BROOKLYN, NY — I am met with a blast of hot air when I step out of the subway station in Downtown Brooklyn. The sunlight on one of the hottest days of the year causes my fair pundit skin to peel. I cautiously scan my surroundings for signs of dangerous conditions then head down a path that’s well-trodden for this veteran journalist.
I am walking in the direction of the skull-lined Hillary Clinton campaign HQ, a foreboding dreadnought of violent rituals and incisive memes. I’m familiar with the ins and outs of that dungeon, having been treated to the sort of access only a Beltway insider can receive. I’ve seen social media battles, an assault by the Bernie Bros, and the punishment of a disloyal staffer; I even met up with the crew in Philadelphia.
But Hillary HQ isn’t my destination. Today, the Dig’s target is just across the street in a little storefront sandwiched between a T-Mobile store and a sandwich shop. Most of the year this place is a chiropractic clinic. But for the next few months it’s the national HQ of Dr. Jill Stein for President.
I have secured an exclusive one-on-one interview with Stein, and I’m eager to hold her toes to the flame. The Green Party candidate has spent months courting the Bernie Bros, the violent white male supporters of fellow socialist joke candidate Bernie Sanders. My notepad is brimming with tough questions, questions like “will you reject the support of these far-left basement-dwelling The Joker-inspired anarchists who have nothing better to do but harass veteran journalists online?” and “if elected, will you promise to sign an executive order to nationalize Twitter for the safety of its users?”
Clutching my notepad in my hand, which is a bit achy from a flare-up of my Anatolian Carpal Bone Stew Syndrome, I march confidently into the chiropractic clinic and inform the receptionist I’m here to see Dr. Stein. He asks if I’m here for the campaign or for a spinal realignment. While I am intrigued by the latter option and certainly feeling the pain my Rubik’s Vertebrae, I explain that I have an interview to conduct with the candidate.
He buzzes me into the back area and tells me to wait for Dr. Stein in her examination room/campaign office. With my notepad and pencil in hand I hop up on the massage table to await my interview.
Dr. Stein’s office is actually rather soothing to be in. My Hellenic Inner Ears are soothed by the gentle trickling of water through the stone fountain in the corner. And my mind is occupied by an informative acupuncture chart and Reiki brochure.
While leafing through an issue of Indigo Father Quarterly, I am beckoned by a smooth but authoritative voice. In her typical business suit and closely cropped hair, there is Dr. Stein.
“Carl, we’re all ready for you.”
Is this the candidate with such violent pro-Kremlin sympathies and gulag-ready socialist policies? I did not expect the woman who wants to keep vaccines from my boy and to keep WiFi out of his father’s office to have such a reassuring aura.
As I stand to get up, I hear a familiar sound–the crunch of my back. All men get back crunches, but I’m told that I actually have Boer Minced Disk Syndrome, which more or less means that my lower back has the consistency of a thick beef stew.
I clutch my lower back in pain. Dr. Stein grabs my wrist.
“Carl, before we talk about the choice I offer the majority of Americans who reject both Trump and Clinton, let’s take a look at that lumbar.”
On her wrist, I notice a red band — not one of those Livestrong bracelets that bravely stand up to cancer, but a thinner rubber circle with a small metal disk in the center. Fearing that this is a FSB spy device, I use my reporter’s intuition.
“Give up the goods, Stein! What information is Putin getting from you through that listening device?” I shout in my best Inside Edition accusatory tone.
“Carl, this is just a magnetic bracelet. You see, most people have disturbed electromagnetic fields that get jammed by WiFi signals and aluminum particles in chemt — I mean, contrails. But with this small but powerful magnet, you reset your natural equilibrium. Try pushing me over.”
Dr. Stein gets on one leg, and gives me the “get over here” gesture that Neo gave so many times in the Matrix trilogy. Though it is against everything I have ever been taught to attempt to shove a woman, the perennial third party candidate is relentless. Swallowing my learned behaviors, I give my best shove to Dr. Stein’s shoulder. She doesn’t move an inch.
“Carl, you clearly have disrupted poles, among other issues. Here, take this one. MagnaBracelet gives me a new box every month. Besides, every piece of energy we give to a new traveler is a new wind on our back in the great canoe trip to Gaia’s heart once our bodies cease to be.”
Unable to process the doctor’s sheer insanity but intrigued by my jumbled pole problem, I slip the bracelet on. It’s like nothing else I have ever felt. A calm rushes over me and I feel something I haven’t felt in the physical sense since I was a child: balance.
While I am a radical moderate, politically, my feet have a mind of their own and typically keel onto their wedges like jackknifing sailboats or pigeon toes whenever I walk more than half a mile. But for the first time in years, my feet are obeying the direction I wish to walk in. Could there be something to Dr. Stein’s witchcraft?
Over the next hour I describe my many, many congenital medical conditions to Jill Stein, and with her professional but caring bedside manner she offers a solution to each one: colloidal silver for my Habsburg Diarrhea, homoeopathic tinctures for my Osmotic Bladder, flashlight therapy for my Siamese appendix, and so on. Over the course of one hour I learn more about my own body and the secret healing power of THC that the FDA doesn’t want us to know than I learnt over a year of reading r/medicaladvice.
I also learn that in addition to being a Harvard-trained chiropractor and licensed crystal healer, Jill Stein is an accomplished psychologist. She is kind enough to hook me up to an e-meter and administer a personality test (it turns out I have a high Empathy Quotient and am 17% Star Child) while discussing her platform.
“Corporate media wants you to believe that we Greens are ‘kooky,'” says Stein. “But in reality we believe the same thing as most Americans. We want to nurture our environment, create good jobs for all, and harmonize nature with the cyclical vibrations of the Time Cube. Did you know that Cubelessness is up 4000% since Obama took office? I think we deserve a President who recognizes ALL humans are 1-corner beings.
“By the way, your engram levels are little high. But that’s nothing an hour in an orgone accumulator won’t clear up.”
At the end of my hour with Dr. Jill Stein I feel fitter, smarter, and far more aware of the health effects of HAARP radio frequencies. I am also extremely impressed with the Green Party candidate’s communication skills. Should Dr. Stein clear the 15% polling threshold to make it to the debates, Clinton and Trump will be hard-pressed to argue with someone so at ease explaining the controversy surrounding the supposed “link” between HIV and AIDS. Do either of them have the credibility to tell the American people the Large Hadron Collider is 100% safe?
As I wait in the front for the receptionist to finish photocopying my insurance card, Dr. Stein comes up to me with a big hug and some parting words.
“Carl, I realize that your job makes you a weaponized drone in the corporate media-pharmaceutical industry complex. But I am so encouraged by our time together. Please keep an open mind about Green politics, and keep questioning the lies you’ve been spoonfed by so-called ‘experts’ about naturopathic cures. Oh, and one more thing.”
Dr. Stein reaches into her coat and hands me a necklace.
“This magnet will let you live forever. I’ll see you for your appointment next month, Carl.”
Waking back to the train, I could only think what a shame it is that our two party duopoly silences voices as important at Jill Stein’s. In this time of historic partisanship levels, I wonder if it’s third party candidates like Dr. Stein, Gary Johnson, and Evan McMullin who have the fresh ideas and crystal knowledge to “heal” America’s wounds.
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years and is the host of the Digcast, a weekly podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler.