Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate, edited by Howie Hawkins. Haymarket (2006).
Did the last presidential election campaign in the
The ugly spectacle of Campaign 2004 is the topic of Howie Hawkinsâ€™s Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate. Hawkins, a long-time labour and social justice activist, comes down strongly in favour of the Nader-Peter Camejo campaign, which ran in spite of an official â€œsafe statesâ€ strategy adopted by the Green Party under nominal presidential candidate David Cobb.
Independent Politics includes contributions from leaders of both sides of this acrimonious debate, one that dominated discussion amongst much of the Left in the
Hawkinsâ€™s book is a useful reminder of the corruption and predominance of corporate, militarist interests inherent in the Democratic Party. It helps to understand the dynamics already underway in the preliminary jockeying for the 2008 presidential race. John Edwards and Barack Obama are, to some extent, positional themselves as the â€œanti-warâ€ candidates to the left of Hilary Clinton, and yet both Obama and Edwards have been unequivocal in their support of Israeli aggression and occupation. With precious few exceptions, in fact, â€œanti-warâ€ Democrats in Congress and the Senate frame their calls for troop withdrawal from
Back in 2004, a significant segment of the anti-war movement subordinated itself to the interests of Kerry, even though the Democratic candidate was running an aggressively pro-war campaign. The aristocratic, charisma-deprived Kerry began his war for the White House by â€œreporting for dutyâ€ at the partyâ€™s 2004 convention, which was a veritable pro-war rally. Al Sharptonâ€™s thundering, way-over-time speech â€“ â€œBring the troops home, and send Bush back to
For the Left in the
Camejo and Hawkins, especially, make a convincing case for building the Green Party as a vehicle for both advancing the cause of diverse social movements and independent working class political action, in opposition to the official
For those of us in
Even though many veterans of the Left in