Jill Stein

May 11, 2016

I am Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President, AMA!

My short bio:

Hi, Reddit. Looking forward to answering your questions today.

I'm a Green Party candidate for President in 2016 and was the party's nominee in 2012. I'm also an activist, a medical doctor, & environmental health advocate.

You can check out more at my website www.jill2016.com


My Proof: https://twitter.com/DrJillStein/status/730512705694662656

UPDATE: So great working with you. So inspired by your deep understanding and high expectations for an America and a world that works for all of us. Look forward to working with you, Redditors, in the coming months!

If, by some miracle, you could get legislation passed to abolish student debt, what would this bill look like?

The good news is we don't need a miracle. And we don't need legislation. All we need is to bring out the people who are in debt. That's 43 million, which is a winning plurality of the vote in a three-way presidential race. The president then has the authority to cancel the student debt using quantitative easing the same way the debt was canceled for Wall Street. If we bailed out the crooks on Wall Street who crashed the economy, it's about time to bail out the students, who are the victims of that waste, fraud and abuse. Because the students are left holding the debt after Wall Street destroyed the jobs to pay back that debt. So let your friends know. We have the power to cancel the debt if we spread the word and mobilize to bring out the power of the numbers of people - Millennial's in debt are an unstoppable force to win this election and to win your economic freedom back.

So sorry for the delay! I will stay on longer to make up for that!

I am Bernie or Bust, and you are my “plan B”—you even retweeted me! (I actually prefer your platform but at the moment Bernie’s still in the game.) Lately I’ve come to realize there are a lot of people who worship the idea of Bernie Sanders being president and are dead-set on writing him in; for many of them, bringing up Jill Stein makes me a Trump/Hillary troll. In the event that Bernie doesn’t get the Democratic nomination, how do you propose getting these Bernie fans to vote for you instead of writing his name in? Also, how do we go about finding every American with student debt, notifying them about you, and registering them to vote? I think from now until November we can tackle this aggressively and get you 43,000,000 votes.

Great question. The Bernie or Bust campaign is only now just learning that a write-in won’t be counted. So it’s like staying home and being silenced. As that word gets out, and the Democrats continue beating up on Bernie, people will be increasingly motivated to stand up and fight back. We have just now qualified for federal matching funds. There are many thousands of people who have signed up to volunteer. We are only beginning to hire staff to organize those volunteers. So be assured the ground game is coming. And there will be thousands of people joining you in getting the word out. You are heroic for being a trailblazer. Soon, you will be in very good company. It’s hardest to be the first on the bandwagon, but as other people join you it will get easier all the time.

We will be setting up campaign chapters on campuses around the country. This will help the visionaries on every campus where students are concentrated. And as Bernie is increasingly sabotaged by the Democratic Party, more people will be coming over. Be sure to sign up to volunteer on our website (www.jill2016.com/volunteer) so we can include you in the organizing as it begins to happen. Thank you for leading the charge!


The people of West Virginia are suffering as coal becomes obsolete. The people of West Virginia have already suffered for centuries from the health and environmental harm of coal and the predatory fossil fuel industry that abused workers like it abuses the environemnt. I am calling for a Green New Deal, an emergency program to create 20 million jobs at the same time that we transition to the green economy of the future. That means 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030 as well as sustainable food, public transportation and restoring infrastrcture including ecosystems.

We have a climate emergency on our hands and an economic emergency. We need to declare a emergency like we did when Pearl Harbor was bombed at the start of the World War. The thread of climate change is something far, far greater because this is something from which we will not recover. This program pays for itself in two pays. We save so much money from the health benefits of green clean energy. That alone pays the cost of the energy transition. In addition, because wars for oil will be obsolete in this new, green economy, we save a huge amount in cutting the military budget. We can go back to a defense department that is truly defense and not offense, which is bankrupting us financially and spiritually. So the Green New Deal is a win for the climate, for peace, and especially for workers who need jobs that keep them healthy, as well as the planet.


Well the major parties are melting down before our very eyes. Donald Trump's campaign has been described as a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, and it is in disarray. Bernie Sanders represents the people but is being sabotaged by the Democratic Party.

So the base of both parties is abandoning ship right now. In addition, polls show that 50% of the electorate has already divorced the Democratic and Republican Parties. These are zombie parties! Third parties like the Green Party and the socialist parties are different from the political establishment because we are not poisoned by corporate money.

The Green Party is the only national-scale party that refuses to accept corporate money. So you are looking at the future of people-powered politics right now, in the form of the Green Party. So hallelujah! We finally have a political party at the national-level that can tell the truth and put the real solutions on the table that the American people are clamoring for-

Not only cancelling student debt and making public higher education free, but also creating healthcare as a human right, a welcoming path to citizenship, an end to the prison-industrial complex and police violence, and endless wars for oil. We can have an economy and a world that works for all of us outside of the corporate political parties that are a house of cards falling down. Out with the old. In with the new!


Here's the deal. Bernie and I need to talk. As far as I'm concerned all options are on the table, if we can work through the administrative hoops. There are more or fewer hoops depending on what we wanted to do.

But it has to start with his being interested. There is no way that the Democrats would allow me to run on the Democratic Party ticket, and I am committed to indpedent politics because I know that the goal for the Democratic Party at the end of the day is to sabotage the likes of Bernie Sander and myself.

The Green Party ticket... it's the only option because its too late for an independent to get on the ballot. That window has closed in most states. So it's the Green Party or nothing. Bernie has always said he's not interested in running as a third-party candidate.

It's possible after the abuse he has received from the Democratic Party, maybe he will change his mind? I'm not holding my breath, but I'm not ruling it out. If you know Bernie, put in a good word.

Hello Dr. Stein,

What are your thoughts on the economic democracy amendment passed by several of the state parties and caucuses?

Thanks, I am looking forward to a successful election season!

Economic democracy is long overdue. This is the economy of the future.

What is your campaign's official stance on vaccines and homeopathic medicine?

I don't know if we have an "official" stance, but I can tell you my personal stance at this point. According to the most recent review of vaccination policies across the globe, mandatory vaccination that doesn't allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of. In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn't be skeptical? I think dropping vaccinations rates that can and must be fixed in order to get at the vaccination issue: the widespread distrust of the medical-indsutrial complex.

Vaccines in general have made a huge contribution to public health. Reducing or eliminating devastating diseases like small pox and polio. In Canada, where I happen to have some numbers, hundreds of annual death from measles and whooping cough were eliminated after vaccines were introduced. Still, vaccines should be treated like any medical procedure--each one needs to be tested and regulated by parties that do not have a financial interest in them. In an age when industry lobbyists and CEOs are routinely appointed to key regulatory positions through the notorious revolving door, its no wonder many Americans don't trust the FDA to be an unbiased source of sound advice. A Monsanto lobbyists and CEO like Michael Taylor, former high-ranking DEA official, should not decide what food is safe for you to eat. Same goes for vaccines and pharmaceuticals. We need to take the corporate influence out of government so people will trust our health authorities, and the rest of the government for that matter. End the revolving door. Appoint qualified professionals without a financial interest in the product being regulated. Create public funding of elections to stop the buying of elections by corporations and the super-rich.

For homeopathy, just because something is untested doesn't mean it's safe. By the same token, being "tested" and "reviewed" by agencies tied to big pharma and the chemical industry is also problematic. There's a lot of snake-oil in this system. We need research and licensing boards that are protected from conflicts of interest. They should not be limited by arbitrary definitions of what is "natural" or not.

What's your opinion of Edward Snowden? Hero or traitor?

Edward Snowden should be welcomed home as a hero with a confetti parade.

Dr. Stein,

Have you thought about marrying Senator Al Franken and hyphenating your last name?

Dr. Jill Franken-Stein has quite the ring to it.

Sure, then we can take on the zombie political system and get somewhere!

Hey Jill,

How would you change the voting process to be more free, fair and inclusive on the national, state and local level? Is there a way to take advantage of technology without falling victim to its downfalls, such as hacking?

While we are solving the technology challenges there's a lot we can do with what we've got right now. End voter ID laws. Make voting accessible. Automatic voter registration. Same-day registration. Respect the Constitutional right to vote. Ensure that voters have more voices and more choices on the ballot. End obsolete ballot access laws that restrict choices to the two corporate parties. Take money out of politics with public financing. Make media free for ballot-qualified candidates drastically reducing the cost of political campaigns.

We need election reforms that allow more voices and choices on the ballot. We need ranked-choice voting allowing voters to rank their choices rather than tossing the dice and picking one. This system removes the fear from voting because if your first choice loses then your vote is reassigned to your second choice.

Proportional representation also brings more voices into legislatures and Congress. This ensures we will have more than the usual predatory, corporate parties.

Hi Jill! With the polarizing nature of the current Democratic and Republican candidates, this coming election will attract a lot of new voters to alternative parties. How do you plan on maintaining the momentum that the Green party will achieve over the rest of the election season?

I think our momentum will grow as more people find out about this campaign. It will also grow because of the hostile warfare going on between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Our momentum will grow because Bernie Sanders is being beat-up by the Democratic Party so this is a wake up moment for the millennial especially who are the powerhouses of transformation. And when they hear that our campaign provides an immediate end to student debt I believe this force will become unstoppable.

I hope you will tell your friends and go to our website jill2016.com, and join the movement. We will go as far as we can go in this campaign. And that will be the beginning for what happens after that. There's no going back!

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Nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous and expensive and should be ruled out for all those reasons. Fukoshima is the poster child of the nuclear power industry. You can put it in someone else's back yard or on the other side of the world but we are all endangered by it.

And we don't need it! Renewable are the least expensive. Nuclear is the most expensive. It only survives because our government is in bed with the industry and campaign contributions by the loan guarantees that the industry cannot operate without. The continued existence of this lethal form of energy is a tribute to the corruption of our political system. Clean up our energy. Clean up our politics. Join the Green movement.

You can refer to answers I've already given to vaccines and homeopathy during tonights AMA. How the average person can help: go to Jill2016.com, sign up for email, volunteer, chip in if you can (donations doubled by matching funds). Spread the word however you can, including FB and Twitter. Join the Jill Stein for President Social Media Team on FB - we'd love to have more communication with reddit users!

This comment has been overwritten by an open source script to protect this user's privacy. It was created to help protect users from doxing, stalking, harassment, and profiling for the purposes of censorship.

If you would also like to protect yourself, add the Chrome extension TamperMonkey, or the Firefox extension GreaseMonkey and add this open source script.

Then simply click on your username on Reddit, go to the comments tab, scroll down as far as possible (hint:use RES), and hit the new OVERWRITE button at the top.

Answers to questions 4 & 5:

First, we have a Jill Stein Social Media Team group on Facebook where our online supporters can get plugged-in. Some of those folks are already moderating the /jillstein/ subreddit, we would love to coordinate more closely and assist in your self-organizing. This has been so much fun to open this dialogue on Reddit. I would love to find ways to build on it!

Second, sign up on the volunteer page so we can keep you in the loop on all the campaign action. We’re doing a big push now to be sure we’re on the ballot in all states. So help collecting signatures is very powerful. We can let you know if there is a ballot drive in your state or in a neighboring state.

Third, if you are connected to a college or university or high school or technical school, we would love to set up a campaign chapter, Young Greens Rising. We can help you get the word out to empower your fellow students and your generation to seize the power!

Hi Dr. Stein! I am a college senior in California. Thank you so much for doing this AMA! You definitely have my vote.

  1. I was wondering if you could discuss your views on the Israel-Palestine conflict? Would you ever go as far as to refer to the situation as a genocide being committed by Israel on the Palestinian people?

  2. Will you be rallying in Southern California any time soon?

I don't know if it meets the technical definition of genocide, but either way it is unacceptable. Israel is committing massive human rights violations and war crimes. There are human rights violations on both sides, but the magnitude of the Israeli violations is off the charts.

Occupation, home demolitions, assassinations, collective punishment, deprivation of food, water, and essentials; and the apartheid state inside of Israel. The US provides $8 million per day to make this possible. Time to create a foreign policy based on international law and human rights. This applies not just to Israel, but to Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and other countries who are violating international law. We need to put ourselves on the side of justice and peace and lead the way forward.

And: yes, stay tuned. Very soon. Please sign up on our newsletter so we can keep you in the loop. Jill2016.com

What is your campaign's stance on NASA and space exploration? Do you think that NASA's funding should be increased,decreased,or should it stay the same?

Science is important. And space exploration has many spin-offs for our economy. We should be exploring space instead of destroying planet Earth. If we cut the military budget in half, we'll have plenty of money for human needs on Earth and the advancement of science and space exploration.

Yes, we should increase NASA's funding. And this is something we can easily do by re-directing the dollars being wasted now with a military budget that makes us less safe not more safe while consuming more than half of our discretionary budget.

What is your rebuttal to those who argue that a vote for Jill Stein in the general election is functionally a vote for Donald Trump?

First off I agree with the comment below that it's hard to say which is the greater evil. Trump recently came out for higher taxes on the rich and raising the minimum wage. Hillary can't figure out what minimum wage she supports, and she actually as Secretary of State pushed wages lower in Haiti, from 60 cents and hour down to 40 cents an hour! It's not clear which one is the bigger warhawk, and Donald seems more receptive to stopping corporate trade agreements than Hillary who's been a cheerleader for predatory trade agreements starting with NAFTA. Now Hillary is going after Republican donors and Republican voters. We are seeing the two corporate parties converge into one.

