The Illusion of Progress in the 2-Party System

This is a transcript of Jill Stein's livestreamed Fireside Chat on September 18, 2018.

Good evening friends, rebels, welcome to the Fireside Chat, where we rise up as the empire doubles down - and we come together to stand against endless war, austerity, the assault on Mother Earth, our humanity, our democracy and more, and we stand strong together for an America and world that works for all of us. We are also here to celebrate your acts of resistance and transformation which are the lifeblood of our movement as we fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it, because in fact they do.

Tonight for the first time I’m coming to you under the banner of Green Uprising - a new springboard, a new vehicle, a new network for powering up peaceful revolution, and for turning peaceful resistance in the last election to all-out peaceful rebellion in the next.

I ask you to help us get started tonight by liking and sharing this conversation to help get the word out – so that we can overcome the internet censorship and media censorship that has come down so hard in this new age of McCarthyism, all over again, this new Cold War.  It is very important for us to stand up strong, for us to be heard, and for us to defy the forces of censorship that attempt to silence political opposition – so thank you for liking and sharing and getting the word out on this.

To start with tonight - and thank you so much for being here - it's really great to be back after a summer mostly off, great to be talking with you again, and I really look forward to hearing what you can share with us. And in fact, in addition to liking and sharing, please post your comments and your questions, your inspirations and your stories which are so inspiring to me and all of us, so I look forward to hearing that.

To get us started tonight, I want to say a few words about Green Uprising.  As we hear so much these days, we are very aware of the horrific situation with Donald Trump, and we hear a lot of desperation, as we stand up against Donald Trump, and the racism and sexism and xenophobia and imperialism, and all that we have to struggle against on a daily basis.   But it is really important not to lose sight that the only crisis here is not just that of Donald Trump. Donald Trump was created by decades of crisis - this is a bipartisan crisis - which is creating violence, austerity, poverty, insecurity world over – and it has really laid the groundwork for demagogues to take root in the first place. And that is as much by Democrats as it is by Republicans - and we certainly saw war spread enormously under Barack Obama - with the crisis of immigration, and refugees fleeing wars, and economic imperialism and colonialism and all of that.

Green Uprising is a very healthy antidote to the single-minded one-track obsession with just Donald Trump.  Yes, Donald Trump is a problem - but so is the system that created him. And you may remember – that most people who voted for Donald Trump were not for Donald Trump: they were mostly voting, the majority of his voters were actually voting against Clinton and the legacy of the Democrats, the neoliberalism, the globalization, the offshoring of our jobs, the endless war, the austerity and the act of throwing working people under the bus for decades, which has gotten worse step by step.

With Green Uprising we are really putting forward solutions - not just for the moment, but for the long haul as well.  We've got to do both because we're really kind of one foot over the edge of the cliff into the abyss right now - looking at climate, nuclear weapons, endless expanding war, the economy that's teetering at the brink, and working people who've been thrown under the bus - seventy five percent of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck right now, with the vast majority of Americans - it's about seventy five percent that have no more that one thousand dollars saved up for their retirement.  So indeed we are in rather desperate straits right now and we need a real solution.

So, that’s what Green Uprising is all about: it's about supporting our social movements which are the real engine and the driver of social change and it's also about supporting candidates - Green candidates who are standing up with an agenda for people, planet, and peace over profits.

You can join Green Uprising, you can be a part of Green Uprising by going to https://www.greenuprising.org. You can sign up for the newsletters, you can find out about the social movements and the candidates that are rising up strong and rising up Green, and that need your support - and I'll say more about that over the course of the evening.

With Green Uprising we basically keep the heat on for transformation, and we raise the bar so that we are not focused just on the crisis of the moment but these many converging crises that really require a system change – and that system change is to put people, planet, and peace over profits for a change, instead of the other way around. And it's both parties, let's not lose track of that fact.

So, I want to say a couple words also now about the continuing need for a politics of integrity - for an independent politics that the Green Party represents.  We are not the only ones that believe in a multiparty democracy, but it just so happens that the Green Party is the one national party that does not take corporate money, that is not sponsored by big banks, by fossil fuel giant corporations, or by the war machine and the war profiteers. So, the Green Party is leading the charge, if you will, for a real politics of integrity.

It’s so important that we stand up to the Green-bashing that is going on right now - really not just of Greens, but of independent political voters, and independent politics altogether, as well as non-voters.   You hear people blaming Trump on one and a half million Green voters, or on the one hundred million people who chose not to vote at all - the largest group of voters, who decided not to vote, because the two parties being stuffed down their throats were just not reason enough to come out and vote.

It's time to stop blaming the people who refuse to perpetuate a corrupt political system for the problems of that system.  Instead of blaming the people who refuse to go along, let's put the focus on reforming that political system.

Simply by enacting ranked-choice voting, a simple voting reform, we can unleash the power of our values and our vision to drive our democracy forward - because most people were voting out of fear in the last election, and the politics of fear unfortunately keeps bringing us everything that we are afraid of.  

Ranked choice voting unleashes the power of our values. Democracy needs a moral compass, it needs our values to drive us forward. With ranked-choice voting, you simply rank your choices: one, two, three - you can go for an underdog if that's your preferred candidate, knowing that if your first choice loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice – that’s a somewhat simple elevator-pitch explanation of ranked-choice voting. There is a little bit more to it that that, but that's the basics right there - you don't have to worry about ever throwing away your vote or about ever having an unintended consequence of your vote and vote-splitting - it completely eliminates that.

At the same time, I have to say that most independent voters I know were never going to vote for the majority candidates to start with: they were people who otherwise wouldn't vote.  So let's stop blaming people who want to raise the bar on this corrupt political system - let's just fix the political system.

Those who keep trying to blame and shame Green voters, you know they have this crazy idea in their heads that if they can just take our votes and add them to Hillary Clinton’s, then she would've won.  Well, for one thing that doesn't happen in the real world, because most Green voters would not have voted for Hillary Clinton. But - in addition, they don't want look at the other side – if they are going to do that with our votes, what do they do with Gary Johnson’s votes, which was three and half million votes?  So that would have completely canceled out any benefit that they claim they would have gotten if they just jerked our votes back to Hillary Clinton. At the end of the day, we are not telling you how to vote, don’t you tell us how to vote - let's just have a voting system that allows all of us to bring our best values and our visions, and improve our democracy.

Silencing political opposition is not the solution - that's more of the problem. Less democracy is not the solution to a democracy on life support.  We need more voices, more choices, more voter engagement, and the assurance that ranked-choice voting provides: that, in fact, the winner of an election is the candidate that most people agree on, and that candidate has majority support. So then you do not get a situation like the Trump situation, where he had barely twenty-five percent of the American electorate that was voting for him. Only a little bit more that was voting for Hillary Clinton as well - which is why we need more voices and more choices - and a more accessible voting system that doesn't strip voters from the voter rolls, like appears to have happened in the recent New York State Primary just last week, again. This is what election interference is all about, right in front of our very eyes - there is that kind of problem keeping people away from the polls too.  

There are many problems: they can all be fixed.  If we can start with ranked-choice voting, among others - as well as an an end to Interstate Crosscheck that strips the voter rolls, Voter ID laws that keep legitimate voters from being able to vote (largely voters of color or of foreign origin), we can fix all those problems and have a voting system that's accurate, secure, and just – and a voting system we can trust. Ranked-choice voting is part of that.

Don't let the whiners intimidate you: the people who are saying “Oh, you shouldn’t have third-party voters” are basically people who are, shall we say, inadvertent tools of the oligarchy, attempting to silence voices of political opposition.

So, stand strong, stand proud, and for those who are concerned about a spoiled vote or a split election, just remind them they can pass ranked-choice voting right now by voter referendum or in your legislature.  We can have a voting system that works for all of us, that doesn't silence opposition voices at a time when the dominant political establishment is truly driving us into the abyss, so we can have survival and democracy at the same time.

