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Jill Stein: US as Guilty as Russia in Silencing Political Opposition

by Kendall Shain, published

Dr. Jill Stein had a rough go with the media in the 2016 election. But then again, so did all third party candidates.

Both Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were accused by partisan political pundits of "spoiling" the 2016 presidential election and giving Donald Trump the victory.

On Wednesday's Intercepted Podcast, hosted by The Intercept's Jeremy Scahill, Stein was given an open platform to discuss these accusations and give her take on what happened in the 2016 presidential election.

"The solution for a democracy on life support is not less democracy," Stein says.

Stein believes the US is as guilty as Russia when it comes to attempts to silence political opposition:

"Silencing political opposition is a very dangerous thing to do. That’s what they do in Russia, which we are making such an effort not to be influenced by. We would be copy-catting Russia to fully silence our political opposition." - Dr. Jill Stein

She also discussed the issues third party candidates face when trying to get on the ballot, being "heard in the media," and reaching out "to the American public who is desperate for a different kind of politics going forward."

Stein claimes the answer to our current woes, is not to "suppress independent, non-corporate voices which in fact hold the solutions to what truly ails us." The answer, she says, is to "change our voting system, which is a simple thing to do and has been part, front and center really, of our agenda from the start."

ALSO READ: Jill Stein: Now Is The Time to End the Two-Party Duopoly

Stein didn't elaborate on what she specifically meant about changing our voting system. However, one could speculate that she is still more focussed on the ballot boxes themselves than the issues faced by third party and independent voters.

She did, however, explain the virtues of third parties. She says they are often responsible for progress in this country:

"The parties that have always been affiliated with our real progress forward have generally been independent, third parties. Whether you look at the abolition of slavery…so you know when people call these independent third-parties spoilers, that’s exactly what the abolitionists were called. They were called spoilers for daring to confront a very toxic and dangerous political system that kept us stuck in a very dangerous status quo. So there’s no doubt we need to open up this process. We need a political process that creates multi-partisan democracy. That’s really where democracies get their best shot at moving forward and solving our crisis."

Dr. Stein, Gov. Gary Johnson, the national Green and Libertarian Parties, and associated groups are plaintiffs in an anti-trust lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates. Plaintiffs sued the debate commission, saying it violated federal anti-trust laws by giving the Republican and Democratic Parties a monopoly in presidential elections.

Oral argument in the case was heard on Friday, April 21, in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

The national Green and Libertarian Parties are also part of the lawsuit, Level the Playing Field, et. al. v. FEC. The FEC has ignored a "mountain of evidence" of collusion between the major parties and the debate commission to control the presidential election and keep out competition, a clear violation of federal law.

Plaintiffs recently filed a second complaint in the lawsuit, asking the court to order the FEC to find that the debate commission violated federal law or authorize plaintiffs to take civil action against the debate commission itself.

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