Green Party Nominates Two Workers For The White House

| Podcast

The Green Party of the United States held its presidential nominating convention, a virtual convention, this past weekend. The nominees are Howie Hawkins, a co-founder of the party and the first candidate to bring the Green New Deal to the US, for president and Angela Walker for vice president. Both are members of the working class – a retired Teamster and a truckdriver. Both are also lifelong socialists who are working to build the Green Patry and build unity among the Left in the US. We speak with Howie and Angela about the times in which we live, why they are running and what they hope to accomplish through their campaign.

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Howie Hawkins is the original Green New Dealer, the first US candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal in 2010. He is also one of the original Greens in the United States, having participated in the first national meeting to organize a US Green Party in St. Paul, Minnesota in August 1984. Howie became active in “The Movement” for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam in the 1960s as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area. Repelled by the racism and warmongering he saw in both major parties, he asked, “Where is my party?” From the start, he was committed to independent working-class politics for a democratic, socialist, and ecological society. Read the full bio here.

Angela Walker is an independent socialist who describes herself as “a Fred Hampton, Assata Shakur socialist.” She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a working-class Black family. She learned early that though money was necessary to live in this society, it was less important than integrity, cooperation, and dignity. This upbringing shaped the activist and organizer she later became. Angela attended Bay View High School in Milwaukee, graduating in 1992. She and a group of Black students petitioned for and received an African American history class at their predominantly White school. Angela became a member of the Army Reserve in August 1992, and began classes at the Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1993, after the birth of her daughter. In late 1993, Angela and her daughter, Epiphany, relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. Read the full bio here.

  • il corvo

    Margaret and Kevin, With all due respect, It would be informative to us and probably to both of you to allow some alternative views on this Covid 19 problem. My suggestion would be interviews and discussions with Robert Kennedy or Andrew Kaufman. For you both to just follow one authoritative voice rather than allowing other scientific views to be heard might be limiting to yours and the public’s view on the real crisis we are facing.

  • subcomandante Felix

    A teamster and a bus driver for president. Do you want the U.S. to become another Venezuela? YES! ¡SI! TAK!

  • Nylene13

    I am going to go Green or Socialist. The important thing is for everyone to organize under some kind of overall political group.

    All the various Environmental and Socialist groups need to get together to come up with an overall organization and a unifying name. Not to give up individual organizations- but to unite them all.

    Then maybe we will have some serious political power.

  • Mensch59

    I wholeheartedly concur.

  • subcomandante Felix

    Between now and the patriarchal erection day, expect any number of progressive and small “l” leftist articles about how we need another party alternative to the dismal dollar right-wing duopoly. The U.S. has had an viable alternative since 1984. Rather than organizing and working to build up the Green Party USA all we have had is whining and lesser evil voting. The Green Party may have it’s flaws but why reinvent the wheel or even worse throw yourself under the bus.
    P..S. And still we wonder why the U.S. left is politically impotent and weak .

  • Nylene13

    You seem attached to the Green Party. Other people are attached to other small paties and groups. I am suggesting that we all come together under one united banner of socialist and political and environmental groups that already exist and work together under one name.

    The U.S left is politically impotent and weak because the U.S. Rich HATE us.

  • subcomandante Felix

    If you want an alternative to the right-wing duopoly in 2020 the Green Party is the only game in town. Now that the presidential erection is upon us the idea of a progressive/left united front is another pipe dream. That is the real reason the left is politically impotent, unrealistic expectations that transformational change can come through electoral politics. Have you read Charlie Ebert’s article in Roar Mag “Has 2020 marked the end of progressive left electoralism?”

    P.S. Sadly, Ebert didn’t get John Holloway’s brilliant double entendre in “Change the world without taking power” It’s all about creating our own power, not taking theirs.

  • Joe Buckstrap

    I’m voting no confidence in this shitshow.

  • ANTONIO

    What a mess. I have reluctantly decided to vote for Biden “Don’t throw your vote away on a third party” On the other hand we will never get out of this prison if we don’t break out by strengthening third parties. Other countries have third parties and more- that is how Hugo Chavez won the presidency. Capitalist US is intransigently controlled so that what they call “democracy” is not democracy at all. Not even close. WHAT TO DO

  • Richard

    I will be looking into these two, but one thing is for sure, I will not support the greedy crooked D & R good cop bad cop routine. We have not had a real president since Kennedy, you can say what you wish about the man, but he did at least care about this country and just as important he cared about the people. We have not had a president since that cared about anything but money & power and the majority of the rest of our government worship the same thing. Ever wonder why this country & the citizens get in worse shape every year even though “your party of choice” is in office? No one party put us in the shape we are now, it took the combined efforts of both (D & R) parties playing the citizens for fools to get us to the mess we have today.

    Take a chance people, find a third party you can relate to, believe in, and give them a chance to prove themselves. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. All you get the other way is “the next worst president in history.” Don’t forget about the rest of the government either, the president can do nothing without their support and consent. Some have been there since I was a kid (and I am a proud Boomer) and that is to damn long, nothing has gotten better or even close except their net worth. Time to give ALL of them a taste of their own medicine and fire them in every election & let them find a new job.

    No employee (or representative of the people) is irreplaceable, they are a dime a dozen and it’s way past time for a new batch because the old ones are rotten to the core. The whole House stinks like an outhouse. Quit playing their head games and try something different for a change, nothing ever got accomplished by repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Learn from them and lets move forward. The “people” have the “real power” to change things, they just don’t realize they have it and don’t know how to use it.

    The “people” can’t accomplish anything as long as they are divided into groups of people hating & blaming other groups for all the problems we all face instead of the “real” problem. I don’t know about the rest of you, but government no longer represents anything I believe in and hasn’t in a long time. Want a better life for your kids than you had? Prove it.

  • chetdude

    One only “has to” vote for the lesser evil in one of the few “swing states”…

  • chetdude

    Just to be fair, the Green Party is against vulture capitalism and Forever war but “elections” are run and owned by the two wings of the One True Party in service of the Oligarchs.

    That is much more easily opposed locally than at the state or federal level.

  • chetdude

    Felix is correct, the Green Party has already built the most effective and complete infrastructure for opposing the Duopoly, the Libertarians and the Oligarchs…

    Why reinvent the wheel?

  • chetdude

    Good Grief…

  • “Alternative views”??

    There are tons of websites around that promote conspiracy theories 24×7. Why not go there?

  • Dannow

    Uhhh, this country IS the people, or at least it should be ALL the people. It has taken a long time to get there. Trump has brought things to a head; to my head for sure.

  • Dannow

    Anyone to the left of Biden or Trump is going to result in the corporate/entitled complex transforming the US into a similar situation as they did to Venezuela. That’s what they do. How much time do we have left to screw around?

  • Cliff Sommers

    Which is exactly what Greens intend to do. But first you have to.obtain ballot access, and in a majority of states, that REQUIRES running a presidential candidate pair. And keeping it requires obtaining a the hold number of votes we won’t get without running a batiobal campaign for headline presidential candidates. Ds and Rs have thoroughly rigged the game against us and use every trick in the book to keep us off the ballot, but nevertheless here we are – making a real run for the White House with two actual worker candidates ofeted a real socialist program that America sorely needs right now as it faces a storm of 5 concurrent basic crises that xaputalusm has proven unable to solve. We can!

  • Alice X

    I like these two, thank you for this.

  • daedalus43

    The problem is that the Green Party is seen as a single issue group (environmentalism). It has a poorly chosen name if it is actually a multi-issue organization.

    True, Nader went after the auto industry on safety issues, but in those days the Greens again looked single-issue. Instead of attacking the system that creates a casual attitude toward consumer death at the hands of the ownership class, they poked at a single result caused by the financial elite in a single manufacturing industry. Since Nader, the profile of the Party has shrunken. They never did have a serious local organization anywhere I lived, and their ‘top down’ model (one that clearly failed) just doesn’t seem like a good one to follow. Still, I’ll probably vote for them.

    Most of the 99% are more interested in the unfair distribution of wealth and power. They feel that they are becoming debt slaves and serfs. Environmentalism could easily dovetail into a movement that aims at a less bellicose and more egalitarian society. The Greens may have nominated two working people, which is good, but they have a long way to go and should, perhaps, change their name. But, there’s already a DSA, and there’s a supposed attempt to start a People’s Party (unfortunately tied to an irksome piece of software…).

    We need a new umbrella organization that will eventually incorporate the current leftie groups. This will require cooperation, not competition.

  • daedalus43

    To my knowlege, neither of the people you suggest has any background in science. Nor do they qualify as experts in either epidemiology or virology. Kennedy is an ‘anti-vaxer’, which puts him in the same class as people who refuse to wear covid masks. Andrew Kaufman is either a dermatologist with an M.D. or a ‘natural healing consultant’ with unknown degree. M.D.’s are typically horrible at science (not all, but most).

    If we listen to ‘alternative views’ from people with no expertise, we might as well listen to Trump.

  • Nylene13

    Because a lot of people are attached to their own small political groups and we need everyone under an all encompassing one to have the numbers we need.

    Maybe change the name of the Green Party to an all encompassing one.

    For example, I don’t think Black Lives Matter is very attracted to the name-The Green Party.

