A.k.a. Tofu Palin
Jill Stein is the Massachusetts Green Party candidate and two-time U.S. Presidential candidate, poised to run again in 2020. She is also a medical doctor, which would make some of us naively think she would have something intelligent to say at least on healthcare policy. She does not.
We will refrain from commenting on Stein’s and her party’s general political stances and policy suggestions – though terribly naïve, we admit to being sympathetic to some of them. But Jill Stein is definitely a loon, and giving her actual power (little chance of that, it seems) would be a terrible idea. Now, we suspect that Stein isn’t actually antivaccine, but she is nevertheless an apologist for antivaccine views and that is sufficient to qualify her for an entry on those grounds alone. Although the Republican Party has in general clearly become the antivaccine party, there are plenty of left-leaning antivaxxers to cater to, and Stein is more than willing to do so. Though what she actually says might come across as reasonable (she famously fooled Snopes; see here for a response), those who have some experience with antivaccine conspiracy theories will quickly notice that she is a master of antivaccine dog whistling, usually hiding her antivaxxer pandering behind (largely debunked) criticisms of alleged corporate influence in the CDC and FDA.
She also panders to the anti-GMO crowd. In addition to promoting mandatory labeling, Stein has called for a moratorium on production of GMO-based foods, as well as on pesticides (how she imagines sustainable food production should take place is fortunately something she doesn’t need to explain). Her opposition to nuclear power isn’t much less silly (nuclear power plants are “weapons of mass destruction waiting to be detonated” is not an intelligent contribution to discussions on renewable energy).
Moreover, the platform of the Green Party states (or has at least stated) that “Chronic conditions are often best cured by alternative medicine [a claim utterly divorced from anything resembling reality]. We support the teaching, funding and practice of holistic health approaches and as appropriate, the use of complementary and alternative therapies such as herbal medicines, homeopathy, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and other healing approaches.” Stein’s response to the platform was that “[t]he Green Party platform here takes an admittedly simple position on a complex issue, and should be improved,” which is moronic: it is not a complex issue. The treatments suggested are based on pseudoscience, imagination and conspiracy theories and will lead to patients being defrauded of their time, money, health and life. Stein, an internist, should know.
Somewhat more recently, Stein has warned that WiFi signals might harm the brains of children, doubling down on the claim after some people interpreted it as a joke: “A number of scientific studies have raised red flags about possible health effects of WiFi radiation on young children. I do not have a personal opinion that WiFi is or isn’t a health issue for children. There is not enough information to know]. I do however believe in science. Scientific research should go forward and find out. Countries including Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Israel, Russia and China, have banned or restricted these technologies in schools.” Every single sentence in that quote is false, and yes, there is enough evidence to conclude.
Stein has also called for a new 9/11 investigation, although she has not declared herself a truther. Moreover, her 2016 running mate, Ajamu Baraka, has contributed to the anthology Another False Flag? Bloody Tracks from Paris to San Bernadino edited by Holocaust denier and 9/11 truther Kevin Barrett, which asserts that 9/11 was a CIA-Mossad conspiracy.
Diagnosis: To say that she is as anti-science as Trump (who has for instance explicitly endorsed antivaccine conspiracy theories) might be an exaggeration, but she bloody well comes close on certain issues. Now, we don’t really believe Stein is actually antivaccine, but she is completely spineless and morally bankrupt and willing to do anything whatsoever to gather voters, not matter how crazy or evil they might be, and is a master of dogwhistles that allow her to do so while maintaining a superficial veneer of respectability.