ACTION ALERT: Why I'm Running as a Green and Not as a Democrat
August 9, 2018 Pat Elder / Elder for Congress
Commentary: "People ask why I'm running as a Green rather than running as a Democrat. They're skeptical of any political party outside the box and they're concerned I'll help a Republican get elected. They're also fearful of a left-leaning democratic socialist agenda. Here's my response."
ACTION ALERT: Why I'm Running as a Green and Not as a Democrat Pat Elder / Elder for Congress
MARYLAND (August 8, 2018) -- People ask why I'm running as a Green rather than running as a Democrat. They're skeptical of any political party outside the box and they're concerned I'll help a Republican get elected. They're also fearful of a left-leaning democratic socialist agenda. Here's my response.
I'm running for Congress against Rep. Steny Hoyer in Maryland's 5th district. Hoyer clobbered his opponent in the general election two years ago with 67% of the vote. He outraised his opponent by millions of dollars.
During this year's Democratic primary, Rep. Hoyer beat his challenger, Dennis Fritz with 84.4% of the vote. It wasn't much of a contest and it hasn't been for many years. But what is more telling is that just 64,000 of the 301,000 registered Democrats cared enough to vote. That's 21%. If you add in all of the people of voting age who reside in the district, Hoyer captured just 9%.
Once people understand Rep. Hoyer's politics, they're less likely to vote for him. For instance, the day after Israeli soldiers opened fire on a crowd of Palestinians in Gaza, he defended the massacre. He provides funding for the weapons the US provides Israel and defends the resulting bloodshed.
This language should not be repulsive. It is the truth and we must recognize it and do everything we can to change this policy. Hoyer and his supporters are terribly wrong and we are right. All human life is sacred.
Rep. Hoyer receives a ton of money from pro-Israel PACs, energy, "defense," finance, and health firms. Because of the money, Rep. Hoyer is a friend of Israel, coal, war, environmental destruction, college costing $100,000, and the free market that rules health care and puts profit before people. Perhaps most reprehensively, Hoyer is opposed to public financing of campaigns.
Not only that, the guy is the Democratic Whip. He shapes legislation and acts as a gatekeeper to the party. Hoyer crisscrosses the country , putting the weight of the Democratic establishment behind conservatives who face progressive challengers like me.
I tell my skeptics to look at the Green Party's "Four Pillars / Ten Key Values." [See document below -- EAW] They're pretty-much mainstream politics in most of Europe today. We can do this. We must stop voting for lesser evils.
I spent two weeks in Germany earlier this summer and I applaud their political and social systems, at least as they compare to ours. I support Medicare for all, public financing of elections, public daycare, and state-funded college tuition. I advocate for a living wage; strong measures to correct racial injustice and eliminating the Social Security taxable maximum of $128,400.
I am for meaningful cuts in military spending and increasing the top tax for folks making more than $2 million to 50%. We must tax the wealthy and take care of people. Finally, I support non-violent, multilateral solutions to the problems facing our country around the world.
I need 100 contributions and 5% in the polls to be allowed to debate Rep. Hoyer. I need 52 more contributions to reach 100.
Please don't say it'll never happen. We have a rare opportunity to shape American politics. We'll be meeting with folks from Our Revolution, PG at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt on Saturday, August 11th, from 2:30 to 5:00 pm.
17841 Rosecroft Road, Lexington Park, MD 20653
1. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY
Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
2. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. ECOLOGICAL WISDOM
Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society, which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture, which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society's current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
6. COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
We recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a "living wage" which reflects the real value of a person's work.
Local communities must look to economic development that assures protection of the environment and workers' rights; broad citizen participation in planning; and enhancement of our "quality of life." We support independently owned and operated companies which are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.
7. FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITY
We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.
8. RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines.
We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.
9. PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY
We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
10. FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITY
Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or "unmaking" all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
"The Ten Key Values of the Green Party" were originally ratified at the Green Party convention in Denver, Colorado in June 2000. There is no authoritative version of the Ten Key Values. They are guiding principles that are adapted and defined to fit each state and local chapter.