Our nation was born as the first great experiment in modern democracy. We seek to rescue that heritage from the erosion of citizen participation. Moreover, we seek to dissolve the grip of the ideology, intoned by big-money interests for more than twenty years, that government is intrinsically undesirable and destructive of liberty and that elected officials should rightly "starve the beast" by slashing all spending on social program, in the name of freedom. We challenge that tactic by calling on all Americans to think deeply about the meaning of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In a democracy, individuals come together to form structures of governance that protect and advance the common good. We the citizens are the government, and we the citizens can direct it to fulfill its finest goals and purposes. Our citizens must not permit usurpation of their authority by acts of individuals and government agencies that isolate or insulate government from their oversight and control. We, the People, have a responsibility to participate in self-government through all the means that our Constitution provides.
Citizens of a democracy must have the information and ability to determine the actions of their government. Vast concentrations of wealth and power that have occurred in recent years are inherently undemocratic. The deregulation of corporate activity and the decentralization and underfunding of the regulatory structures that remain—accompanied by the centralizing of big money —has been a disaster for our country. The true owners of the public lands, pension funds, and the public airwaves are the American people, who today have little or no control over their pooled assets or their commonwealth.
The power of civic action is an antidote to the corporate control of so much of our lawmaking and regulating. The pervasive abuse imposed by corporate power increasingly undermines our democracy, but the Green Party seeks to rekindle the democratic flame. As voting citizens, taxpayers, workers, consumers, and stakeholders, we unite to exercise our rights and, as Thomas Jefferson urged, to counteract the "excesses of the moneyed interests." Toward this end, we consider serious reform of campaign funding to be essential, as well as curbs on the influence of corporations on lawmakers and regulatory agencies.
The Green Party considers American democracy to be an ongoing, unfolding project that is dynamic and creative in nature. We are committed to the strengthening of our civil society, including the many mediating institutions at the community level that have always characterized our democracy. We seek to heal the alienation and apathy that has been cultivated in the citizenry by the power brokers of the status quo. Righteous anger about the crippling of our democracy is rising in the land, and the Greens offer constructive alternatives. In addition, we seek to repair the plummeting opinion of the United States in the international community resulting from our arrogant, narcissistic foreign policy of recent years. A growing and grave imbalance between the citizens of this country and the interests that extract power from the citizens is an imminent danger to our security and national and global social stability. We strongly feel that our country should view itself as a member of the community of nations... not above it. The United States could well play a leadership role in that community but only if we become committed to an eco-social vision of peace, national self-determination, and international cooperation.
Our goal is to become an important political force in this country, and to present candidates for election at every level of government.
Greens will crack down on political corruption and strengthen the voice of the people at all levels of government.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to influence the governmental decisions that affect them. But the defining characteristics of modern politics in the United States are a corrupt campaign finance system that enables corporate and wealthy elites to purchase political outcomes; and an abundance of anti-democratic electoral, ballot access and debate rules designed to minimize participation and choice.
To achieve genuine citizen participation, citizens must share in the power of governing. Greens seek to bring vibrant grassroots democracy to every part of the United States.
Greens seek to repair U.S. electoral system, from how elections are financed, to conducting them in more fair and representative ways, to ensuring accountability and transparency on all levels of government. In particular, Greens believe that the U.S. winner-take-all voting system is fundamentally flawed, resulting in low voter participation, little choice or competition in countless elections, and far too few women and minorities in elected office.
The failure to fulfill the promise of democracy leaves millions of people in our country too discouraged to vote and others who chose to vote seemingly trapped among false and limited choices. A system that promotes full and fair representation would draw millions of people in the United States into civic life and could revive democracy in this country.
2. Reducing corruption
Community is the basic unit of green politics because it is personal, value-oriented, and small enough for each member to have an impact. Community involvement is a foundation for public policy.
Social diversity is the wellspring of community life where old and young, rich and poor, and people of all races and beliefs can interact individually and learn to care for each other, and to understand and cooperate. We emphasize a return to local, face-to-face relationships that humans can understand and care about. Among Greens, our guiding principle is to think globally and act locally. Community needs recognize a diversity of issues, and local control recognizes a variety of approaches to solving problems, ones that tend to be bottom-up not top-down. Green politics does not place its faith in paternalistic big government. Instead,
Greens believe face-to-face interactions are essential to productive and meaningful lives for all citizens.
The Green vision includes building communities that nurture families, generate good jobs and housing, and provide public services; creating cities and towns that educate children, encourage recreation, and preserve natural and cultural resources; building local governments that protect people from environmental hazards and crime; and motivating citizens to participate in making decisions.
