plus years refers to the sentence before that, which was as I can best understand it that you would reluctantly allow Greens into debates. If so, that wouldn’t make sense, because there has not been a Green Party that long. If you meant something else you should explain what you meant better.

    It’s also unclear who the you is or how long they have been for what when you say How long have you been for that?

    Are you talking to Jojen? Do you know Jojen, how old Jojen is, or how long Jojen has been a Green, assuming Jojen is a Green? Or do you mean more generally how long have Greens been in favor of allowing the LP into debates? Something else, if so what?

  6. jim

    Paulie: I can recall that for at least 35 years, Libertarians have been asking for their candidates to be entered into debates with the Rep and Dem candidates. I was, and am, of course, one of them.

    My comment about reluctantly allowing Green Party candidates into the debate was a wisecrack. (I’ve long believed that Greens are merely Socialists who want to clothe themselves in environmentalist garb. But you already knew that.)

    No, I don’t know anything about Jojen. But assuming that Jojen is not currently a R or D (and presuming he or she is currently a Green supporter, but perhaps a relatively recent one) I am pointing out the hypocrisy of ex-long-term R’s and D’s at suddenly discovering that they want their newly-adopted party to be able to participate in the debates, when for so long they (as previous R’s + D’s) ignored the issue. That is indeed hypocrisy!
    I figured Jojen would say some more on the issue. No so far.

  7. paulie

    I know nothing about Jojen.

    Personally, I have been a Libertarian for 23 years, in terms of self-identification and voting, a couple of years less in terms of pledge signing and dues. Before that I was a Democrat, but I was interested in alt parties and supported more open debates and more coverage for alt parties even then. I may have become a Green if they had been on the ballot in Alabama in 1992. Not all Greens are socialists or even-socialist leaning, especially if by socialist you mean statist. Clearly, some are.

  8. jim

    As far as I can see, by definition “socialists” must be statists. After all, a “socialist” without a government can’t implement what he wants to do! Which is, redistribute wealth and income by means of government force.

  9. paulie

    Socialism means the workers own the means of production. State “socialism” presumes that the state is an acceptable, and the only practical, proxy for the workers to achieve this goal. In reality, state socialism is the most true embodiment of the monopoly capitalism that idealistic socialists think they are fighting against. There is an owner class of state appratchiks and bureaucrats, and workers are ruthlessly suppressed and prevented from organizing on the theory that their managers and de facto owners already represent their interests fully and truly. There are plenty of socialists who recognize the flaw in this and reject statism. They include libertarian socialists and anarchist socialists, anarcho-syndicalists, voluntary communalists, and so on.

    Of course, if you incorrectly define socialist as statist, then by (your incorrect) definition (only) all socialists must be statists.

    None of which is all that relevant, since not all greens are socialist or even socialist-leaning for that matter.

  10. jim

    Paulie: I continue to disagree with your DEFINITION of “socialism” as “Socialism means the workers own the means of production.”

    I found this definition as the first on a Google-search: “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

    Notice the presence of the words, “owned OR regulated by the community as a whole”. Clearly, your own personal definition does not have the “or” in it. I’m not saying that an economy is ONLY either “socialist” or “free market”. But America is already way too socialist to the extent that government controls the private sector.

    Now, notice what thefreedictionary [dotcom] says about the definition of fascism:

    1. often Fascism
    a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
    b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
    2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

    Notice the key similarities: “centralization of authority”, “subject to stringent government controls”, etc.

    See the problem? These factors often applied to COMMUNISM as well!
    All the factors were present under Russian communism:
    “a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.”

    See the problem? Well, I didn’t think you would. But other people do.

  11. jim

    I should mention: The reference to “capitalismt economy” amounts to what you get if the government is the sole “capitalist”, as was ostensibly true under Russian Communism.
    My point is that “Socialism” and “Fascism are really the same, just a different dictator speaking a different lingo.

  12. paulie

    Paulie: I continue to disagree with your DEFINITION of “socialism” as “Socialism means the workers own the means of production.”

    It’s not my definition. That’s how it has been defined for centuries long before I was ever born.

    I found this definition as the first on a Google-search: “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

    Community =/= state. It can mean voluntary community.

    Clearly, your own personal definition

    It’s not.

    See the problem?

    People who are not total idiots and know how to look up more than one definition don’t see a problem. Under fascism ownership is nominally private but heavily intertwined with the state. Under socialism it is public, which may or may not mean the state. Authoritarian state socialism does indeed often have a lot in common in practice with fascism, although they have different theoretical bases.

