“WHY DO YOU SPEND SO MUCH TIME CRITICIZING THE DEMOCRATS?”

10 01 2021

First of all, I want to say a few words about last week’s events in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, which occurred too close to show time for me to pull together a story about them. I see several underlying causes for the polarization that has had such gut-wrenching manifestations as what happened in Washington, and will have something to say about them for next month’s show.

 

As a Green,I get into heated discussions on Facebook and MeWe sometimes, and there are a couple of questions that the people I debate pose fairly often. I think they’re worth a response that isn’t written on the fly in the middle of one of those intense internet threads, where the format, in some ways, limits the level of detail and nuance that can be expressed.  Let’s face it–both Twitter, with its length limitations, and being on the internet on your phone, with its small screen, have the effect of shortening their users’ attention spans. That relates to a subject in that I’ve been meaning to address for some time–why I don’t have a so-called “smart phone.” For now, however, I want to focus on these two questions. They are inter-related, so I think it’s important to answer them together and show their connection.

The first question is, “Why do you spend so much time criticizing the Democrats–more, it seems, than the Republicans?”

The second is, “Why do you insist on voting for Green Party candidates who aren’t going to win?”

To answer the first question, we have to look at the overall political spectrum, understand what its two ends are, and locate the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Greens on that spectrum. The right end of the spectrum is anchored in the notion that the most important functions of government are protecting its borders and protecting the wealth of its citizens, or, in practice, the wealth of its wealthy citizens. On the left end of the spectrum is the view that government’s function is to ensure the wellbeing of society as a whole in its broadest, most ecological sense–i.e., human wellbeing seen as one facet of a healthy planetary ecology. This includes making sure that nobody lives in poverty. The most radical way to end poverty is, first, by redistributing the wealth and power amassed by the few, and then mandating that the best-paid people in a society cannot earn more than, say, ten times what the lowest-paid people in a society earn. Why should somebody who’s flipping burgers full time make less than $30K a year? What is a surgeon or a movie star going to do with more than $300K  a year? The wealth and power of the few should be, in the view of the left side of the spectrum, socialized–i.e., the wealth should be used for the benefit of society as a whole–and  the power, too, should be redistributed to create an economy based in democratically-run worker, user, and consumer co-ops, rather than our current regime of managerial dictatorship. Read the rest of this entry »





AND THE WINNER OF THE UNPOPULARITY CONTEST IS……

8 11 2020

As Donald Trump prepares to have his servants pack his bags and sends scouts out to locate a nice villa in Brazil, there are a couple of distinctions and numbers in which he can take some satisfaction. One is that he won the unpopularity contest, not just for this election season, but, at least so far, for all time: a record-breaking seventy-three million Americans, and counting, do not want him to be President any more. On the other hand, he can take some comfort in being the third most-popular Presidential candidate in American history, and the most popular Republican Presidential candidate of all time,  with only Biden this year and Obama in 2008 ahead of him, as the votes of a not-quite record-breaking sixty-nine million, and counting, Americans, attest.That’s eight million more votes than he received in 2016. But Biden, um, scared up the support of eleven million citizens who hadn’t voted in 2016–or should we say Trump scared them up for Biden?

It’s worth noting that the real winner of the election was “neither of the above.” Election turnout is estimated at around 67%, which means that eighty million eligible voters didn’t vote, down from a hundred million in 2016. That’s the base we in The Green Party are attempting to tap into. We’ve got a long way to go. Howie Hawkins received around 330,000 votes, making him a very distant fourth in the Presidential race. Considering the complete media blackout and the big push to hold your nose and vote for Biden, even in “safe” states, that’s actually pretty good, far better than the Green Party did in the years between Ralph Nader and Jill Stein.

Speaking of he Green Party…I just played “Solidarity Forever,” and I have no doubt that, if any Democrats who know me bother to read or listen to this, they are shaking their heads in disgust, saying I’ve got some nerve playing “Solidarity Forever” after stiffing all their arguments, pleas and threats to me to get in their One Big Tent and vote for their candidate. So many other “leftists” and “socialists” did, after all! What’s wrong with me? Am I some kind of privileged purist? Read the rest of this entry »





CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER

18 10 2020

Last month I concluded with these words:

Survey after survey reveals that the peoples’ wishes are far more radical, and fair, than what our corporate parties are willing to enact. These tensions, and others, are building to a pitch in the US, and I am not the only one who sees our current situation as tending towards a civil war, if not an outright revolution. The November election this year, far more than in most years, is looking more and more like a doorway into unknown territory rather than a solution to the national debate, no matter whether Trump or Biden wins, orif  the outcome is debatable. That’s a complex topic, but I’m out of time for this month. Unless something breathtaking occurs between now and mid-October, let’s take that as the starting point for next month’s show.

