The Third International after Lenin

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Green Party: Swamp of chauvinist reformism

....Although a campaign press statement claims McKinney "broke with the Democratic Party," she gave a speech in June "congratulating Senator Obama for a feat well done" after it was clear he would be the Democratic presidential nominee. "Coming from Barack Obama," she said, "the word 'change' did not appear as just another empty campaign slogan."

McKinney is running what she calls a "power to the people" campaign. Clemente says they will fight all "-isms and ideologies that divide us." They are running on the 10-point "Draft Manifesto for a Reconstruction Party," which includes demands for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, recognizing "affordable housing as a human right," granting "reparations" to Blacks, "ending prisons for profit," creating a "single-payer" health-care system, and enacting "real immigration reform."

McKinney's claim to be "the only genuinely antiwar candidate" is contradicted by her votes when she was in Congress. She voted for the September 2001 bill authorizing the U.S. war on Afghanistan and for the May 2005 "Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act." She says she is for cutting "bloated Pentagon spending" and for deploying "our diplomats" to "resolve conflicts through peaceful means" and for "the orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops" from around the world.

McKinney often promotes conspiracy theories about Sept., 11, 2001, alleging that the Bush administration knew in advance about the planned attack on the World Trade Center.

Although McKinney says she is for immigration "reform," while still in Congress she voted against expanding the number of visas for some categories of immigrant workers. She also voted both for and against lifting the U.S. travel ban to Cuba.

While McKinney uses radical-sounding rhetoric against the Republicans and Democrats, her political framework represents no break from capitalist politics at all. Rather, she puts forward an American nationalist perspective of rescuing "the soul of our country." She tries to gloss over the class divisions that exist between the ruling billionaires on one side and the working class on the other. And she puts forward the idea that Washington's wars around the world are the result of mistaken policies and not an integral part of the workings of imperialism.

"Our country has been hijacked," McKinney told a March 2007 demonstration at the Pentagon against the Iraq war. "Our beloved America is divided again into two Americas… . We want an America that is respected in the commonwealth of men. We want our values to shine like a beacon around the world."

Two parties that call themselves socialist, Workers World and the Workers International League, are backing McKinney. "We are taking the unusual step of endorsing" her candidacy, the Workers World Party said July 17 "because these are unique times and this is a unique candidate."

"Because of her militancy in the struggle against war, the struggle to impeach Bush, as well as her struggle to expose the government's role in the displacement of survivors of Hurricane Katrina," the group said, "she was branded too Black and too radical."

According to Workers World, socialists should "put aside narrow views, sectarian habits and small differences that have festered during a long and demoralizing period of world reaction" because McKinney's campaign is "Black-led, anti-imperialist, working-class-centered and has a multinational radical base with the potential of unlimited growth."

The Militant - August 18, 2008 -- Green Party nominates McKinney for president

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