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