Let me say a few more words about why we need an independent politics, again, and why the Democratic Party and this illusion of progress and reform within the Democratic Party is just not convincing - not one bit!

And please let me remind you right now to “like” and share this conversation, and also to go to Green Uprising and to join our email newsletter list.   You can throw three dollars into the hat if the spirit moves you and ensure that we have the resources to keep this program going strong and to keep the Green Uprising going strong.  Three dollars from everybody watching this right now would essentially ensure that we can really rev this engine for peaceful political revolution and for Green victories in our elections - and we will come to some of those very exciting races in just one moment.   

I want to just try to help dispel this myth that within the Democratic Party, they're gonna fix it, right?  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat-out a Democratic incumbent - so does that mean that our problems are solved, and the Democratic Party is going to pull a rabbit out of their hat?  After decades and decades of saying they would, and failing to do so - it's basically been a fake left, go right.

You know we only have to look at what happened to Bernie Sanders and the incredible movement that was taking place, the unbelievable momentum that was basically stolen in election interference in the Democratic Primary, which was admitted by Donna Brazile among others - by the emails from the DNC that were leaked or stolen or whatever happened - there they were, making it clear as daylight that that election was stolen in so many ways, including the plan for the “Pied Piper candidates” to pave the way for Hillary Clinton’s victory - and these were the really lunatic Republicans that the Democrats were promoting.

So, what happened to Bernie Sanders was one example of how this promise of reform within the Democratic Party gets shot down - and it wasn't the first time with Bernie Sanders.   Consider the incredible hope and excitement that surrounded Barack Obama, and what happened there, as his first move upon winning the election was to appoint Larry Summers, the architect of the Wall Street meltdown, to be the head of Treasury - in fact, at the start, and that was followed by the bank bailouts, and so on, and a Democratic White House, with two Democratic houses of Congress, went to the mat for Wall Street and a wealthy few.  And you know, people of color were hurt more than anyone - immigrants, et cetera.

Dennis Kucinich - go back to Jesse Jackson - go back all the way to the end of the Second World War, just before the end of the Second World War, when Henry Wallace, a democratic socialist, who was about to get the nomination which would make him next in line after FDR, who was about to be nominated for Vice President - and the microphone was shut off.

You know it was the big establishment powers jerking around the Democratic Party even when there was an enormous basis of support for a progressive peaceful revolution within the Democratic Party. It was aborted and instead we got Harry Truman, the Cold War, and the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - the only time in history that it was used against humans. This is this is the history of Democratic reforms, that just get turned around at the eleventh hour.  

So, if you look at what is happening now, there is a lot of talk about reform in the wave of progressive victories.  But if you actually look at the results, only two Democratic incumbents were beaten; one was by Ocasio-Cortez, which seemed like a really great victory, although there appears to be some backpedaling now as she comes out strong supporting Cuomo, the poster child of the establishment Democratic Party, where there was a strong progressive campaign - but not strong enough - it really got beaten back badly.  And the Working Families Party - which has been functioning in New York like a virtual wing of the Democratic Party - has refused to actually challenge the Democrats. So, after this illustrious progressive campaign with Cynthia Nixon for governor, they basically caved. And Andrew Cuomo has basically insulted the entire Progressive movement, saying essentially that it didn't amount to even a little wave of impact  - I forget the exact words he used - but essentially saying that it amounted to nothing - and then he got the endorsement from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - which you know was saying: any blue will do, vote Democrat up and down the ticket. That's not how we reform the Democratic Party. And furthermore, that endorsement was given before there were any demands made, like: how about supporting Single-Payer Healthcare? Or how about putting a ban on fracked gas coming into New York State? Or, how about truly ending stop-and-frisk, the policy of New York City?.