    And again, why is it relevant to this article?

  13. jim

    You said, “Of course, if you incorrectly define socialist as statist, then by (your incorrect) definition (only) all socialists must be statists.”

    No, I said that all socialists are “statist”. Not that “socialism” is “defined” as being “statist”.
    Another logic hint: If all socialists are statists, that doesn’t mean that all statists are socialists.

    And I justified my claim: A socialist who wants (or wants others) to actually DO something about his desire for socialism, has to have a government to implement it. (If there were a hypothetical person who classes himself as a “socialist”, but doesn’t believe in or advocate that a government should enforce that socialism, that would hardly qualify as “socialism” don’t you think?

  14. jim

    Paulie, I notice you ignored this:

    “Notice the presence of the words, “owned OR regulated by the community as a whole”. Clearly, your own personal definition does not have the “or” in it. I’m not saying that an economy is ONLY either “socialist” or “free market”. But America is already way too socialist to the extent that government controls the private sector.”

    Specifically, the word “OR”.

    Your only response was: “Community =/= state. It can mean voluntary community.”

    My point was that YOUR definition left out the “or”, “owned OR regulated”.

    Clearly, other people have a different definition than yours.
    Cluelessly, you said, “It’s not my definition. That’s how it has been defined for centuries long before I was ever born.”

    In other words, you misrepresent that “socialism” means more than (or variously different than) state “ownership”. I showed how others define Socialism as “control”, in addition or alternatively to ownership.

  15. paulie

    No, I said that all socialists are “statist”. Not that “socialism” is “defined” as being “statist”.

    You said both, and I was specifically replying in that part to where you said the latter. It’s still there, so no need for me to paste it here again; just scroll up and read what both of us actually wrote. I refuted you on both points, of course.

    Another logic hint: If all socialists are statists, that doesn’t mean that all statists are socialists.

    A better logic hint: neither is true.

    Another better logic hint: no one was trying to argue or refute the latter point. Bringing it up is misdirection, which seems to be a favorite tactic of yours.

    And I justified my claim: A socialist who wants (or wants others) to actually DO something about his desire for socialism, has to have a government to implement it.

    You tried to do that, but you failed. You also failed to address direct counter-evidence. Socialists can form voluntary communities that don’t use the force of any state and still be socialists. You can also have socialists who do use force on behalf of socialism but not with any territorial monopoly or any of the trappings of a state. Since there are anarchist socialists and voluntarist/libertarian socialists and communalists, it is logically impossible for all socialists to be statists.

    If there were a hypothetical person who classes himself as a “socialist”, but doesn’t believe in or advocate that a government should enforce that socialism, that would hardly qualify as “socialism” don’t you think?

    You are making no sense whatsoever. There are lots of real people, not hypothetical, who don’t advocate for government – in fact, many of them don’t believe there should be a monopoly government at all – and yet they are socialists, and fully qualify as socialists. If anything, it’s the state “socialists” who are misappropriating the term, because the state is a very poor and inadequate proxy for workers or the community in controlling the means of production.

  16. paulie

    Paulie, I notice you ignored this:

    I did not ignore anything. I addressed directly that there are many definition which you can find, not just the one you happened to pick out. I also told you that the definition I am using has been used for centuries, is not “my personal definition” or something I invented.

    In other words, you misrepresent that “socialism” means more than (or variously different than) state “ownership”.

    No, I actually was the one that kept pointing that out – socialism doesn’t need a state at all of any kind to even exist much less own anything, and in fact a state is vastly detrimental to the actual interests of workers or the community as a whole.

    What you are referring to is known as a mixed economy, or in some cases democratic socialism with a goal but not yet the present reality of socializing the means of production. Fascism also features a mixed economy, but is not aimed at socializing enterprise control beyond that stage, unlike democratic state socialism (which has that aim) and or “communism”/authoritarian state socialism (which has already socialized enterprise control, meaning in reality grabbed it for its own gang of monopoly capitalists, and is supposedly working on its next goal of a propertyless, moneyless, stateless society while in reality doing nothing of the kind). Fascism also typically glorifies the nation-state, ethnic/racial/national loyalty and state violence in theory as well as practice; authoritarian state socialism also does these things in practice, but in theory is devoted to internationalism and egalitarianism and even eventually statelessness, unlike fascism.

    So, I haven’t ignored anything at all in this tangent you keep pushing. But you have actually ignored the single most relevant question:


    And again, why is it relevant to this article?

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