David Cobb: McKinney for president – October 28, 2008
Special to the Eye
I am proud to say that I will be voting for Green Party member Cynthia McKinney for President of the United States this year.
Ms. McKinney is a former member of the United States Congress. While serving in Congress, she introduced Articles of Impeachment against George Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice. She supported universal access to health care as a fundamental human right, sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, and proposed concrete steps to address global climate change.
While in Congress McKinney also opposed NAFTA, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. She voted against funding for the illegal, immoral and unconstitutional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She also voted against the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (passed by Clinton, this act led the way to the corporate media monopoly we suffer from today).
In a nutshell, Cynthia McKinney has been a stalwart figure of the Progressive Movement. It is historic that she quit the Democratic Party and joined the Green Party. Why?
Because she realizes that real systemic change will require a broad and deep social movement linked to a political party rooted in that social movement. And she knows that principled progressives have been sold out and lied to by the corporate-controlled Democratic Party leadership.
And here is a twisted irony — principled conservatives have been sold out and lied to by the corporate-controlled Republican Party leadership.
Against that sobering reality, the Green Party stands as the electoral arm of a growing worldwide movement for peace, social justice, ecology, and grassroots democracy.
There are over 150,000 registered Greens in California alone, and over 500,000Greens in the United States. Despite draconian laws that make it difficult for any alternative political party to appear on many state ballots or to participate in political debates in this country, Greens are running for office across the country. And we often win.
I am also proud to report that 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Professor Wangari Maathai is a member of the Green Party, helping to found the Green Belt Movement and the Green Party in her native Kenya. (The corporate media has virtually ignored this important part of Professor Maathai’s biography).
It is also worth remembering that alternative political parties have been responsible for some of the most significant reforms in American history. Third parties advocated for the abolition of slavery, the forty-hour workweek, women’s suffrage, the creation of the Social Security System, worker’s compensation laws, pure food and drug laws, and the end of child labor.
Third parties have always been the voice of the people, especially during times when great changes are needed. So if you want a U.S. foreign policy based on human rights, if you oppose the war in Iraq, if you support a living wage, if you want universal health care for all, please consider registering to vote as a member of the Green Party.
As a registered Green, you vote for peace, social justice, sustainability and grassroots democracy every single day. How? Because your registration sends a powerful message to elected officials, to the media and to the entire world that you are committed to a fundamental transformation of how our government and our society operates.
And as my last appeal, consider this — in Humboldt County, a vote for Obama is a “wasted” vote. Why? Because if every Humboldt resident voted for McKinney (or McCain or Nader or anyone else), Obama will still win the California Electoral College votes.
So rather than waste your vote, invest it in a long-term vision for real change.
To learn more, or to get involved, visit humboldtgreens.org.
David Cobb was the Green Party candidate for President in 2004 and works for Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County. He can be reached at (707) 269-0984 or firstname.lastname@example.org