I write to update you and thank you again for your support that enables us to keep fighting for democracy. Our day in court against the FEC is expected soon!
As our hearing approaches, in this hour of historic peril, I want to connect the dots again between our fight for fair public funding and the existential crises we face. In short, fixing these crises depends on having political choices outside the parties of war and Wall Street that created these disasters in the first place. And to have people-powered options on the ballot, we need fair access to the public funding needed to get them there. Thanks to your tireless support, we continue this fight like our lives depend on it – which they do.
The latest news of these crises is almost too much to bear. Inequality, for one, is off the charts, worsened by inflation generated by corporate greed and skyrocketing energy costs driven by the Ukraine proxy war and US sanctions. (See RD Wolff, 5 minutes in). This inequality is summed up in a jaw-dropping statistic from the Congressional Budget Office last week – that the bottom 50% holds just 2% of national wealth, while the top 1% holds 1/3rd. This obscene disparity (below) has surged under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The meager resources of the bottom 50% – squeezed into that thin orange line at the bottom of the graph – drives a desperation that’s vulnerable to demagogues when progressive options aren’t available. In a nutshell, this is the makings of fascism, which long preceded Trump and for which he is a symptom, not a primary cause.
Likewise, the climate emergency is off the charts, with 1/3rd of Pakistan underwater, Ian’s 18 foot storm surge wrecking Floria’s coast, ~350 million suffering acute hunger globally, heat waves threatening the lives of 100s of millions, the impending breakup of the “doomsday” Thwaites Glacier expected to raise sea level two feet and much more. While Democrats pledge allegiance to combating climate change, their obedience to corporate donors drives disastrous policies like the Inflation Reduction Act – a “fossil fuels first” bill that actually mandates 62 million acres of offshore and public lands be used for fossil fuel expansion each year (for a decade!) before any major renewable energy projects can be permitted. Written in secret by the leading recipients of fossil fuel and utility industry cash, Senators Mansion and Schumer; and released too close to the legislative deadline to be scrutinized before the vote – the bill represents the legalized corruption we’ve come to expect from the duopoly.
The dangers of endless war are also going off the rails, with nuclear confrontation looming ever larger in Ukraine. As if baseline US militarism wasn’t bad enough, with $21 trillion squandered since 9/11 and a record $850 billion on the docket this year for the Pentagon. Now with Democrats leading the charge, both parties have gone to the mat to fund over $67 billion in total assistance to Ukraine. This is more than Russia’s entire 2021 military budget, and surpasses annual US military aid to all prior recipients since Vietnam.
This while urgent needs at home are woefully neglected – for poverty reduction through the child tax credit, Medicare expansion, drug cost relief, eviction prevention, a jobs guarantee, Covid assistance for the uninsured etc. While the bipartisan consensus puts the US-Russia proxy war above urgent domestic needs, a meager 1% of Americans agree that Russia and war should be the national priority.
It’s no surprise nearly 2/3rds of young people say government as we know it has failed them, and 2/3rds of eligible voters want another political choice. This is exactly what we are fighting for in our battle for fair matching funds. If we can get political alternatives on the ballot, we can begin to hold government accountable for solving the existential crises barrelling down on us.
All my best,
Green Party Presidential nominee 2012, 2016
PS. If you’re in a position to contribute this week, your support would be a huge help. We are urgently short of funds to pay immediate administrative and legal costs (outside of the probono help from the heroic Center for Competitive Democracy).
PPS. Here’s my recent discussion with Lee Camp about why we need independent, non-corporate politics more than ever. (Starts at 30 minutes.)