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LUMPENPROLETARIAT—As a first, apparently in US history, a major national news network has hosted a televised town hall during a U.S. presidential election featuring a political party other than the Democrats or Republicans.

CNN‘s “Town Hall with Dr. Jill Stein & Ajamu Baraka” is a very significant broadcast, given the virtual censorship of alternative political parties by the corporate press.  And the Democrats and Republicans have successfully, and anti-democratically, colluded to exclude and silence all other parties from their two-headed political cartel, keep other parties out of presidential debates, and otherwise undermine a more democratic presentation of the full range of political choices available to the American people.  (See below.) [1]

Free speech radio has also offered some postmortem analysis of the CNN Green Party Town Hall, including interviews with Dr. Jill Stein.  (See below.) [2]

Messina

2016 Green Party Presidential Town Hall (17 AUG 2016) by CNN

321px-Jill_Stein_by_Gage_SkidmoreCNN—[15 AUG 2016] CNN announced Wednesday it will host one of its town hall events with the Green Party’s presidential nominee Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka.

The hour-long event will be held on Wednesday, August 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET.  The event will broadcast live on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol and online via CNNgo.

Stein has consistently polled as the fourth-most popular option in the presidential race, after Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.  In the most recent CNN/ORC poll, Stein received 5% support nationwide, four points behind Johnson, her nearest competitor.

320px-Ajamu-Baraka

Ajamu Baraka, 2016 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate

Jill Stein: The Democratic Party ‘fakes left’, marches right

Stein has consistently polled as the fourth-most popular option in the presidential race, after Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.  In the most recent CNN/ORC poll, Stein received 5% support nationwide, four points behind Johnson, her nearest competitor.

Like Johnson, who has now been featured in two CNN town hall events, Stein also ran in 2012, but failed to gain traction.  When the race was over, the FEC says she earned 470,000 votes or .36% of the popular vote.  The Green Party’s high-water mark was Ralph Nader’s 2000 run, where he got nearly 3% of the vote nationwide.

This time around, Stein has hoped to capitalize on Clinton’s low favorability ratings and the breakout performance of the self-declared Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.

While Sanders endorsed Clinton and has pledged to ensure she becomes the next president, Stein has spent much of her efforts appealing to Sanders’ most diehard supporters.  She has claimed the support of some of them, including the scholar Cornel West.

She spent much of the Democratic National Convention directly participating in protests against Clinton’s candidacy and has often been equated with Trump.

Learn more at CNN.

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UPFRONT—[18 AUG 2016]  [transcript/notes pending]

Learn more at UPFRONT.

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DEMOCRACY NOW!—[18 AUG 2016]  [transcript/notes pending]

Learn more at DEMOCRACY NOW!.

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LETTERS AND POLITICS—[18 AUG 2016]  [transcript/notes pending]

Learn more at LETTERS AND POLITICS.

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JillSteinItsInOurHandsFlickrDemocracyChroniclesFLASHPOINTS—[18 AUG 2016]  [transcript/notes pending]

Learn more at FLASHPOINTS.

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[1]  One salient question, which one free speech radio listener asked of Dr. Jill Stein during one broadcast was about Bernie Sanders:  If his campaign was sabotaged by the Democrats, why would Bernie Sanders still remain loyal to the Democrat Party.

UPDATE:  As of 23 AUG 2016, various articles have (re)surfaced, stripping away the socialist, or progressive, veneer from Bernie Sanders’ politics to reveal an acquiescent political figure, who is beholden to the establishment Democrat Party and unwilling to meaningfully challenge them electorally.  For example, see:

  • “The Myth of Bernie Sanders” by Thomas H. Naylor, CounterPunch, 30 SEP 2011.

[2]  As far as free speech radio KPFA (Berkeley, CA) is concerned, the broadcasters associated with the SaveKPFA faction within KPFA have avoided truly critical analysis of Dr. Jill Stein’s 2016 presidential campaign.  Mitch Jeserich is one unfortunate example.  Mitch Jeserich, like many SaveKPFA broadcasters, are fine discussing radical topics, as long as they are safely situated in the distant past.  But they are usually less willing to embrace current or contemporary radical politics or ideas.

The SaveKPFA faction, which has deep pockets, unlike its grassroots activist-based opponents, have had no qualms about displaying realistic, or candid, perspectives of Trump and the Republicans, which do not pretend that the Republican Party is anything other than regressive.  But they tend to function as apologists for the Democrat Party and, so, often undermine anybody to the left of the Democrat Party.  This has been one tragic aspect of much of free speech radio.

The more sincere, and honest, broadcasters within KPFA, are largely opposed to the SaveKPFA faction.  Non-SaveKPFA broadcasters provide much more critical analysis because they don’t shy away from the terminal problems with the Democrat Party or the anti-democratic nature of the two-party system, which Ralph Nader has dubbed the two-party dictatorship.

For the uninitiated, we should say that the SaveKPFA faction within KPFA, which is currently running its own candidates for the governing board of KPFA (the KPFA Local Station Board), has long been allied with the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, which seeks to ‘transform’ the Democrat Party from within into a progressive political party.  This is why, in 2012 and 2008, their coverage of ‘third-party politics’ (a term I dislike), or alternative political parties, has been weak.  Some of us recall in 2008, SaveKPFA broadcasters were literally cheerleading Obama’s campaign.  Brian Edwards-Tiekert, who was just awarded a Knight Fellowship for his journalism, is one example.  He seemed to suffer from selective amnesia back in 2008, when his enthusiasm for Obama contradicted countless prior journalistic reports of the Democrat Party, their crimes, and Obama.

(This ideologically blinkered political perspective by SaveKPFA partisans is only one of their shortcomings.  When we review the historical record of SaveKPFA’s past actions and behaviours on, and around, the KPFA Local Station Board and its meetings, we find antidemocratic and cynical attacks against anyone politically to the left of them.)

Anybody who had been paying even cursory attention to the many news reports and critical analyses broadast on KPFA (and elsewhere) prior to the 2008 Presidential election, would have known what a mistake it was for progressives and radicals to support Obama in 2008.  They would have easily understood that a vote for Obama and/or the Democrat Party is a vote against the interests of the working classes and the nation in general.  All of the crimes for which Obama is now critiqued by the political left was easy to foresee for those who had been paying even the slightest bit of attention to the news prior to 2008.

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[CNN Town Hall image taken from KPFA.org and used via Creative Commons licensure.]

[Image of Dr. Jill Stein by Gage Skidmore, used via Creative Commons licensure (CC BY-SA 3.0).]

[Image of Ajamu Baraka by unknown (http://www.ips-dc.org/), used via Creative Commons licensure (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

[Image with quote of Dr. Jill Stein by Flickr user Democracy Chronicles, used via Creative Commons licensure.]

[18 AUG 2016]

[Last modified 20:51 PDT  27 AUG 2016]

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