The politics of fear says you have to vote against the candidate you fear rather than for the candidate who shares your values. That fear campaign needs to be called out as self-serving propaganda for the political establish. In fact, this politics of fear delivered everything we were afraid of. All the reasons you are told to vote for a lesser evil, because you didn't want the Wall Street bailouts, or the expanding war, or growing student debt, or shipping our jobs overseas, or the attack on immigrant rights, all those things we've gotten by the droves because we allowed ourselves to be silenced. In fact, the lesser evil paves the way to the great evil... because the base won't come out to vote for a lesser evil Democrat who is throwing everyday people under the bus so the Republicans will win anyhow even after you've voted in the lesser evil.

Democracy does not need more fear and silence. Democracy needs a moral compass. We have to be that moral compass. It's time to forget the lesser evil and fight for the greater good!

What is your thought on the concept of universal basic income?

Very positive. There are some questions I'm still exploring about it but am very impressed. It's a way to ensure everyone has a basic, standard level of security while reducing the administrative burden so people don't have to go to a different agency for each of their unmet needs. It's great how universal basic income empowers people to be in charge of their own lives.

  1. How would you address the disastrous impact the animal agriculture is having on our planet? The industry emits more greenhouse gasses than all forms of transportation combined. It is also the leading cause of deforestation.

  2. Are you vegan?

We need a sustainable food system. Industrial animal agriculture is not sustainable, not healthy for the planet, not healthy for people, and not humane. Large-scale feeding operations pollute the water, the air, the soil, and fill our food with antibiotics, pesticides and hormones. We need a healthy food system. Our Green New Deal will move subsidies from harmful, corporate agriculture to small-scale, healthy and sustainable operations.

I have been vegan or vegetarian for 45 years. Currently, I am vegan + fish and occasional dairy for health reasons.

Dear Dr. Jill Stein, I am a Sanders supporter. While the Presidency is undoubtedly important, even more so is the fight to replace Congress with TRUE progressives. What will you and the green party do during THIS election cycle to make sure that this happens in November? A huge majority are up for re-election. I would like you to work with us so that we can truly change this country from the ground up, and create a lasting political movement that doesn't exist merely in the context of election cycles. Can you and the Green party accomplish this?

The Green Party has many candidates for House, Senate, state legislatures, and local elections. As word spreads about our campaign, people will learn more about the other Green candidates in their area. Many people will have the option to vote a full-ticket for Green candidates.

Hi! Thanks for doing this AMA. I'm one of those people who feels that the political spectrum is poorly represented by just two points, and like to show support for third parties. However, one of the problems I have with the Green Party and your stances is that I'm a plant scientist, and your position on genetically engineered crops is absolutely wrong.

You say you want a moratorium on GMOs until they are 'proven safe.' Well, that's no different than saying that we shouldn't act on climate change until it has been 'proven real.' Your statement is implying that burden has not already been met; this is not the case and acting as if it is no different than denying something like climate change, not in my book. I'm not going to vote for a party that is insistent on ignoring what my field of study has to say, one that clearly states that my research had better toe the party line or it gets banned. Politics should listen to science, not the other way around.

We shouldn't be arguing about this; on this particular issue at least, I'd like to think we should be on the same side here. The scientific facts are that genetically engineered crops are, as a general statement, safe for people and the environment and bring many benefits. Go to the ag department of your local land grant university, start a dialog, you'll get answers. So what can I, as a scientist who has a responsibility to work for public education do to change your mind here? Because we need change, if we want to sustainably provide adequate nutrition for all people in the face of the challenges before us, and as far as I'm concerned the Green movement has been holding back progress that, if environmentalism is your primary goal, should be embraced. Thanks!

Once GMOs are out of the bag, there is no stopping them. So we need to have a very high threshold of certainty that they are safe before being used commercially.

Most GMO innovations create pesticide-tolerance. That’s not a good thing. And the evidence implicating Round-Up as a human carcinogen is very worrisome. As a physician who has looked at pesticides as a human health issue, this should not be taken lightly. Very important to apply rigorous standards of proof together with the precautionary principle.

Not just for human health, but for ecosystem impacts. Very hard to predict how a GMO may create, for example, superweeds that take over an ecosystem. There’s plenty of room for dialogue here, but the science needs to be safeguarded from bias from parties who have a vested financial interest in the product. And there needs to be a broad citizen dialogue that goes far beyond the scientists and the industry to include consumers whose health and world is at risk.

Where do you see the Green Party in 20 years?