Well, here we are, five weeks later, two weeks and a few days ahead of Election Day, and sure enough, yet another black swan has landed, introducing a twist I, and others, are calling “The Republican Party’s Masque of the Red Death.” If you are not familiar with Edgar Allan Poe’s 1842 tale, it’s the story of a prince who, with a large contingent of his uninfected friends, isolates himself while a plague ravages his country. In the midst of a big costume party, an infected individual breaks into the castle and, with incredible stamina, lives long enough to infect, and kill, the prince and all his friends.

Our current version of this tale has two twists–the first being that the plague involved is rarely fatal, although it does seem to come with debilitating long term effects in many cases. The other is that, in our case, it is the prince himself who is infecting his friends, as he tried to bully his way through  a dangerous, highly infectious illness while promoting his Supreme Court nominee, who has exactly three years of judicial experience and who seems to have stepped out of the pages of Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale. She has also already had covid, meaning she is unlikely to be reinfected, but Trump succeeded in infecting enough of the Republicans involved in her nomination process to slow it down, but not to stop it–unless there are further unforeseen developments, of course.

There’s a lot going on here. In the last year of the Obama government, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority leader, declined to move forward on Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, “because it’s too close to an election.” But, when a Republican President makes a Supreme Court nomination right before an election which it’s starting to look like he could lose, it’s vitally important to damn the torpedoes and ram the nomination through, even knowing that it’s enraging millions of voters (who weren’t going to vote for Trump anyway) and possibly contributing to a Biden victory in November.

The Trump regime’s notably inept handling of the virus in the US has been a world-wide scandal that, unlike many of his violations of common sense, seems to be turning some voters off on him, but his egregious carelessness in infecting members of his own staff and the leadership of the Republican Party  may well have cost him dearly in the eyes of voters. And, win or lose, there is a good chance that he, as an older, overweight, high-blood pressure coronavirus victim, may encounter, according to The Mayo Clinic, “organ damage to the heart, lungs, and/or brain,” “blood clots and blood vessel problems”, and “problems with mood and fatigue.” They warn

Even in young people, COVID-19 can cause strokes, seizures and Guillain-Barre syndrome — a condition that causes temporary paralysis. COVID-19 may also increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, our bull elephant of a President is now a wounded bull elephant. If he dies, or becomes obviously incapacitated, and Mike Pence becomes the GOP standard bearer, before or after the election, win or lose, we’re looking at several different uncharted territories. To deal with this, the Democrats have been playing “war games” as part of what they call “The Transition Integrity Project.”  According to Microsoft News, Read the rest of this entry »





On Vote Shaming: 21 Ways Supporting The US Establishment Is Worse Than Voting Third Party

18 10 2020

This is a guest post by Caitlin Johnstone.

The vote-shaming engines have predictably kicked into high gear in America as the presidential election approaches, with shitlib pundits like Bill Maher doing their part to paint third-party voters as the most toxic people in the world.

Which is of course ridiculous. I have no strong opinions about how Americans should vote in November, but it’s obvious that in terms of toxicity third-party voters are not on the list of people who are worthy of criticism. The dire situation humanity now finds itself in under the leadership of the US hegemon is not the fault of a small fringe faction which doesn’t want to support oligarch-coddling ecocidal warmongers, it’s the fault of those who help preserve America’s oligarchic ecocidal warmongering status quo.

Contrary to the stock template lines that establishment spinmeisters are regurgitating to bully the left into submission, here are 21 things which are in fact a lot more crazy, selfish, stupid and privileged than voting third party:

1. Supporting a two-headed one-party system in the most powerful government on earth which has plagued our planet with endless war and ecocide and marched humanity to the brink of extinction.

for the rest of the story, go to





WHEN AN ABSTRACT PRINCIPLE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN VERY REAL LIVES

13 09 2020

In a social media conversation I was involved in recently, somebody made this comment:

Voting 3rd party is a good way to let marginalized groups know that your abstract principles are more important than their very real lives.

I thought it was B.S. at the time, and said as much, and did my best to reply “on the fly,” as they say. Since it’s a meme I’ve encounter several other times, it seems worth exploring the role “abstract principles” play in politics, as well as the effects they have on everybody’s “very real lives,” whether they are in a “marginalized group,” or one of the marginalizers. So that’s what I’m going to be addressing here.

