It’s not exactly news that Jill Stein, The Only True Leftist In America (TM), is an ill-informed crackpot. But this is…special:
The answer to neofascism is stopping neoliberalism. Putting another Clinton in the White House will fan the flames of this right-wing extremism. We have known that for a long time ever since Nazi Germany. We are going to stand up to Donald Trump and to stand up to Hillary Clinton!
“The only way to stop the neofascist Donald Trump is to electe Donald Trump.” Hard to dispute that logic! As Chait says, her argument that the lesson of Nazi Germany is that liberals are the #1 enemy of the Real Left and it’s better to have fascists in power if forced to choose is, ah, idiosyncratic.
In a recent Salon interview, the takes are almost as hot:
Ok, but my question is, do you think there’s a meaningful difference between Trump and Clinton? Is one not objectively scarier than the other?
I’m terrified of Donald Trump. I’m terrified of Hillary Clinton. And I’m most terrified of a political system and people who apologize for it. I’m terrified of people who tell us that we have two deadly choices and we must pick our weapon of self-destruction. We should not resign ourselves to a trajectory that is making a beeline for oblivion. The day of reckoning on climate is coming closer and closer, and I don’t regard Hillary Clinton as one iota safer than Donald Trump on the climate. She’s been promoting fracking around the world. Maybe she’s the most effective evil. She gets a lot of people to do what she wants. She’s got a whole Democratic Party system behind her, which has proven itself extremely effective and extremely dangerous.
The idea that there is no difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on climate issues is, to put it mildly, insane.
She then goes on to argue that a Republican in the White House is no big deal because the fact that the Burger Court produced Roe v Wade and Richard Nixon signed some of the liberal legislation a Democratic Congress put on his desk a unified Republican government in 2017 and a Supreme Court where the median vote is to the right of Antonin Scalia is no big deal. No, really.
Admittedly, while her answers are loonier than most, when someone asks a vanity party candidate or supporter exactly how voting for a third party in a first-past-the-post system will actually accomplish anything that could be worth the huge downside risk, the answer will inevitably be a bunch of non-sequiturs and meaningless gibberish because there is not, in fact, a rational answer to that question. Dr. Stein is truly a crank for all seasons, however, as you can see from this anti-vaxxer-curious woo-woo:
“I think there’s no question that vaccines have been absolutely critical in ridding us of the scourge of many diseases — smallpox, polio, etc. So vaccines are an invaluable medication,” Stein said. “Like any medication, they also should be — what shall we say? — approved by a regulatory board that people can trust. And I think right now, that is the problem. That people do not trust a Food and Drug Administration, or even the CDC for that matter, where corporate influence and the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence.”
Stein’s warning about corporate influence in the vaccine approval process is often voiced by “anti-vaxxers.” In reality, most members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee work at academic or medical institutions, not drug companies. But for Stein, the fact that people saw corporate and lobbying influence running rampant meant that some skepticism was warranted.
“As a medical doctor, there was a time where I looked very closely at those issues, and not all those issues were completely resolved,” Stein said. “There were concerns among physicians about what the vaccination schedule meant, the toxic substances like mercury which used to be rampant in vaccines. There were real questions that needed to be addressed. I think some of them at least have been addressed. I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.”
As I’ve said before, if your personal brand won’t let you vote for the Democratic Party, you can find a better vanity candidate to write in than Jill Stein — Donald Duck, I.P. Freely, Amanda Hugandkiss, anybody really.