  • iowapinko

    The “Covid-19 problem” is grounded in the same anti-science misinformation that has plagued the environmental movement for decades. The foundations of this attack on public health are profoundly right-wing and actively promote the same corporate agenda as Donald Trump and the Chambers of Commerce.

    The vulnerability of people within U$-based, ego-oriented culture to fall prey to this scam is extreme. Unfortunately, privileged egos are killing the most vulnerable among us./

  • Nylene13

    Because the wheel is not big enough.

    I don’t know how the Green Party is doing in Hawaii, but here in Nevada they all moved to California.

    Well, except me.

  • Nylene13

    Bernie offered lots of good things too.
    SO?

  • Richard

    “Should be” but it’s not. Government took control of it a long time ago and they do whatever the hell they want with it, when they want, how they want. The people are just along for the ride, locked in the trunk, waiting to find out what happens next when the lid is opened again. How long ago did you fall asleep anyway?

  • Jeff

    Why do we need a Green Party that’s mainly socialist? These people should just join a socialist party, they already exist. The Green Party was supposed to prioritize peace and the environment, not make them just two in a long list of issues, and certainly not make economic issues the priority.

    The Green Party sold its soul decades ago in order to try to win elections, at least in the U.S. (can’t speak for the Green Party in other countries). The admitted as much to me when I was running a campaign against a ballot measure that was so anti-environment that even Sierra Club opposed it, but the local Green Party supported it. When I contacted the local Green Party to ask them why they supported the measure and to try to change their position, they said they couldn’t run for office on just peace and the environment. When I responded that they didn’t have to limit themselves to those two issues, but that they did need to prioritize them, they had no response.

    We need a real Green Party, not a red party in green clothing. While i would prefer socialism to capitalism, that should not be the main issue for this party.

  • Jeff

    Your vote and your position contradict each other. By voting for a Democrat you weaken third parties, not strengthen them. For one thing, the parties get money from the government depending on how many votes they get.

    Furthermore, by pledging your vote to Biden without demanding anything because you support the anyone-but-Trump BS, you lose all potential influence you have over the party. You need to make Biden earn your vote by committing to some major things that you care about. If he refuses, don’t vote for him.

    People who say they’re voting for Biden even though they despise him really don”t understand how politics works. Voting for someone you hate is throwing your vote away; voting for someone you support is not, regardless of how little chance they have to win.

  • Jeff

    The Green Party might be seen that way, but it’s false. See my comment above. Their problem is the exact opposite: they don’t prioritize peace and the environment as they originally did and are supposed to do. They should just merge with one of the socialist parties so someone can form a real green party.

  • Alice X

    We need a real Green Party, not a red party in green clothing. While i
    would prefer socialism to capitalism, that should not be the main issue
    for this party.

    Well, in my own view, the West needs seriously to decouple from the concept of growth. That, in itself, is anti-capitalist. Socialism, without that nuance, does not necessarily follow, but it should.

    Capitalism cannot be green. Socialism should not follow capitalism (as in Leninism).

    Therefore, it must be green, ie degrowth.

    Shrink the rich to enable sustenance for all.

  • Alice X

    I would do better to ask simply, what would you envision as a pure green party?

    I will offer my own thoughts, put most simply:

    1) Take the least from the earth for all to survive.

    There is no #2.

    Is there such a party. and if so, where is it?

  • Jeff

    Stopping and in fact reversing growth, of both consumption and population, are basic requirements of any real environmental group or party. Anyone who calls themselves environmental without those two demands is a phony.

    Socialism is not at all necessarily green. All socialism means is sharing the wealth equitably. The Soviet Union was certainly not capitalist, neither was China, yet they both did massive environmental harm. If you focus on economic issues instead of the environment, the environment will suffer, simple as that. Politics is just as much about priorities as it is about which side of the issue you’re on, and if your priorities are economic you’ll destroy the environment in order to get the results you want.

  • Jeff

    I didn’t propose a “pure” green party. The Green Party was founded in Germany by Petra Kelly. The main planks of its platform were peace & the environment, but that doesn’t mean that they had no other planks in their platform. The party was basically leftist, which is a good thing, but economics were not its focus.

    You make the same mistake the local Green Party made in its response to me. There’s a huge difference between limiting a party to two issues, and prioritizing those two issues. As I said in my other response to you, priorities are just as important as positions in politics, as the example I gave in my previous post about the local Green Party’s support for an anti-environmental ballot measure clearly shows.

  • chetdude

    Alas, thanks to the figment of being a blue-blue democrat state (owned by corporate interests running tourism, Big Ag/Monsanto and the bloated war machine’s needs), the Greens have had an even tougher road here.

  • chetdude

    Green means GOOD…

    Blue and Red parties = evil…

  • Larry Maxwell

    I have been an enthusiastic Green for 20 years, and this year is no exception.

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       I see the “Greens” have found the next Ralph Nader or Jill Stein so they can hand the election to Lying Trump. I hope they’re happy when he utterly destroys everything they pretend to care about during his “four more years”!

    Those who refuse to learn the lessons of History are condemned to repeat them

    – George Santayana

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       What you’re going to get is “four more years” of Lying Trump!

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       And one Election Day, once again all you “Progressives” will accomplish is the re-election of the man (Lying Trump) committed to destroying everything you pretend to care about!

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       And they’re determined to insure we’ll have to “listen to Trump” for another four years!

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       Yeah, thanks for inflicting Bush the Second on us, followed by Lying Trump. Maybe, in 2024 (after Lying Trump is finishing his second term) you can help Lapdog Pence become the next President!

  • Nylene13

    I read a very interesting article on Hawaii today, and what is happening right now. I will try to find it and post a link for you.

  • Nylene13

    And you think 4 more years of Lying Biden is better?

  • gaytheist

    Biden aligns with my values 1000% more than Trump does!

    So, yes… He’d be a lot better!

  • gaytheist

    Even if I joined the Green Party, instead of being non-party affiliated, I’d still vote for the candidate I believe is best for the country who actually has a shot at winning. In this election it would be Biden.

    The votes for Stein in the last election split the vote and allowed Trump to win. We can’t have that happen again.

  • gaytheist

    Jobs are important, for sure. That I believe is the number 1 issue for most of America.

    But also very important to our way of life in America is the Supreme Court appointees.

    And let’s face it, “Dimentia Biden” is the only candidate with any chance of beating Trump in this election, and if he doesn’t win, the next Supreme Court nominee will be a right wing extremist making the Court solidly conservative for the next 30 years.

    Picture what that will be like for the Green Party trying to increase it’s influence and power base in this country. It won’ t bode well.

    Best to get Biden in there to balance the court before it is too late.

  • gaytheist

    But they better vote with the Democrats if they have any desire to unseat Trump.

  • gaytheist

    I was just thinking the same thing about some of your comments… Especially the naiive notion you made saying the President can’t do anything without their support and concent.

    The President can do many things without their support and concent, such as all the duties of his office which are spelled out in the Constitution.

    We’ve already seen Trump nominate 2 right wing ideologues to the Supreme Court this term. Do you really want to throw your D vote away and have him win a second term where he could put a third or forth right wing ideologue on the court for the next 30 years?

  • Nylene13

    If Biden wins Trump wins.

  • Nylene13

    It is more like Biden aligns with Trumps values 100 percent.
    Why don’t you post some examples here of just how they are different.

  • Nylene13

    I view Biden and Trump as about the same.

    What makes you think they are different?

  • subcomandante Felix

    Good idea! Why don’t we call the Greens the “Bolsheviks” That sounds BIG doesn’t it? Anyway, they did all the right things, kill the rich and suppress religion, etc.and their revolution didn’t come through electoral politics to boot.

    P.S. Don’t forget to celebrate Revolutionary Justice Day – July 17 — 1794, Carmelite nuns guillotined. 1918 Czar Nicholas and family executed.

  • subcomandante Felix

    Those who vote for the lesser evil – over and over again – get what they deserve.

  • Nylene13

    Not sure what your point is.

    You think the American Revolution was a mistake?
    How about Spartacus? At least the slaves had full time employment, right?

  • subcomandante Felix

    Apart from being sarcastic, my point is that real revolutions don’t happen through electoral politics. 2020 is no different, it’s just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, which hit the iceberg 244 years ago. Yes, the American Revolution was a huge mistake, if you ask the slaves and indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. The American Revolution produced the world’s foremost slave breeding state and the genocide of the indigenous peoples and their culture.

  • gaytheist

    Biden is the polar opposite of Trump. I’ll let you compare their agendas from their websites.

  • gaytheist

    How about healthcare?

  • Nylene13

    See-You can’t.
    They are basically the same.

  • Nylene13

    If England won the American Revolution you think they would have treated the Native American Indians better?
    You mean like in India?

    There were African Slaves in America before the American Revolution. How did they get here? On the ships on British Sea Captains.

    England had NO problem with their Sea Captions bringing slaves in chains to America. Lots of $$$$$$$ for England.

  • Nylene13

    Well we won’t know until after the election will we?
    Speaking of healthcare-Aren’t you at all concerned about Biden’s mental state?

  • Nylene13

    If the Democrats were so worried about Trump they would have supported Bernie.

    The Truth is-the Democrats like Trump better than Bernie.

