New York City, November 4, 2020.

The issue now in the U.S. is to fight for every vote to be counted — that is, the fight for at least the IDEA of democracy, even if it never actually existed and even though both candidates represent the interests of Wall Street and the 1 percent.

In some ways it’s like voting for either syphillis or ebola.

Despite that, I am a proponent within the Green Party (25 years a member) of trying to get the party to publicly advocate support for Biden in swing states. Why?

Because one party’s candidate openly calls for bolstering white supremacist lynch mobs (Trump), while the other at least mouths the words upholding “equality” and the ideal of an anti-racist society. I think that ideal is important to uphold. Even though it’s only rhetoric. Marx wisely observed that at some point ideas can and do become a material force.

We are in the position of having to choose from the evil of two lessers because neither the Green Party nor the rest of the Left have built ANY direct action mass-organizations for the last 12 years, and now try to substitute electoral campaigns for their lack of mass-based organizational work.

That desperately needed work stands to be more survivable under a Biden presidency than under Trump — who is just as imperialist and warmongering as his opponent. Some here don’t recognize that, and they portray Trump as a lesser-imperialist, but that’s simply not the case.

My recommendation to the Green Party (which the party officials have not accepted, and thus the need to fight for democracy within the Green Party too) do NOT ignore the horrors the Democratic Party has wreaked on the world; but Trump’s outright white supremacist organizing, including the militarization of the nation’s police forces, its attacks on women’s reproductive rights and control over their own bodies, and its fomenting of neo-Nazi death squads, are not trivial concerns.

The fight for democracy, as Marx and Engels wrote, is the first battle in any revolutionary socialist movement. That is where we’re at now: The fight for democracy.

I am asked by some fellow Greens why I am “parsing words” given that Biden is the apparent choice of the main imperialist sectors of U.S. capitalism. I respond thusly:

I don’t think opposing the candidate who publicly endorses and promotes and funds white supremacist lynch mobs is simply a “parsing” of words.

I don’t think opposing the candidate who publicly opposes a woman’s right to choose is simply a “parsing” of words.

I don’t think opposing the candidate who refused to provide necessary medical equipment to the states to fight a pandemic is a parsing of words.

I don’t think opposing a candidate who think it’s great to espouse grabbing women by “the pussy” at his discretion is a mere parsing of words.

I don’t think opposing a candidate who supports police murder of Black people is a parsing of words.

I don’t think opposing a candidate who refuses to recognize the validity of human-induced climate chaos and who opens the Arctic to oil drilling at the behest of his capitalist masters is a parsing of words.

Biden and Trump are equal in their imperialist service to their masters. So long as that remains fairly equivalent, and so long as there is no viable alternative at this critical moment (wishing the situation would be different won’t cut it when so many lives are on the line), it is inumbant on those who supported the Green’s electoral strategy to reassess their positions.

I pretty much think the Green party — and its banrupt and utterly stupid, narcissistic, and self-indulgent strategy at this time — has lost its soul, if not its mind.

Whom to vote for is NEVER a principle. It is a tactical decision based on an analysis of the conjuncture of forces and the historical moment.

To quote Dan Quayle (remember him?) “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” (Addressing the United Negro College Fund, whose slogan is “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”)

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party


One Response

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  • Ira M Wechsler says:

    There are always those in life who have no forward thinking vision.In a time of rebellion you seek the hanging Chad instead of liberation of the working class from capitalist class dictatorship. In this time when millionseee capitalism as systemically broken you seek a crutch for it. The working class needs egalitarian communism like the corona patient needs oxygen in its lungs. You are a hopeless reformist and I hope the few people who view your site will have their yes open and their conscious mind unclouded. Fight for egalitarian communist revolution. Join the Progressive Labor Party that lives by its word. Our leadeship is mostly Black, Latino, and women.We are in 28 nations on 5 continents. See plp.org

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