By stepping outside the system, including in our voting patterns, we begin to make the ruling elites afraid. Change comes from pressure. But if we are not willingly to become outcasts, that pressure will never happen. It was not the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, for example, led by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, that first proposed the Green New Deal. It was articulated 12 years ago by the Green Party, which called for massive job and public works programs to transition our energy infrastructure to renewable energy. The deal was promoted by Howie Hawkins when he ran for the governorship in New York in 2014 and by Jill Stein during her 2016 presidential run.
The proposal for a Green New Deal by the Green Party has a fundamental difference from what is touted by progressive Democrats. It does not argue that structural change and a transition to renewable energy will come by making alliances with corporate power. Instead, it insists that we bring about a transformational change in our economy by crushing corporate power and establishing a socialist system.
"The Democrats don't have real solutions," Hawkins, who is seeking the Green Party nomination for the presidency, told me in New York. "Trump is a racist scapegoater. He is a freeloading leech who doesn't pay his own employees, contracts, taxes. He lies to the people. He needs to go. But if you replace him with a Democrat, they're not going to enact 'Medicare for All.' They're not going to do a Green New Deal. They are backing Trump, who now wants a war for oil in Venezuela, while the planet is burning from burning oil. It's madness.
"The historic role of third parties in this country is to raise issues that major parties won't take up," he went on. "Like the Liberty Party and the question of slavery. They were the abolitionists when the Whigs and the Democrats didn't want to touch the issue. We can go for 150 years of history and show how that's the case.
"We are not going to get to 100 percent clean energy if Exxon gets to reinvest its earnings in more oil exploration extraction and sales," he said. "The Koch brothers and all their interests in the oil industry, those should be publicly owned. We take the earnings, because we'll use fossil fuels during the transition, and reinvest it in renewable. That's the socialist solution. You can get some socialist programs, like Social Security or Medicare for All, which Bernie Sanders champions, but as long as the capitalist oligarchy has power based on their concentrated ownership of the economy, which translates into political power, they can roll it back.
"When I talk about a Green New Deal, I'm talking about an economic bill of rights like [Franklin] Roosevelt called for at the end of his 1944 State of the Union address," Hawkins said. "A job. Income. Health care. Housing. Education. The civil rights picked that up with the  March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with the Freedom Budget, and the  Poor People's Campaign. But we still don't have it. The other part is 100 percent clean energy by 2030. We have to reorganize all sectors [of the economy] agriculture, manufacturing, the military, transportation -- toward sustainability. Or we'll never get to 100 percent clean energy."
Switch off the electronic images. Ignore the media burlesque. The endless political shows, which turn presidential campaigns into mind-numbing, two-year-long marathons, are entertainment. Do not trust anyone in power. We will save ourselves by building mass movements to overthrow corporate power. I am not certain we will succeed. But I am certain that if we fail, we are doomed.