  • subcomandante Felix

    Two of the most important reasons why the American aristocrats revolted were:
    1. They feared that the British would end slavery in their colonies. After the British abolished the slave trade in 1807, breeding slaves became one of the most profitable activities in the U.S. and a primary source of wealth for Southern plantation owners.

    2/ Another primary reason for the so-called “revolt” was that the British – true to their treaty obligations – limited the westward expansion of the setter-colonists into indigenous territory.

  • Trump may actually be very slightly better than Biden.

    He jumped to the Left of Biden on corona coverage for people without insurance, and Biden, with a wink and a nod from his vampire health insurance industry owners, could only declare that everyone should be covered, even people who already have adequate coverage from private insurers. Thereby keeping insurance company stocks from tanking.

    In fact, the default argument that Biden would be the “lesser evil” begins to fall apart, on this and many other issues, whenever it is actually closely examined.

  • Nylene13

    TV News just said that the Democratic Convention will be held online.

    Well that is that then. Biden is the next Candidate. Why not just declare him the winner now?

    Maybe we can have an online Green/Socialist Convention.

    My Zucchini is growing insanely, and my Bread Machine has still NOT arrived!!! I am putting giant zucchinis in the fridge.

    Too hot to bake bread in the oven. 100 degrees here. A thunderstorm is blowing in-but the last one a few days ago- brought NO rain.

    Right now my sons are putting a new swamp cooler motor in. Sure glad I bought an extra one before the C. Virus hit. I bet the stores are all out of those too.

    Do you get Honolulu Civil Beat online? Great article titled –
    The Pandemic is Changing How Hawaii Gets its Food.

  • Nylene13

    Southern Plantation Owners were hardly the Majority in the colonies.
    My family came over as indentured servants-which was basically white slavery.
    Most of the Revolutionary fighters were poor. Thomas Jefferson had to raise money for his soldiers to have guns.

    “So called” Revolt? You must be British. Well if the British were so against slavery in the colonies-why were THEY the ones who imported them?

  • Richard

    All you are going to get with biden is put another “worst president in history” in office. Vote for your own demise and continue to support only the two party system where you lose no matter which party wins. There are alternatives, but I see that you think it is a waste of time, it may well be, but I would rather waste my time trying than supporting those who would knowingly cause me & all Americans harm and hardship.

  • Richard

    Yea, the last 4 presidents have done many things their predecessors never thought of or dared to do, and they get worse every election because there is no real choice to start with, so how are you going to get anything other than another “worst president in history.” The same is true of the rest of the “worst government in history.” We will never get anywhere just voting D or R, that’s a lost cause.

  • Richard

    No need, we still remember VP biden from the obummer days. Two peas in a pod and two members of the club that you are not in and can’t join. Instead of your “party of choice” trying to find a decent person to run against trump, they were to busy trying to find “anything” that can beat trump and came with the current pile of manure. Two sides of the same coin.

  • subcomandante Felix

    There was a huge difference between indentured servitude (limited time with the rights of a white man) and chattel slavery. The indigenous peoples that participated in the American Revolution were allies with the British – what does that tell you about what they thought about the settler-colonists. Yes , the rich landowners and merchants were small in number but they held all the political power – they were the ones that financed the settler-colonist army. Yes, there was popular support for the rebellion but there were also a lot of people who favored the British. Support for the rebels grew as the war dragged on. The founding fathers, rich, land, slave and women owning white men, were terrified of the popular democratic forces that the revolution unleashed. That is why they created a social contract (U.S. Constitution) based on property rather than human rights. A social contract that was designed to maintain their wealth, power and privilege. Something that the Constitution has done very well to this day.

  • gaytheist

    You are drawing an equivalence of the two based solely on not being able to join their club?

  • Nylene13

    Not always such a huge difference. The “rights of a white men” for example-

    did not include white indentured women- sex abuse was common for many/most of the women.

    The Native Americans may have hoped the British would leave America alone if they won, which is not what the British intended at all.

    The Native Americans may well have ended up worse off-as when England took over such places as India.

    Thomas Jefferson did his best. He held up the constitution for 2 years trying to outlaw slavery.

    It is not his fault he could not win over the others. It was not for lack of trying.

    “ALL men are Created Equal, with the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

  • RickW

    Two of the most important reasons why the American aristocrats revolted were:
    I like to refer to the American Revolution as perhaps the only (successful) middleclass revolution in the history of the world.

  • gaytheist

    What you’ll get by throwing your vote away on two nobodies that no one has ever heard of before and have no experience in government is another 4 years of Trump! That’s what you’ll get.

    If you truly think he is the worst president in history, then you ain’t seen NOTHING yet! If you give him another term he will view it as a mandate for his America First – xenophobic-racist-extreme right wing-narcissistic ideology and it will be on steroids!

    His Evangelical base will see it as a mandate fro God that he is chosen again and they will pour more dark money into politics and become more politically right wing in the media at the pulpit than ever before

    White Supremists, neo-knotzy trash will be empowered and will no longer hide in the shadows as much as they are now. Their organizations might even grow faster than the Green Party will.

    Is that what you want?

  • gaytheist

    It doesn’t matter to this non-party-affiliated voter which party is on the ballot as long as they ACTUALLY HAVE A CHANCE at winning. I will vote for whom I feel is the best candidate for office regardless of party of those who actually have a chance.

    Right now, those candidates just happen to be a D and an R. Which means, by a process of elimination, that G will unnecessarily and in this election, as in the last, split the vote, which ended up giving us the worst president this country could ever have! Had Stein votes gone to Hillary, Trump would not be president.

    That’s right… you read that correct. Stein votes actually resulted in Hillary loosing key electoral votes to Trump and therefore loosing the election which she would otherwise have won if those votes went to her!

    Those Stein votes cause me & all Americans harm and hardship as never before and will take decades to recover from. It’d done harm to our allies and the International community and it has done massive harm to the environment.

  • gaytheist

    Proof please?

  • gaytheist

    Maybe, but not likely. They despise him. Trump stands in opposition to everything they stand for.

    Everything.

  • gaytheist

    I am. I’m worried about Trump’s mental state too!

    What I’m not worried about is Biden’s temperament.

    And if Biden actually works on improving Obamacare, as he promised (and I have no doubt that is where his heart lies) then that is far better than dismantling Obamacare as Trump has been doing.

    The two are polar opposites when it comes to this.

  • gaytheist

    Not true, on both counts.

  • gaytheist

    Are they both the same in so much as they both aren’t Socialists?

  • Nylene13

    Did you read sherlockhemlocks post below?

  • Nylene13

    You have yet to give an example of how they are different. I mean an actual example, not just things they Said.

  • Nylene13

    That is the best you can do?

  • If it is their responses to corona coverage for people without insurance for which you require proof, then I submit that you haven’t been paying attention. That’s a matter of recent public record.

    Take another issue or set of issues where a comparison can be made–the matter of “race” and racism currently being contested in the streets of the United States:

    Trump has been a known racist bigot for decades, obvious at the very least since he took out newspaper ads demanding the death penalty for the Central Park Five, all of whom were later exonerated. He’s never actually walked that one back. His exhibitions of hatred for non-white people are a matter of routine by now, stopping just short of a formal declaration of allegiance with the Ku Klux Klan. He got that from his old man, by all accounts. There’s his comments about Mexicans and other ethnic types, his knee-jerk reactions to anti-racist activism, etc. Concretely, there’s his Muslim ban and his border wall, and his multifarious attacks on immigrants coming north, both rhetorical–encouraging cruelty already long-standing but previously not so flagrant nor attended-to by mass corporate media, at the U. S.-Mexico border–and in terms of actual policy.

    Biden on the other hand is a far more subtle and insidious bigot, and clumsy campaign rhetoric and proclamations of purely good intent notwithstanding, he still defends his–and it was his, not someone else’s–patently racist anti-desegregation bill with the standard rationalizations of ideological racists who do not wish to be seen as racist as a matter of political expediency. He was instrumental in crafting both Bill Clinton’s racist crime bill and Bill Clinton’s racist welfare reform, which from the beginning would–and did–clearly adversely and disproportionately afflict people of color, which is what both were intended to do. There were critics of both who accurately and rightly pointed this out; Clinton and Biden and other crafty Third Way Dem Party leaders–and their partisans among the rank-and-file–successfully ignored or dismissed what they had to say.

    Ergo, Biden, with no end of help from loyal partisan apologists, is in fact likely to be the more effective if less flagrant evil in this regard. He is surely the more accomplished. (His growing cognitive decline may hinder him somewhat, if we’re lucky . . . but his neoliberal, Social Darwinistic handlers may be able to make up for this deficit, perhaps more effectively than Trump’s neocon handlers have been at making up for Trump’s self-serving but thankfully erratic if not simply inept sabre-rattling bloviations.)

    The “lesser evil” argument in general is impossible to test or “prove” save by examining and comparing the evidence of past actions as well as statements. We can’t split the Presidency between Biden and Trump to make a comparison–but if the evidence on record is any indication, with either we’ll be royally f cked by Big Evil.