The Green vision calls for a global community of communities that recognize our immense diversity, respect our personal worth, and share a global perspective. We call for an approach to politics that acknowledges our endangered planet and habitat. Our politics responds to global crises with a new way of seeing our shared international security.
We will conceive a new era of international cooperation and communication that nurtures cultural diversity, recognizes the interconnectedness between communities, and promotes opportunities for cultural exchange and assistance.
We call for increased public transportation, convenient playgrounds and parks for all sections of cities and small towns, and funding to encourage diverse neighborhoods. [See section C.Transportation in chapter III] We support a rich milieu of art, culture, and significant (yet modestly funded) programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. [See section E. Education and the Arts in chapter II]
1. Families and Children
2. Alternative Community Service
Independent, critical media are essential to an informed and healthy democracy.
Citizens must have ready access to news and information to make responsible informed choices as voters and to carry out their other duties of citizenship.
The United States' original communications policy was the 1st Amendment. Freedom of the press was guaranteed in the Constitution because an exchange of ideas and an unfettered debate were considered essential components of a democratic society. Today, however, government policy is designed less to enhance public deliberation than to boost the profitability of media corporations.
Our media laws and rules promote the formation of huge media conglomerates while discouraging competing voices. As a result, the mainstream media is increasingly cozy with the economic and political elites whom they should be investigating. Mergers in the news industry have accelerated, further limiting the spectrum of viewpoints in the mass media. With U.S. media overwhelmingly owned by for-profit conglomerates and supported by corporate advertisers, investigative journalism is in an alarming decline.
In response, Greens will strengthen citizens' influence over the broadcast media, break up the dominant media conglomerates and boost the number of community and non-profit news outlets, all to fortify the media's crucial watchdog function and to help create a more diverse and lively exchange of ideas in America.
Since governments too often have an interest in controlling the flow of information, we must constantly guard against official censorship. In our society however, large corporations are a far more common source of censorship than governments. Media outlets kill stories because they undermine corporate interests; advertisers use their financial clout to squelch negative reports; powerful businesses employ the threat of expensive lawsuits to discourage legitimate investigations. The most frequent form of censorship is self-censorship: journalists deciding not to pursue certain stories that they know will be unpopular with the advertisers.
At the start of a new century, we stand poised between the geopolitical conflict of East versus West; a future marked by the aftermath of the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001; the dangers of global terrorism; the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan followed by the unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq; the escalation of conflict in the Middle East; and the continued research and development of nuclear weapons and the stockpiling of bio-chemical weapons.
In the area of trade, third- and fourth-world economies and resources are being ravaged and our own economy and job security undermined by global corporatization, which concentrates greater power in the hands of fewer interests who are unaccountable to the vast majority of the world's people.
As we overcome continued conflicts and violence, we realize the difficulties inherent in encouraging democracy and of advancing the cause of peace. We face a more complex set of challenges in how our nation defines its national security. Greens support sustainable development and social and economic justice across the globe. Reducing militarism and reliance on arms policies is the key to progress toward collective security.
1. Foreign Policy—Peace and Disarmament
2. A Real Road to Peace in the Middle East
The Green Party of the United States recognizes that our greatest contribution to peace in the Middle East will come through our impact on U.S. policy in the region.
Our commitments to ecological wisdom, social justice, grass-roots democracy, and non-violence compel us to oppose U.S. government support for "friendly" regimes in the region when those regimes violate human rights, international law, and existing treaties. We call on congressional intelligence committees to conduct comprehensive public hearings on the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction by all states in the region.
U.S. policy should support the removal and/or destruction of all such weapons wherever they are found there.
The Green Party supports the "joint comprehensive plan of action" signed in July, 2015 by Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States plus Germany), and the European Union, which confirms Iran's status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. According to the United States National Intelligence Estimate, Iran halted an alleged active nuclear weapons program in the Fall of 2003. Iran, which has signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, has consistently called for a nuclear-free zone in the entire Middle East.
The "joint comprehensive plan of action" provides that in return for Iran upholding its agreements to rid itself of nuclear material as verified by inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), current economic sanctions by the US, European Union and UN Security Council will be lifted. The Green Party supports the swift elimination of these economic sanctions on Iran and looks to the normalization of relations between Iran and the United States. In keeping with UN resolutions call for a nuclear-free Middle East, the Green Party also calls on Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East with at least 200 nuclear warheads, to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and sign on to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.
The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Our Green values oblige us to support popular movements for peace and demilitarization in Israel-Palestine, especially those that reach across the lines of conflict to engage both Palestinians and Israelis of good will.