If you are thinking that the Democratic Party is going to solve this, that there will be progressive reform, think again.  The initial promise that corporate campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies would be banned - that's been reversed - and the DNC has again put out language affirming the “all of the above” policy, which is outrageous.   Look at how the Democrats, after complaining so bitterly about Donald Trump, joined in with the Republicans to give him the biggest military budget ever: like sixty billion more that he had even asked for. And seventy-five percent of Democratic Congressmen and women actually voted for this, the largest military budget of all time.  Nancy Pelosi, who would come in as the Speaker Of The House again if the Democrats win back control of the House, has already stated that she will support the so-called Pay-Go Rule, and bring the Pay-Go Rule back - which means that the Democrats will be deficit hawks - that they will not allow policies like Single-Payer, or free public higher education to pass without specifically first passing tax maneuvers,  in order to ensure that there's the income. Sometimes deficit spending is needed. And sometimes you have programs that will pay for themselves, like Single-Payer Health Care, and don't require up-front spending. So this makes the Democrats more deficit hawks than the Republicans have been. They have just gone to town, providing billions, and actually it will be trillions in tax breaks for the super wealthy - for their friends  - and a minute tax break for everyday people, that will soon go away. You know that they're partying like there’s no tomorrow. It’s the Democrats who are left holding the bag here, supporting fiscal austerity, essentially, is what they are supporting.

Michael Tracey, the journalist, a wonderful journalist, he observed, I think on Twitter yesterday, and I'm reading here:  The primary season is over and zero incumbent Democratic senators or governors lost. Only two House incumbents lost. Despite nonstop hype about how energized the insurgent wing of the party supposedly is, the status quo overwhelmingly prevailed.

So - it is really important for us to stand up, and don't take that stuff when people are trying to blame and shame you for Donald Trump.  We have both political parties to thank for this all-out crisis in our political system, which was essentially a rejection of both political parties.

Once again, let me remind you, please, to “like” and share this conversation. Post your comments, your thoughts, your wisdom, and we’ll get to your questions in a moment.  I want to quickly mention three amazing candidates that we have been supporting on Green Uprising.

You may have heard about Kenneth Mejia, who is a candidate for Congress in California. He fought his way into a top-two race - that means it's just him and a Democrat, an establishment Democrat.  Kenneth is a Millennial and an immigrant of Filipino origin, an incredibly bright, charismatic, and lovable person - who is leading the charge in one of the poorest sections of Los Angeles, among a district that is entirely out of step with its leadership - which thinks like Kenneth, looks like Kenneth, talks like Kenneth, and very much needs Kenneth, who is standing up to abolish ICE, to end the wars, to bring our dollars home, to create a Green New Deal, and the guarantee of a job, health care as a human right, education through college as a human right -  it more that pays for itself many times over - as of course does Medicare For All.

So that is what Kenneth is about - you can find his website posted here on our Facebook page.  And I want to give a big thank-you to Dave Schwab, who is assisting with this broadcast tonight, and Dave will be posting Kenneth’s website - and I encourage you to please throw something into the hat for Kenneth Mejia, and likewise for Rodolfo Cortes Barragan, who much like Kenneth, is in a two way race, has fought his way into it, and has gotten overwhelming support and approval as people begin to hear about his race. He is challenging an incumbent who has been in office for something like twenty-five years, and who inherited the seat from her father, and who does not - well let me put it this way - they support the big military budget, which is essentially a theft of what we need for health care, housing, and education.   They support that big military budget, which is impoverishing their district. Rodolfo’s opponent also supports the expansion of ICE, even though ICE is wreaking havoc on their community.

Rodolfo himself is a Chicano, in a largely Chicano district.  He too is a Millennial - and an incredibly bright and resourceful person.  When he tells people about his race, they convert to vote for him something like eighty percent of the time - so this is a district that is basically there for the asking.   The voters need to know about him, because, of course his opponent is getting big corporate money from the war machine and from the private prison system - which is holding immigrants in jail, essentially -  so help us get the word out. And if you go to Rodolfo’s site, like to Kenneth’s, you can make a contribution. You can also help the phone banks, no matter where you are - if you are not involved right now in another political campaign,  jump in for Rodolfo and Kenneth, and you can make all the difference - because it's just a matter of getting the word out - and we could see a real Green Uprising take effect in their districts, which would have an impact across the nation and certainly across the world.   Just imagine: it's a two way race - it’s a Green against an establishment Democrat, in a district which is young, Millennial, poor, and of color and immigrant. These are the candidates that look like, talk like, think like, and represent the vision of that community. We can bring them into office to lead us all forward  - it would be just truly astounding.