    Which is why I’m voting for neither, and likely voting for the Green Party candidate, even though I find Howie Hawkins deeply dubious–as well as dull–in several ways. A good enough showing for the Green Party in this Presidential election, however unlikely it may turn out to be, would mean Federal matching funds for the Green Party, and greater attention focused upon third party/indie candidates and efforts in general. That’s the real pragmatic, long-term strategy–not the fraudulent “lesser of two evils” formula upon which defeating Trump at all costs depends, a formula which has failed catastrophically more often than it has succeeded, most notably in 2016, when the “lesser of two evils” argument in favor of Hillary Clinton was more dubious than ever before, until–perhaps–now.

  • gaytheist

    Thanks for your thoughts. How do you feel about the Supreme Court picks? Do you agree that a Trump win will solidify the court solidly conservative for the next possible 30 years?

  • No I do not agree with that. It is merely trite, partisan boilerplate, dragged out to shore up a wobbly “lesser of two evils” agenda.

    As far as appointments go, a Biden administration may be very marginally better, with at best a nomination of someone like “moderate” corporatist Sotomayor, who has proven to be a dubious and unreliable ally on civil rights issues that come before the court; at worst, we’ll get another Kavanaugh, or more likely another Roberts. Trump’s gang of course will likely seek to appoint the most Right-wing judge(s) they can get away with. As for the lower courts, the Democratic Party in the Senate has been quietly green-lighting the Trump administration’s selection of Righties even as the Dem leadership chants “Russia! Russia! Russia!” and dances around in native African costumery to show their empty solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests (with ol’ segregationist Joe Biden vowing not to defund the police but to over-fund the police).

    I do not see however how even a solidly Right-wing Supreme Court would make a “Green initiative” impossible to implement–only difficult on occassion, perhaps, but what matters more broadly is the leadership in power in Congress and the White House–as well as locally and regionally–and most all the will of the people. The Court does not write the laws, though it may interpret them evilly. And why is it that the uncharted territory of change is always shunned? Which is to say–it is entirely possible to depose judges from the courts–Supremes not exempted–by means of formal impeachment or overwhelming public demand. We may need to go there in any event, since the Supreme Court is likely to remain at least as conservative and Right-wing as it is now. But we are never going to go there or anywhere near there with the status quo of Republicratic Party leadership.

    And no I am not deeply worried about the possibility of the Supremes overturning Roe vs. Wade–another perpetual boogieman that gets waved around with talk of a conservative or Right-wing-dominated Supreme Court. It ain’t gonna happen–but why is another story.

  • subcomandante Felix

    Thomas Jefferson, that’s rich. He held up the Constitution for 2 years over slavery, while serially raping his.
    P.S. There is no such thing as consensual sex between master and slave.

  • Nylene13

    Sally Hemmings was not raped by Thomas Jefferson. She was what today would be called his sister in law.

    Thomas Jefferson’s wife and Sally Hemmings were sisters.

    They both had the same white father.

    When Jefferson married Hemmings sister, she moved in with them.

    When Jeffersons wife was dying, she asked Jefferson on her deathbed to never remarry. He agreed.

    I assume this was so that Sally would become his ‘wife’. They had several children together.

    When Jefferson took Hemmings to France, she was legally free.

    Jefferson arranged for her to take French Language Lessons, and her brother lived there.

    Her brother wanted her to remain in France with him but Sally CHOSE to return home to America. The rest of her family was there, and I think it is quite obvious that she loved Thomas Jefferson.

    She lived with him all her life. When Jefferson died, her freed sons with Jefferson came and took her home with them.

    As of today, the Equal Rights Amendment for Women has still never passed.
    Does that mean that all American Women are today being “serial raped”?

  • Nylene13

    Can’t we do better than “dubious and dull”?

    What about a Socialist Party?

  • Nylene13

    Yet you can’t seem to post a single example.

  • Chutny

    Biden has dementia,Biden was involved in the same scandal the Dems tried to hang on Trump.Regardless what people think of Trump,he is still your best bet.If Biden does get in,you must realize he is not going to run the country,and you will never know who will be pulling the strings.

  • Chutny

    If Hillary had gotten in,she would have drained the public coffers,Americans would be at war with Russia and thousands of dead people everywhere but maybe that is all part of the American mentality.Hillary is a war monger among other things.And Canada would suffer badly under her.

  • gaytheist

    Not true, I did elsewhere, and you actually replied to someone who had replied to me about it.

  • Nylene13

    Try again.

  • Richard

    Hellary? Really? All you support is your own demise because hellary is nothing but a bush, obama, trump, female (I think) version. The only thing D & R represent is “the lesser of two evils” and I believe that myself and all Americans deserve better than that, don’t you? All we have had to choose from for decades has been the lesser of two evils, with one exception, Ross Perot and he was third party & got 19% of the vote and a record number, but lost to clinton only because of people like you who can only see D or R, “their party of choice.”

  • Richard

    Ever hear of George Carlin? He has a unique opinion of government and it’s very true. The very worst thing you can get from his videos is a sore stomach from laughing.

  • How about you compare those professed agendas with the evidence of their past actions? And compare those actions.

    How does Trump’s record of supporting murderous military interventions compare to Biden’s? How do the foreseen consequences of those interventions compare to each other? How does Trump’s history of racist actions compare to Biden’s history of racist actions?

    I’ll give you this for a comparison which breaks in favor of Biden–Trump’s history of active, personal male chauvinism is probably much worse, or at least it has been in the public eye more often and for much longer, than Biden’s–I remember reading of the r pe allegations of his first wife decades ago, and there’ve been multiple allegations over the years of male chauvinist misconduct and abuse made all the more plausible by Trump’s open and frequent effusions of insulting and crass statements aimed at women–but Biden’s male chauvinism has certainly been evident, in the more distant past re Anita Hill, and more recently with the plausible and credible account of sexual assault from Tara Reade.

  • Richard

    Honestly, I think that both candidates are the worst examples of leadership we have seen yet, with the rest of the government included. That’s really saying something after the last 2 alone. I think that we actually want many of the same things, but see different paths to get there, but that’s ok. I can remember when there was a difference between D & R, but that was many moons ago and definitely not true today. I have tried your way for years and watched it get continually worse no matter which party was in office.

    My vote for third party is my middle finger to our greedy, crooked government and their “gauge” to measure the unrest of the people. My honest opinion is Americans are going to have to eventually pick up their muskets, balls & powder and defend this country & our freedom from ALL our enemies in Washington. It’s almost past the point of no return and no other “legal” options.

  • How do you know where Status Quo Joe Biden’s heart lies?

    I’d say it lies firmly in the pocket of the United States’ for-profit, vampire corporate health insurance industry and Big Pharma, whose entrenchment in American society Obamacare/Romneycare 2.0/Heritagecare was designed to secure.

    So long as we are bogged down in the swamp of “improving” Obamacare–or merely protecting it from the depredations of those nasty ol’ Republicans–we will never get to the solid ground of single payer universal healthcare coverage. But keeping us mired in this corporate capitalist swamp is the Republicratic Party plan, isn’t it?

  • Nylene13

    sherlock,

    why is Harlan Ellison one of your heroes?

  • Why not?

    A curious question. Are you familiar with Ellison’s work?

    There’s a long answer I could give, as there is for the other luminaries on that list in my Disqus profile, but the short answer is that the late Harlan Ellison’s writing and life have had a profound influence on how I see the world and how I think. His writing has also influenced my own–I think in some ways that are obvious; as Stephen King observed of Ellison’s writing style in his book Dance Macabre–after reading a dose of Harlan Ellison, you start writing like Harlan Ellison; his conversational, extemporal style, his dynamic range in the words of the English language, is so contagious that even accomplished, mature writers find themselves slipping into Ellison gear. I never met the man though.

  • Nylene13

    It is just that is a name that does not come up a lot anymore. Loved his writing ever since the original 60’s Star Trek.

    Thanks for the tip of the Bio.

  • Nylene13

    I replied to you on this -but it does not seem to have been posted. Anyway I have liked his writing from Star Trek.

    Elison Wonderland looks like a very cool house.

  • It posted. Yes–Ellison is probably best known as the author of “City on the Edge of Forever,” which has consistently been rated in fan polls as the best episode ever of the original Star Trek series–sometimes it ties with David Gerrold’s “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Gerrold was also another close friend and associate of Ellison’s.

  • zak1

    Congratulations to all of you for the victory of your primary campaign! (And also for this
    charming and informative interview)

    I would like to offer my own suggestions regarding some low-hanging fruit your campaign
    might now pursue as you gather support on a larger scale –

    1. CORPORATE POWER – LEAD WITH THIS – AS A SHORTCUT TO SHOW YOUR UNIQUE STRENGTHS

    Many prospective voters are confused about or have conflicting ideas about the terms
    “socialism” and “capitalism” (though I’m glad about your strong positions here) – on the other hand, much of the public is VERY clear in its opposition to corporate power over their lives – make use of this

    Corporate Power is the true opponent of all the most popular policies you’re fighting for – Corporate Power as a power bloc, Corporate Structure as a system of carrying out social functions, and Corporatism as an extremist (suicidal) ideology – if you show people how, they will easily agree

    Your Anti-Corporatism clearly sets you apart from the Republicans, the DNC, and the
    Libertarians
    – you are the ONLY campaign that is carrying forth the demands of the Sanders movement, the George Floyd abolitionist protests, the medical experts responding to the Corona Crisis, and the population afflicted by the new Depression – how is that possible – because Corporatism is the cause of all of this, and all the other contenders are chained to it, EXCEPT YOU – in 2020 you are completely ALONE in the presidential field in responding to EVERY CRISIS – why aren’t everyone’s jaws dropping at this?

