Register Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Doug Rees

Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #1 
First let me say that I truly admire Rocky Anderson.  He was a great Mayor; he is a great lawyer and a great leader; and his criticisms of the corporate stranglehold on American politics are right on target.  I like him a lot; and, if he were the Green Party's nominee for President, I would have no qualms about supporting him.

But I do question the wisdom of creating yet another "third party" on the left, to further fragment what is already a fairly small slice of the political pie.  The Green Party has a reasonably fair process for selecting its candidates, involving primaries and caucuses in various states.  It isn't perfect, but it's reasonable and fair.  This year that process has given us Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala as our candidates.  By my calculations, they are already on the ballot in 30 states (including the District of Columbia), with about 72% of the electoral college.  If they get on the ballot in all of the states where they are still petitioning, they will be on the ballot in 44 states, with almost 90% of the electoral college.  They have also qualified for federal matching funds--something not even Ralph Nader could accomplish.  In sum, the Green Party has not merely great candidates, but has a strong political infrastructure to back them up.

If there are any substantive differences between Jill Stein's views and those of Rocky Anderson on any important issues, I have yet to discover them.  Both candidates are great and good human beings, and they both deserve to occupy the highest public offices.  So why are they competing against each other, when we all face such a formidable enemy?

America (and the world) badly needs a strong progressive "third force" in our political arena, along the lines of the New Democrats in Canada.  Such a force would truly align our political system with the views and interests of the American people.  But it can be achieved only if we work together, rather than at cross purposes.
Robert

Registered:
Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #2 
I know one substantive difference between Rocky Anderson's and Jill Stein's views. The Green Party platform supports a one-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians rather than the two-state solution which the US, Israel, and the Palestinians have accepted as the goal of any peace process. Rocky Anderson supports the two-state solution. Here is an excerpt from his website.

"There exists a universally recognized solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one which is enshrined in international law, accepted by virtually the entire UN General Assembly,[2]and has been explicitly accepted by all major Palestinian and Arab actors for decades. The solution is UN Security Council Resolution 242 – the “two-state solution” – which calls for:

1.     Withdrawal by the Israeli military from all territories occupied in the June 1967 “Six Day” War.

2.     A just resolution of the refugee problem, involving a mix of resettlement and compensation.

3.     Cessation of hostilities by all parties in the conflict."

The fact that the Green Party supports a one-state solution indicates to me that there is a need for other progressive parties.





Doug Rees

Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for responding.  I looked at the Green Party platform, and couldn't find anything advocating a "one-state" solution for Israel and the Palestinians.  I also don't know of any statement by Jill Stein supporting such a solution.  I would be grateful if you would clarify what your sources are.

Obviously any settlement in the Middle East will require the agreement of all interested parties, including Israel, the Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, etc.  The U.S. might be able to offer its good offices as a mediator, but it isn't for us to impose any kind of solution.  As far as I know, both Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson share that view.
Robert

Registered:
Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #4 
We recognize that international opinion has been committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, we view the two-state solution as neither democratic nor viable in the face of international law, material conditions and "facts on the ground" that now exist in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Given this reality, we support a U.S. foreign policy that promotes the creation of one secular, democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan as the national home of both peoples, with Jerusalem as its capital. We encourage a new U.S. diplomatic initiative to begin the long process of negotiation, laying the groundwork for such a single-state constitution.

http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2012/
Doug Rees

Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for the reference.  Theoretically, I would disagree with the GP's position; but I'm not sure how much practical importance the matter has, since Hamas and the hard-line Israeli government seem unlikely to agree about much of anything in any case.

The United States has its own people's needs to consider.  As I indicated earlier, we might be able to serve as a mediator, if the parties are willing to negotiate.  But, beyond that, we should devote our resources to improving our own society, and not get bogged down in the quagmire of the Middle East.  I really doubt if there's much difference between the Green Party and the Justice Party on that point.

I do not believe that this difference, of doubtful practical significance, is important enough to justify our continued disunity in the face of the plutocracy.
Robert

Registered:
Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #6 
To me its a huge difference. We are bogged down in the Middle East, to some extent due to this ongoing conflict. This fuels anger in the Arab world. Our goal should be to get a peace agreement as soon as possible to help disengage from the Middle East as much as possible and concentrate our attention much more on Asia and especially China. The rise of China is now the great challenge that we face in foreign policy. India may soon also be in that category. I think for most people in Israel and probably for most Jews the idea of one-state which is secular is equivalent to calling for the destruction of Israel. Even though probably the great majority of Jews are secular themselves they believe that Israel must remain a Jewish state. The two-state solution would preserve Israel as a Jewish state and allow for the Palestinians to have their own state for the first time. It is difficult to see why the Green Party favors one state. It's pretty unanimous around the world that the best answer is the two-state solution. The US needs to be involved because we are the only ones who can apply pressure to the Israeli government to get them to negotiate. Obama should have done this but hasn't. Also, it is hard to see how the security issues in any agreement can be resolved without the US playing some sort of role. The two parties will have to determine where the borders are, what happens to Jerusalem, the right of return, etc. I am glad that you don't agree with the position of the Green Party on this.
Doug Rees

Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #7 
I'm inclined to think that if any Israeli leader agreed to a Palestinian state, he/she would probably be assassinated, as Rabin was.  And if any Arab leader accepted the legitimacy of the Israeli state, he/she would probably be assassinated, as Sadat was.

What kind of pressure could we put on the Israeli government?  Would we threaten to cut back our massive military aid if they didn't comply with our wishes?  But that would imply that we would continue such aid if they did comply.  I don't happen to think we should provide massive military aid to anybody, when our own people are in such desperate straits.

For as long as I can remember, American governments have been trying to bring about peace in the Middle East.  They have failed every time, fundamentally because the people of that region don't want to settle their differences.  We cannot impose a settlement, but we can go broke trying to do so.
Robert

Registered:
Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #8 
I agree with a lot with what you say. The key to get negotiations going is get Israel to completely stop building settlements. They have ignored our verbal requests to do so therefore, I think indeed we have to threaten to cut off military aid. Of course, the politics in the US makes this almost impossible so a president would have to be willing to accept the political consequences. There are no good choices. Either we put our foot down when it comes to the illegal settlements or we will be immersed in this Middle East quagmire indefinitely. It would certainly help if the Israelis stopped electing extreme right wing governments and the Palestinians could speak with one voice. This conflict could last for centuries but I don't think we can give up given the consequences of failure to find a peaceful solution. He have the money to give aid. Our economy is by far the largest in the world. We are not in danger of going broke any time soon. It's the politics that make this such a difficult situation.
JoshuaBudden

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 89
Reply with quote  #9 
Doug, I like the Green Party as well.  I think Rocky is a stronger candidate than Stein.  Some day the Justice Party could be a strong Party.  I have an extremely hard time imagining the Green Party becoming challenger in national elections.  Way too many Americans are not interested in whats importants and will never look past the name of the Greens, and they will forever be thought a single issue party.  If I try to talk about the Green Party to friends co-workers etc, they tune out immediatly.  When I talk to them about the Justice Party, they listen and learn about important issues.  The Green Party has been around, as is currently larger, but I think the Justice Party is a better vehicle to carry the message over the long run.
Doug Rees

Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #10 
Actually, I think both Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson are great candidates.  I would be delighted to have either of their resumes.  When comparing them to what the major parties have to offer, my reaction is:  "Put their names in a hat and let me pull one out.  I'll settle for either one!!!"

I left the Democratic Party when its leadership--both in Congress and the White House--supported the recent "Defense Authorization Act", which negates the Bill of Rights.  At that point, the "lesser of two evils" became too great an evil for my stomach.  So, bearing in mind the poet's words, "I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul," I turned my vessel into uncharted waters and became a Green.  I have no regrets.

Anyone who follows Jill Stein's campaign must know that the Greens are not a "single issue party".  But I agree that our name is a hindrance, at least in the U.S., because the corporate media have created sort of a Pavlovian response to "flaky environmentalists".  My point, however, is that the media would do the same sort of thing to any group that threatens their profit margin.  If the Justice Party gets to be a threat, they'll do a number on you too.  We've got to get past the semantics and focus on the substance.  What happens to this planet is part of that substance--arguably the most important part.  I worked for Greenpeace for a number of years, and share many of their environmental concerns.  So did Teddy Roosevelt.  So did Charles Lindbergh.  So does Rocky Anderson.

We must proclaim the truth that liberty is indivisible, that freedom for one means freedom for all.  That point cannot be negotiated:  it is the bedrock upon which our system of government rests.  It is what makes America America.  If we weaken or abandon that principle, we will lose everything; so we must fight for what we love.  We must take back our country; and, having retaken it, must make it into a decent place for everyone to live.

The woods are full of people who say it can't be done.  But, if we work together, we can do it.
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:


Create your own forum with Website Toolbox!