Hillary Clinton is just about guaranteed to become the first woman presidential candidate for either major party, as the gulf in delegates between her and Bernie Sanders keeps widening. When she is formally chosen at the party’s convention in July, she’ll be one step closer to becoming the first female American president. (The first real one, anyway; there have been a few great ones in fiction already.) It’s a historic, monumental event!
But in all the celebration, the fact that Hillary’s not the first woman nominee ever is sometimes overlooked. And while supporters can be forgiven for not continually listing the names of every woman who’s run for president or a party nomination, it’s important to acknowledge their presence in history. In fact, there’s even likely to be another woman running for president this November: Jill Stein, who was the Green Party’s candidate in 2012 and is nearly certain to be the nominee again this time around.
Let’s take a moment to be realistic. Even in an election year with many twists and turns, it’s essentially impossible that Jill Stein will become the 45th President of the United States. And the fact that she’s running for a third party means she’ll probably be shut out of the televised debates, which means the millions of Americans who know little or nothing about the Green Party won’t have that easy access to her message.
But, as the past year has shown us, running an unlikely campaign isn’t always for naught. She faces a tougher slog than even Bernie Sanders did, since he chose to run within the Democratic Party apparatus, but if she’s able to get enough eyes on her policies and candidacy, Jill could have a similar impact to Bernie’s and push the conversation around some of her issues in a more progressive direction. And in fact, her platform is to the left of Bernie Sanders on some issues, though they agree on many things. So let’s take a look at a few of the policies she’s promoting.
1. A Green New Deal: “Create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture and conservation.”
2. Health Care As a Right: “Establish an improved ‘Medicare For All’ single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings.”
3. Education As a Right: “Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude. Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high stakes testing and public school privatization.”
4. A Just Economy: “Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Break up ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.”
5. Protect Mother Earth: “Lead on a global treaty to halt climate change. End destructive energy extraction: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal and uranium mines. Protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, parks and pollinators. Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Protect the rights of future generations.”
6. Freedom and Equality: “End police brutality, mass incarceration and institutional racism within our justice system. Expand women’s rights, protect LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination, defend indigenous rights and lands and create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants. Protect the free Internet, replace drug prohibition with harm reduction, and legalize marijuana/hemp.”
What do you think of Jill Stein’s plan? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Drew Angerer + Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)