    It is much easier to use totalitarian Corporatism as a contrast to clarify your own democratizing socialism – plus, it will be clear that you’re not speaking about mom and pop or local type establishments

    The threat of being co-opted by corporate influence, and your party’s impressive resistance to it where so many before you have succumbed, shows the unique challenge the Greens face, and their unique achievement, your unique status in the electoral arena – you’re not trying to be a normal political party – you aren’t only looking for publicity – you badly need this, but it’s pointless unless you balance this with your need to protect yourselves – that’s why you need to vet your candidates so carefully, and why you can’t just grab onto any willing celebrity

    Why aren’t you promoting your party’s impressive accomplishments? And why do we always see the Greens in terms of their isolated campaigns, instead of as a community of candidates and former candidates, as well as the 139-odd elected officials, and your growing multicultural membership? Push to reshape the narrative about you – assert your presence as an existing community and as a longstanding and large-scale progressive institution

    2. YOUR MOST IMMEDIATE OBSTACLE MAY BE THE PROGRESSIVE MEDIA

    We know why corporate media is making you fight for coverage – but what about the
    progressive media?
    Newsweek and the New York Times ran articles covering your nomination – has Amy Goodman even mentioned your name, or any Green since 2016?
    The Nation ran 2 articles 2 months ago, with a “debate” where their staff writer said “WTF?” at the prospect of voting for you, and the guest from Jacobin “defended” you by first reassuring his readers: “I don’t believe in building the Green Party as an institution”

    Over the past 25 years, the Greens have been the only non-Corporatist third party to somehow survive on a national scale without being co-opted, as the 4th largest party, and the Dems’ largest electoral rival on the left. For this reason alone, progressive media should be covering Greens at least as much as they do progressive Dems – yet they barely even mention you, and when they do bring you up, it’s often some hostile or apologetic opinion piece (see Truthdig, for instance).

    There is a COMPLETE VACUUM in coverage of third party politics – and the result is that the public is so uninformed that they have NO CONCEPT EVEN OF BALLOT ACCESS – the central obstacle for third parties – progressive media have failed to educate the public on even the basics of civic engagement – it’s disgraceful – and these are the audiences who’d most readily support the Greens –

    Another consequence of this blackout is that public ignorance makes it easy for anyone to make spurious accusations or deride you without having their remarks questioned or challenged, especially in a climate like this where our media equate any noise with content. This is why it’s been so easy for your detractors to dismiss you as some non-entity, instead of a central figure who’s been helping to carry the Greens since their inception.

    Solidarity is supposed to be a defining virtue of the left. Perhaps the leading Sanders Dems have been corrupted by the corporate culture of the Dems and its ruthless
    competitiveness. Greens and other independents have repeatedly reached out to them, and they refuse to collaborate or even acknowledge the existence of outsiders – even going out of their way to suppress third party talk among their ranks

    – and now their leading DemExiters in the MVP are reproducing this behavior, still inactive but refusing to support the Green campaigns, offering no reason but this –

    (to paraphrase the gist of it) –

    Interviewer: “Since you aren’t running any candidates this election year, what do you think
    about supporting the Greens, who’ve been running on this platform for decades?”

    Nick Brana: “We shouldn’t support the Greens because we’re actually living in 1852, and
    they’re the (obsolete) Free Soil Party, while we’re really the party of Lincoln” (this is really his argument!)

    Interviewer: “Really? Why should I believe this?”

    Brana: “Because I say so”

    (Incredibly, the interviewers then change the subject – this happened w. TWO different interviewers – see Black Agenda Report and Ron Placone, and also check out Last Outlaws w Enelys Vinson)

    Never mind that the Green Party has resisted being co-opted for 30 years, while these Sanders alumni haven’t even been able to run a single campaign with their star candidate without him slipping away to the DNC – and they’re lecturing YOU about success?

    Contrast this dissembling with the behavior of Green candidates and other independents like Kshama Sawant – who openly supported each other and the Sanders movement across party lines – Socialist Alternative and the Greens came across as people honestly committed to solidarity across party lines and building a progressive movement, whereas MVP and Our Revolution are behaving like business entrepreneurs, using their insider status to monopolize a customer base.

  • zak1

    “Nevertheless here we are” – what a life affirming statement

    Can you believe that so many people following progressive media have no idea that Greens are required to run presidential campaigns? I’m sure you’ve been noticing this

    What else don’t they know about the realities of civic engagement?

    I think one problem with the popular progressive media is that its writers are largely journalists and academics – they give good analysis of the issues, but their professional paradigm teaches them to see themselves as outside observers, instead of as participants

    And this perspective is reproduced in their coverage, which encourages their audiences to view themselves in the same way

    This is what’s great about this website – they focus is on grassroots organizations and the organizing process, so they raise different sorts of questions about the issues in relation to the process of pushing for them

    But one website isn’t enough – and the people here also seem to understand this – what’s needed is an independent organizers’ media community that will assert itself as a supplement and corrective (and challenge) to the duopoly-focused progressive “Sanders media”, the same way those media do in relation to the mainstream

    Hawkins and Walker talk a lot about the nature of organizing, as did the late Bruce Dixon – what it means for organizers to have healthy and organic relationships with each other and with the communities they’re representing – the importance of listening and adapting to the needs and viewpoints of their communities – instead of just trying to “teach” them what’s good for them

    This is an important discourse – it’s a whole philosophical perspective on the nature of the grassroots, and what it means to democratize – regardless of how this election turns out, I hope they will work to strengthen and enrich the organizational culture and cohesion of the Green community – and I hope we see them generating more texts to articulate this thinking more systematically

  • zak1

    Trump and Biden are both committed to this – in fact, Biden has a far larger track record in this regard

  • zak1

    There’s a much larger problem related to how the Green Party is covered – how third parties generally are covered by the media

    Basically, they aren’t covered – so any spurious perceptions people may have aren’t challenged – it’s just a vacuum where any allegation can stick because there’s no sense of context

    The independent media at least should be doing a much better job of keeping people informed – people don’t know much about the Libertarians, either – third parties should pressure media to do their jobs

  • zak1

    I think the dividing line has to do with corporate power, and the different parties’ relation to this

    In today’s vocabulary, “Socialism” has become a kind of shorthand for clearcut anti-Corporatism

    The duopoly is Corporatist (as are the Libertarians) – the dividing line among the Democrats is based around the anti-Corporatist insurgency of the Sanders movement

    – indeed, much of the public’s rejection of the Establishment that led them to vote for Obama and then for Trump had to do with widespread opposition to Corporatist policies and their outcome – people have been flailing about for someone to change this – and the duopoly candidates feed off of this by throwing out empty rhetoric

    The Greens are the only fully non-corporate national party, and Hawkins/Walker are the only anti-Corporatist presidential campaign

    Separate from the role of corporate power in our society relative to the 99 percent, a private corporation is in itself a rigidly hierarchical structure –

    The Greens aren’t just talking about checking the power of the 1 percent, they’re looking to thoroughly democratize the institutions of corporate power – to make the social mechanisms more organically responsive to the needs of their constituents

    So “Socialism” is a very appropriate word to describe what the Greens represent – and this is integral to their environmental mission – in fact, their use of this word strengthens them, at least internally – bringing an explicit clarity that will make it harder for this party to be co-opted – the Greens represent a space independent of corporate influence, and the use of this word reinforces this

  • zak1

    Do you think this is the way to attract people to listen to your side?

  • zak1

    You’ve described what’s needed – this is what Hawkins/Walker are trying to do with their left unity campaign –

    The question now is – what are the obstacles to this unity?

  • zak1

    Of course, you should vote for the candidate you feel will best advance what’s needed

    I think part of the disagreement here is based around very different ways of seeing the election and its meaning

    On the one hand, there is the office, and the candidates vying for that office – if you look at it that way, anyone who doesn’t end up in that office immediately drops off the radar screen – the entire question is simply reduced to who winds up in that office and who doesn’t – so, from this standpoint, of course the only question is who has the strongest chance of getting into that office

    On the other hand, there are the policies people want – they are hoping that the election will result in these policies. But what happens if neither of the strongest candidates is offering these policies? What happens if both major parties (on behalf of their sponsors – remember, many of the same sponsors support both parties), if both major parties agree among themselves NOT to implement these policies – and to use their power together to block any other candidates who WOULD support these policies – BOTH the major candidates are ignoring people’s wishes – so, from this standpoint, the question is more open-ended – how to somehow bypass this wall, how to influence these powers to implement these policies they don’t like – or to push the question as far as possible?

    People voted for Clinton and Obama, and they changed the Democrats into Republicans promoting Reaganomics, the Patriot Act, etc. In response, the actual Republican Party became more and more extreme to justify its existence. Then people supported Sanders, hoping he would change these “Republicans” back into New Deal Democrats. The party pushed him out and ignored his supporters, twice.