One quick mention about another candidate who is incredible, and that's Howie Hawkins.  He is now the only progressive left standing in New York, running for Governor. Cynthia Nixon has been basically wiped out of the election by big money spending, also by an outrageous lie, told by the Cuomo campaign - the lie that she was anti-semitic, which is just truly horrific and an incredible insult.  She was knocked out by Cuomo’s commonly-used dirty strong-arm tactics. Cuomo, who has been surrounded by corruption - who was found recently to have stopped an inquiry into Harvey Weinstein, when Harvey Weinstein’s law firm made a big contribution to Cuomo’s campaign. This is a guy that has been surrounded by corruption, and now Howie is basically his opponent who inherits the Progressive torch.  There is a Republican, and also a Libertarian, but these are not popular causes in New York State - so we could see the Greens rise to become the second party in New York State.

So, I encourage you to make a contribution to Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York, and join in his phone banking effort as well - and we can see an unbelievable revolution in the voting booth right before our very eyes.

With that I'm going to ask you one last time -  to please “like” and share this conversation, post your comments, let’s overcome internet censorship, let's stop the war machine, let's stop the devastation of our climate, and let's start the peaceful Green revolution that is long overdue.  

So, I'm going to turn to your comments right now, and a couple shout-outs here.
Terrence says: “Thank you for your part in opening my eyes to how silly the ‘Democrat vs. Republican’  control of our elections, media, and government is. I use the word “silly” because that is how it sounds to me when I turn on corporate TV and radio.”  I have to really agree with you. We all get smeared by them - I certainly get my share of it; I have to say it  kind of makes me laugh because it seems to be functioning on two brain cells, and it’s a little bit comical, and it is desperate - they're worried, and that is a sign of our strength.  So keep fighting. More of the same.

Miah says: “Not gonna vote for one of the class bullies, when it's the underdog who has the right idea.”  Absolutely.  

Kathy: “Same old same old - ruling through fear is the DNC message.”  

Christi:  “A wasted vote is voting for the lesser of two evils and hating them so much you flip the next election - not a vote investing in what you believe is correct policy and choice.”   

Helicia says: “There will be no accountability until we have third parties allowed to debate and compete: you don’t have accountability in a monopoly.” Absolutely.

Lisa says: ”Thanks for continuing to fight -  the Green Uprising is what's needed in California, where blue has left us without Single Payer healthcare, blocked by Democrat Anthony Rendon; lots of homelessness around LA County - rising rents that lead to evictions, and more.  Thanks for continuing to speak up when they prefer you would be quiet.” I agree completely, and thank you so much Lisa - you just said it so well.  That’s another really compelling argument, a really compelling piece of evidence that when we do give all the power to the Democrats, as it has been done in California with Jerry Brown in the Governor's Mansion, and Democrats ruling both houses of the legislature - we have that here in  Massachusetts too, my home state - you know the wealthy are doing great, they're making out like bandits. And in California: forty percent of people, in a report just recently issued by an NGO think-tank in California, forty percent of Californians are in or near poverty. You know the environment is a disaster.  Yes they're doing some really great things, and thank you Jerry Brown for agreeing to the goal of - I believe it's one hundred percent renewable energy by 2045, if I'm not mistaken, but it really needs to be by 2030 if we are going to get out of here alive. You just look around you and it is like a Biblical fire-and-brimstone going on out there right now.  So we can do better. When we have given it all to the Democrats - you know it's still: single payer - they are all for-it - until they actually have power and then they're not for it. Like Barack Obama just the other day was saying - wow, he was just discovering Medicare For All: what a great thing. Well, you know before he was President he actually supported it, and then when he had the power he backed away.  So, keep fighting, don't take “No” for an answer, and don't drink that Kool-Aid.

Caleb says: What would a Jill Stein foreign policy look like?  I understand all the terrible policies you would end, what would you implement?   Great question, Caleb-  I would love to talk about that for a whole session.  I'll say in brief: we need a foreign policy based on human rights, diplomacy, dialogue, international law - those good things that actually enable us to solve problems and to work together.  Right now we have a foreign policy based upon lobbyists’ needs for a big military - and to have boogeymen out there, like North Korea and Russia and Iran - which are used to try to inflate military expenditures, which are outrageous.  In the last tax day we were paying something like an average - your average taxpayer - something like three thousand four hundred dollars in taxes directly into the military, whereas your contribution to welfare was something like eighty dollars - and to the EPA was somewhere around forty dollars.  

You know that sort of tells us how it is: we have been spending trillions - in Afghanistan alone we spent almost a trillion dollars, it's more like seven hundred and sixty billion - it's more than our one-year’s military budget.  We've been spending a lot - you know we just had the seventeenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, and it's really a case-in-point: it's created worse terrorist threats, mass refugee migrations, a failed state, and it's breaking our budget.  

So, we need a foreign policy that works to convert our military priorities into a Green New Deal for everyone.  In a nutshell, that ought to be to be the shared foreign policy agenda for all of us - a Global Green New Deal to achieve one hundred percent clean renewable energy by 2030 - and to scale way back on military expenditures.  Another critical piece of this is to ban, for once and for all, and dismantle our nuclear weapons, which are not making us safer, which are really putting us in harm's way, in the target hairs - thousands of nuclear weapons are on hair-trigger alert right now between the US and Russia - and we’ve got a new Cold War. We don't need that new Cold War, we need to work together on our common interests and look to dialogue and diplomacy.

Kathy says: “Do you have any advice for responding to political polls?  I have been hammering on the Green Party, but the polls are all about Democrats and Republicans.”  That’s a real tough one Kathy. You know, the more we build the party, the more everything will fall in line.  We need to open up our debates, and demand media coverage. Many of the polling agencies represent political interests and they're not going to be the first to come around - keep up the good work let's keep at it.  By winning an election or two we will force them to start covering us.

In short, if you can get behind Kenneth Mejia and Rodolfo, and Howie, and let's make a strong showing, and force them to start covering us - they're not going to do it because we ask nicely.

Burt says: “What can I do as a citizen to help the implementation of ranked-choice voting?”   Great question, thanks for asking.  It was implemented statewide in the state of Maine, actually it's been implemented several times, as the legislature keeps trying to stop it - because they like not having competition.

But the people of Maine have paved the way. It's really exciting - they have bigger turnouts, they have a more collegial election - because ranked-choice voting helps discourage negative campaigning, for a number of reasons: you want to get your opponent’s second choice votes, so it encourages greater collaboration and brings out more people to the polls.  So it's really a great thing. In Massachusetts we have a very strong movement going - we'll be bringing it in by voter referendum in the next election, and we are close to be getting the signatures to make that happen. We will post some websites for you where you can find out more about ranked-choice voting and how to get something going in your state. In Massachusetts it's called Voter Choice Massachusetts.   We will post that one for you, and the people at Voter Choice here are very excited about helping other states also begin to move along - so that's one option. Also, an organization called Fairvote.org has been very helpful. I should mention there are over a dozen cities in the US that are already using it - to good effect - and countries around the world, so this isn't a shot in the dark. This is a really proven quantity, and it's all good all around, it's a win-win.

