Dr. Jill Stein: Green Party not to blame for Trump's election
PROVIDENCE — There's an argument going around that last year's presidential election would have turned out differently if Dr. Jill Stein wasn't in the race.
Some contend that if voters in a few Midwestern states who cast their ballots for the Green Party candidate chose Hillary Clinton instead, the Democrat would be in the White House right now, instead of Republican Donald Trump.
By Alex Kuffner
December 2, 2017
But Stein is unrepentant, telling supporters on Saturday in Providence that it's time for the Green Party to "double down" on its gains in 2016.
"What we're seeing now everyday is just growing evidence, proof that this is that historic moment, that moment of unprecedented crisis and unstoppable resistance," she said. "The Greens are going to be leading that charge for an America and a world that works for all of us and nothing less than that."
"That means fighting to stop pipelines, to stop police brutality, to stop deportations and endless student debt and endless war and so much more," she continued. "Those crises are writ larger than we have ever seen them, certainly in our lifetimes at least."
And those crises didn't just start under a Trump presidency, she said.
"We're fighting not just to stop Donald Trump," she said. "We're fighting to really halt this global, corporate assault on our economy, our ecology, peace, democracy, everything we hold dear."
Stein spoke at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Green Party of Rhode Island and the New England Regional Summit for the party, an afternoon event held at the Bell Street Chapel that was attended by about 60 people.
During a series of panels before Stein spoke, members gave talks centered on the party's four pillars — democracy, peace, social justice and ecology — and recognized achievements of individuals and groups, including the Sierra Club of Rhode Island, Jobs for Justice and Farm Fresh Rhode Island.
Efforts were also recognized to fight a fossil-fuel-burning power plant proposed by Chicago developer Invenergy for Burrillville and a natural gas liquefaction project put forward by National Grid in a Providence area with a history of industrial use.
"Now they want to keep that pollution going," Monica Huertas, of NO LNG in PVD, said of the latter project. "We're still fighting against it."
Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party's vice presidential nominee in 2016, was the other keynote speaker at the event. In an interview after his speech, he said that he and Stein's work didn't stop after the last election and that they are trying to build a movement going forward.
Baraka also refuted any notion that the Green Party was to blame for Clinton's defeat, calling the argument "ridiculous."
"What it implies is that the Green Party should be condemned because it offered a democratic choice," he said. "If people really wanted to find a reason why the Democrats lost, they've got to look at the Democrats themselves.
"If they were serious about winning, maybe they should have considered a stronger candidate. If they were serious about winning, maybe they should have thought about putting more money into mobilizing their traditional base."
In her speech, Stein said the 2016 election came down to a choice for many between which major-party candidate they hated less.
"Most people aren't voting, and the people who voted for Donald Trump, the majority was not for Donald Trump. They were actually against Hillary Clinton," she said.
The Green Party offers something to vote for, she said.
"The silver lining here is there's an incredible political vacuum," she said. "Our charge is to occupy that space at the front-lines of struggle. Because that's where the change is."