Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said America is at its “Hail Mary” moment to applause and yells of support at Huston-Tillotson University on Monday during a town hall meeting with local Green Party members and supporters.
Stein will be on the ballot in Texas, and Green Party organizers are aiming to win 5 percent of the vote in the state in order to stay on the ballot in future elections.
Stein described the current political climate as a tipping point that the Green Party can take advantage of.
“This system has taken us to the breaking point,” Stein said. “Our destiny is to turn this breaking point into a tipping point. We can create an America that works for all of us.”
Stein offered up criticisms of both major parties’ presidential nominees: Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is a predator, not just a sexual predator, but an economic predator as well,” Stein said. “But Hillary has a history. Bombing Muslims is no better than barring Muslims.”
Stein said the current election has become a discussion of which candidate voters hate the least.
“Democracy is not a question of who we hate the most,” Stein said. “Democracy needs to have vision, it needs a set of values.”
Jose Camacho, UT Austin Students for Stein president, said the election has become a question of which major party nominee is the lesser evil, echoing Stein’s view on the election.
“I would ask [voters] to really consider what’s important to you and vote your conscience instead of falling for the lesser evil trap,” Camacho said.
Camacho said the Democratic Party is not a good option for progressives and criticized President Barack Obama for deportations made during his presidency.
“In the first four months of his presidency, [Obama] had more deportations than Bush did in eight years,” Camacho said. “If the left is pretty much center-right, then what choice does the left have?”
Speaking to a crowd that included college students Stein said she is the only candidate who can alleviate the student debt crisis.
“There’s only one place to put those votes in order to end student debt and you’re looking at it right now,” Stein said.
Adrian Boutureira, Stein’s national field director, said the progressive values of the Green Party have been appropriated by the Democratic Party but made clear that the Democratic Party was not the real avenue for change.
“I do not believe the Democratic party is a vehicle for transformation,” Boutureira said. “They never will be. [The Green Party has] not been corrupted. We do not answer to corporate interests. We built the campaign from the bottom to the left.”
Boutureira also called for a revolution from supporters of the Green Party attending the event.
“The rhetoric, the scapegoating, the targeting of groups in our society, perhaps the time to think of ourselves as progressives is over,” Boutureira said. “It’s time to think of ourselves as revolutionaries.”
Local Green Party candidates including Ashley “Flashe” Gordon, who is running for Travis County Commissioner Precinct 1 also spoke at the event. Gordon said any momentum currently felt by the Green Party would continue after this election.
“We need better candidates,” Gordon said. “This is a movement. This is not just a one-time deal — this is not just a one-time vote. I hope you’ll keep fighting after Nov. 8.”
Stein is running on the Green Party ticket with her running mate, Ajamu Baraka. According to a recent poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, Stein is polling at 2 percent nationally.