Shades of Green

Anyone who is going to vote for Jill Stein and The Green Party would be wise to read this first.

First of all, there are two Green parties in the United States and they are as different from each other as night is from day.

The Green Party USA (GPUSA) is the oldest national green party in the United States and it was formed in 1984. (See greenparty.org.)

GPUSA is a membership-based organization that takes no outside donations from the government, corporations or wealthy people. Its members pay annual dues to avoid taking money from special interests. Having people pay dues also means a more democratic structure for voting privileges within the organization. Small donations are welcome, kind of like the small donations Bernie Sanders got for his campaign for President. Its aim is to improve people’s lives within the local community.

GPUSA focus is on grassroots work dealing primarily with the environment and issues of social justice such as equal justice for the needy.

That other Green Party is “Green Party United States,” a.k.a. Green Party US (gp.org). This is the party that is running Jill Stein for president and all other Green Party candidates for president in past elections, including Ralph Nader. GPUSA does not run candidates for high office like that of President of the United States. And unlike GPUSA, GPUS operates like any other party and takes funds from wherever it can get it, including corporations, rich Republicans, Republican front organizations as well as the Republican Party itself. …

Now, for a little history of GPUS and donations to it from rich Republicans and so on:

• “Green Party Candidate Finds He’s a Republican Pawn,” by Sam Howe Verhovek (New York Times, 8/8/01)

• “Florida Republican Money Flows to Green Party Candidate Ursula Rozum, She Gives the Money to Charity, by Michelle Breidenbach (syracuse.com, 11/1/12)

• “Green Party Scandal: Did the Texas Green Party Willfully Break the Law?” by Matt Glazer (BurntOrangeReport.com, 7/1/10)

• “Nader Defends GOP Cash, Candidate Says He’s Keeping Money, by Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle Political writer (sfgate,com, 7/10/04)

• “PA Green Party funding Republicans is deplorable and so are the actions of Democrats” (greenparty.org/PA_funding.php)

The article is mostly about Green Party candidate Carl Romaneli running for senator for Pennsylvania in 2006 with — hold onto your hat — 99% Republican money!

What’s worse is that the Greens are trying to stop a truly progressive Democrat from winning. In other words, the Green Party is out to take votes away from a Democrat so a Republican could win. And that’s their real job: to take votes away from Democrats so Republicans can win. Jill Stein goes around mouthing off, telling it like it is, but nothing she says would ever come to bear unless she could get elected. She also knows that the only thing she could really end up doing, if she should get enough votes, is to throw the election to Trump, which seems to be her real job. This is why Trump, himself, said he wants people to vote for Jill Stein and why Republicans gave Nader and other Green Party US candidates money. But the very idea of these so-called Greens running a candidate for President is just plain stupid …

Finally I have one final question for Jill Stein and all those voting for her: if enough of you vote to throw this election to Trump, what are you going to say to a non-rich person seeking an abortion? Would any of you have the guts to face such a person or are you going to go back to hiding under a rock just like Jill Stein?

And this is what Ursula Rozum had to say about Republican money going to her: “It is apparent that these donations are intended to help me win votes that might otherwise go to Dan Maffei and help Ann Buerrle win the election,” she said at that time,

Still think a vote for Stein is not a vote for Trump?

David Raisman
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Trump’s Psychological Mastery

What most do not seem to appreciate is the fact that Trump is a master psychologist. He knows that the most basic instincts that drive mankind are these five: sex, greed, power, hatred, and fear. Where is love, you ask, as we are enjoined to practice? Love your neighbor as yourself’? Love your enemy?

Love those that hate you? Really?

These five basic instincts are manifest in the character of Trump. He knows that if he can arouse enough fear and hatred in voters, he can get what drives him: money (greed) and power. This knowledge has driven dictatorial types in other times and other places to achieve their goals to the eventual destruction of their societies.

Those who do not understand this, and vilify a candidate who may have flaws, as we all do, but who exemplifies a positive view of our (imperfect) democracy, will do well to think carefully before casting a vote.

Burton C. Newbry
Mesa, Ariz.

No Justice for War Criminals

Amy Goodman’s column, “Iraq War, Based on Lies, Rages On,” (8/1/16 TPP), has reinforced my feelings of bitterness towards our leaders who, for 13 years already, have been leading us backward — on the double.

