While the United States scrambles to choose Democrat or Republican, many forget there is another option: The Green Party. Elections are about choices, and the Green Party is a true alternative!
As the Republican Presidential nomination debates have started, we’re frustrated as usual by the lack of choice, with each candidate making efforts to appear more racist and xenophobic than the other. With the most appealing candidate emerging in the form of a man who proposes building walls around the United States and who accuses Mexicans of being natural-born killers, the Republican primaries should be seen for what they are: theatre that hides a failure to address real issues.
The Democratic Party has gained a breath of fresh air with Bernie Sanders entering the race. But he is running against the moneyed interests that support Hillary Clinton’s cynical campaign. The Democratic Party has reduced the number of debates between candidates dramatically. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is seen in public suffering from yet another controversy related to flouting the rules of holding an appointed public office.
In a U.S. political environment split between two parties with the benefits of large fundraising machines, the Green Party hasn’t received the attention it deserves. The Green Party sees itself as the true flagbearer of American liberalism, representing the greater good as well as all Americans, not just the 1%.
As an alternative, the Green Party also offers U.S. citizens a chance to make a statement as well as a choice by taking a step away from a two-party system. The two-party system is clearly unpopular and, if anything, has now started to turn American politics into hate-filled partisanship about personalities and grandstanding rather than policies and priorities.
The Green Party of the United States has developed a 10-point platform that starts with a focus on grassroots democracy to encourage and build greater public participation in the democratic process.
Beyond this, its platform is heavy on the environment and sustainability as well as ecological wisdom and being aware of our global responsibilities. The U.S., in the Green Party vision, becomes a leader by example instead of trying to explain to the developing world why it should follow global treaties to reduce warming while being the world’s greatest contributor to warming.
In its domestic policies, the Green Party supports non-violence, feminism and social justice. The Green Party is the most committed U.S. party to supporting equal pay for women and men. Furthermore, the Green Party stands for full access to abortion, ending big money politics and treating corporations as businesses and not people. It opposes the death penalty, firmly stands for reducing greenhouse gas emissions now, opposes drone use, believes in reducing military spending and supports the creation of a living wage.
These policies may seem desirable to Democratic-leaning voters, but few Democratic candidates give more than lip services to these values. Republican-leaning voters can also find points of view to support – for instance, the Green Party of the United States has more consistent views on decentralization than does the Republican Party.
The Green Party, unlike the other two major parties in the United States, does not take donations from corporations and therefore is not forced to pander to their demands. They put the interests of the people and the local communities that make up the United States above the interests of multinationals. In a country where 15% of American children are food insecure, why is more effort being spent on a new Global Trade Treaty (Trans Pacific Partnership) than eliminating hunger in the United States.
This refusal to accept corporate donations is emblematic of the Green Party’s fundamental opposition to business-as-usual politics, Republican or Democratic. Dr. Jill Stein, the most visible Green Party candidate, highlighted the point when she announced she was running for president: “Our Power to the People Plan lays out these solutions in a blueprint to move our economy from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered system that puts people, planet and peace over profit.
The U.S. is embroiled in wars across the globe and spends more on its military than the next 20 largest nations combined, most of which are our allies. Members of the main parties rarely question the wisdom or sustainability of this practice. In this country, wealth concentration among the richest 1 percent is now at its greatest level in 100 years, though economists and political scientists are universal in explaining the dangers of this for democracy and even economic sustainability. Yet neither of the main parties will raise this as a basic issue in our democratic system.
California is suffering from a five-year drought and global temperatures are the highest on record. If the ice sheets continue melting we will see a several meter rise in ocean levels, inundating our cities. Isn’t this a more important issue than building a wall to keep people out? The Green Party is the only major party prioritizing issues that affect America and the only one addressing these issues directly with policy suggestions and approaches.
Even if you consider it optimistic to hope for a Green Party President, voting Green is a vote that can help America recognize and prioritize the true issues we are facing.