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The THREE CRITICAL ISSUES

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While establishing a viable third party will not happen anytime soon, especially when the two controlling parties pass laws to make it virtually impossible, viability is NOT the short-term objective. Voting for a third party helps organize progressives into a voting bloc. It gives us a chance to work together and to build our shared vision. Working as individuals inside the Democratic Party marginalizes us. We have no voice there … none. Do you question this? You need look no further than what was done in the debates to Kucinich’s voice.

Is it true that third parties could result in Republicans winning elections and appointing horrible Supreme Court justices? Of course that’s true. Many of us believe, however, that there is an even more important objective. If we continue to endorse the pro-corporate policies of the Democratic Party, we have no say in either the party or our government. Job one, however important the Supreme Court might be, is to ensure that we have a seat at the table. We either have a voice or we don’t. Inside the Democratic Party, our chairs have been removed and our voices stifled. Outside the party, especially if we can build a “voting bloc”, the Democrats might just one day find they need to form a coalition with third party voters in order to win. If we keep voting for them, our votes are taken for granted and they have no incentive to work with us.

There are thousands of important issues. There are very few issues, however, that must be addressed as our first priority. Global warming threatens the entire planet. Our dependence on oil is bankrupting the US Treasury while the oil companies are making record profits. And, our dependence on oil has been used to justify endless war in the Middle East and virtually unlimited “defense” spending. Our dependence on oil has been a key reason US troops occupy more than 730 military bases overseas. The conduct of US oil companies abroad coupled with the occupation of foreign countries by US troops create a deep hatred for the US. Such policies make us far less safe.

For me, the THREE CRITICAL ISSUES are global warming, oil dependency and militarism. Put succinctly, neither Obama nor Clinton has any sort of credible plan to address these issues. There can be no fix for health care; there can be no fix for education; there can be no fix for decaying infrastructure; there can be no fix for the social safety net; in short, there can be no fix for any domestic issue as long as excessive military spending and spending on imported oil continue. The Democratic Party and its two main candidates refuse to address these issues in any meaningful way. We can no longer afford to just go along with them.

We must have radical, immediate solutions to global warming. We will not survive with tokenism and incrementalism and politically “safe” solutions. This is not a “left wing” impatience; it’s science. We need to stop spewing CO2 into the air immediately. The solution is to throw everything we have at a program to develop solar and other forms of alternative energy. We can pay for it by cutting $500 billion per year out of the $1.1 trillion “defense” budget. Has Obama or Clinton called for that? No, of course not. They’re still screwing around with clean coal and CAFE standards. Has Obama or Clinton called for closing down all foreign US military bases and bringing all those troops home? No, they haven’t. Has Obama or Clinton called for the drastic, immediate reductions in CO2 that must be made? No, they haven’t.

We really need not debate the “dead end” issue of whether Democrats are different from Republicans. What we need to debate is whether Democrats have the political courage and the values to do what is needed. The sad answer is that they don’t. The sad answer is that they have chosen political expediency. The sad answer is, that while third parties may indeed be no solution at all, they offer the only possibility, however remote, for the changes we so critically need.

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About the author: welshTerrier2 believes all citizens must focus on restoring power to the people. Corporations control our agenda. They promote war. They export our jobs to the lowest bidder. They pollute our air and water. They promote laws to (more...)
 

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