Instead of advancing, we have retreated. And although I’m using the language of war, I’m not talking about war. I am referring to our lost opportunities to engage in international good will and diplomacy. Americans who share my views also have  reason to feel sad and embittered.

How many thousands of American and Iraqi widows and orphans have lost their husbands and fathers because our leaders sacrificed them to the god of war on the slimy altar of oil?

How many thousands of our veterans will spend the rest of their lives with missing limbs and damaged mental faculties?

Imagine how much better we’d all be if the billions of dollars Bush spent on his shameful war had instead been invested in building schools and hospitals, and in repairing our deteriorating roads and bridges!

Americans have overcome terrible disasters and hardships — but the ones caused by the arrogance, stupidity ... and yes, criminality, of our leaders are the hardest to bear.

In a just world, George W. Bush would be tried as a war criminal. Sadly, that’ll never happen.

David Quintero
Monrovia, Calif.

Need More Working-Class Views

Robert Reich, in his last essay “The Huckster Populist” (8/1/16 TPP) makes the assertion  that “(t)rade isn’t to blame for the declining wages and job security of most Americans.” The problem, he goes on to say, is that the biggest beneficiaries of trade (and also of job displacing technologies) have not shared their gains with the rest of America through wage subsidies, stronger safety nets, better schools and easier access to higher education. Better welfare payments in other words, unless Reich really believes that getting retraining and into another line of work is a realistic or humane response to human suffering from the machinations of the wealthy to get wealthier. We farmers have heard that line for 50 years now, starting with Earl Butz [agriculture secretary under Presidents Nixon and Ford].

Hear instead the statements of a humane man who identifies neither as a Republican nor a Democrat on this problem. Wendell Berry thinks that the program of the industrial revolution has always been to do everyone out of decent work. He writes that “... a major theme is the disposability of people ... It is one of the versions of ‘creative destruction’ which is to say the heartlessness, heartbreak, and permanent damage to people and their communities endlessly repeated from the beginning, and with no proposed or theoretical end.” Elsewhere he writes: “These attitudes issue from the great blank in the political-industrial mind that has forgotten, if it ever knew, the public and political value of securing for all citizens a reasonable permanence of dwelling place and vocation ...” Germany seems to understand this a bit better than the United States.

With all due respect for Professor Reich, who is not wrong about everything, I think The Progressive Populist would be improved by including more writing from the working class — all races — and easing up a bit on the contributions of professors, political operatives and professional pundits and column writers.

Jim Van Der Pol
Kerkhoven, Minn.

Editor Notes:We’re always on the lookout for new voices from the working class, but we also need a crew of experienced writers, including professors, political operatives, pundits and journalists, to fill up a twice-monthly journal. And, with all due respect, we think Robert Reich is right more than he’s wrong.

Fix the Second Amendment

Our Founding Fathers had no idea of the long-term consequences of enacting The Second Amendment. If they only knew how guns would evolve from the days of muskets to the present day’s automatic rifles. If they only knew that the manufacturers of such deadly weapons would one day form an organization called the National Rifle Association (NRA), whose sole purpose was to market their products. This NRA over the years have major lawmakers almost on their payroll and makes sure that the Second Amendment will always be viable — with the result that there are more than 300 million guns in circulation. If they only knew the number of deaths, injuries and suicides because of this “right to bear arms” has caused — and every time such incidents takes place the sale of guns increases. If they only knew how “the right to bear arms” cannot dethrone an unpopular Head of a State. (Syria is a classical example). Of course the Founding Fathers had no idea that this Amendment would cause so much sorrow and if they only knew, maybe this foolish step would have been avoided.

G.M. Chandu.
Flushing, N.Y.

Lock Trump Up

At the Democratic convention, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) recounted how, after 9/11, the Republican Congress refused to vote for recovery funds for New York. Sen. Hillary Clinton fought for, and obtained $20 billion for New York. What did Donald Trump do? He applied for and received some of those funds, even though none of his buildings were damaged. That is fraud. What should be the consequence for his greedy, illegal action? As the Republicans are fond of saying, “lock him up.”

Bruce Joffe
Piedmont, Calif.

From The Progressive Populist, September 1, 2016


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