The Green Party’s “four pillars” are ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence. Ourten key values“add to that list “decentralization,” “community-based economics and economic justice,” “feminism and gender equity,””respect for diversity,” “personal and global responsibility,” and “future focus and sustainability.” I suppose you could call these “abstract principles,” but, at a level, that’s what being a political party is about–a group of people agree that, if certain principles were applied to the way societal decisions are made, the results would be an improvement on the current situation. In those places where Greens have governed, mostly in foreign countries, but in a few lucky cities and towns in America, we have done our best to apply these principles, and I think that, by any reasonable standard, the way we have applied our “abstract principles” has improved the “very real lives” of not only “marginalized groups,” but the whole community.

Democrats, and the Republicans as well, also govern by applying an abstract principle. Yes, they share the same principle, although they differ in the details of applying it and the rhetoric with which they surround it. Let’s take a look at what that “abstract principle” is, and how it has affected the lives of not just “marginalized groups,” but most Americans–because here, in late stage capitalism, everybody outside of the top 10% of wealth holders has been, or is about to be, “marginalized.”

The first thing to do, obviously, is name and define the “principle.” Its name is “neoliberalism,” and here’s the beginning of Investopedia‘s fairly extensive definition/discussion:

Neoliberalism is a policy model that encompasses both politics and economics and seeks to transfer the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector. Many neoliberalism policies enhance the workings of free market capitalism and attempt to place limits on government spending, government regulation, and public ownership.

Neoliberalism is often associated with the leadership of Margaret Thatcher–the prime minister of the U.K. from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990–and Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the U.S. (from 1981 to 1989). More recently, neoliberalism has been associated with policies of austerity and attempts to cut government spending on social programs.

I think there’s one qualifier that needs to be added to this definition: neoliberalism likes to place “limits on government spending” in all areas except for military spending. That said, let’s look at how the Democrats and Republicans have applied neoliberal principles to America, and the world, and see what kind of results neoliberal principles have produced for “marginalized people.”

Way back in the nineteen eighties and nineties, in accord with the neoliberal principle of “transferring the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector,” the Democrats, led by Joe Biden, changed the way we help college students from a being mostly a grant and government loan program to a private loan program run by for-profit banks, with loans that cannot be renegotiated by declaring bankruptcy. This has sunk a whole generation of college students into a lifetime of debt, leaving them unable to buy houses and making it difficult for them to marry and raise children. For what reason? As Joe Biden said at the time, Read the rest of this entry »





“PLANET OF THE HUMANS” –IMPERFECT, BUT VITALLY IMPORTANT

13 05 2020

Depending on who you’re reading and your own viewpoint, “Planet of the Humans,” the new movie from Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs, is either a bomb or a bombshell.  Numerous prominent, well-respected climate activists have characterized the film as “BS” and called for it to be removed from circulation, saying  the film contains

“various distortions, half-truths and lies” and that the filmmakers “have done a grave disservice to us and the planet by promoting climate change inactivist tropes and talking points.”

Others, such as Richard Heinberg, offer a more nuanced view of the film, writing that it doesn’t always do justice to its subject, a critique of our response to the climate change we have provoked, but that, while

Planet of the Humans is not the last word on our human predicament. Still, it starts a conversation we need to have, and it’s a film that deserves to be seen.

So far, over seven and a half million people have seen it since it debuted on YouTube on the day before Earth Day, and it is, indeed, starting some conversations. I had an overall positive response to it, and have been surprised at how many, and who, among my friends have not shared my appreciation. This post/broadcast will be devoted to why I think it is a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion about how, or perhaps whether, we are going to keep the planet’s climate within bounds that will allow human beings to be part of its ecosystem, along with my criticisms of it, and my response to others’ criticisms of it. Read the rest of this entry »





WHEN THE BLACK SWANS COME HOME TO ROOST

12 04 2020

Here in Nashville, our county-wide governance body has district representatives, whose main job is to be the intermediary between the citizens of their district and the city, and “At-Large” council members, whose serve more of an oversight function, kind of like deputy mayors. In 2015, I ran for  that office, largely on a platform that the city was acting like the good times were just going to keep on rolling, but that was not really the case, and we had better do everything we could to prepare for the collapse that was coming. Two of my suggestions were  that we ought to foster local food production and create co-operatively run local industries that would produce a great many of the essentials of life that now come from far away, like shoes, clothing, and tools. I’ll talk about the relevance of those planks of my platform a little later.

I confess that I didn’t campaign very hard. I showed up at the candidate forums, figuring that I was unlikely to win, but it was important for the winning candidates to hear what I had to say, and figured I would get my message out to the general public in an interview with The Nashville Scene. The Scene, unfortunately, chose to belittle my candidacy and mostly dwelt on what a peculiar guy I am, rather than on what I had to say.

I chose not to run in the most recent Metro Council election. I had thought about this a good deal in the years since the previous election, and realized that, given the genuine technical legal complexities of writing legislation, if I were going to run again, part of my platform ought to be that I would spend much of my salary to hire a lawyer to assist me in framing my proposals appropriately. But I don’t know any such lawyer, and, even if I did, it seemed to make more sense to cut out the middle man–me–and just help the lawyer run for office. So, I contented myself with expressing my concerns to all the candidates, and got fairly sympathetic responses back from several of them, as I detailed at the time. I figured it was preferable to have council members in office who are at least aware of our long-term possibilities, and was gratified that most of those who won the multi-seat election were candidates who had responded somewhat sympathetically to my concerns.

Let’s fast-forward to our current situation. Although I have mostly been staying home (which is what I usually do anyway), last Monday afternoon at around five o’clock I found myself driving on some of Nashville’s major commuting routes, which are usually jam-packed with cars at that time of day. There was hardly anybody on the road. I stopped by “The Produce Place,” a locally-owned store that specializes in selling local produce. It was closed, because the store has cut the hours it’s open due to the pandemic. I picked up a very skinny copy of “The Nashville Scene,” no longer fat from entertainment and restaurant ads, and read that the free paper is on the ropes financially and was hoping its readers would form a financial support group so it could stay in business. The Scene, which once prided itself on tweaking the sensibilities of “the bizpigs,” as the editors called the city’s elite, is now owned by one of the wealthiest people in town, and caters to “the bizpigs,” a phrase that has not appeared in The Scene since long before they dissed my Metro Council run. I’m not sure whether I should be sympathetic to their plight or not.

But, I digress….From our home, we can often hear the roar of rush hour traffic on another major thoroughfare. Not lately. We live a couple of miles from the private-plane airport in Davidson County, and are used to having frequent low-flying small planes in our soundscape. They have grown rare. Of course, another factor there is that a tornado blew through the airport a few weeks ago and did millions of dollars worth of damage, destroying hangars and the airplanes parked in them. The upshot is, private air travel, like automobile travel, is way down. I’m glad. I’ve often wondered why it’s OK for one person in a private airplane to destroy the peace and quiet of the thousands of people who have no choice but to hear the noise.

I certainly didn’t foresee that the economic shutdown of Nashville would be due to a pandemic, but here we are, right where I ‘ve been saying we’re going. Such an unforeseeable, catastrophic event, is called “a black swan.” One definition of “black swan” that I read says that “they are obvious in hindsight.” It’s true that worldwide flu epidemics have become an accepted part of modern life, although they have never been this severe before, so yes, we should have seen this coming. In fact, disaster planners in our government did see it coming, but were ignored for the same reason the concerns I raised in my Metro Council candidacy were brushed aside:  anybody who suggests that there’s anything dangerous in our future, whether it’s a pandemic, an economic collapse (which might be set off by a pandemic),nuclear war, or climate disaster, gets short shrift from those who run our society, who are engrossed with making money and exercising power nowWe are a species that is wired to deal with immediate threats and gratification, not the long-term results of our short-sighted actions. We are going to have to change that to survive as a species. In the interest of raising human consciousness, this post is going to examine the effects of this particular “black swan,” and also note a couple more that seem to be circling and getting ready to come home to roost. Read the rest of this entry »





DEMOLITION DERBY

8 03 2020

note the position/condition of the blue vehicle….this is the first thing hat came up on a search for “demolition derby pictures”! How’s that for synchronicity?

So…here we are, watching the dust settle from “super Tuesday,” the latest episode in the Democratic Party’s demolition derby, which, to use the notorious Russian doll analogy, is nested inside the American empire’s foreign and domestic demolition derbies, which are nested inside the worldwide neoliberal economic demolition derby, which is nested inside the worldwide fossil  fuel-burning demolition derby….and, inside the Democratic Party’s demolition derby, we find the Sanders campaign’s own demolition derby, in which Bernie basically buys in to the “Russian asset” smears against him and, under pressure from corporate Democrats,  gradually retreats from the radical, innovative programs and views that have made him, it seems, the last great hope for a decent future for America. and the world.

