If you want real change, vote Green
October 28, 2010 in Editorials
Gary Ruskin has written a piece at Green Change entitled “If you want real change, vote Green”:
Ladies and gentlemen, the results are in.
Democrats in Washington have enjoyed a rare opportunity during the last two years. With control of the presidency and giant majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate, this was the Democrats’ best chance in more than 30 years to take charge and lead.
Let’s take stock of where they led us.
What did President Obama and the Democrats do? Or, rather, what didn’t they do?
They didn’t enact a massive jobs program, even though our nation is suffering the worst recession since the Great Depression.
They didn’t bail out millions of Americans of whose homes are being foreclosed, despite the appearance of widespread financial fraud. But they were quick to bail out the banks and the financial sector.
They didn’t enact universal health coverage. Yes, they did pass “health reform,” but only by greatly enriching the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, and without a “public option” or the vastly more efficient single-payer health care.
They didn’t break up the banks that are “too big to fail,” which means that we taxpayers will likely have our pockets picked once again by more giant bank bailouts.
They didn’t enact legislation to control climate change, despite the growing peril of harsher storms, rising oceans, worse droughts, and a bumper crop of wars, refugees, disease, hunger and human misery.
They didn’t get us a “peace dividend.” In fact, last year’s military budget was the largest in our nation’s history. The President proposed an even bigger one for this year, including more money for nuclear weapons.
And, perhaps most important of all, they didn’t establish clean public financing of elections, to stop big business from using campaign contributions to buy control of Washington.
Yes, that’s right: the Democrats have shown us their true colors, and they aren’t pretty. If you’re disappointed, well, you’ve got a lot of company.
But there is an alternative.
Across the country, in 28 states, Greens are campaigning for a “Green New Deal.” Here it is.
First, it’s time to put people back to work. We want to create millions of new green jobs – immediately — through massive public investment in renewable energy, mass transit and conservation. Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt launched the Works Progress Administration, which created about eight million jobs. We want to follow in his footsteps.
Second, Greens believe that climate change is the gravest environmental, social and economic threat that humanity has ever faced. The science of climate change is growing more alarming as the days pass. So want support ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and a stiff carbon tax to meet them. All the money raised by this tax would be refunded back to the people.
Third, so that no American will ever again be without health coverage — while controlling overall health costs — we want single-payer “Medicare for all” health care.
Finally, there are a few other things we want: free tuition at public universities; an end to the “war on drugs” and legalizing marijuana; tough new limits on credit interest and lending rates, progressive tax reform and strict financial regulation; and amending the U.S. Constitution to abolish corporate personhood, to stop big business from bullying our government and our people.
Now that’s real change we can believe in.
At this moment, there are more than one hundred Green Party candidates all over the country campaigning for this “Green New Deal,” including eleven running for governor, seven for U.S. Senate and 35 for U.S. House of Representatives. They need your support.
If you think things are going well in Washington and our nation, then by all means, keep voting Democratic or Republican. But if you want real change, vote Green.