Heading into this week’s end, Lexington’s Green Party presidential hopeful, Jill Stein, is nine for nine in primaries and appears in prime position to grab the party’s nomination.
And, even as she’s been frustrated at times about , Stein has been equally as excited about the energy she encountered out on the campaign trail.
Having hit a number of college towns and Occupy outposts over the first six months of her campaign, Stein, 61, says it’s exciting how the younger generation, as it comes of political age, is connecting with Green Party ideas and solutions.
“There’s no doubt that the coming of age politically of a whole new generation is very much a part of this democracy uprising that’s taking place all over the country and all over the world, with the revolutions in the Middle East, the uprising in Wisconsin, the ,” Stein said. “This is so much being powered by young people who have inherited a dead-end economy where they are especially disadvantaged, inheriting incredibly sky-rocketing levels of tuition, coming out in debt and entering an economy that has very high employment rates, especially for young people.”
The recent string of victories has been a welcome, and even addicting, change of pace, says Stein, a veteran of unsuccessful campaigns for governor in her home state of Massachusetts. But the energy and ideas they’ve felt swelling along the campaign trail have Stein and her team redefining what a “victory” in the 2012 election would mean.
“If you look back through the history of progressive politics – the right to organize a union, child labor laws, women’s right to vote, ending slavery,” Stein says, “They all came up through independent third parties. When you’ve only got two parties and they’re supported by the big money out there, they’re not going to move.”
Stein, and , are hoping this campaign, which they describe as the first homegrown Green Party bid, can go viral and grows into an alternative disenchanted voters can get behind as an eventual differencemaker. (Roseanne Barr, the comedienne/activist Green with election year aspirations, has taken to twitter and pledged her future support for Stein.)
“I think it would be unrealistic, shall we say, to go from a teeny-weeny section of the vote to go to the majority or plurality,” said Stein. “We need to get a politics for people and politics for integrity back on board. And the green party is about that. That is our goal and we can achieve that. And from there we can go onto bigger things.”
If elected president, Stein says she would give political power back to everyday people through her Green New Deal and adding the “Organizer in Chief” responsibility the POTUS job description. It’s a promise she’s making in Michigan college towns and at Occupy Delaware. And it's a promise her team hopes catches on with the students, the unemployed, the sick who can’t afford their healthcare, and everyone else who is already outraged and only needs a real alternative at the voting booth.
“Everyday people have very little say about government and their policy and the direction of their lives, which is why people are banging their head against the wall right now and clamoring for a different kind of politics,” said Stein. “They just to need to know that there’s something they can vote for. They feel like they’ve been raked over the coals by this idea that they have to defend some politician’s career. Their concern is that their future is bleak right now. What we’re talking about is not just occupying the office, but creating a real sea change of politics.”