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In ordinary times, Ted Glick would hardly be someone you’d expect to hear urging fellow progressives to vote for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
During the first 18 years of this century, Glick was an active member of the Green Party. He ran for the U.S. Senate as the Green Party’s nominee in New Jersey and put in a long stint co-chairing a local branch of the party. In fact, he recalls, “I have been a member of organizations working to build a political alternative to the Democrats and Republicans since 1975.”
Now, Glick is more than two weeks into a water-and-vitamins-only fast that he plans to continue until voting ends on November 3. As a headline says over his daily postings, it’s all about “Fasting to Defeat Trump.”
Glick told me that he thinks “a very large number of people on the left who supported Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren have come around to an understanding that Trump and his accomplices are such a dire threat to any hope of forward progress in this country” — understanding that leads to voting for Biden. In the process, progressives “could play a decisive role where the vote is very close” in swing states.
Why the 30-day fast? The purpose, Glick says, is “to encourage Americans who are still unsure about the importance of voting, or unsure about the importance of voting to remove Trump from office, to consider seriously how critical it is for the world that Trump be defeated.”
Going into his fast, Glick wrote: “I’m doing this because I think that Trump’s re-election represents a huge threat to the world’s already-disrupted ecosystems, people of color and low-income people, our struggling democracy and just about everything else that is important to decent people. I feel the need to do all I can to help generate the massive voter turnout essential to ensure that he and many of his Republican accomplices are defeated. Our situation is urgent, and I feel the need to respond accordingly.”
I asked Glick about the role of today’s Green Party, which is actively seeking votes for its presidential candidate Howie Hawkins — even in some of the most tightly contested battleground states, where a small number of votes could make the difference between whether Trump wins or loses. “I appreciate why people join it and work for an alternative to the two corporate-dominated parties,” Glick replied. “But their electoral strategy of always running someone for president has alienated large numbers of people who agree with their principles and program.”
After devoting nearly two decades of his activist life to the Green Party, Glick was cogent and clear: “They have shrunk significantly over the last 15 years as far as the number of Green Party members elected to local office. On its own terms, this always-run-for-president strategy is a big loser. And this year it’s particularly problematic because of the necessity of removing Trump. I urge Green Party members in battleground states to do the right thing and vote not for Hawkins but for Biden.”
Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of many books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.