With a great deal of support from African Americans, whom he has voted to imprison and impoverish in large numbers, Joe Biden racked up a significant number of delegates from the southern US, states he is unlikely to carry in a general election. He also scored a big win in Virginia, whose Democratic voters include a large segment of the anti-Bernie privileged class that infest the Washington, DC, area, and, mysteriously, he, not Bernie, carried the liberal crown jewels of the eastern US, Massachusetts and Minnesota. How many of these wins were due to the Democratic Party’s “It’s our primary and we’ll cheat if we want to” attitude? How many were due to actual voter choice? And how many of those voters were swayed by the “Putin wants Bernie” nonsense that was loudly unleashed shortly before the election, followed by the faint admission that “we don’t actually have any evidence of that”? It will take an investigative reporter with more resources and time than I have available to sort that out. In any case, it is much more likely now that Biden and not Sanders will be the Democratic nominee.

Biden already has three strikes against him with the voting public. The first is his record, which reveals that he has, as one wag put it, supported nearly every bad law and government policy of the last forty years–the same policies that Obama, and then Ms. Clinton ran on. In Obama’s case, they turned the electorate so sour on the Democrats that the party lost nearly a thousand political seats of various kinds to the Republicans over the course of Obama’s Presidency. In Ms. Clinton’s case, running on “more of what Obama did” was enough to cause around eight million Obama voters to switch to Trump, so that she lost what was supposed to be a shoo-in election. Do the Democrats think those voters are now disgusted enough with Trump to return to the Democratic fold in spite of there being no change? I wouldn’t bet on it.

The second factor about Biden is that he seems to be deeper into dementia as Reagan was by the time he  left office. He sometimes seems to think he is running for a Senate seat, forgets what state he’s in, and babbles nonsense. I have a feeling that a Biden-Trump debate will be a lot like a debate between a cat and a mouse, with Biden as the mouse. Then, when Biden loses the election, the Democrats will blame everybody who couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm for this mockery of a candidate, and, probably, the Russians for inspiring people to say bad things about him. The Democrats seem to have adopted the line that any criticism of their pathetic “resistance” to Trump is a defence of Trump. That is not a good sign, either for their viability as a party or for the future of free speech in this country should they get back in power.

The third factor is his tendency to lie about his record. He was drummed out of the 1988 Democratic Presidential race for demonstrably, and repeatedly, making things up, and he hasn’t gotten any more honest in the last 32 years.

And, if by some miracle Biden does beat Trump, it won’t make a significant difference in any of the ongoing demolition derbies I started out talking about. Democrats will feel even more self-righteous, Republicans will be angrier, but the destruction of our economy, our culture, our country, and our planet will proceed apace. Well, it will make a difference in our government, which will make sympathetic clucking noises about the destruction it is causing instead of saying “Nyah, nyah! You deserve it!” as the Republicans tend to do.

I have to note that a great deal of this confusion is due to America’s apparently iron-clad two party system, which makes it difficult for any party other than the two basically similar, corporate-friendly D’s and R’s to get on the ballot not to mention in the pubic eye. In a recent case in Maine, the changes made by the corporate parties to ballot access laws made it “all but impossible” for  a Green Party candidate to get on the ballot as a Green, so she is running as an “independent” instead. In The Soviet Union, there was one party, and all other options besides the Russian “state capitalism” view of communism were off the table. Here, it’s private capitalism that rules, and our “choice” is limited to choosing between a party that gives preference to white, heterosexual, Judeo-Christian male servants of the empire, and a party that is fine with people of any color, sexual preference, or sexual identity–as long as they are willing to serve the empire. Ending the empire, which is the core of the Green project, is off the Democrats’ table.

I want to spend the rest of this hour revisiting a story I covered a year and a half ago, which I think is important enough to bear repeating. I call it

TRUMP, LOOSE NUKES, THE RUSSIAN MAFIA, SEYMOUR HERSH, AND THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING LINK





TAKE YOUR GREENSHAMING AND SHOVE IT!

9 02 2020

Once again, we Greens are being told that “the stakes are too high” for us to risk “spoiling the election for the Democrats.” Progressive activist Michael Albert wrote an “open letter to Howie Hawkins and The Green Party,” asking us not to get in the Democrats’ way, and then got a number of other writers and activists to sign on to it, including luminaries Barbara Eherenreich and Noam Chomsky. Hawkins wrote an impressive, eloquent, detailed response. Here’s my two cents on the question. It’s an expanded version of the response I submitted to Truthdig, one of the sites that published Michael Albert’s letter.

