Members of the Truthdig team hosted Green Party vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka on Thursday in another edition of “Live at Truthdig.” In the almost hour-long interview, Baraka discussed his thoughts on modern activism, the current election season and foreign policy. But what stood out in the interview was Baraka’s view of the Green Party: its successes, its limitations and, most important, its future.
Baraka was asked how voters can combat “the stranglehold of the two major parties.” He argued that progressives “have been really irresponsible” by not engaging in state and local elections, and that these elections “facilitate building real, popular power.” Watch the clip below:
Next, Baraka was asked why more voters haven’t gravitated toward the Green Party. “All we need to do—all we needed to do—was to have more exposure,” he says of the party’s limitations. "I think we are sparking a conversation that will continue past November the 8th, in terms of how we creatively use these various structures to build a real, powerful and new popular movement." Watch the clip below:
Finally, Baraka provided a glimpse at the future of the Green Party. Truthdig Associate Editor Alexander Kelly recently interviewed Dr. Jill Stein, the party’s nominee for president. She touched upon an important facet of the Nov. 8 election: the benefits the Green Party will receive if it gains 5 percent of the vote.
“If we are able to secure 5 percent of the popular vote,” Baraka later elaborated, “then that allows us to have automatic ballot access in states across the country for the next election. We also would qualify for public funds.”
Baraka said that this would put the Green Party in a stronger position for the 2020 presidential campaign. He also made a final argument about the importance of the progressive politics espoused by the Green Party. “We have a right to have a choice; you have a right to express that choice,” he said. “What’s pragmatic is living your principles. What’s pragmatic is understanding the potential power we have, and understanding that there would be no democracy without popular power.” Watch his full statement in the clip below: