Why We Fight

Greetings and salutations. I am running for Congress because I am part of the resistance to corporate=occupied Washington, DC.

 

The 1 % have used the wealth they have gained in the last 34 years to buy themselves media, lobbyists, congressmen and the Supreme Court. Not to mention the Presidency. They are using their ill-gotten gains to further increase their wealth.

Our country is under attack. Mountains are being blown up, waters are poisoned, topsoil is stripped for export and the earth beneath the soil is being fractured.

Our people are under attack. Millions are in prison, the police kick down doors and shoot dogs with impunity, millions have been thrown from their homes, and wages, pensions and the safety net are being reduced.

Our governing institutions are under attack. Equal justice is gone. The rule of law is ignored, for the wealthy, while the poor are imprisoned for trivial offenses. The NSA spies on all of our communications, while Homeland Security gropes and radiates us, and we need ID to go just about anywhere. The Bill of Rights has been gutted. Even the Magna Carta has been overturned. The Executive Branch, which has abrogated the right to declare war from Congress decades ago, now gives itself the right to conduct world wide assassinations, including Americans. I am not one who believes that Americans have more rights than other nationalities, but the fact that they openly proclaim their intentions to kill American citizens without evidence, arrest or fair trial should give us all pause.

We are under attack, yet our trillion dollar military is not used to defend us. The president uses it as sort of a private hit squad, ordering assassinations and destabilizations using drones, bombs and death squads, to target people in other countries.

 

This is not going well.

 

There are many amazing people working on documenting the destruction of our institutions and our planet. Scientists measure the loss of ice, the rise of the oceans, and carefully document the loss of each species. Princeton researchers have just released a study which proves that the US is an oligarchy, not a democracy. Others have come up with innovative ways to preserve our environment, to protect our ecosystem and to order our affairs in a more just and sustainable way.

 

Yet our public policy bears no resemblance to the wisdom prescribed by those who study, observe and prescribe. There is little no public discussion of the way we wish to order our affairs. We are ruled by greedy oligarchs, who are stripping the country for parts, and jailing or killing anyone who gets in their way.

 

One of the values of the Green Party is Future Focus. This means that we consider the effect of our choices on future generations. When the frackers tell us that we have a few years of natural gas left, as long as we poison our water, air and topsoil and cause earthquakes to get to it, is this a wise decision? Is it worth destroying the basis of life in order to get a few more years of fossil fuels? Who would vote for such a thing, if such a thing were put to a referendrum, instead of decided by bought out politicians?

Americans insist that we love our children. Let’s pretend that that is true, and ignore the fact that the US is one of only 3 countries in the world to not give paid maternity leave to new mothers.

 

Our schools, while also under attack by the rich, now teach our children to share and care, and frown upon bullying and violence. These lessons are the opposite of what our children learn in the outer world.

Imagine a kindergarten in which one child buys the teacher and uses her to enforce his will. Only the children that he picks can play on the swingset. The others must sit and watch them. Snack time, also, is only for the favored. The other children go hungry. The child bulldozes the ballfields so that he can see if there is a prize underneath them. He scatters garbage all around the school room, and playground. The child organizes an attack on the third grade, because their teacher is “evil.”

This sounds absurd to us, because our public schools would never allow such behavior. Why, then, should we allow such behavior in our grown up world?

 

We in the Green Party believe that the 1% should not be allowed to destroy our ecosystem for profit; that each person deserves the basics of life;  that we must preserve our ecosystem, not just for future generations, but for other species on this planet. We believe that the values we teach our children in school, and that adults learn in church, are values that we should live by. We believe in solving differences peacefully, and that we should start acting like the country which led the effort to form the United Nations, and still hosts it, by becoming a force for peace, human rights and human progress, not lawless military intervention, assassinations by drone strike, and making the world “safe” for corporate exploitation of labor and resources.

 

We consider such human values to be more important than monetary values. And these are mainstream values. We don’t hear about them a lot because the perverse interests of the 1 percent are what dominate the political system, the Democratic and Republican parties, and the corporate media, the 6 or 7 conglomerates that keep telling us what we are “supposed to” think and believe.  We sometimes say that most people are already Greens; they just don’t know it yet.

 

I am running for Congress in order to bring those values to the place where they can, potentially, accomplish the most good – the government. Those of us who have been struggling for peace, quality education, protecting and restoring our environment, civil liberties and privacy rights, health care for all, full employment at living wages, and so many other worthy causes, need to stop protesting and resisting the effects of bad policies, and start enacting good policies. But that can only happen when we, of the 99 percent, organize to gain entry into what is supposed to be our government.

We  know what policies are needed to solve our problems. And the public supports  those solutions.  The problem is that we don’t have enough people organized behind a political party, like the Green Party, that can actually represent the majority and stand up for the public good, and get these solutions enacted., after we get elected.

 

Take the health-care issue. Polls showed that about 2/3 of Americans wanted some kind of universal publicly funded health-care system. What happened? We were told it wasn’t “politically feasible” – and we ended up with Obama-care. How is it that something supported by two-thirds of the American people isn’t politically feasible? Because the big moneyed health insurance giants and other moneyed interests controlled Congress – and because we, the people, did not have our own representatives in there.

 

Take fracking. The people of Southern Illinois, at least a plurality, and certainly a majority of informed people, wanted a ban or at least a moratorium on fracking. Hundreds of people organized and demonstrated against it, and a number of county and local governments supported a moratorium. We did not see a single pro-fracking demonstration or any other significant public support in favor of fracking. Yet what happened in Congress and in Springfield? Congress gave the green light to fracking years ago, your current Congressman supports it, and every single one of your so-called representatives in Springfield took the oil and gas money and voted to sell you out.

 

Take the military -industrial complex.  Polls show that most Americans want the military budget cut and the money used for social needs. Most   Americans do not support bombing, droning, starving or invading other peoples.  And yet, year after year, the military takes the majority of the federal budget allocations.  A Green Congresswoman would support peaceful uses of our money.

 

And, of course, since money, or the lack of money, or the inability to choose how we want to spend our money , or the ability of the few to impose war, environmental destruction and austerity for the many, depends on their control of the money supply, isn’t it about time to stop the debt-based, privately controlled monetary system?   Money should be treated as any public utility, and used for the common good.

 

Take unemployment and poverty. We know how to achieve full employment at living wages or better, while improving our quality of life. We have great need to modernize our housing, energy and transportation infrastructure in order to promote energy efficiency, clean renewable energy and sustainable transportation. We need new or restored parks, libraries  and schools. Our schools and universities need more educators. There is a crying need for work on social issues- criminal justice reform and rehabilitation, adult education,  parenting education and prenatal care, child care, public health, elderly care and more. We could be restoring forests, wetlands, farmlands and urban gardens, creating carbon sinks and restoring natural eco-systems to help combat global climate change.

At the same time as we have such a long list of unmet social needs, we have millions of unemployed and underemployed workers. Government can, and must, be the tool that puts “two and two together,” moving us toward the goal of a full employment economy, while, at the same time, combating global climate chaos and restoring health to our environment. That is the basic idea behind the Green New Deal, the program based on the original New Deal that I advocate along with other Greens running for federal office.

We know what our values are. We know what needs to be done. We know how to do it. But what we need, above all else, is you – to build a bigger party, to help spread the word, to get more of our candidates on the ballot, and to win elections. Please join us, and help us move forward from small-group meetings, to building a real movement.