September 2020


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Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:47:39 -0400
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I posted this on the Green Party's YouTube page 
featuring Green Party presidential candidate 
Howie Hawkins'  response to the first of 2020's 
presidential debates. You can add comments there as well .....

Of course what Howie Hawkins and the Green Party 
say is correct, and represents good ideas for the 
way forward, although it would have been good for 
Howie to have been constrained by the same set of 
rules and timing as the Dem & Rep candidates. 
Maybe the Green Party can superimpose Howie's 
answers into a photoshopped debate.

Yes, it was painful to watch. The belligerent 
bully clearly had planned to try to rattle Biden 
and throw him off his game, such as it is. He didn't succeed.

There were some differences of character and just 
plain human decency that were really stark: Trump 
attacking Biden's son Beau (who died of brain 
cancer 5 years ago) was just sooooo heartless, no 
matter what one thinks of Biden's corporatist and 
imperialist politics. On the human level, Biden's 
pain really came through honestly, contrasted to 
Trump who feels nothing and who cares about nothing.

And on climate change -- and on denouncing white 
supremacy  Biden I thought did well. On 
Charlottesville, Biden vividly and accurately 
described the fascist, white supremacist and 
anti-Semitic torch-bearing mob. (Biden, however, 
should have mentioned Heather Heyer's name, as a 
hero of our movements.) On their response to the 
pandemic, too, the differences were stark enough 
to convince me, of all people, to advocate voting 
in swing states for the Democratic party 
candidate despite his awfulness. (I've never 
voted for a Democrat or Republican for president 
in my entire 71 years ... This year, it's 
different. What's the difference? FASCISM, and 
our obligation to prevent it, even though we know 
what the Democrats are up to in trying to throw us off the ballots.)

Someone described this election as the abysmal 
vs. the apocalyptic, and I think that's about right.

There's not a semblance of human decency in 
Trump. I hope that carries through to the voters. 
I wish the Green Party -- whose program is far 
and away the best and most comprehensive -- had 
spent the last 4 years building actual 
on-the-ground antifascist Green groups. Instead, 
it wastes it's time and squanders its political 
clout on running candidates in national 
elections, which AT THIS POINT IN TIME (not in 
years past) can serve as real spoilers and enable 
the overt fascist candidate to squeak back into office.

We can't allow that to happen, even though we're 
rightly pissed at the Democrats and may get 
thrown off some ballot lines. That top down way 
of "building a Green base" is not how real change 
happens, and in fact, without those direct action 
locals, the electoral approach alone could 
prevent needed reforms from happening.

Yes, I support Green candidates on the local 
level. I support Lisa Savage in Maine, where 
there's a single transfer voting set up that 
people fought for for years, and I contributed a 
small amount (what I could afford) to her 
campaign. And in Washington D.C., there's a real 
coalition that the Greens are integral to fighting for statehood for D.C.

But again, the overwhelming issue in this 
campaign where there are real differences between 
the corporate parties are on the question of 
saving this planet and of enabling Fascism and 
violent White Supremacist militias. The Green 
Party MUST stand down from running Howie or 
anyone else as a candidate in the Swing states, 
and should publicly state that it is doing so. 
Should Trump win again in those states, this time 
it will indeed be the Green Party that misses the 
forest for the trees, and we'll be arguing with 
each other in the cattle cars en route to the American Auschwitz.

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens