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Thursday, Jun 6, 2013, 5:00 am

Alt Press Pick of the Week: Should Climate Activists Ditch the Democrats?

By Alternative Press Center

Jill Stein, the 2012 presidential nominee of the Green Party, addresses activists at an Occupy Wall Street rally.
(Paul Stein / Flickr / Creative Commons).

In the June issue of Z Magazine,  Scott McLarty, media coordinator for the Green Party of the United States, takes 350.org founder Bill McKibben to task for his reliance on the Democratic Party, rather than a third party, as the political vehicle to address global warming. In a TomDispatch piece in April, McKibben wrote, "The narrow window of opportunity that physics provides us makes me doubt that a third party will offer a fast enough answer to come to terms with our changing planet."

McLarty rejects this notion, given the Democratic Party's move to the right and its acceptance of contributions from large energy companies. He also rejects the claim that third parties spoil elections. Drawing on recent disappointments, he dismantles the argument that progressives should put their faith in the Democrat

Progressives have fantasized for decades that they’ll pull the Democratic Party to the left some day. Instead, the Democratic Party has pulled progressives to the right. Barack Obama’s 2008 victory ended the antiwar movement, as anti-Bush peace activists acquiesced to an Obama foreign policy that incorporated the belligerent neo- con postures of the Bush-Cheney administration. Progressives cheered a Supreme Court decision upholding the individual mandate, which blesses the health insurance industry with a direct public subsidy.

Where are the massive public demonstrations against proposed Social Security and Medicare cuts, civilian-slaughtering drone warfare, erosion of civil liberties, prosecution of whistleblowers, Guantánamo, record-high incarceration rates in the prison- industrial complex, the TransPacific Partnership, privatization of the TVA, the corporate takeover of public education, continuing multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies to Wall Street banks? By refusing to consider an alternative to the corporate-money two-party choice, progressives have participated in the consolidation of capitalist oligarchy.

Read the rest at Z Magazine.

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