With Green Party trending online, here's where the Greens stand in America's two-party system

The Green Party focuses on issues like green politics and is set to nominate co-founder Howie Hawkins for the 2020 presidential polls


                            With Green Party trending online, here's where the Greens stand in America's two-party system
(Getty Images)

In American politics, it is either the Republican or Democratic Party which rules the roost. The country has seen a solid two-party system evolving over the ages and all the pre-election analysis ahead of the 2020 presidential poll has hinted a win either for the incumbent president Donald Trump or presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a former vice president.

However, since both Trump and Biden have their share of criticism, a third party has tried to make itself more relevant — the Green Party. The Greens or the Green Party is a trans-territorial idea. They are environmentalist or ecological-oriented political parties that started surfacing in the 1970s. An umbrella organization known as the European Greens was founded in Brussels, Belgium, in January 1984. The USGP was formed in July 2001. The Green Party of the US (GPUS) promotes green politics, like environmentalism, non-violence, social justice, gender equality, LGBT rights, anti-racism, ecosocialism, etc. Politically, the party is viewed as left-wing.

The GPUS has tried to showcase itself as a continuation of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' (his brother Larry Sanders is the health spokesperson of the Green Party of England and Wales) "political revolution" after the veteran candidate withdrew from the Democrats' race for the presidential nomination and formally backed Biden, a centrist leader. The Green Party is set to nominate Howie Hawkins, one of its co-founders, as its presidential candidate. The 67-year-old trade unionist and environmental activist from New York launched his presidential campaign in April last year. He has announced Angela Walker of the Socialist Party USA as his running mate. Both Hawkins and Walker are also members of the Socialist Party USA and Solidarity — a socialist organization.

The Green Party has contested the presidential election only six times starting 1996 but hasn’t made much of a progress at any time. In the 2012 and 2016 elections, Jill Stein contested on its ticket but received 0.36 and 1.07 percent, respectively. The Hawkins-Walker campaign works on a platform of various reform proposals that are centered on an "Ecosocialist Green New Deal". It doesn’t call for expropriating capitalists' wealth or corporations' nationalization but simply executing "progressive taxation". 

According to analysts, however, the GPUS is nothing but a capitalist party that has got no real independence from the Democrats. According to the World Socialist website: "The various reforms proposed by the Greens, however, are no more meaningful than those proposed by Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the like, as they are tied to a political strategy aimed at bolstering the Democratic Party, a party of Wall Street and the military. Hawkins recently retweeted a post by Bernie Sanders saying as presidential candidate, he would seek to slash the military budget by 75 percent to fund the New Green Deal and invest in people."

Jill Stein (Getty Images)

"Under conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic, in which over 350,000 people have died worldwide, including over 100,000 Americans, while the working class faces social dislocation on a scale not seen since the Great Depression and is being forced to return to work in deadly conditions, the response of the Hawkins-Walker campaign and the Green Party is to try to keep opposition contained within the framework of bourgeois politics."

Green Party stance not too different from Democrats?

That the GPUS' stance is not too different from the Democratic Party became evident during an online Q&A session held on May 19 where Hawkins said the GP is not in favor of spoiling the election for the Democrats but to see that they win. "In my experience, I’m living in a congressional district where the only time a Democrat beat the Republicans since the Vietnam War…was when a Green was in the race. And of course, we were told we're splitting the vote. But what we did was change the dynamic. And the Democrat, instead of trying to talk like the Republican-light and get votes in the middle, had to deal with us and our positions, and they made them sound a lot better," he said. 

What Twitter says

Sanders' supporters, who are not comfortable with the fact that Biden has emerged as the winning candidate in the Democratic camp, have expressed an interest in backing the Green Party. One Biden critic, Burton Fisher, for instance, wrote on Twitter on Sunday, June 14, as Green Party trended: "Since #GreenParty is trending, I will gladly encourage others to vote for and participate in it. Maybe one day the Dems will be a progressive party that doesn't nominate racist warmongers like Biden, but they clearly won't be that for a while."

Another user Taylor Ann, a nature lover, said: "I support the #GreenParty and other 3rd party org. The 2 Party monopoly needs to be crushed." One user going by the name of Paradise Lost tweeted: “Stop wagging your finger at me. If Biden wants my vote, he can come and get it. All he needs to do is shift Left like Bernie said he'd do. I'm waiting. Otherwise, #GreenParty."

Another user who spoke against voting for either the GOP or Democrats said: "Don’t get bullied by these parties! The Green party is the party of the people's voice! Vote 4 The Green Party!" One user shared, "If @BernieSanders supporters would now put that same effort into supporting #GreenParty, instead of falling for the decades old talking points and fear-mongering tactics used by the Dems, we could start down the road of a new America," wrote the user by the name 'End Left vs Right it's time for workers to unite'."

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