During my campaign, after I’ve explicated my positions and policy statements, I’ve received many comments along the line of “Well, I totally agree with your platform, but I’ve got to vote for a Democrat”. The reasoning behind this, after my questioning, generally comes down to 2 related corollary beliefs:
One, “A Green candidate isn’t viable in this election cycle, I hate to ‘waste‘ my vote”, and Two, “If I ‘waste’ my vote on a Green, I’ll be helping to elect (shudder) a Republican”.
My answer to these concerns is this: a true progressive organizes, supports and votes for other true progressives. The “Democratic” wing of the Democratic party is also NOT VIABLE in this election cycle. The party has called the liberal base the “professional left”, mocked our positions and attacked us personally as “whiners” ,” people needing drug testing”, and has even insulted its union base, calling them “idiots”, and laughing that they “wasted $10 million“ for primarying Blanche Lincoln. We’ve also been told to “buck up” and vote for the Dems because, well, the Republicans are worse.
But let’s not just stop at the verbal abuse, let us examine the positions and policies that have been put forward, or put in place, shall we? First, how about the secret deal made with the Insurance companies, made even before the healthcare reform debate began, to insure a captive populace, and increased profits for the industry. The resulting “Health Insurance Provider Profitability Act’” was written by lobbyists, and came directly from the Heritage Foundation, and NOT ONE DEMOCRAT stood up to protest this travesty. How about “the Imperial Presidency” ? Is it really OK if a Democrat does it? We continue to rendition, imprison, and kill with impunity, with the White House stating that murder of American citizens, without legal recourse, is fine. Where are the so-called “Progressive Dems” on this? Why are they not calling out, daily, on the shredding of our constitutional rights, and the immoral acts we prosecute to further “Security”? Where are the prosecutions of the perpetrators of the evil, immoral wars, who lied, cheated, and stole our national honor? Why are “Progressive Dems” still voting to fund these illegal wars? Why are we investing 100’s of billions a year on war, rather than our citizens? Why are we supporting evil, corrupt regimes all over the world? Why are we still giving out contracts to corrupt MIC contractors, and not prosecuting them? And where are the progressives who should be fighting against these violations?
Let’s not forget the whole host of issues “progressive Dems” were supposed to address after the election in 2008-DADT, DOMA, EFCA, and have fallen short on, not to mention the crystallization of the Hyde act in an Executive Order. And, in an act not even attempted seriously by the most rabid right-wing Republicans, creating a “Catfood commission”, stocking it with a clear majority of billionaires and shills for corporations, and setting up a theft of Social Security benefits, to occur during a LAME DUCK session of Congress!
I don’t want to hear the excuses of “we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate” , “we have to be pragmatic”, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. The duopoly is functioning just fine, but just not for you and me and the regular citizens of this country. No better example of “regulatory and government capture” can be found than in the Macondo well tragedy, my personal tipping point.
So, are we, as progressives, bound to any party, any candidate, that treats us like an abused spouse? “Honey, I promise…I didn’t mean it…I’ll do better…..don’t forget you have nowhere else to go”? Why should we reward them with our vote/presence/support, when they give us nothing but empty promises and neo-con policies in return? I am done with them, I’m running as a Green, and voting Green, because I’m finished with voting for the “2% less evil “ option (and I’m not sure they are even that).
Green party candidate
US Representative, MI-12