This article displays such ignorance of the facts of the matter, from the vote results to the Green Party’s strategy, and so blithely accepts the US media/electoral system as if fair, that I am surprised and disappointed that Prof Chomsky and Ms. Ehrenreich, both of whom I hold in the highest respect, would put their names to it.

In his letter, Albert accuses the Greens of depriving Ms. Clinton of the votes she needed to win the election. Let’s look at the numbers: in 2016, just under a million and a half people voted Green. Approximately seven million people switched from voting for Obama to voting for Trump, and ninety million potential voters stayed home. Even more stayed home in the 2018 midterms. To focus on the one and a half million out of that ninety-eight million who voted for the kind of radical change this country needs, as the ones bearing the onus for the Democrats’ loss, is a peculiarly biased way to write recent history. The Democrats spent a billion dollars in their effort to elect Ms. Clinton. We Greens spent three million on the Stein campaign, which may sound like a lot but is 0.3% of what the Democrats spent. And somehow their loss is our fault? That’s right up there with a few amateurish clickbait ads from a Russian source being the problem. In other words, The Greens are not the Democrats’ problem. (Howie Hawkins wrote an article by that title, but I didn’t know it when I wrote that sentence.)

Albert’s letter repeats the readily-refuted canard that “the number of people who voted for Jill Stein in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan would have given Hillary a win in those states if they had voted for her.” In Pennsylvania, 50,000 voters chose Jill Stein, while nearly four million didn’t vote at all. In Wisconsin, 31,000 voted for Stein and nearly a million and a half stayed home. In Michigan, 51,000 voted Green and about 2.75 million stayed home. In the face of such massive voter indifference, the Biblical phrase “straining out gnats and swallowing camels” comes to mind. The camel, in this case, is that in all of these states, and a great many others, more people declined to vote than voted for the “winning” candidate. The message here, I think, is that our established political parties each inspire only about a quarter of the voters, leaving a large plurality of the voting public feeling unrepresented. Something is missing from our political spectrum, and to attempt to suppress those who are trying to advocate for the missing ideas is to miss the point. Perhaps those who are deeply committed Democrats or Republicans are not missing the point so much as refusing to acknowledge it. Read the rest of this entry »





A LOOK AT THE GREEN PARTY’S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

9 02 2020

There are seven people seeking the Green Party Presidential nomination in 2020. Their names are Sedinam Moyowasiza-Curry, Howie Hawkins, Dario Hunter, Dennis Lambert, David Rolde, Ian Schlakman and Chad Wilson. Sorry, Hillary, neither Jill Stein nor Tulsi Gabbard is among them, and, obviously, neither is Jesse Ventura. Not only that, none of these “big name” candidates could join the race at this point, because the nominating process has a long timeline, and the deadline for seeking the nomination has passed.

The links on the names I just mentioned lead to the candidates’ web pages. All but one of them has also responded to a questionnaire from the national Green Party, and the information I’m presenting you will be drawn from those sources. I’m going to go through the list alphabetically.

We’ll start with Ms. Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza- Curry, who is the only woman in the running. She doesn’t say much about herself on the questionnaire, but in a video interview mentions that she was born and raised in “South-Central,” the Los Angeles ghetto, and is the sixteenth of her father’s twenty children. She has been “a card-carrying member of The Green Party for eighteen years.” She, like many of the other candidates, is an embodiment of the party’s grass-roots organizing efforts.

Howie Hawkins‘ questionnaire bio states:

I became active in “The Movement” for civil rights and against the Vietnam War in the 1960s as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area. Repelled by the racism and warmongering of both major parties, I committed to independent working-class politics for a democratic, socialist, and ecological society. Outside of electoral politics, I have been a constant organizer in peace, justice, union, and environmental campaigns. When my draft number was called in 1972, I enlisted in the Marine Corps while continuing to organize against the Vietnam War. After studying at Dartmouth College, I worked in construction in New England in the 1970s and 1980s. I was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976, active in the anti-apartheid movement, and helped develop worker and consumer cooperatives. I have continued organizing in Syracuse since 1991, where I worked as a Teamster unloading trucks at UPS until retiring in2018.

That’s quite an impressive history. One qualm I have about Hawkins is that, in some ways, he seems to buy in to the Russiagate fraud, as revealed in this video interview, in which he says he generally doesn’t trust the Russians and thinks the notorious Stein-Putin dinner table photo was a setup. Shortly after that interview, however, he clarified his position in an essay that begins: Read the rest of this entry »








%d bloggers like this: