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Response to "An Open Letter to the Green Party About 2020 Election Strategy"

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Message Gary Flomenhoft
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I have great respect for the authors of this letter particularly Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent), Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed), Kathy Kelly (Voices for Creative Non-Violence), and Ron Daniels (The Liberty Report), but I must respectfully disagree with their advocacy of a "safe-state strategy" for the Green Party in 2020. I'll leave it for the Green Party to give their official response, but here are some comments the Green Party probably won't say, so I will. Incidentally, I helped start the Green Party in 1984, so I have some interest in their success.

The authors state critically, "If Clinton got Jill Stein's Green votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Clinton would have won the election." Here's what the Greens should say. "That's right, and we'll do it again."

This idea of voting for the lesser of two evils, shepherding progressives into the dead end of the Democratic Party is so old, so repetitive, and never works, so why do people keep trying to beat this dead horse?

The letter is based on a profoundly false assumption that the election of one person, the President (Trump), is the cause of all our problems, and voting for a different party will change it. Trump is not the problem. Trump is a symptom of the problem: The hijacking of BOTH major political parties and the entire political system by the 1% against the 99%.

Hawkins article in Counterpunch left out one major factor in Hillary's loss in 2016, which was Wikileaks release of her $600,000 speeches to Wall St., offering her unlimited and sycophantic support to them. Is any more evidence needed of Wall Street's capture of the Democrats? Oh, but Russia, Russia! Give me a break...Not like it's a big secret; Bill Clinton stated publicly in 1992 that the DNC was going to go after the same corporate money as the Republicans. They kept their word on that, if nothing else.

This is not to mention Hillary's support for the Iraq War, her orchestration of the destruction of Libya, the war on Syria and every other military bombing campaign undertaken by Obama. It's no longer left vs. right, it's people against the corporate military state. That's why Trump won in swing states! He promised to end the wars and bring back the jobs. Never mind that he's a lying narcissistic psychopath. Only Tulsi says that now, and the Democrats smear and marginalize her.

Here's why the letter is misguided. While Democrats blame the Greens for losing, they do nothing to change the system that brought us Trump. They could have solved the "spoiler" problem easily in one session of Congress, when they had the majority, by adopting Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Runoff) as they do in Australia. This eliminates wasted votes for third parties. But they have no interest in giving up their monopoly, and have done nothing to change it.

The authors should be well aware of Duverger's Law: A two-party system usually results from "winner-takes-all", "first past the post", single-member-district, plurality wins elections. We don't have a multi-party democracy like the rest of the world because the Democrats don't want one! They could have solved the Presidential problem a long time ago, by using proportional allocation of delegates in the Electoral College as they do in all their primary elections. Both Republicans and Democrats suddenly lose the ability to do fractions in the general election (see "A Tale of Two Parties").

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Gary Flomenhoft is a decentralist who denies the legitimacy of the US Empire, which consistently commits all four Nuremburg war crimes: crimes against peace (aggressive war), conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes (more...)

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2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments

Lois Gagnon

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Thank you Gary.I am a registered Green because I refuse to vote for imperialist war mongers. This letter was insulting to be sure, It will do nothing to deter the Greens from working to build a progressive alternative to the Democrats. I think the signers will find down the road that they have irreparably damaged their credibility as leftists by this action.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 8:17:50 PM

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John Rachel

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It's not possible to go forward when all you do is backpeddle. Trump is a dangerous man. But Congress in its current configuration is equally dangerous. An enlightened Congress reporting to and properly representing the interests of the people could stop the Trump agenda. They don't because openly or covertly they support it. Both parties are for war, both parties feed like pigs at the trough of corporate money, both parties abet the looting of our national wealth and the acceleration of income inequality.

Our elections are like choosing poison. "I'll take that one because it's cherry-flavored and it will be delightful going down."

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 10:50:02 PM

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