3. Foreign Policy—Trade
We urge our government to do the following:
4. Human Rights
We propose the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
5. Women's Rights
6. Puerto Rican Independence
In 1898, Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States and has been held by the U.S. in the form of a colony ever since. In response to international pressure, in 1952, the U.S. established the "Free Associated State" status for Puerto Rico but continued to claim that Puerto Rico belongs to, yet is not a part of, the United States. The root of the crisis is the colonial status of Puerto Rico as echoed in the UN Decolonization committee resolution on Puerto Rico adopted on June 22, 2015 which states ñthe condition of political subordination prevents Puerto Rico from taking sovereign decisions to attend to its serious economic and social problems including unemployment, marginalization and poverty (Olga Sanabria Davila, Crisis and Colonialism in Puerto Rico, 10/26/15).
Greens support the right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in conformity with United Nations Resolution 1514(XV) of 1960. Greens call for the release of all Puerto Rican political prisoners, such as Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been held in U.S. prisons since 1981.
Greens call for the appropriate environmental clean-up and sustainable development of Vieques, the island that was used as a firing range by the U.S. military. Greens oppose recruitment of the youth of Puerto Rico into the U.S. armed forces and their deployment to U.S. wars abroad, and denounce recruitment attempts at educational institutions.
Further, Greens recognize that:
- Puerto Rico's debt is unpayable.
- That in the last 20 years alone, foreign corporations operating in Puerto Rico have reaped over 600 billion dollars in tax free profits, 10 per cent of which would suffice to pay its current otherwise unpayable debt.
- Austerity measures like a "Financial Control Authority," which have proven to exacerbate economic suffering and strip away democratic rights to self-determination, must be opposed.
- The social cost of increasing the sales tax, of reducing workers' pay, education and health services, of eliminating labor rights gained and the dismantling of the retirement system among other recessionary measures, are a detriment to the quality of life of the people of Puerto Rico and to the strategic development of the country's economy.
Thus, these measures are not a solution.
The present fiscal and economic crisis in Puerto Rico is largely due to the United States' colonial power and exploitation in Puerto Rico. Further, although Puerto Rico is a tropical island country seriously being affected by climate change, it is powerless to participate in initiatives and international negotiations to control and mitigate climate change and global warming.
As as a colony of the United States, Puerto Rico's position of political subordination cuts across the problem and independence would break the stalemate and create the possibilities of a solution.
Commitment to grassroots democracy is totally consistent with support for the decolonization of Puerto Rico as colonialism is contrary to democracy. For the country ruled, democracy is non-existent where one country rules over another, even if there are elections every four years to elect local authorities.
Taking into account that in Puerto Rico the United States controls commerce, international relations, immigration, monetary issues, communications, postal matters, defense, labor relations, and others, to truly support democracy in Puerto Rico, its decolonization has to be supported as the first step for the Puerto Rican people to live in a democracy.
The Kurdish people are the largest ethnic group in the world that is without an independent state. As a result, Kurdish people have historically suffered persecution and injustice. The Kurdish people have been besieged to the point of a current humanitarian crisis in towns such as Kobani, Syria. The GPUS expresses solidarity for and affirms the right to self-determination, self-defense, communal autonomy, freedom from persecution, and release of political prisoners for the Kurdish population.
Greens want to stop the assault on our civil liberties that intensified after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and restore these and other freedoms to all people.
During the last several decades, there has been an erosion of freedom in the United States. This has come from many sources and takes many forms, including the war on drugs and widespread imprisonment of nonviolent drug offenders; the increased use of personal identification, surveillance of employees at work, and the growing use of private security forces by corporations; restrictions on the speech of protesters and students; and random traffic stops of persons of color and the commonplace use of roadblocks.
Since 9/11, this erosion has turned into a collapse of our freedoms, as then President Bush authorized torture, illegal wiretapping, indefinite detention without trial, and widespread government surveillance.
Greens believe that all such systematic degradation or elimination of our constitutional protections must stop, and that corrective measures need to be taken in a timely manner by Congress to fully reinstate all such losses of guaranteed citizen protections.
The Green Party recognizes the need for the inspiration and education that the peaceful exploration of Space provides; the need for space-based systems to monitor environmental conditions on Earth; the many advances in space technology that benefit all people on Earth; and the inspiration provided to children by Space exploration can prompt them to pursue math, science, and other important courses of study.
The peaceful exploration of Space has been usurped by the militarization of Space. The last four U.S.—backed military conflicts have used space-based technology to disrupt the computer and communication systems of sovereign states. The funds required for continuing peaceful Space exploration have been used, instead, for the design, implementation and deployment of wasteful and dangerous Space hardware, such as the Strategic Defense Initiative.
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