Future Hope column, June 25, 2012
By Ted Glick
All indications are that Dr. Jill Stein will be the U.S. Green Party’s candidate for President when it has a national convention in Baltimore in a few weeks. She has gathered a healthy majority of delegates pledged to vote for her as a result of Green Party state primaries and conventions.
Please help her raise $24,000 by June 30 to qualify for federal matching funds by going to http://www.jillstein.org/donate.
It is a good thing for the planet that the Green Party is about to launch this campaign.
Four years ago John McCain was running against Obama on an “all of the above” platform on energy. This year, the “all of the above” candidate on energy is Barack Obama. In his State of the Union address, he talked approvingly about fracking and the government’s role in the development of the means to get at natural gas in shale rock. He rarely mentions the words “global warming” or “climate change.” He is proud that there is more domestic oil exploration during his administration than during George Bush’s. He held a press conference in Oklahoma endorsing the Oklahoma to Texas section of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. He is opening up the Arctic for oil exploration. And on an international level, since Copenhagen in December 2009, he and his representatives have worked to weaken, not strengthen, international action on climate change, including last week at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil.
He has also done positive things. He has supported the EPA’s work to regulate carbon pollution and tighten up regulation of other pollutants. His stimulus package in 2009 allocated tens of billions for renewable energy and efficiency programs. He negotiated a deal with US automakers for an increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars. He is taking steps to get an offshore wind industry going. Under severe political pressure from our movement, he did the right thing, kind-of, temporarily, on the Canada to Oklahoma section of the Keystone XL pipeline.
This very mixed record is not the kind of leadership that the planet or its people need. What we need is what Jill Stein has called for and will talk about consistently from now until election day, and beyond: A Green New Deal, and all that goes with it..
“A Green New Deal for America”—that’s the official campaign slogan. And it’s not words. Jill has a history of giving leadership and taking action on the climate and environmental issues, as can be seen by checking out her bio at http://www.jillstein.org/bio.
Jill’s voice in the next four months will make it more likely that we can force the climate issue into the mass media and the campaigns of Obama and Romney. In the 30 or more states where it is already certain who’s going to win based on past Presidential results and current polling, Jill will offer a genuinely progressive option with very little risk of affecting the outcome, since it’s not the national popular vote that wins it but the results of 50 separate state votes for the Electoral College.
As far as the “swing states,” I appreciate the concern that many progressives have about a Green Party Presidential campaign hurting Obama and helping Romney. These are concerns that many progressives always have every four years because of the undemocratic, big money-dominated, winner-take-all nature of our political system. That reality, not progressives exercising their right to run a consistently progressive campaign, is the issue that we should all be working together on, and not just during a Presidential election year.
Right now, this week, there is something you can do to help strengthen the advancement of the progressive cause within the very difficult arena of our electoral system. You can donate, and urge others to donate, to help Jill Stein meet her federal matching funds objective. If she makes it, every dollar she raises will be matched by another public financing dollar.
Please go to http://www.jillstein.org/donate and support this genuine national leader in our struggle, as she likes to say, to “turn this breaking point into a tipping point.”
P.S. While all donations are valuable, Jill especially needs donations from the following key states to help her reach the required $5,000 per state threshold: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. You can learn more at http://www.jillstein.org/funding.
Ted Glick has been a progressive activist, organizer and writer since 1968. Past writings and additional information can be found at http://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jtglick.