Live-Blog: Jill Stein Does Reddit #AMA

Much like Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein is participating in a online interview called AMA, or Ask Me Anything, on the forum Reddit. This is her first appearance on the social media site, as she will be taking questions from Redditors on her campaign, the election, the Green Party platform and Green New Deal.

Below are the updated highlights from the AMA. You can follow along on Reddit here.

Update: 1:00pm

Stein hasn’t answered as many questions as Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson did yesterday, but her answers are in depth, much like Obama’s. Most of the questions seem like they are from supporters, asking her to clarify her message and the platform of the Green Party.

Update: 12:53pm 

There are currently around 8,581 users on Reddit right now, compared to Gary Johnson’s 12,000+ and Barack Obama’s 4 million.

Update: 12:50pm

Stein goes into her New Green Deal and clarifies her opinion on nuclear energy:

Nuclear energy currently depends on massive public subsidies. Private industry won’t invest in it without public support because it’s not a good investment. The risks are too great. Add to that, three times more jobs are created per dollar invested in conservation and renewables. Nuclear is currently the most expensive per unit of energy created. All this is why it is being phased out all over the world. Bottom line is no one source solution to our energy needs, but demand side reductions are clearly the most easily achieved and can accrue the most cost savings.

Advanced nuclear technologies are not yet proven to scale and the generation and management of nuclear waste is the primary reason for the call for eventual phasing out of the technology. Advances in wind and other renewable technologies have proven globally to be the best investment in spurring manufacturing inovation, jobs and energy sources that are less damaging to our health and environment.

Update: 12:40pm

Q: Libertarian ideals and the Libertarian party are having a renaissance of sorts right now due to the efforts of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. What do you think needs to be done in order for the Green Party to have a similar awakening?

A: To look at the polls, people are clamoring for what the Green Party is offering. Not only an alternative to establishment politics, but a way to get money out of politics (public funding of campaigns, open up public airwaves to public use by qualified candidates, etc.). A way to create jobs and revive the economy (through the Green New Deal). A way to bail out students and provide free public higher education. (It pays for itself as we saw during the GI Bill post WWII that returned $7 in economic benefits for every $1 invested in college tuition.) A way to stop climate change. (Sorry but the Libertarian “personal responsibility” solution for climate change won’t cut it.) A way to reign in Wall Street, break up the big banks and create state banks, and an economy that works for everyday people. It’s all about getting the word out. Go to jillstein.org to make it happen.

Update: 12:37pm 

What question would you ask Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein? Respond in the comments below!

Update: 12:35pm

On space exploration: 

“First let me say it’s really important we keep war and militarism out of space, and that space research not be hijacked for the ever-expanding war machine. With that caveat, as a science-nerd, yes i’d love to see continued space exploration. No doubt spending on (peaceful) space exploration is far preferable to war spending. If we cut the bloated trillion-dollar military-industrial-security complex in half, we should have plenty of resources for research. Let’s see how the budget looks once we have a Green New Deal up and running.”

Update: 12:30pm

Jill Stein addresses the “lesser of two evils” argument:

For the last decade (and more) we’ve been told we don’t dare stand up for ourselves and what we deserve… that we need to be quiet and vote our fears not our values. The experience of the past decade makes clear however that this silence is not an effective political strategy. In fact, what we’ve gotten is expanding war and empire, an unraveling economy, attacks on our civil liberties, offshoring of our jobs, declining wages, massive Wall Street bail outs, and the melt down of the climate. Obama has not only embraced the policies of Bush, he’s gone way beyond.

Bottom line is this. The politics of fear has brought us everything we were afraid of. We need to replace the politics of fear with the politics of courage. The establishment parties (Dems and Repubs) don’t have a single exit strategy from the crises that afflict us. Yet good solutions are available. We – in this campaign – are standing up and pushing these solutions – that the American people are clamoring for – forward.

Update: 12:20pm 

Meanwhile, on Twitter:

Update: 12:15pm

One Redditor asked: “In the event that you are not allowed into the presidential debates, would you please consider holding a round table discussion after each debate with Dennis Kucinich, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, and Russ Feingold where you all discuss Romney and Obama’s answers?”

Stein’s Response: “We haven’t thrown in the towel on this. In fact we haven’t begun to fight. Fight we will because the American people deserve a real debate. The idea that a private corporation – the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) – controlled by the Democratic and Republican Parties is being allowed to silence opposition voices is anti-democratic and unacceptable. Please go to occupytheCPD.org and join the fight to open up our debates. This is just the beginning. EDIT: fixed link”

Update: 12:10pm

On the Green Party Platform’s “Holistic Health Approaches” 

Agree. The Green Party platform here takes an admittedly simple position on a complex issue, and should be improved.

I agree that just because something’s untested – as much of the world of alternative medicine is – doesn’t mean it’s safe. But by the same token, being “tested” and “reviewed” by agencies directly tied to big pharma and the chemical industry is problematic as well. There’s no shortage of snake oil being sold there. Ultimately, we need research and licensing establishments that are protected from corrupting conflicts of interest. And their purview should not be limited by arbitrary definitions of what is “natural”.

(For a technical discussion about the challenges/limits of health research, see the chapter on research in a book i co-wrote, “Toxic Threats to Child Development: In Harm’s Way” http://www.psr.org/chapters/boston/resources/in-harms-way.html .)

Before getting started, it’s common practice to tweet or share a picture of the participant on their computer, to prove it’s really them: