Dr. Jill Stein, who recently was qualified for ballot access in the November elections with running mate Ajamu Baraka, will be making a 1 pm campaign stop at Rhode Island College on September 23, 2016 at Sapinsley Hall in Providence. Stein and Baraka were recently featured in the news for their protests against the DAPL fracked oil pipelines that earned her an arrest warrant in North Dakota after showing solidarity with protesting American Indians. Part of the Green platform this year is calling for student debt forgiveness and a Green New Deal jobs program.
Glen Bennett, the Rhode Island Stein campaign coordinator, was at the Green Party convention this summer in Houston and told me his impressions about what has developed for the party over the past six months. “One of the most significant things that I had the opportunity to do was to interface with people of a like mind who came together with a conviction to make the world a better place,” he says. “Jill Stein is a viable alternative to the unappealing choices offered by the Republican and Democrat Parties. So we invite you to come hear Dr. Stein’s program for people, peace and planet.”
Click the Player Below to Listen to My Complete Interview with Bennett!
Bennett has been involved with the party as early as the 2000 Nader campaign and so has a grasp of Green history that goes back significantly. Yet over the past few months, as I have followed developments with the party, he has emerged as an intriguing figure due to his grasp of American political history, always making reference to the principles that underwrote the Founding Fathers and why the American revolution was significant. “Monarchy outlived its usefulness by hundreds of years. It may have been useful in its original incarnation a thousand years ago, I don’t know. But the human experience and knowledge grew to the point where they were holding back progress, technologically, sociologically and so forth. So unquestionably they had to go. The American revolution, I think it had the good fortune…of being so far from the home country, Britain, and having that big ocean… The ocean made it possible for us to prevail militarily against what should have been impossible odds.”
“Now, how George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin, how they managed to come up with a liberating ideology is a curious thing. Of course they were imperfect in that they didn’t extend their progressive ideas across the who swathe of humanity, people of different races and different gender, so that’s unfortunate but I think it’s unrealistic to expect great leaps forward that are utopian.”
Bennett grew up during the Vietnam era and opposed the draft before the lottery system assigned him a number that was so high he was never put into the military. He spent ten years working as a carpenter before going to night school for electrical training and a three decade career with Xerox as a technician working on industrial grade machinery. Over the summer he worked with the party collecting ballot petition signatures and visited a number of different cities and towns in that effort while also working alongside the national Stein campaign.
“The collapse of the duopoly is monumental, I don’t know that it could collapse any further because of the almost-universal contempt for the Republican and Democratic candidates, they are each just so flawed. They’re not someone you can look up to, not someone you can hope to bring us a better future,” he says. “We’re playing brinkmanship with our future, humanity is. This has been true for my entire life.” He begins to discuss President Obama’s massive upgrading and expansion of our nuclear arsenal simultaneous with a hawkish foreign policy that worries him about the future for his children. “The Green Party is the future. I’m not sure that enough people understand that yet but they will.”