By Mark E. Smith
I'm sorry, but you can't take back the Democratic Party. It wasn't given away, it was sold. If you want the Democratic Party back, you'll have to buy it back. And since they're used to getting millions of dollars for a single election, it would take quite a bit to buy back the entire party. You'd have to compete with multinational corporations, defense contractors, unions, PACs, and local Democratic Party machines.
Besides, why would you want it back? What has it done for you lately besides pushing through GATT, voting for NAFTA, forcing poor single mothers off welfare, voting for war, voting for tax cuts for the rich, refusing to back a single-payer health plan, and consistently acting in a collegial and bipartisan manner to let the Republicans walk all over them "for the good of the country?"
Do you want it back because it refused to back the Congressional Black Caucus when it tried to protest the fraudulent Florida electoral votes in 2000? Do you want it back because it refused to ensure that our votes were counted in 2004? Do you want it back because John Conyers and Maxine Waters had the courage to carry our signatures to the White House and stand outside the gates like every other citizen while the White House staff discarded the unwelcome petition before Bush or Cheney could see it and get mad?
I want peace, so I vote for peace. I want to end corporate rule, so I vote to end corporate rule. I want equality, so I vote for equality. I want a healthy environment, so I vote for a healthy environment. I'm a recovering Democrat, and needless to say I am now a happy and active member of the Green Party.
But, but, but, you say, the Greens can't win? Not if you don't vote for us, we can't. When Hugo Chavez ran for President in Venezuela, the mainstream media was against him, and there were two major mainstream parties who had previously won all elections and were very good at stealing votes. Both major parties together only got 5% of the vote in that election, which includes the votes they stole, and Chavez got something like 47% of the votes. Because the people were sick and tired of corruption and business as usual. Are we?
We're not going to take this country back by voting for entrenched, vested interests and the status quo. If you have a conscience, it is high time you stopped voting your party or your wallet and started voting your conscience.
If you don't have a conscience, you've got plenty of company -- the Democratic Party doesn't either.
In case you haven't noticed, there's a revolution going on. If you'd like to take our country back, please join us in the streets. We did it in Venezuela, we did it in Bolivia, we did it in Peru, and we're going to do it in Mexico, and the United States. Nobody is going to do it for us, certainly not the Democratic Party. There is only one power that can take our country back and that is the power of you and me and our neighbors and families and friends. Remember "We the People?" That's us. The Constitution didn 't say, "We the corporations of the United States, " it didn 't say, "We the political parties of the United States, " it didn 't say, "We the elected representatives of the United States. " It said, "We the People of the United States. " It is time we remember who we are and what we 're about.
If we are going to take OUR country back, we have to have the determination. We must be determined to end corporate rule. We must be determined to end the war. We must be determined to fight for equality and justice. And we are. By "we," I am referring to the Green Party. The Democratic Party, whether in its leadership or in its grass roots, has the organization and the money, but it lacks the values, principles, and determination.
The Ten Key Values of the Green Party are Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice, Ecological Wisdom, Non-violence, Decentralization, Community-based Economics, Feminism, Diversity, Responsibility, and Future Focus.. That's what we're all about. There is nothing comparable in the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties. They don't have the vision and they don't have clear goals.
The job of the Republicans is to toady to the corporations. The job of the Democrats is to contain the left and prevent any real opposition to the Republicans. That's why the Democrats spent millions smearing Ralph Nader (who isn't even a Green -- we endorsed him in 2000, but not in 2004) and filing lawsuits to block Green Party candidates from ballot access.
Read "Indispensable Enemies" by the late Walter Karp, or "Dime's Worth of Difference" by Alexander Cockburn. Hillary Clinton wavering until the last moment, and then finally dashing out to speak to the immigrants' rights march in New York is a great example of, "Which way did they go? I'm their leader!" We Greens don't need to play catch-up, because we're always in the forefront of struggles for justice, human rights, the environment, worker safety, and everything else important to ordinary people. That's who we are, ordinary people, not a wealthy political/corporate elite.
As election reform moves forward, you may see an end to rigged voting machines, and the introduction of publicly-funded elections, instant-runoff voting, proportional representation, and many other reforms essential to a true democracy. We're tired of whoever has the most money buying an election. We're tired of the electoral college and judicial intervention. We want government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and we want every vote to count and be counted accurately. We want a level playing field, because once we have a game that isn't rigged, the Democrats and Republicans won't be able to compete with us. What it boils down to is that we care about people and things that matter, not just about what is politically expedient, and they don't even pretend to.
Most goodhearted people say that they agree with the Ten Key Values of the Green Party, or that they 're Greens at heart. The feeling is that we're trapped in a two-party system so we have to vote the lesser evil for fear the greater evil will otherwise win. Well, there are two very large flaws in that reasoning:.
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