Presidential Campaign

Let’s debate! Who will be the first woman president?

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On October 16, 2012, my vice presidential running mate and I were arrested. Our crime? Daring to try to attend a presidential debate.

This year, I hope the American people will demand that Libertarian Gary Johnson and I take our rightful places in the presidential debates. Because Americans not only have a right to vote. We have a right to know who we can vote for.

{mosads}I especially look forward to debating Hillary Clinton, who’s also seeking to become the first female U.S. president. In 2012, I received more votes for President than any other woman in U.S. history — something I hope to repeat this year.

Clinton and I offer Americans very different approaches to move our country forward.

As a doctor, my focus is healing. I’ve worked for decades to cure the environmental health problems that harm too many people. I tried to make change inside the system, but when I realized that most politicians were concerned primarily with the well-being of corporate profits, I changed my focus to healing our sick political system.

I want to debate Clinton on how to make health care a right for everyone in our country. We spend twice as much money on health care than other industrial nations, yet we’re far sicker and a third can’t afford care. We need a “Medicare for All” system to end the current, massive bureaucratic waste. Clinton has promised us health care reform, but she protects the profits of drug and insurance companies instead.

While Clinton has spent decades consistently serving Wall Street, war, and the Walmart economy, I’ve organized to stop disastrous US invasions and to support a $15/hour minimum wage. I will bail out the 42 million crushed by student debt, like President Obama bailed out the bankers whose waste, fraud and abuse caused the economic collapse.

Clinton championed President Bill Clinton’s disastrous policies like privatization of prisons, mass incarceration, NAFTA, and Wall Street deregulation.

I want to debate Clinton about how to end the culture of violence causing so much suffering in our world. I want to debate how to end mass incarceration and rebuild the communities that have suffered most from it. I want to debate how to end racism in every sector of society.

Clinton says she wants to help children. But as first lady she championed the repeal of the main anti-poverty program for children enacted in FDR’s New Deal. The US has a child poverty rate nearly double that of other industrial nations. More than one in five children go hungry. More than 2.5 million children are homeless. This is shameful.

I believe all Americans have a right to housing, food and a living wage job.

Clinton has supported deportation of immigrants, particularly women and children from Honduras. As Secretary of State, she supported the military coup in Honduras that created the violence these refugees are fleeing.

I will stop deporting families and create a path to citizenship for those who are here.

I will challenge Clinton’s pro-Wall Street economic agenda. Unlike Clinton, I’ve consistently opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA. I support fair trade that provides living wages for workers, preserves our jobs, and protects our planet.

I want to debate how to stop the selling of our democracy. Unlike Clinton, I don’t accept donations from corporate interests. I support publicly financed elections and overturning the absurd Supreme Court decision that buying politicians is protected by the Constitution.

I agree with Senator Sanders that the climate crisis is the greatest threat facing humanity. I will tackle it with a Green New Deal to create 20 million new jobs by investing in a just and urgent transition to 100% clean energy by 2030. I support the development of offshore wind and solar, a halt to new fossil fuel investments, and a ban on fracking. Secretary Clinton promoted fracking across the planet.

Clinton is a longtime war hawk, backing disastrous military interventions that have fueled ever more terrorism. Afghanistan. Iraq. Libya. Is Iran next? She is part of a global elite that cynically manipulates whole countries for private profit. Her use of a private email server as Secretary of State enabled her to delete half of her emails, while bestowing lucrative favors on Clinton Foundation donors.

My foreign policy agenda is based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. I will cut in half our dangerous, bloated military budget that makes us less secure not more secure, close our thousand-plus military bases across the globe, and bring those war dollars home to rebuild America.

If Hillary Clinton believes she’s the best woman for the job, she should agree to debate me without hesitation. The American people have the right to hear our different points of view, so they can decide for themselves what priorities and values they want in their first woman president.

Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee for president.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags 2016 Democratic convention 2016 presidential campaign Bill Clinton Democratic Party Gary Johnson Green Party Hillary Clinton inclusion Independent voters Philadelphia Presidential debates United States

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