Running for hope

There are any number of things that a Green Party candidate is bound to hear during the course of their campaigns:

  • from the innocuous:
    • “Go get ’em!”
    • “Good for you!”
    • “Wish you luck.”
  • to the incredulous:
    • “Do you really think you can win?”
    • “But I’ve never heard of you.”
    • “What’s the Green Party? Why don’t you run as a [choose a corporate party]?”
  • to the insulting:
    • “The system is rigged. You’re wasting your time.”
    • “You’re not serious. You’re just taking votes away from real candidates.”
    • It’s your fault we got Bush in 2000!”

Why do we do it then? Why am I doing it? Because I believe in what we’re doing; because I believe in the principles and values of he Green Party;  because I believe in democracy and the people’s right to more choices; because we need more people speaking truth to power who are not bought, bossed and paid for by that power; because I believe in revolution by the ballot box, not at the end of a gun barrel.

I’m appalled with the political system we’ve allowed to develop in this country over the course of the past two centuries. I’m disgusted with the arrogance, the sense of privilege, the thirst for power, the game playing, the manipulation of the democratic process, the collusion with corporate interests through the influence of their money, and the lack of principles and integrity that this political system enables, fosters and perpetuates. The needs of the people, the resolution of societal problems and the well-being, sustainability and protection of our one and only planet are merely used as pawns in a deadly game of chess. Earth is not a chess board. Our lives are not a game.

My candidacy and campaign are more than about winning an election. Of course, I want to win. The reality is that I won’t. I have neither the money nor backing that a “credible” candidate needs in order to play the game. But I’m not playing a game. I’m running in defiance of the status quo; I’m running to give people another choice; I’m running to introduce people to the Green Party and it’s principles; I’m running to sow the seeds of dissent with— and resistance to — the current system; I’m running to encourage others to run with us the next time…and the time after that…and the time after that, so that we build and grow an authentic opposition party that will begin to — and continue to — chip away at the foundation of the corporate party structure.

I’m running to provide a voice for the voiceless: the unrepresented, the undocumented, the invisible, the innocent, the exploited, the ignored, the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the incapacitated, the afflicted, the segregated, the other species with whom we share this planet, and the planet itself.  We are all one. No one and nothing is any more or less important. We need a new politics of inclusion, cooperation and understanding, not cynicism and callousness. Petra Kelly, co-founder of the German Green Party, a political and social activist in her own right, and one of my heroes wrote a book called “Fighting for Hope.” I’m running for hope.

Tuesday, November 4th is Election Day. Vote as if your life depended on it. Vote for the party and candidates of hope. Vote Green:

  • Howie Hawkins for Governor
  • Brian Jones for Lt. Governor
  • Theresa Portelli for Comptroller
  • Ramon Jimenez for Attorney General
  • Hank Bardel for Congress, CD11 (Staten Island/Brooklyn)
  • Daniel Vila Rivera for Congress, CD13 (Manhattan/Bronx)
  • Matt Funiciello for Congress, CD21 (Adirondack Region)
  • Paul Gilman for State Senate, SD11 (Queens)
  • Carl Lundgren for State Senate, SD34 (Bronx/Westchester)
  • Jeff Peress for State Assembly, AD13 (Nassau)
  • Donal Butterfield for State Assembly, AD73 (Manhattan)
  • Daniel Zuger for State Assembly, AD85 (Bronx)
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