If we are going to have a planet that we can live on in 20 years, we must be outside of the box of corporate politics. Political parties run by predatory banks, fossil fuel giants, and war profiteers cannot deliver a future that we can survive in. Of necessity, the Green Party needs to be a major player 20 years from now. I hope we have multi-party democracy and that people can freely vote their values without fear or intimidation. I hope that we will have turned the White House into a Green House, and have a dominant Green force in Congress.

The political House of Cards is falling down right now. This is a historic moment for transformational change. The Democratic Party is showing us that a revolutionary campaign like Bernie Sanders' cannot survive in a counter-revolutionary party.

So transformational change depends on the transformational politics of the Green Party.

Why doesn't the green party focus more on local races? We see countless times that a party doesn't succeed by winning the Presidency/PM first but by winning local seats and growing. Why not focus on the most liberal parts of the country and trying to run Green candidates?

A good success story is the socialist city councilwoman is Seattle, she is going places while being outside of the 2 parties.

We actually do. You just don’t hear about them because the media circles the wagons around the zombie political parties in order to maintain control. We have had many city councillors like Cameron Gordon in Minneapolis, school committee members, mayors, state representatives and county commissioners. At the same time, we don’t want to give a free pass to the corporate predators that are occupying the presidential races. It’s outrageous that a common-sense community point-of-view is being locked out.

Kshama is doing a great job pushing the envelope in Seattle. It sets an example all around the nation. In my view we have to challenge the system at every level--local and national. Especially where there is a window of opportunity. That window of opportunity is wide-open in the presidential campaign as Hillary and Donald drive people running from the political establishment.

As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. Never has. Never will.” We have to be that demand. Third-party politics is critical for the integrity of the system. Transformational change has always relied on independent third parties. The socialist candidate for president, Eugene Debs, inspired socialist candidates all around the country. They created a threat that moved the agenda for labor rights, for the fourty hour work week, for child labor laws, and Social Security. By challenging at every level of government including the Presidency, they forced the political establishment to move forward. Without independent third-party challenge, we move backwards--not forwards--and corporate hegemony is unchallenged.

So, third parties have to run at the national level in order to be seen because as your question shows, local Green Party candidates are suppressed in the media.

I'm a Bernie supporter. How would you help continue the political revolution?

First, the political revolution needs a political voice, a political party that will support the revolution not depress the revolution as the Democratic Party is attempting to do now.

The revoltuion is powered in my view by the struggles on the front lines of social change: the fight to cancel student debt, to make higher education free, to rescue the climate, to provide living-wage jobs, to end the drug wars, to make Black Lives Matter, to provide healthcare as a human right, to end the endless wars, and to protect the human rights of women, the LGBTQIA+, immigrant, indigenous, and disability communities.  

We must build the social movements that fight each of these battles and we must build the Green Party as a vehicle to reach critical mass, challenge power, and take our future back. A political party is a coalition with an explicit agenda that comes together across issues, across geography, and across generations, to fight for the long-haul. Building this coalition is the critical next step for creating a world that puts people, planet, and peace over profit.

Do you think Hillary Clinton's policies reflect the values of motherhood and/or feminism? Why or why not?

In my view, mothering doesn't stop with your own child. It is embedded in the community, as in "it takes a village to raise a child." Mothering - or more generally parenting - ultimately is not a private act. Every mother/parent depends on the support of the community around them.

So, to my mind Hillary Clinton’s predatory policies are the antithesis of the motherhood/parenting/community values I would hope to see in the White House. Hillary Clinton’s track record destroyed the social safety net of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, hurting the kids, families and communities left without support. Supporting the policies of Walmart as a board member overseeing poverty wages and lousy benefits, hurt hundreds of thousands more.

Supporting Wall Street deregulation and coddling bankers led to foreclosures for 5 million families, and forced 9 million breadwinners into unemployment. Promoting fracking in the US and around the world polluted and stressed the water supplies for communities across the globe.... Supporting regime change in Iraq, Libya and Honduras - killing over a million people - is another assault.

Hillary Clinton is widely thought of as an advocate for children, women and families. She is celebrated as a proponent of equal pay for women, and an important advocate for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. In my view, these achievement take a back seat to her history as a director of the anti-labor Walmart Corporation, a proponent of ending Aid to Families with Dependent Children, an opponent of a 60 cents/hour minimum wage in Haiti, an opponent of single payer universal health care, and an advocate for regime change and violence in Iraq, Libya and Honduras.

I'd like to see a woman in the White House who understands we share mothering/parenting in an interdependent human family. Whether we are biological parents or not, we are all connected to the younger generation as if they are our own.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Jill Stein conducted on Reddit on 2016-05-11. The Reddit AMA can be found here.