    Now people are looking to the Greens, to see if this new approach will work better than what they’ve tried before – this party is fully committed to the policies they want – so now people want to see how far the Greens can make an impact – how far they can push these policies

    For many of these people, the differences between Trump and Biden are less important than their similarities, and their shared refusal to implement a wide range of badly needed policies

    – the notion is that both parties are now “Republican”, and have been for a long time, more and more so – and these people are tired of bashing their heads against a wall to try to change this

  • gaytheist

    I know what you are explaining, and I know people don’t like to hear their notions are flawed. I get that.

    Now, do you get that casting a vote for the Green Party candidate is a feeble attempt at change and that these people will STILL be “bashing their heads against a wall” afterwards?

  • gaytheist

    So, how’s Trump working out for ya? Are you happy with him? How did Stein end up working out? Oh, wait… She didn’t…not even close. But the votes for her gave us Trump!

  • zak1

    Here’s an anecdote Hawkins uses a lot –

    He was running against Andrew Cuomo for New York Governor –

    Hawkins got 5 percent of the vote. As a result, Cuomo changed his position to try to compete for Hawkins’ voters, and endorsed 3 policies he’d been opposing – a $15/hour minimum wage, a ban on fracking, and paid family leave

    By competing with Cuomo, Hawkins was able to impact Cuomo’s policies and achieve real progress

    There’s a lot more to these politics than just winning or not winning an election – and many different ways to have an impact – the way the media talks about elections in terms of all or nothing actually discourages people from getting involved on this level (of course, if media covered all these candidates equally, Hawkins would win easily – his campaign is the only one actually addressing all these crises that are swallowing us)

    The Democrats and Republicans will never implement policies like Medicare for All or Universal Basic Income if the choice is left to them – they’ll keep dangling them in front of people and then pull back – they do this on purpose – if Dems were worried about spoilers they could have pushed Ranked Choice Voting, which Greens have advised since 2000 and before – this would completely fix the problem –

    – Dems like having people like Trump to threaten their voters with, instead of changing their sponsor-friendly policies (By their own admission, Hillary’s campaign deliberately promoted Trump and helped him win his primary in 2016 – these people are playing us)

    – people are desparate – they’re tired of trying an approach over and over that hasn’t worked, so they’re looking to try something new – to get out of this game

    If Hawkins gets 5 percent and the Greens get ballot lines across the country and millions of dollars to organize and run thousands of local candidates – that would have far more impact nationwide than voting in Biden instead of Trump

  • Jeff

    Environmental and ecological issues are not economic issues, and neither is war & peace. Socialist countries are every bit as capable as destroying the environment and making war as capitalist countries.

    Furthermore, priorities in politics are just as important as which side you’re on, because different issues will come into conflict at some point. If you prioritize money and economic issues, you will ultimately harm the environment, regardless of which position of the economic issues you’re on. I agree that capitalism requires destroying the environment because of its necessary cancerous growth, but socialist and communist countries have destroyed the environment just as much.

    The Green Party should prioritize peace and the environment. As a secondary issue it could also support socialism, but that should not be its main focus, and peace and the environment should be far more than just two in a long list of issues.

  • gaytheist

    From the 2016 Democratic Party Platform:

    Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage. No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour.”

    Democrats will make sure that the United States finally enacts national paid family and medical leave by passing a family and medical leave act.”

    “Democrats are committed to closing the Halliburton loophole that stripped the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing.”

  • zak1

    I don’t understand – why do you consider these issues separate?

    Just because two concepts aren’t synonymous – that doesn’t make them mutually exclusive –

    The concepts as we name them are human constructions – in real life all of this meshes together

    There’s also a philosophical dimension to this – people are arguing over how to have these conversations – who gets to define what word – and our perceptions aren’t fixed in stone – the Green Party has evolved since it was first founded

    The word socialism is used in lots of different ways – not just in terms of countries that call themselves socialist

    You’re right that socialist-oriented countries have been destructive in this way – but I think the Greens are using this word in a broader sense –

    If you take your comment above, and replace the word “socialist” with the word “democratic” – does it still work? Because I think the Greens are using the word “socialist” in the same way they’d use the word “democratic” – meaning, extending democratic practices to every level, including the workplace

    When I talk about a “corporation”, I’m talking about it as a privatized government – the modern corporation is descended from entities like the East India Company, which were actually colonial governments representing their originating countries

    An institution is a kind of machine designed to channel human behavior towards certain outcomes

    – a corporation is designed to

    1) generate profit in any way possible for its shareholders

    2) externalize costs as much as possible so others outside the corporation pay the costs and take responsibility for the results of their actions

    3) prevent anyone from interfering with this process

    Our society is almost entirely corporatized – since Reagan, the dominant political ideology of the duopoly has been Corporatism – that society and its resources should be run on behalf of corporate interests, and that private corporations should replace public institutions in general, in managing and carrying out social functions

    The state of our society today is the result of its being run by corporations, according to corporate programming – and they use their huge resources to expand their power and push everyone else out – this is what drives the duopoly to ignore the healthcare crisis, to wage war, to destroy the environment, to feed profit into this bottomless vacuum cleaner – so all of these issues are economic – and at the same time political, in the sense that institutional behavior is based on its structural design

    The Green Party uses an ecological paradigm to understand phenomena in general – this isn’t just thinking in terms of nature – it means applying the tools of ecological reasoning to other disciplines – this involves thinking in terms of systems – looking at the parts and how they interact in relation to a larger whole – someone like Vandhana Shiva will speak about nature and the web of human relationships as having their own respective “economies”

    I agree very much with you about prioritizing issues – but part of this involves the ability of the imagination to reconceptualize the conversation – so, by identifying a new concept that enables you to link issues in a different way, so by prioritizing and targeting that new concept, you simultaneously address multiple issues

    – in education, this is called “multifinality” – conceiving and carrying out a particular task that in itself generates multiple desired outcomes – the history of thought is always seeking new ways to achieve this

    And part of politics involves asserting power over the conversation and over how terms and concepts are defined, and reshaping this around your priorities

  • zak1

    Unlike the Greens, the Democrats are not bound by their platform – its content does not dictate the behavior of the elected officials – it’s largely symbolic, and does not determine what they’ll actually do in office

    And, on top of this – the Democrats resisted these policies for years (the NY race I mentioned was in 2010)

    Fight for $15, for instance, was spearheaded by independent parties like the Greens and Socialist Alternative, and its popularity helped socialist Kshama Sawant win a seat on the Seattle City Council in 2013 and pressure the Democratic mayor to raise the minimum wage their – this brought the issue to national attention – Sanders adopted it in his 2016 campaign and pressured the DNC to add it to their platform

    Since it’s been on their platform, have Schumer and Pelosi introduced any bills to raise the federal minimum wage to $15?

  • Jeff

    Everything in the universe is connected to everything else in some manner. But if you want to function effectively, you have to draw a line at some point (though you should keep the connections in mind). People who think that the environment and economics are the same issues don’t understand environmental issues. Both socialist and capitalist societies overpopulate, kill trees, and extract & use fossil fuels, to list just a few major examples off the top of my head.

    The Green Party hasn’t “evolved” as you put it; it has sold out in order to try to win elections. This is not debatable, because they told me so themselves (they obviously didn’t characterize their change as selling out, but what they did and why is not in dispute). Big difference.

    You also seem to obsess on the words “socialist” and “socialism.” It’s not about words or terms, it’s about the platform and its priorities. The underlying theme of your posts shows that you are focused on economics, not the environment. Economics should be the last priority, not the first one. If you obsess on economics, you are anti-environment.

  • gaytheist

    I don’t know. I don’t follow them very close. But I’d imagine, by all the hundreds of bills sitting on Republican McConnell’s desk waiting for him to bring up for a vote in the Senate, there very could be a dozen of such bills.

    Who had it first hardly matters today. What matter today is the Democrats have it. The Republicans don’t.

    And we’ll have a much better chance seeing those changes if Democrats get into office this next election than if the Republicans do…provided the Greenies don’t split the vote again like they did last time, and allow Trump to win.

    There is very little chance the Green Party will make it, so if you can’t beat them… Join them.

    Become a movement within the Democrat party like the Progressives are.

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       I’ve given you several examples of how they’re different. Can you do the same for how they’re “the same”?

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       Oh please, if you expect me to buy that malarkey you’re going to have to produce some hard evidence! May I remind you that Biden helped pass the Affordable Care Act, which Lying Trump is actively trying to destroy!

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       The only Reply I can make to that incomprehensible “word salad” is that Predictions are for fools, so the election is hardly ‘in the bag”.

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       In turms of who will be the next President, that’s as bad a “choice” as the Green Party, for the same reason. Do you even know how many States the Socialist Party has won in any election? (Answer: none!)

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       I suggest you research what is known as the “Lochner Doctrine” if you want to know what can happen if the nation follows ignorance and idiocy like yours. It can happen again!

    Those who refuse to learn the lessons of History are condemned to repeat them.

       Unfortunately, you’re dragging the rest of us with you.

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       Not as much as you should be about Lying Trump’s.

  • zak1

    Your above comment took issue with the term “socialist”, and I was responding to your point – I still don’t quite understand why you’re focusing on their choice of using this word – which policies of theirs are you disputing, beyond the terminology? In any case, my own focusing on the word was to discuss this with you – not to “obsess”

    “Socialist” countries have been destructive of the environment, some more so and some less, just as non-socialist countries have – I don’t see how this makes the word socialist synonymous with environmental misbehavior

    In fact, the Greens are characterizing their platform specifically as “ecosocialist” – do you object to that term?

    If the country’s institutions base their behavior on economic goals, then, yes, addressing these economic goals and how they’re approached would be a powerful way to affect their behavior in all areas

    I don’t know what you mean by the Greens “selling out” – the obvious way to sell out would be to start soliciting corporate support like the other parties – perhaps leaning towards Al Gore’s “environmentally” branded corporatism

    – rejecting corporate support creates their biggest challenge to winning elections – and yet their commitment to socialism pushes them further in this direction – I don’t see how that’s “selling out” – it’s precisely what makes them so valuable

    – and, beyond that, why shouldn’t they try to win elections, as long as they’re sticking to their platform?

  • zak1

    I think Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker are great candidates – I find them very exciting to listen to – their talk is rich and thoughtful, and they’re clearly passionate about what they’re saying – they’re not “trained for the camera” (frankly, I’ve had enough of such “smoothies”) – but that’s also what made Sanders so compelling

  • zak1

    Why do you think so many people who supported Sanders are now DemExiting? This movement had committed to trying to change the Democrats from within, as people have been trying for decades – and many of them are giving up – it’s the Democratic leadership that’s splitting the vote and driving these people away by ignoring them, and they will be the first ones to say this

    (why was Trump any match for Hillary – she should have been miles ahead of him – do you think this is Jill Stein’s fault, or the DNC’s?)

    But I do very much agree with your point about responding to what’s on the table now – whatever good bills are there, we should support – and we should support the efforts of those backing them

    As for those who remain in the party and continue trying to change it from within – nobody’s attacking their efforts – it’s the people on the outside who are being attacked constantly for daring to be independent

    In fact, an outside left rival like the Greens would make the progressive Democrats much stronger within their own party – the DNC will be forced to listen to them more or risk losing their voters to the Greens – and Greens who are elected into office will join progressive Dems in voting for their initiatives

  • “Oh please” my ss. What “malarkey”?

    As I suggested above–look it up yourself; it is not my duty to make up for your obtuse partisan ignorance, whose self-assured pomposity is not passable as intelligence to anyone even moderately well-informed and with a few brain cells left functioning.

    Trump beat Biden to the starting gate, and Biden could only swing his crypto-fascist corporatist club to the advantage of the advantaged and to protect his–and the Republicratic Party’s–Wall Street donors from a possibly catastrophic stock-price crash. So you can take your Right-wing boilerplate and stuff it back into the orifice from which it oozed.

    And yep Biden helped pass Heritagecare/Romneycare 2.0, the most effective means available of entrenching the U. S.’s vampire, for-profit, corporate healthcare insurance industry, and keeping the spectre of single payer universal healthcare at bay and keeping us stapped into the insane failure of a dysfunctional “affordable” healthcare system–and the conservative, Right-wing, desperately penny-pinching mentality that adores it and clings to it as you clearly do–the failed system which is currently ensuring that the corona outbreaks in the U. S. continue indefinitely, successfully weeding out the unfit and unlucky and promoting the survival of the Republicratic Party’s fittest neolibs and neocons, and those virtue-signalling wanna-bes who loyally serve them.

    In fact ol’ segregationist Joe Biden was instrumental if not absolutely essential in passing quite a few Right-wing legislative turds–notably Clinton’s racist welfare “reform” and Clinton’s racist crime bill–and he was a champion of W.’s r pe of Iraq too.

    And if Biden’s own signature and his audio- and video-recorded speechifying and grandstanding in Congress and now from his basement lair isn’t hard evidence to you, then you really shouldn’t be allowed out at night, let alone allowed anywhere near a computer keyboard to spew delusional partisan drivel on the internet.

    Have a nice Empire.

  • That’s right. Wave yet another of your boogie-man banners and project and finger-point and blame everyone but yourself for your abject failure and cowardice that got us all into yet another delusional cycle of Right-wing corporatist leadership being the only “viable” option.

    Nice little misquotation of Santayana. Regurgitating such a cliche probably makes you feel all warm and fuzzy that you are so wise. You and the pseudo-Left who strap yourselves to the Democratic Party every election cycle–so you can look good in front of the kids, perhaps–are precisely the driving force for repeating the disastrous mistakes and failures of the last four decades of U. S. politics, where government–largely comprised of a know-nothing management class–first and last serves the agenda of U. S. and international oligarchy and perpetual warfare and bloodshed to keep the cogs and gears of corporatism flowing smoothly.

    Enough already.

  • I don’t want to step on your enthusiasm by any means, but I will suggest you look up former British Labour Party MP George Galloway’s Mother of All Talk Shows program from RT/Sputnik, and also a podcast/video program called Primo Nutmeg. With all due respect–and it’s quite a lot–for Margaret and Kevin et al, I think it is important to stay sober about the current state of the U. S. Green Party itself.

    I still intend right now to vote Green, as I’ve said, even though I have misgivings about Hawkins, since it seems likely to be the best I can do under the circumstances and Hawkins and Walker would likely be the least evil choice available to me–hopefully a much lesser evil. But the matching funds goal is the primary reason for me, and also sending a message to the Democratic Party establishment to go f ck themselves and leave once and for all if Biden loses, leaving it to the Amerian people to rebuild a genuine opposition political party to the Republicrats; should Trump lose to Biden, then I fully expect the neolib/neocon agenda of Greed and War to continue full-tilt and unabated for another four years–or at least until we the American people smash the rigged Right-wing-favoring political system that has dominated American politics and government for the last four decades starting from the very streets.

  • You might try paying attention before laying on the snide. The comment has been up for quite awhile now, and was about the Dem primary process, which was once again rigged for the corporatist/crypto-fascist candidate by the party’s Right-wing leadership, with lots of help from abject, Kool-Aid-swilling partisans such as yourself.

    You better hope that La Donald keeps up his fumbling and bumbling thuggery–since that’s the only hope that your partially-mummified, preferred flavor of fascist–senile segregationist Joe Biden–has of actually winning the 2020 Presidential election. And even that’s a slim hope, besides being based upon nothing real to begin with.

  • Conservative Right-wing partisan blather. And who the hell are you to tell anyone who they “should” be more concerned about?

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       Enough already? That’s hilarious coming from a mindless ideologue who still can’t provide any proof for his tirades.

       Go ahead, waste your vote on these two nobodies, as you doubtless did on Nader in 2000 and Stein in 2016, and when the Supreme Court composed of Lying Trump’s replacements for Breyer and Ginzburg (who probably won’t last “four more years”) proceeds to declare the EPA unconstitutional (along with things like the Minimum Wage/Maximum Hour Laws – which was struck down in the Lochner case) I hope you won’t mind if I laugh at your stupidity!

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

    “it is not my duty to make up for your obtuse partisan ignorance”

       Translation: I don’t got no stinkin’ proof!

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       Right, because all members of the “Conservative Right-wing” refer to him as “Lying Trump”.

       I think it’s clear you’re just one of Putin’s Trolls.

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

       One does not “read” them so much as endure them.

  • Shrdlu42theSecond

    “Then maybe we will have some serious political power.”

       When pigs fly.

  • Jeff

    Again, it’s not about words or terms, it’s about what the Green Party does because it fails to prioritize peace and the environment, which was the reason that it was formed in the first place. I wouldn’t call myself anti-socialist, though I’m anti-money. Reread my first post in this string: the local party supported an anti-environmental ballot measure because it prioritized social issues over environmental ones in order to get their candidates elected — the latter of which they’ve failed at miserably in the U.S. anyway.

    The Green Party has sold out because they care more about getting elected than about staying true to the party’s original ideals. In the mid 1980s I was in meetings with people trying to form a local Green Party in order to run candidates in local elections. Unfortunately, most of the people in these meetings were far more philosophers than political animals, so they just sat around debating about how to debate (not literally, but you get my point). I stopped going after 3 or 4 meetings because they were getting nowhere and I didn’t have the time to just sit around and philosophize with them (in addition to my full-time job, I was a volunteer campaigner with Earth First! for 10-20 hours/week at that time). Sometime after this (I would guess about 10 years, but I wasn’t involved), more conservative people took over and started running candidates. By “more conservative” I mean that they prioritized getting candidates elected over remaining true to the original party platform, which again prioritized peace and the environment. You might consider this realpolitik or pragmatism or something similar, but it’s selling out as far as I’m concerned, and I’ve worked on political campaigns.

    If you don’t stay true to your ideals, what good does it do to win elections? I don’t want Greens getting elected just so they can be a lesser evil or just to continue the evil status quo. I expect them to stand for peace and the environment first and foremost, while also addressing other issues secondarily. As I said in my first post here, the Green Party has turned into a red party, and that’s not what I support despite how much I hate capitalism.

  • Anyone who makes psychotic declarations like “I think it’s clear you’re just one of Putin’s trolls” simply has no standards whatsoever for evidence or “proof.”

    I suggest you take your drooling drivel and splash it around at some nice, cozy Right-wing Dem/Republicratic Party partisan cesspool echo-chamber like AlterNothing or Raw Sewage, where you can circle-jerk to your recidivist, neo-McCarthyite, Russophobic heart’s contentment.

    And have a nice Empire.

  • zak1

    I think I’m getting a clearer sense of where you’re coming from. I didn’t understand you before because I didn’t see how in principle focusing on or even prioritizing “socialism” conflicted with prioritizing peace and the environment – especially the way the Greens are using the word “socialist”

    PRINCIPLE VS PATTERN

    I was thinking in terms of principle – on the basis of Hawkins/ Walker’s platform, and on what I’m seeing generally, I couldn’t see what you were referring to –

    But I see your point more clearly now when you speak of a pattern you’ve encountered – you saw this very particularly with your local party, and in these terms, you aren’t reassured by what you’re seeing on a larger scale –

    I’d be interested to hear what the candidates would say in response – I would frame the point as you did here – describing what happened with this local chapter and its implications to you

    GREENS HAVE BECOME THE NATIONAL LEFT PARTY

    For my part, I do see that the Greens are trying to function on multiple fronts – I see this as a good thing, but I see how it can also lead to the kind of question you’re raising

    QUESTION IS ABILITY TO CONTROL POLICIES

    In my view, the priority is this – our governing institutions enact all policies – and their behavior is out of public reach – so any talk of making anything happen is besides the point if we don’t find a way to get our hands on the steering wheel –

    HOW TO BUILD PUBLIC POWER (VS CORPORATE)

    But this isn’t just a matter of electing people – it’s about how to build and expand public power over our institutions – corporate power over all aspects of our society has locked its behavior into certain destructive patterns

    GREENS ARE THE ONLY ANTI-CORPORATE PARTY

    I think this problem is widely recognized – but the Greens are the only national party that’s addressing it fully – and they have a comprehensive democratizing plan to address it –

    GREENS ARE BECOMING A RALLYING POINT

    Because they’re the only national scale party that’s responding to this central power question, I think perhaps they’ve found themselves in the default position of representing most or all of the anti-Corporatist players, and perhaps independent politics in general – and they’re leaning into this role (rightfully, in my view) by framing themselves this way as “ecosocialists” and by campaigning now for left unity – building themselves as a rallying point as the Only Genuine Independent National Party (meaning the only national party independent of and opposing corporate power – there was a vacuum here, and the Greens have stepped into it)

    THIS IS WHY GREENS ARE UNDER SUCH ATTACK

    I think this is why the Greens are coming under such fire – the prospect of them becoming a unifying front for the left

    – this explains the extreme media focus on blaming Nader for Bush,

    – the way progressives closer to power have been so virulent in their shunning of the Greens (like the Sanders leadership and major progressive media), acting like “gatekeepers”

    – the way this new Sanders MPP party is avoiding the Greens, trying to draw support away and divide or co-opt dissenters

    – and now what I see as a DNC PR media smear campaign against the Hawkins campaign and the Green Party, which is grabbing any kind of internal complaint, however spurious, and amplifying it aggressively, to create the impression that the Greens under Hawkins are somehow equivalent to the DNC

    – (this is a classical PR tactic – if your own awful offenses are coming to light, respond by accusing your opponent of the same thing – even if your case is weak or false, all the noise and bogus details will confuse outsiders into thinking you’re the same – that both sides are equally dirty – notorious NY Senator Al D’Amato did this to challenger Bob Abrams)

    Perhaps I went into too much detail on this count – over how the Establishment is afraid of the Greens – suggesting their strength

    GREENS’ LARGER ROLE MAY RAISE PRIORITY ISSUES

    I do see Greens now as a party (the only party) representing democracy and anti-Corporatism in general, as opposed to specifically peace and the environment, and perhaps this may affect the way priorities are seen – from my standpoint, I agree with what I’m seeing as their priorities – but I see your concern

    HOW ELSE TO PRIORITIZE PEACE AND ENVIRONMENT?

    The two biggest threats – climate change and nuclear war – I do agree these should be top priorities – and Hawkins/Walker place these concerns at the top of their list

    If there were a way to target these specifically and quickly, I might very well support it (such as Nader’s idea of recruiting billionaires) But I don’t see how to do it clearly without prioritizing the issue of corporate power that generates these policies – it seems the only way to prevent these efforts from being co-opted and neutralized, as Sanders was

  • zak1

    I agree that the priority is to reach the matching funds and ballot access targets –

    I also think there’s some kind of targeted PR smear campaign going on, targeting Hawkins and the Green Party in general –

    I think the DNC are afraid of the Greens, and their idea is to try to stir things up in this party, grabbing any complaint that emerges, however spurious, and amplifying it aggressively to make people think somehow the Greens and Hawkins are “just the same” as the disgraced DNC – to try to repel DemExiters from flocking to the Greens

    – what’s really striking to me is how any of these points are being seized on and trumpeted – it feels more like a marketing campaign –

    (this sort of “mirroring” is a classic PR tactic – and I notice some of the loudest accusers here have background in corporate PR)

    I listened to all of the Green candidates – Hawkins was by far the strongest – there was just no comparison – even beyond the question of his record as a Green activist and organizer, which also dwarfs all of the others, and is well known to the Greens –

    Another point – Hawkins has been promoting a much stronger internal model for the Green Party, to move the Greens further away from the top-down duopoly model, and to make them more internally democratic and harder to co-opt, building the local chapters as community hubs

    – Hawkins has been pushing this model since the 90s, and in 2016, he and Bruce Dixon ran a workshop about this at the Green Convention, which is on YouTube, along with a shorter Real News Network interview with Dixon, summarizing it

    – this may be another reason Hawkins is being targeted this way, besides his unambiguous Socialism, the fear that Hawkins might strengthen the Green Party

  • Jeff

    GREENS HAVE BECOME THE NATIONAL LEFT PARTY
    For my part, I do see that the Greens are trying to function on multiple fronts – I see this as a good thing, but I see how it can also lead to the kind of question you’re raising

    In politics, priorities are every bit as important as which side you’re on, because different issues will conflict with each other at some point, causing you to help one issue at the expense of another one. Being left is not being pro-environment because they are different issues with different constituents (environmental “constituents” are not humans, but are instead the entire planet and everything natural here). You could share the wealth equally with socialism while destroying the natural environment just as much as capitalists do.

    QUESTION IS ABILITY TO CONTROL POLICIES
    In my view, the priority is this – our governing institutions enact all policies – and their behavior is out of public reach – so any talk of making anything happen is besides the point if we don’t find a way to get our hands on the steering wheel –

    Fully agree about governance, though it’s not at all my priority. I’d much rather have a total global dictatorship with far fewer people on the planet living much more simply and naturally, thereby doing far less harm to the natural world and all that lives there.

    But that said, the issue you raised is a good part of what the deep state is: agencies that maintain power and run things regardless of who gets elected, like the State Department, CIA, NSA, and DIA. In political science 101 in my freshman year of college (1972, so this is nothing new), we learned that politicians don’t run things, the ruling class does. Until this is fixed, elections don’t mean anywhere near as much as people think they do (not to mention that the system in the U.S. is rigged so that the only choices are between different pro-Wall Street neoliberal war mongers).

    I agree with most of the rest of your post. My point is that the Green Party hasn’t stayed true to its ideals and has become more of a red party. If you care more about humans than anything else and you’re a leftist, maybe that’s fine with you; it’s not at all OK with me. There are other left parties, just join one of those if that’s where your heart is, or form another one if you have major problems with the ones that exist. But I really hate when people hijack groups like the Green Party for their own ends. This happened in Earth First! in the late 1980s, which caused all but one of the founders and all of the hardcore campaigners like me to leave the group (couldn’t really “quit” since it wasn’t a membership group). And don’t be fooled by what any politician says, including Green Party ones. If you listen to any Green Party presidential candidate going back decades, it’s clear that their priorities are not peace and the environment. While I know this from my political experience, it’s not a secret and is in fact quite clear and undebatable.

    The problem regarding your issue is that the electoral system in this country is not at all representative, so for one thing we have a winner-take-all system, instead of proportional representation like every other democracy in the world has beside England. A country with 330 million people should have 15 actually different parties in office, not two gangs masquerading as political parties. I get your point, but people who want peace and the environment to be the highest priorities should not be fooled into thinking that the U.S. Green Party stands for that, because it hasn’t for decades despite its name.

  • zak1

    I think your sense of institutional memory is very valuable – this is why I’m so frustrated by the absence of third party coverage – and whenever the media does bring it up, the talk seems to be happening in a vacuum (though that reality is clearly another Establishment policy to marginalize the grassroots – like the imposed amnesia in 1984).

    People like Howie Hawkins and Ralph Nader also easily evoke a rich history whenever they speak – but we need a community of observers bearing witness – that’s what journalism is for, and also academia

    In my view right now we’re all being driven to the edge of a cliff – and we’re all thrashing about, looking for some way to stop this –

    I like your point about priorities, and I also agree we should have a large scale system of proportional representation, as you describe – Hawkins has also mentioned this

  • Jeff

    I don’t think there’s any question that we’re at the edge of the cliff,l so to speak. All we can do is do what we can, the chips will fall where they may. I never give up hope, but my realistic expectations couldn’t be any worse, basically the end of all or at least most life as we know it on Earth, and very soon in geological terms (tomorrow or 5,000 years from now, don’t know and it makes very little difference in the big picture). At the very least, humans have just wasted 65 million years of evolution by causing species extinctions and ecosystem destruction. This makes Hitler’s actions look like child’s play in comparison.