Latest News from the North Carolina Green Party
Thank You to H20 Volunteers, Resist Raytheon in Buncombe, What's Next for NCGP Ballot Access, The Dems' SCOTUS Sham, Building a Mass Party Now and for the Future
The North Carolina Green Party has several updates for you this month: an Election Day roundup, what's next for Green Party ballot access, how to build the party we need for the future, and a call to resist the new expansion of Raytheon into Buncombe County.
NCGP Thanks H20 and Volunteers!
The North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) wishes to thank Howie Hawkins, Angela Walker, and the entire H20 campaign team for all their hard work over the last two years. Standing up against imperialism in all its forms is no easy task, especially in a year of such unprecedented coordinated assault on our party and independent politics in general.
We also thank each and every NCGP volunteer that gave their heart and time to getting out the vote for our candidates. Without the support, dedication, and labor of our members and volunteers, we can achieve nothing. This year was a very difficult year for campaigning, due to Covid, an anybody-but-Trump mentality, and other hurdles, but with your help, we still managed to earn slightly more votes for Hawkins/Walker than we did four years ago for Stein/Baraka.
Across the state, our volunteers placed 10,000 door hangers in low-income neighborhoods, put up 1,500 signs at busy intersections and polling stations, and handed out thousands of flyers. And this was all financed in small donations by our members and supporters. If you retrieved signs after Election Day and still have them, please contact the NCGP secretary at [email protected].
Each of the 12,000+ Green votes we earned for Hawkins/Walker represents a potential dues-paying NCGP member. Let's build from here!
Ballot Access Update
This year, Greens and other independent parties have faced an unprecedented assault on our access to the ballot in states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Texas, as well as a media blackout of candidates who are independent of the two major parties. In New York, the state legislature passed an anti-democratic law that more more than doubled the threshold to maintain ballot access and tripled the petition signature requirements. This new law is aimed specifically to knock the Green Party off the ballot in future local and federal elections.
This nationwide assault has materially impacted the NCGP. In 2018, we qualified as a recognized party for the first time due to a law change that included a provision granting ballot access to a party that succeeds in achieving ballot access for its presidential nominee on at least 35 state ballots. The Stein/Baraka campaign accomplished that in 2016. This cycle, as a result of undemocratic attacks by Democrats in several states, the Hawkins/Walker campaign fell short of that goal by 5 states. This means that the NCGP is faced with the likelihood of needing to petition for ballot access. The good news is that the signature requirement is close to 14,000 instead of the nearly 100,000 required before the law change. The bad news is that Covid-19 greatly complicates petitioning, which, by the way, significantly contributed to Green ballot line losses across the country. Look for more updates in the coming weeks to learn how you can help keep the NCGP on the ballot.
Third Party Now for 2024
By Matthew Hoh
Originally published in CounterPunch
Regardless of the final results of these elections, for hundreds of millions of Americans things won’t change. Many people on the left don’t want to hear this, but it is certainly the case for an exhausting list of issues: climate change, war, mass incarceration, inequality, immigration, healthcare, etc.
If Biden wins, the same pressure, in terms of mass protests and direct action, must be used against a Biden administration as it has been against a Trump administration, taking place even before Biden’s inauguration. A Biden administration won’t care about your progressive tweets, emails, or petitions, just as the Obama administration didn’t care – just ask the fossil fuel industry, the banks, and the weapons manufacturers. That Biden offered nothing to progressive interests in this campaign, including leaking potential Republican cabinet members, but no potential progressive cabinet members, means the progressive vote is not just expected, but considered obligatory and not worthy of paying attention to by the DNC and the Biden/Harris administration and future 2024 campaign.
I do not think Trump will try to stay in office if he loses, despite his declarations. He’ll, of course, make a fuss and cry fraud and wrongdoing, but this will be to set up his MAGA TV venture with a ready-made narrative of the need for righteous and redemptive justice. Such media, targeting potentially 60 million “robbed” voters, sets the Trump Empire up for billions in revenue and places his son, Don Jr., at the head of the GOP. Don Jr. will run in 2024 and Trump will make more money all while continuing to lie, fantasize, and play a pied piper to tens of millions of Americans who are looking for a leader due to the very real effects of economic disaster, societal change, and demographic shift.
This leaves an opening on the left for a party that represents workers, the climate, and equitable society. Democrat Socialists of America’s (DSA) notion of a “dirty break” from the Democrats, where internal pressure from the left inside the Democratic Party eventually leads to a shift in Democratic Party values and actions until a “new” party forms, has no antecedent in history I can think of, and means only continued hoping the Democratic Party will break from its moneyed interests, which it never will.