Cody says: What advice can you give for those of us lacking a Green candidate?   Oh, thank you for asking!  Please adopt Kenneth Mejia and Rodolfo Cortes Barragan and Howie Hawkins - because Rodolfo and Kenneth actually can win - if we get a Green into Congress it will transform the political landscape. Likewise if Howie can finish strong, if he can come in second, and he could, if the progressives would now get behind a progressive candidate - and I think that there are a lot of very disappointed progressives in New York State right now, who feel like they have been taken for a ride again - if those voters move into Howie’s campaign, Howie can make a real politics of integrity the second party in New York and this too would change the political landscape.

So go to those websites, make a contribution.  Also visit, if you can, the website for https://www.greenuprising.org, sign up for our mailing list, and consider throwing in three bucks to ensure that we can keep this program going strong and helping to lift all of our voices as a part of this Green Uprising.  Also, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and you can join the “Green Uprising Activists” Facebook group to help get the word out through social media.

Let's see, we will take one or two final questions here:

“Talk about the Supreme Court”.  Yes, a very difficult situation - just let me say this: it's a terrible Supreme Court, and the appointment of Kavanaugh takes us further into the gutter.

We have to fight hard, and keep fighting.  There's a hearing coming up, I believe tomorrow or Thursday, about these allegations - that Brett Kavanaugh actually committed an attempted rape, and was very violent as part of a drunken stupor in high school.   It is true that was in high school, all but you know you want people of exemplary character on the Supreme Court - and there are a number of other questions that have come up - apparently the opponents to his nomination have not been allowed to testify as a part of his hearings, and it appears that that was on account of not just the Republicans but also the Democrats.   If I'm not mistaken, I believe Senator Feinstein also had a hand in the failure of these hearings to truly hold his feet to the fire.

Be as engaged a you possibly can over the next week - and let's not give up the ship here - which unfortunately we’ve seen Democrats do too much of.  We saw the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, in fact, expedite Trump appointments to the federal bench - so again, Democrats want to say that this is entirely a Republican problem - but unfortunately there's complicity here from both parties.   Remember just this one thing: in the era of Richard Nixon we had an extremely conservative Supreme Court, but we had a Women's Movement that was absolutely on fire, and that's how the Roe v. Wade decision was achieved in the first place - by us getting out and being strong, and refusing to take no for an answer.   I think that's the attitude that we need to proceed with on all fronts here - including in our struggles with the Supreme Court.

And then Mignonne says: “How’s the recount going?”  So I’ll just say - there's some very exciting things happening in the recount: for one thing, the necessity for recounts is being rolled out right before our very eyes, in this election, and in the run-up to 2018 - the midterms, where people are saying again, all these concerns about: “can we trust our votes”, and “are our votes being messed with?”  and “oh my goodness, the voting machines did have vulnerabilities that were not acknowledged. We were talking about them, the election integrity experts were talking about them - and fortunately we are proceeding with several court cases right now, and they're both moving forward in a very exciting way. We are very close to actually inspecting the software which has never been examined before, in Wisconsin.  That software is used throughout the United States in a very large portion of the voting machines. So we are about to find out - you shouldn’t have to go to court and spend millions of dollars to make this happen. We should have a publicly accountable voting system - and that includes all these secret black box materials that are counting our votes, that are tallying our votes, that are communicating our votes.  We need paper ballots, and we should have public hand counts, or at the very least a public audit, a so-called “risk-limiting audit”, that ensures that the counts are not being messed with - that they are accurate, secure, and just - and that we have a voting system we can trust. So, stay tuned to what's happening with the recount cases, and we will see going forward.

Once again, as we sign off, let me ask once more, please “like” and share this conversation.  Thank you so much for being a part of it. It's wonderful to be talking with you again. Go to Green Uprising, and sign up for email.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and join the Facebook action group: “Green Uprising Activists”, and support Kenneth, Rodolfo, and Howie.  Make phone calls for their campaigns, and we could transform the political landscape in the coming weeks before the elections.

So thank you so much for standing up for an America and a world that works for all of us.  We can create that world - the power to do that is in our hands, so let's keep rising up, and I'll see you here next week.  Thank you all so much - take care!

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