After realizing American politics would not permit real solutions to a range of the most important issues, Jill Stein and Margaret Flowers independently left their careers in medicine to advocate for the public interest directly. This week they told Bill Moyers about their personal struggles for policy change—including arrests for civil disobedience—and the issues they focus on.
Stein said, “When people ask me ‘what kind of medicine are you practicing?’ I usually say, ‘I’m practicing political medicine because it’s the mother of all illnesses.’ ” Flowers added: “Once you start speaking truth to power and standing up for the right things, it’s very empowering.”
Stein and Flowers serve as the president and secretary of health, respectively, for the Green Shadow Cabinet, an independent group offering policy alternatives to those supported and executed by the “dysfunctional government in Washington, D.C.”
Halfway through the conversation, Moyers asked the duo, “Do you take the position that voting no longer matters?”
Stein responded, “Not at all. No. Voting very much matters. But, you know, really important to vote for what’s going to help us. And not to make these sort of lesser evil compromises. I think it’s really important to change the language here because what we call lesser evil, you know, we need to think of it in terms of what it really is. It is a system of suicide, homicide, genocide, biocide, ecocide. It’s not OK for us, our families, our children, the people close to you and you yourself. There is a timeline that’s been pretty well established now by the science around climate change. Civilization, as currently constituted, will not exist as we know it in 2050.
“So we have a decade maybe to get this together,” she warned. “It’s a real motivating factor now I think for people to walk away, to get up and walk away from this very abusive political system. It’s like breaking up with an abusive relationship, recognizing that this partner you’ve had an incredible attachment to and hopes for and dreams for your whole lifetime, that it doesn’t work. You know, they’re not OK. They’re going to drive you to the grave. It’s time to stand up and walk away.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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