By Ann Garrison
May 14, 2012
KALW’s Rose Aguilar moderated a presidential debate held Saturday at the Victoria Theatre between Green Party presidential candidates Dr. Jill Stein and actress/comedienne Roseanne Barr. The world described by Stein and Barr bears little resemblance to that described by incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.
Obama and Romney speak of improving the competitive environment; Barr and Stein speak of cooperative and environmentally sustainable social relations.
Obama and Romney describe the bank bailouts as a painful necessity; Stein and Barr describe them as an unparalleled heist by the 1% and say it’s time to nationalize the Federal Reserve and to cancel student loan debt.
Where Obama and Romney see a world full of terrorists requiring an ever-heightened state of military positioning with Homeland and National Security, Stein and Barr see further militarization of the police, an empire of military bases in need of dismantling and a need to redefine national priorities and security.
The Greens’ top two candidates have very different speaking styles. Barr claims to have bigger balls than anybody, presumably including Stein, but, as moderator Aguilar said, she searched the Web for disagreements between the two and found none. Greens have a reputation for non-productive internal conflict, but Saturday’s sanity and sisterhood fest and its wildly enthusiastic audience suggest 2012 may signal a newly unified party.
Several commenters on Livestream said they didn’t care which woman topped the Green ticket, hoping both would be on it. Native American social justice activist Kent Mesplay is also running for the party’s nomination but he did not participate in the debate because he was attending a native sacred ceremony outside California.
The Greens will choose their presidential and vice presidential candidates at the Green Party National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland in July.
For California Green Party gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells’s thoughts, see Indybay, KPFA News: Laura Wells on the Green Party Presidential Debate.