“The Green Party is No Longer the Alternative, the Green Party is the IMPERATIVE” (Govt. of the People NOT the Corporate Pimps!)
Here in New York, Cuomo’s election for Democratic Governor was a veritable cakewalk. All Cuomo did was sit back and let racist Paladino repel voters one sound bite at a time.
David Koch, massive funder of the Tea Party movement, even donated $50,000 for Dem Cuomo’s campaign. CUOMO’S campaign!! I mean, clearly Republican Paladino was gonna lose. So why don’t the sociopathic fat cats grease the palms of the other war/money party candidates? Those contributions sure go far. Look at Obama’s choices. Cuomo even baldly invited Tea Partiers to vote for him due to his similar austerity platform to Paladino but without the verbal nastiness of his opponent.
Disgraced Dem Congressman Rangel cakewalked, too, thanks to the same bobble-headed Democratic voting that got Cuomo in office. Voters apparently voted personality not character in terms of Rangel. I’m thinking daddy's name recognition and Pavlovian learned helplessness for Andrew. What a surprise.
Meanwhile, Green Party Howie Hawkins as candidate for Governor had only 3 paid staffers and spent $50,000 in total on his campaign. Compare that to what the corporate-financed campaigns must have cost Paladino and Cuomo. Hawkins simple explanation as to why his campaign was not corporate-financed?
“We want to be supported by the people, not the special interests.”
Sounds like something Obama seduced with in 2008. But Hawkins actually meant it and still means it. One more time:
“We want to be supported by the people, not the special interests.”
If people had heard and heeded that (thanks to earnest blockage by corporate-cronied local and national media, not too many did) it would have been landslide time for Greens and Hawkins, et al. (Sigh.)
Speaking of special interests, which we progressives of conscience need to keep doing, here is an enlightening quote I found on the Green Party of the United States website:
There are many things that will have to be changed before a truly democratic and Green society can exist but one is the tremendous and unfair gap today between the rich and the poor; in fact even between the very rich and the average person.
Today in America the best paid one-fifth of the population receives about one half of all national income, while the bottom one-fifth receives less than 4 per cent. The distribution of wealth in America is even more unfair. Here, the top one-half per cent of all property owners control over 25% of all wealth; while the top 5% sit on nearly 70% of wealth and property. What chance does the average person have for exercising his or her democratic rights under these conditions!
Behind this unfair distribution of wealth and income stand a few giant corporations who own or control nearly all newspapers, television networks and radio stations, movie companies, book publishers, and other sources of information and means of communication. Both of America's major political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, are dependent on these corporations and the few super-rich individuals and families associated with them. In fact, nearly all major offices in the US government, whether elected or appointed, are filled by individuals from this corporate network. What chance does democracy have under such conditions? What chance does nature and the environment have
Howie Hawkins came to us from the citizen NOT corporate network. As did such other Green candidates as New York’s Julia Willebrand for Comptroller, Manhattan’s Ann Roos for State Senate, or Corrente’s own (and Michigan’s) Julia Williams for the U.S. House. Howie Hawkins is a Teamster from Syracuse. Hawkins won over 50,000 votes which returned the New York Green Party to official party status making the next four years easier for them to run candidates.
I am in a sophomoric, honeymoon phase of a new relationship with the Green Party. And though I registered a mere month ago myself, I feel downright awe and anger as to why my fellow New Yorkers did not positively embrace the Green Party this election. The party of integrity. While I was chewing on my my fist and complaining that the Greens deserved a landslide of votes, my fellow Green marathoners of conscience realized how sluggish justice sometimes travels and were celebrating getting to ballot status higher ground.
But what are progressives and at least semi-sane Americans screaming about? A lack of integrity in our governance! A corporate-captured government. So what did they do when they had the opportunity in many states to vote for such a non-corporate captured party? THEY IGNORED IT! THEY REJECTED IT!!!! Whoa.
What is the rush, I guess? That would mean change and we know how screwy the “change” option is for this country. They vote in massive numbers for faux-change, but for the real thing? Are you kidding? Ooooooooo ... too scary. Let’s not go crazy changing the status quo. Why we might get accused of socialism. Even though the status quo is a nightmare and destroying quality of lives or actual lives. God forbid we end corruption and violence. Let’s just hope one of the legacy parties -- the one not in office we invite back in backlash to the one already in office, and the only alternative we obtusely think we have as we act out the definition of insanity (doing the same thing expecting different results) -- can slow us down on the slippery slope to the extinction of democracy. Leave the slippery slope? Brrrrrr. What are you asking? Anyway, isn’t that impossible?
