Friday, 26 August 2016

Green Party Candidates: Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka

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Between August 4 to August 7, 2016, the Green Party held its presidential nominating convention at the University of Houston, in which Jill Stein (shown) and Ajamu Baraka were elected the Green Party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees, respectively.

Officially recognized by the Federal Election Commission as a national political party in 1991, the Green Party of the United States (GPUS), or Greens as they are sometimes called, is the largest left-wing third party in the United States. According to its 2016 platform, the Green Party calls for building an “economy based on large-scale green public works, municipalization, and workplace and community democracy.” The platform continues:

Some call this decentralized system ecological socialism, communalism, or the cooperative commonwealth, but whatever the terminology, we believe it will help end labor exploitation, environmental exploitation, and racial, gender, and wealth inequality and bring about economic and social justice due to the positive effects of democratic decision making.

As a central tenet of her campaign platform, Stein calls for the creation of a “Green New Deal.” In an interview with the Socialist Worker newspaper, Stein explained that her plan “assures the right to a job, health care and education.” “It will create 20 million living wage jobs that replace our deadly carbon economy with a just, green economy — on an emergency basis,” she said. “We’re calling for 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030.”

Stein’s anti-capitalist “ecological socialism” has earned her presidential campaign the endorsement of the International Socialist Organization, a Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyite organization and publisher of the Socialist Worker. “The International Socialist Organization, publisher of this website, has decided to endorse and support Stein’s campaign for president as an independent left alternative in the 2016 election,” read the endorsement on SocialistWorker.org.

Born in Chicago and raised in Highland Park, Illinois, Dr. Jill Stein is a physician and longtime political and environmental activist with the GPUS. According to her campaign website, Stein “graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973, and from Harvard Medical School in 1979.” She unsuccessfully ran for governor of Massachusetts as the nominee of the Green-Rainbow Party, the Massachusetts affiliate of the national Green Party. Stein also ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives in 2004, and for Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth in 2006, and was the Green Party nominee for U.S. president in 2012.

Despite her loss in the 2012 presidential election, coming in fourth place with 469,628 votes (0.36 percent of the national vote), Stein holds the record for the most votes won by a female presidential candidate in a general election. However, Hil­lary Clinton, unless forced out of the race,  is likely to break this record in November.

Endorsing the Black Lives Matter movement, Stein selected and the Greens nominated radical Black Nationalist and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka as the Green Party vice-presidential nominee.

Also born in Chicago, Baraka served as the founding executive director of the US Human Rights Network, a self-described “national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States,” from 2004 to 2011.

However, Baraka’s ideological roots can be traced to his early involvement with the Black Liberation movement, which was a militant Marxist-Leninist movement advocating for the “self-determination” of African-Americans in the United States and the overthrow of capitalism, during the 1960s, ’70s, and early ’80s. Baraka was  supportive of the anti-apartheid movement that resulted in the joint African National Congress and South African Communist Party takeover of South Africa, and was also an active participant in the Central American solidarity struggles, which were supportive of many of the Marxist-Leninist regimes in Central America, such as Daniel Ortega’s Soviet and Cuban-backed Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Baraka is currently an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Marxist think-tank in Washington, D.C. With broad support from the far Left, disenfranchised Democrats, Bernie Sanders supporters, and revolutionary socialists, the Stein-Baraka ticket seeks to weaken and undermine the United States. The 2016 GPUS platform that both Stein and Baraka are running on calls for the total abolition of nuclear weapons while simultaneously opposing the creation of any ballistic missile defense system to defend the United States against the hypothetical use of such weapons mounted on an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile).

While the concept of abolishing nuclear weapons may be noble, the knowledge for creating these weapons and their ballistic missile delivery systems already exists and cannot be undone, thus the abolition of such weapons without creating any deterrent or form of protection against their future usage is an invitation for disaster at the expense of the American people’s safety. This is exactly what Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev proposed to President Ronald Reagan during their summit meeting at Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1987, which Reagan firmly opposed. Further radical aspects of the 2016 GPUS platform state:

• “Reverse our withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and honor its stipulations.”

• “End the research, testing and stockpiling of all nuclear weapons of any size.”

• “Dismantle all nuclear warheads from their missiles.”

The Greens also advocate for total U.S. submission to the United Nations, including the placement of U.S. troops under foreign UN command. “The U.S. is obligated to render military assistance or service under U.N. command to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the GPUS platform states. (Emphasis added.)

Stein is also critical of both President Obama’s policies and the Democratic Party, which she refers to as a “corporate party.” In her interview with the Socialist Worker, Stein distinguished herself from President Obama, outlining her opposition to his policies:

Obama basically followed George W. Bush’s agenda. He bailed out the banks far more than Bush ever did. He followed up Bill Clinton’s NAFTA with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He continued Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and expanded them with catastrophic regime change in Libya and proliferating drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Stein succinctly added, “Obama basically outdid Bush on every count. So the result of voting for lesser evil? More evil.” Dr. Cornel West, professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary and a political Marxist, previously endorsed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party but has since endorsed Jill Stein. During a recent interview on Democracy Now!, West referred to Hillary Clinton as a “neoliberal disaster,” further describing her as a “hawk” and a “militarist” for her support of regime change and foreign wars abroad, naming Libya and Iraq as examples.

In light of the Democratic National Committee e-mail scandals, which revealed collusion between the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign in order to torpedo Sanders, it will be interesting to see whether the millions of loyal Sanders supporters will either hold their noses and vote for Hillary or continue their socialist revolution by voting for the Stein-Baraka Green Party ticket. Far from being a constitutionalist, Jill Stein and the Green Party are the principled progressive and socialist alternative to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

Photo of Jill Stein: AP Images

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