David and Goliath. Greens Against the Machines.

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We Are Learning How To Battle Giants.

The giant banks and political machines that control the Democratic and Republican parties of New Jersey represent the reign of money, power and war.  We need a real political contest to restore the voice of everyday people.  In Seth Kaper-Dale and Lisa Durden, the Green Party candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor, we have our champions.  But unlike the Bible story of David and Goliath, they cannot do it alone. This is not single combat.  This is a political revolution: the people vs. corporate power.

Both Democrats and Republicans are deeply entrenched top-down machines interested only in their own power.   But, their obsession with control and money is why both parties repeat the mistakes of the past.  The Republicans nominated Christies’s next-in-command and the Democrats allowed a very wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive to purchase the nomination.  If you are happy with more of the same then vote for the major parties.

Where is the lesser of two evils?

The lesser of two evils argument does not fly. One machine is barely less evil than the other and all too often they act as one instead of two.

The relationship between Democratic machine bosses and Christie was so cozy that in the 2013 gubernatorial race the Democratic party failed to support their own worthy candidate, Barbara Buono. Sixty elected Democrats, the most powerful Democratic bosses and a third of registered Democrats gave Christe and Guadagno a landslide victory.  The Democratic bosses wanted Christie because it was a way to maintain and enlarge their power.  Now they support Murphy for the same reason.  Chris Christie went on to help Trump and Goldman Sachs — they help Trump too.

Where is the lesser of two evils? Nowhere.

Does this sound like the a healthy system with real political competition or bands of cunning machines jostling for position, sharing power, calling the shots and looking out for themselves? No matter who the two corporate parties run for governor the best they can do is run deep cover for a fundamentally corrupt political system. Lesser of two evil voting is surrender to the system.

But we cannot battle giants without clear vision, steady aim, and the best stones and slings.  We have vision precisely because the Green Party accepts no corporate donations. None. We know how to get money out of politics because we already have.  This allows us to think outside of the box, free from the control of Wall Street and the war machine that blinds us to the fact that another world is possible.

Our Vision: The Last are First!

Who is last? We are. The 99% are. “We the people” are last. And so is the Earth we depend on.

The last thing in the crafty calculations of Wall Street and the two-party system are the poor and the working-class – white, black, and brown.  The last thing is the environment — and it’s really becoming obvious.  The children and the old, they are last. The sick, homeless, the immigrant and the prisoner comes last. Women are last, Blacks are last, Latino are last, LGBTQ folks are last too. And everyone that ever dreamed of freedom, democracy and peace:  we are last but we will never forget the promise.

The last gets lip service and crumbs from the table. Our job is to make the last first. But how? Here’s how: with policies and programs that are both bold and practical.

Care, Compassion and Cutting Taxes

Universal health care for the people of New Jersey is not on the agenda of the Democrats or Republicans. A single payer system is the key to solving our tax problems, funding pensions and improving health. Currently we spent $80 billion a year on health-related expenses in NJ. Of that $80 Billion nearly $26 Billion (33 cents of each dollar) goes to the overhead and profit of health insurance companies. Medicare by comparison, has an overhead near 2%. If we could move to NJ Medicare-for-all, and bring our overhead down to even 8%, imagine what we could do with an extra 19.6 billion dollars moving through our state. [1]

Make Clean Water a Sacred Right

The health of our children is at risk due to unsafe drinking water. Since the Department of Environmental Protection posted data showing there is an urgent toxic lead problem in Newark’s and Milltown’s drinking water. Since then more research has shown that the problem is far more widespread. The state of NJ should declare a public health emergency immediately and distribute filters. If we do not have clean water we do not have anything.

Legalize it!

Legalization of marijuana is an idea whose time has come. But what the two parties miss is the opportunity to turn legal weed into a development program for the people of our state — not just a profit making bonanza for big corporations. A majority of people oppose marijuana prohibition. Big Pharma should not control this natural resource. Seth Kaper-Dale proposes that individuals may grow for personal use and worker cooperatives should run farms and dispensaries for the public market. Legalization of marijuana in New Jersey must be an opportunity for working people to have decent jobs. Past prison convictions will be reviewed and prisoners released if serving state sentences related to activities rendered legal under the new law.  Releasing non-violent marijuana offenders will save taxpayers millions every year.

Public Banking for the Common Good

NJ invests it revenues into hedge funds managed by Wall Street banks and in return we pay excessive fees. To add insult to injury, these hedge funds then turn around and loan our money out all over the world, often times to fuel wars or build oil pipelines rather than investing it our future.  The mission for a NJ state bank will include providing low- interest loans to counties and municipalities for infrastructure projects, buying out mortgages of homes in contested processes of foreclosure, re-negotiating fair mortgages and providing low interest loans to NJ university students to make higher education affordable. We would partner with local community-based banks and credit unions to provide low cost loans to small businesses, rather than leaving them at the mercy of banking profiteers.

A Revolution of Values

Many years ago Martin Luther King called the world to a “Revolution of Values.”

“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values….When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

King’s words ring true and we are still trying to catch up to his vision.

For far too long we have been ruled by fear and fatalism instead of guided by our values of freedom, democracy and community.  When the “last are first” we will all be free.

Your future is our future.

Seth Kaper-Dale, Lisa Durden and the Green Party are ready to challenge the corrupt machines and stand up for all of us. We are on a tight budget just like you. Donate today and give all you can give.  Volunteer your precious time and vote your precious vote.

Together we can take everything and everyone that has been last — and for the first time in our lives — make them first.

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[1] See the Seth Kaper-Dale for Governor Website.  I have relied heavily on the website for a description of the issues.

About Richard Moser

Richard Moser has 40 years experience as an organizer and activist in the labor, student, peace, and community movements. Moser is author of "New Winter Soldiers: GI and Veteran Dissent During the Vietnam Era," and co-editor with Van Gosse of "The World the Sixties Made: Politics and Culture in Recent America." Moser lives in Colorado.
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