Leafletting for Hawkins and the Green Party slate in NYC I was dismayed at how many passersby simply shook their heads at me and scolded, “They can’t win!!! Why vote for the party that can’t win?” As if I were INSANE to suggest it. To some, not many, who paused long enough, I stammered out something like, “But they can’t win because you think the next guy won’t vote for them, so then you won’t vote for them, BUT if you vote for them out of principle, because they are the party of integrity, forget the next guy, and if he forgets about you and votes for them, then they CAN win. The non-corporate-captured party CAN WIN!!!! It SHOULD win!!!!” Whew. Sometimes I simply just yelled back, “Maybe not this election, but I see a Green President in 2012!!!” I do.
Hip-hop activist, real community organizer Rosa Clemente who ran on the national Green Party ticket with Cynthia McKinney in 2008 asserts: “The Green Party is no longer the alternative, the Green Party is the imperative”!
Okay, my blogs tend to run very long. So let me just throw out quickly 15 or so reasons I am SOLIDLY COMMITTED TO THE GREEN PARTY AND SUCH CANDIDATES AS NY’s HOWIE HAWKINS. Most of the following stances were cherry-picked from Hawkins’ recent election press releases via email.
Just look at these wholesome, renewing, honest, pro-citizen and SANE mandates!!!!! They are not about spin. Not inspired by desperate political opportunism and needs of impression management. They are about reality and solutions. Consider the genius, common sense, and/ or empathy behind each! No attempts at confusing (from the Latin, “fused” “with”) disinformation or “bait and switch” rhetorical vagueness or outright lying. This isn’t all of the NY Green platform, but it gives me hope and confidence. Believable hope. I hoped for an alternative. This is it. Now I need to hope and work for a nation of despairing, betrayed and cynically negative citizens to reach for it with me.
1) TAX THE RICH! Hawkins wants a tax like the 1970s progressive income tax that would release for the state $8 billion from the wealthy and give the citizens a 95% tax break. He also wants to end the rebate of $16 billion to Wall Street speculators of the Stock (transfer) sales tax (something Wall Street friendly legacy party representatives won’t communicate about).
2) WPA-STYLE JOBS PROGRAM! Massive public jobs program. Hawkins supports direct government employment in public works and services on the model of the 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA).
3) STATE SINGLE PAYER MEDICARE FOR ALL! Hawkins wants New York to be the first state in the country to implement a single payer Medicare for all health care program, to eliminate the waste and red tape of private health insurance. It would save New Yorkers $28 billion annually by 2019. He asserts Congressional health care reform did not go far enough and that tens of millions of Americans were left outside of the system and the “historic reform” is forcing Americans to buy expensive inadequate health care coverage. Hawkins claims 2 to 1 Americans think Obamacare does not do enough. Last year Hawkins was arrested protesting Wellpoint, the nation’s largest private health insurer, for denying care to policy holders.
4) FULLY FUNDED PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, END OF MAYORAL CONTROL, PREVENTION OF PROPERTY TAX CAP (which Cuomo wants and what will dry up school funding and public services), CALL TO OPPOSE CHARTER SCHOOLS!
5) END DRONE STRIKES! Hawkins protested Hancock National Guard Airbase as proposed site to remotely control reaper killer drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (These unmanned suckers fly at 50,000ft, they are nearly invisible and carry missiles and bombs. The drones cost $13 million each, and up to $100,000 for each of its four Hellfire missiles, all that cash to kill a single targeted individual or, more likely and tragically, to accidentally incinerate innocent victims, radicalizing more enemies for the U.S.).
6) END SPYING, END CRIMINALIZATION OF POLITICAL DISSENT, END ATTACKS ON CIVIL LIBERTIES! Hawkins condemned 9/24/10 FBI raids on antiwar groups conducted in six states. He stated, “The FBI is criminalizing antiwar activism while failing to address the corporate crime wave at the root of the banking crisis that has caused the worst crisis of unemployment and home foreclosures since the Great Depression.”
