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David McReynolds: Vote Green Party over Working Families

The Working Families Party was an interesting effort to develop the kind of strategy which the Liberal Party once had and which the Conservative Party in New York still, to some extent, has. For those getting this on the blind cc lists, that strategy was the willingness to lose elections in order to force a change. The Conservative Party was willing to see liberal Democrats elected by running against the Republicans and, as a result, actually shifted the GOP in New York from the kind of “liberal Rockefeller” GOP I knew when I came here to what it is today.

I am not a Clinton hater – but my God, Hillary’s position of uncritical support of Israel (quite understandable, given New York politics) and her support of the Iraq War, should be enough that the Working Families Party would understand that it really has lost credibility when it supported her rather than Tasini!

Granted that I’m a “radical”, not a liberal, that I believe US society needs profound transformation, I am also realistic enough that in 2004 I urged those in “close states” to vote for Kerry. (Here in New York, which was a safe state for the Democrats, I voted for Nader). I was sharply criticized by what I consider “left purists”, who are able to be sucked into crackpot theories about 9.11 but could not realize that while Kerry was not a
“radical” figure, not the Eugene Debs of our time, he certainly was not George Bush. The Bush cabal represented something quite shocking to many in the establishment.

Hillary could have broken with Bush on the Iraq War. This would have been a safe state for that – despite the right wing Likud politics of the Jewish Establishment, most of the Jews in New York would have supported a shift on Iraq and most of the ordinary working people the WFPs supposed to speak for would have understood this. In a really basic
sense, if the WFP can’t break with Hillary on this issue, then what in the world do you stand for?

With respect, the WFP was not part of what got her elected and I fail to see what leverage you carry with her since she still, to this day, when it is clear Iraq is collapsing, supports the war. She also has failed to speak out against the Bush agenda on civil liberties.

Your own logic does not seem coherent. Tasini represented all the 7 major socio-economic issues you speak of, so that supporting him would have been a clear shot across the bow of the establishment Democrats, of which Hillary is one. To support Howie Hawkins, who also supports those 7 major socio-economic issues, would be an even more powerful shot across the bow.

What is the value of the WFP when on THE CRUCIAL ISSUE of this moment, Iraq, you supported Clinton and not Tasini? Or why have a WFP at all when you can get the same things with the Greens? I mean, come on, if we are supposed to take the WFP seriously (and you have some excellent people, you have some real base in labor, and I am not
dismissing you at all as “bad people” but really appealing to you to do some basic reconsiderations), then you do have to see that the Iraq War right now is the key issue. And for many of us (and this should be true for you) the issue of civil liberties is also a crucial problem.

I don’t want to call the WFP names. I know that each of us strives as best we can in our own way. I just think you have totally lost your way. Why back Spitzer when there is a good Green alternative in McCourt? In practical political terms, Spitzer is going to win, Clinton is going to win. On key issue such as Iraq Spitzer and Clinton are on the
wrong side of the fence. And on issues such as Palestinian rights and some movement away from the “whatever Israel wants it gets” position – and at some point the US really has to begin to deal with the Middle East – why back the WFP which is dodging those issues when you could vote Green, which is not dodging those issues.

I would be very surprised if I agreed 100% with Hawkins and McCourt – we both know there are no such candidates. But on the central issues we know where the differences are.

I am, of course, a socialist and don’t want for an instant to seem to speak for the Greens. I ran as their candidate because of the war issue. Nothing is gained by name calling and I am not doing that. To say that Hillary Clinton supports the Iraq War is a statement of fact, not a fiction. The same is true, from all reports, of Spitzer. In fact I think Hillary is a tragic example of what happens to someone who trys to be “practical” and gradually gives up much of the idealism she once had.

I do hope you and your co-workers take a deep breath and reconsider your allegiance to the Democratic Party – which is what your support of Clinton amounts to. You see, if this was a close race, where there was a chance Hillary would lose, and the GOP hold on the
Senate might not be broken, I’d be tempted, as I was in 2004, to hold my nose. But it isn’t a close race. Hillary doesn’t need you. Spitzer doesn’t need you. What kind of pragmatism is it to, in a sense, sell yourselves so cheaply? Why bother to have a separate WFP when
it might make more sense – from your point of view – to go into the Democratic Clubs and fight from there?

In short, and I realize I am repeating myself due to the lateness of the hour, what is the point of organizing a “third party” if it is going to behave only like the major parties? This was why, in the last days of the liberal party, when it really had become a corrupt organization, I would rather have voted for a candidate on the Democratic line than the
Liberal line.

Yours for a strong vote for the Greens in New York,

David McReynolds

One Response

  1. […] when we can frack them over.  It’s hard to believe that anyone would trust the WFP after they sold out the anti-war movement in 2006, and then sold out their own union base in 2010.  Does WFP now stand for the War Fracking party? […]

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