The target for this left party is the 25 million+ progressive voters who vote Democrat, the tens of millions of GOP voters who are looking for economic support and a chance to have what their parents and grandparents had, the 5–7 million third-party voters and a sizable percentage of non-voters, the single largest bloc of voters in the US (in 2016 more than 100 million people did not vote, while 65 million voted for Clinton, 63 million for Trump, and approximately 6 million voted third party). Getting even just 10–15% of non-voters to show up in 2024, 2028, 2032 … upsets the electoral balance in this country dramatically.
The Democrats in 2024 will take in more Republican leaders (Bill Kristol and Mitt Romney types), turning it into a party even more beholden to corporations, Wall Street, established interests, and what the media calls “elites.” The Republicans will be smaller, but very motivated; effectively the GOP’s motto will be “The Last Stand of the White Man,” with visions of Thermopylae and the Alamo rather than the Little Big Horn or the Khyber Pass.
So, regardless of the outcome on November 3, Greens, socialists, DSA, et al. need to organize together in order to stand alone in 2024 to finally represent the values and interests of people and planet, as well as offer a viable alternative to the specious promises of the Democratic Party and to ensure the GOP devolves into a minority party. Even if this organization ultimately serves only to force the Democratic Party to the left in 2024, and take away support from the GOP, it will accomplish more progressive change than the United States has seen in 80 years, in spite of the absurd and Orwellian rhetoric we have heard this year of Joe Biden being as progressive as FDR.
It all may be for naught, as societal, economic, and environmental incremental change may already be too late. Yet, as someone who has seen what forced change looks like, via the Iraq and Afghan wars, incremental change is the only viable form of change that won’t destroy us, unless we have already done so.
Matthew Hoh is a member of the North Carolina Green Party, the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans for Peace, and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the US Marines. He is a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy.
Raytheon to Open Plant in Buncombe County
Pratt and Whitney, a division of Raytheon, will locate an 800-job facility in Buncombe County that makes parts for aircraft engines (billed as “aerospace parts”). The company is promising high-salary jobs averaging $68,000 in a county with an average salary of about $43,000. “We are positioning North Carolina to come out of this pandemic with these and other good paying jobs which signals a bright future in aviation even with the current challenges the industry faces. Manufacturers know they can count on our strong workforce, our innovation and our leadership in uncertain times,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
The announcements from Raytheon and Cooper illustrate how weapons manufacturers operate in the Military–Industrial Complex. These companies are flocking to cities in the South where suppressed wages and low union density keep their operating costs low. This project will use tax dollars to provide for upper-middle-class jobs in a region of North Carolina that has been devastated by job losses in the service sector, where most of the poor residents of Buncombe County work. Governor Cooper and the state government have no plan to help the poorest residents of North Carolina.
The North Carolina Green Party believes that, as part of a real Green New Deal, our government should develop conditions that create sustainable worker cooperatives instead of jobs in the weapons industry. We must stop celebrating jobs that destroy us, and begin creating jobs that sustain workers in North Carolina without exporting war and devastation abroad. We are calling on members to speak out at Buncombe County Commissioners meetings in December to oppose the creation of this new facility. Commissioners meet at 5:00 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 200 College Street, Suite 326 in downtown Asheville. To email the Commissioners or view the livestream for December meetings, visit this link.
The SCOTUS Hearing Sham and the Need for a Mass Party of the Left
By Tony Ndege
The sham of a SCOTUS confirmation underscores the necessity for us to build a mass party independent of Wall Street power that can actually organize and lead millions to fight back. The party of labor and ecology that we need would have called upon and organized workers and unions to strike, protest, and truly resist the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. This is the kind of mass party that we desperately need today. Instead, we have two ruling parties that do the opposite—they both organize in meeting rooms to put down labor resistance and militant protests. As expected, the Democrats failed to offer any serious resistance to Barrett’s confirmation; this was a case of déjà vu that should not surprise any of us by now. The same script played out again, and the people who are telling us that they are the “lesser evil” capitulated to her confirmation and hugged their so-called “greater evil” cronies. The consistent deadly betrayals by the political elite of the interests and lives of everyday people were once again masked by fake respectability politics during the pomp and circumstance of these hearings.
Our popular resistance to the confirmation of Barrett was once again blunted by a well-financed liberal wall of calls for “civility” by the Democrats. We heard desperate pleas for more donations to the big nonprofits that function no differently than corporations. They came to our demonstrations and implored us to “resist” by electing them. Again. They even hosted well-funded, tightly controlled “protests” in order to funnel the righteous anger of the people back into the clutches of the Democratic Party. Again. These nonprofits ask us to pour our dwindling funds into their lobbyist organizations which pale in comparison to the rich corporate lobbyists. This is all ultimately a twisted political game to the political class and the nonprofit leadership because they are primarily concerned with perpetuating their careers and their power. Why? Because they see no future beyond our decaying system. None of them will be calling for us to strike or pour into the streets or to do anything significant to hurt the bottom dollar of their corporate bosses. This will continue to happen time and time again as the contradictions and decline of our system deepen—until we break with the Two Party trap and build our own independent power.
We, the working-class majority, desperately need to build our own parties which represent the interests of the people and the planet, not the Wall Street elite who are the proven enemies of labor, ecology, and peace. Such a party may begin with humble and difficult beginnings, but the hunger for such an organization is real. Two-thirds of Americans today want more parties. To move toward a party that represents the interests of everyday working-class people, we need to ditch once and for all the divisive language prescribing that some of us are the "middle class" and some are less deserving, which politicians from both ruling parties have consistently used to divide and conquer working people. They have wielded this rhetoric to deceive us into believing that “some” of us would be protected by them against the rest of us. That we are better off divided. This kind of divisive politics has paved the way for Trumpism and far worse. This class-divisive rhetoric, underscored by the lack of an independent party of labor, has set back the ability of the majority to build true power.
Now is not the time to play it safe. We have seen with this systemic response to the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis that none of us are safe. As the profit system continues its death spiral toward mass evictions, war, potential nuclear annihilation, environmental collapse, and rising fascism, we are all at risk of perishing if we do not forge a new Ecosocialist system. To do this, we need to fundamentally redefine what a real party for the US should be—a vehicle for people with similar interests, that organizes to fight for those interests. A new mass party must have a fundamentally different structure than the corporate structure of the Demo-publican system. It must be built on organizing, not high-dollar advertising. We cannot beat them within a party they control with tactics they have billions to spend on. Instead we must have a separate party that is involved in movements and which can make headways in labor. All of these things require the commitment of everyday people like us—a stark contrast with the Coke or Pepsi politics of our present electoral system.
The confirmation of Barrett to the Supreme Court and the complete capitulation of even the leftmost congressional Democrats underscore the backwardness of our entire 233-year-old system of the Electoral College, of state-controlled gerrymandered districts, and an anti-democratic Senate body. This system includes the archaic structure of the Supreme Court—a small handful of judges appointed by the servants of the elite that is incapable of being recalled by the direct will of the people. Despite several historic hard-fought progressive victories embodied in the Bill of Rights, all of the sitting Supreme Court justices have at one time or another played a role in eroding many of those protections—the First and Fourth Amendments in particular. The last progressive amendment to this country’s Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18, was passed almost 50 years ago in response to our powerful Vietnam antiwar movement, during which millions of youth stood up to the draft and the injustices of being forced to kill and be killed but not even able to vote. The gradual decline, to a complete halt, of progressive amendments over the last half century underscores the calcification of our political system ruled by corporate power, and its total resistance to bending or responding to the will of the masses. New generations have called this systemic dead end “late-stage capitalism,” and that is a wholly appropriate description.
This is why a party capable of steering future mass movements forward to lasting organizational power (instead of into the two-party trap) is necessary. The Democrats have proven time and time again that they will not protect us or even respect the majority will of its voters. Their purpose as a party ruled by the rich and their own interests is to protect the status quo of the wealthy elite above all else—including their own party's success at representing or even inspiring its voters. More than half of Congress are millionaires themselves. The Democrats will never fight for us—they serve Wall Street, the war industry, and the corporate developers. They will only occasionally concede to our demands and then spend the rest of the time eroding those concessions in lock step with Republicans. As the late, great comedian and social critic George Carlin observed, it's all one big Wall Street club, including most of the politicians who are wealthy themselves—and we're not in it.
The North Carolina Green Party calls upon the people of North Carolina to support us and join us in our goal of fighting for a new and better system. We cannot accomplish this by simply voting for the “lesser” evil and putting far less resources in building something new. Now is not the time of pragmatism and fear-based retreat—now is the time to stand up and fight for our collective survival.
Become a Member!
The North Carolina Green Party refuses all corporate contributions, so dues-paying members play a vital role ensuring our state and local organizations have the resources needed to build an independent party for people and planet free from the influence of the 1 percent.
North Carolina residents who are registered to vote as “Green” are eligible to become members of the NCGP after they have affirmed Green Party principles (see our 10 Key Values and Platform), set their own dues rate using a budget-friendly sliding scale, and initiated payment of those dues. You choose your own dues level on the honor system, based on what you can pay. Note: Residents who are ineligible to vote due to state disenfranchisement (including but not limited to reasons such as age, criminal record, or noncitizen/undocumented status) may also become members.
Email the NCGP secretary at [email protected] if you feel you are ineligible to vote due to state disenfranchisement. All NCGP members, with the exception of noncitizens, shall pay modest annual dues.
Find out more at www.ncgreenparty.org/membership.
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In solidarity with people and planet against profits,
The North Carolina Green Party