7) FULLY END THE ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS, INVOKE LEGALIZATION AND TAXATION OF DRUGS AND END MASS IMPRISONMENT OF NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS! According to Alice Green, exec director of Center for Law and Justice in Albany, there are 12,000 nonviolent offenders in NY jails, 55% of them should have avoided jail time except for the draconian Rockefeller laws. These laws disproportionately affect people of color. Black men are incarcerated six times more than whites. Latino men twice as often as whites. Hawkins calls it a “phony” war on drugs, a "phony moralism", a failed “prohibitionist” policy. The Powers that Be are toying with taxing non-diet soda in NY. What about really making a difference morally and economically? A really brave and just choice?
8 ) END TORTURE!
9) END THE SCAPEGOATING OF MUSLIMS!
10) RAISE MINIMUM WAGE TO $12 AN HOUR! Generate public living wage jobs for the unemployed.
11) BAN ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING!!! End hydrofracking.
12) FOCUS ON CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAMS! While doing my research on the Green Party, I remember reading America’s present “energy policy” bluntly described as “war for oil.” Hawkins wants secure investments in alternative energy and mass transit.
13) BAN ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS! Also referred to as “Frankenfoods”.
14) STRONG TENANT RIGHTS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING!
15) BRING THE TROOPS HOME! END THE WARS NOW! CUT THE MILITARY BUDGET 50-75%! END ECONOMICALLY FORCED MILITARY ENLISTMENT! Hawkins explains that this peace dividend can be used to “rebuild America, pay for a WPA style jobs programs for the unemployed, and finance a rapid transition to a carbon free economy.” Here is a powerful quote from Hawkins (a former Marine who at one point organized opposition to the Vietnam War) on what he calls the military-congressional-industrial complex:
“The two major parties are always so willing to send our young men and women to die in foreign lands to protect the oil and gas companies under the guise of creating democracy, but they fight as hard as they can to prevent a real multi-party democracy here in America.”
How much would be released by reducing the military budget? According to Hawkins enough to provide "fiscal relief to state and local governments, support the conversion to a green energy system, and to create jobs through increased investments in housing, child care, anti-hunger programs, mass transit, schools and environmental initiatives.”
“Hawkins urged NYS congressional members to sign on to a letter by Cong. Frank and Paul to the Deficit Reduction Commission urging them to include cuts in military spending in their recommendations. So far the only Congressmember from NY that has joined with 30 plus members is Maloney. Congress will vote on the Commission’s recommendations in a lame-duck session after the November elections. The Commission is expected to propose cuts in the Social Security program, which Hawkins opposes.”
“Candidates for Governor usually argue they have no role in foreign policy. But the war in Afghanistan / Pakistan is being fought right from Syracuse. Statewide, our local National Guard was ordered into wars abroad. These soldiers signed up to help with domestic emergencies, not to fight foreign wars for oil, gas, and global military empire of over 800 foreign bases. The massive amount of tax dollars we spend on the military and its corporate contractors hurts our economy, promotes global warming and undercuts job creation here in America,” said Hawkins. US spending on the military has increased by two-thirds since 9/11 and now exceeds the rest of the world combined."
“The mission of the US military should be defending our republic, not policing an empire on behalf of global corporations, the Pentagon bureaucracy, and the private contractors that feed off of it,” stated Hawkins. Hawkins added that “Just as President Dwight Eisenhower warned the country a half century ago, the two major parties are now completely controlled by a military industrial complex that demands an ever growing share of our nation’s wealth while subverting the critical civil liberties upon which our country was founded.”
"Hawkins pointed out that the US set an official record in FY 2011 with a $700 billion plus dollar Department of Defense budget, with actual spending for the military, including military spending in other departments besides Defense, increasing to over $1 trillion dollars. The United States spends far more than any other country in the world on the military, which is a major cause of the US budget and trade deficits, which are also the highest on earth. This huge expansion of debt, made worse by the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and declining tax revenues during current Great Recession, is one of the underlying causes of persistent economic stagnation in the US economy."
So what is it going to be, America? Peace and a better world via the Greens or violence and ecological/economic disaster brought to you from bobble-headed voting empowering the corporate pimps and your betraying legacy parties?