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Camejo on Green approach to 2004 election

by Peter Camejo Tuesday, Jan. 06, 2004 at 5:10 PM

[The following statement was initiated by Peter Miguel Camejo. He is a life-long fighter for social justice who was the Green candidate for Governor in California in the 2002 general elections and in the 2003 recall election.]



[The following statement was initiated by Peter Miguel Camejo. He is a

life-long fighter for social justice who was the Green candidate for

Governor in California in the 2002 general elections and in the 2003

recall election.]

THE AVOCADO DECLARATION

INTRODUCTION

The Green Party is at a crossroads. The 2004 elections place before us a

clear and unavoidable choice. On one side, we can continue on the path

of political independence, building a party of, by and for the people by

running our own campaign for President of the United States. The other

choice is the well-trodden path of lesser evil politics, sacrificing our

own voice and independence to support whoever the Democrats nominate in

order; we are told, to defeat Bush.

The difference is not over whether to "defeat Bush" - understanding by

that the program of corporate globalization and the wars and trampling

of the Constitution that come with it - but rather how to do it. We do

not believe it is possible to defeat the "greater" evil by supporting a

shamefaced version of the same evil. We believe it is precisely by

openly and sharply confronting the two major parties that the policies

of the corporate interests these parties represent can be set back and

defeated.

Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign exposed a crisis of confidence

in the two party system. His 2.7 million votes marked the first time in

modern history that millions voted for a more progressive and

independent alternative. Now, after three years of capitulation by the

Democratic Party to George Bush they are launching a pre-emptive strike

against a 2004 Ralph Nader campaign or any Green Party challenge. Were

the Greens right to run in 2000? Should we do the same in 2004? The

Avocado Declaration based on an analysis of our two party duopoly, and

its history declares we were right and we must run.

ORIGINS OF THE PRESENT TWO-PARTY SYSTEM

History shows that the Democrats and Republicans are not two

counterposed forces but rather complimentary halves of a single

two-party system: "one animal with two heads that feed from the same

trough," as Chicano leader Rodolfo "Corky" González explained.

Since the Civil War a peculiar two party political system has dominated

the United States. Prior to the Civil War a two-party system existed

reflecting opposing economic platforms. Since the Civil War a shift

occurred. A two-party system remained in place but no longer had

differing economic orientation. Since the Civil War the two parties show

differences in their image, role, social base and some policies but in

the last analysis they both support essentially similar economic

platforms.

This development can be clearly dated to the split in the Republican

Party of 1872 where one wing merged with the "New Departure" Democrats

that had already shifted towards the Republican platform of pro-finance

and industrial business. Prior to the Civil War the Democratic Party

controlled by the slaveocracy favored agriculture business interests,

developed an alliance with small farmers in conflict with industrial and

some commercial interests. That division ended with the Civil War. Both

parties supported financial and industrial business as the core of their

programmatic outlook.

For over 130 years the two major parties have been extremely effective

in preventing the emergence of any mass political formations that

challenge their political monopoly. Most attempts to build political

alternatives have been efforts to represent the interests of the average

person, the working people. These efforts have been unable to develop.

Both major parties have been dominated by moneyed interests and today

reflect the historic period of corporate rule.

In this sense United States history has been different from that of any

other advanced industrial nation. In all other countries multi party

systems have appeared and to one degree or other they have more

democratic electoral laws and more representation has existed. In almost

all other cases political parties ostensible based on or promoting the

interest of non-corporate sectors such as working people exist.

STRUGGLES FOR DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

In spite of this pro-corporate political monopoly, mass struggles for

social progress, struggles to expand democracy and civil rights have

periodically explodedd throughout United States history.

Every major gain in our history, even pre Civil War struggles --such as

the battles for the Bill of Rights, to end slavery, and to establish

free public education-- as well as those after the Civil War have been

the product of direct action by movements independent of the two major

parties and in opposition to them.

Since the Civil War, without exception, the Democratic Party has opposed

all mass struggles for democracy and social justice. These include the

struggle for ballot reform, for the right of African Americans to vote

and against American apartheid ("Jim Crow"), for the right to form

unions, for the right of women to vote, against the war in Vietnam, the

struggle to make lynching illegal, the fight against the death penalty,

the struggle for universal health care, the fight for gay and lesbian

rights, and endless others. Many of these struggles were initiated by or

helped by the existence of small third parties.

DIVISION OF WORK

When social justice, peace or civil rights movements become massive in

scale, and threaten to become uncontrollable and begin to win over large

numbers of people, the Democratic Party begins to shift and presents

itself as a supposed ally, always seeking to co-opt the movement,

demobilize its forces and block its development into an alternative

independent political force.

The Republican Party has historically acted as the open advocate for a

platform to benefit the rule of wealth and corporate domination. They

argue ideologically for policies benefiting the corporate rulers. The

Republicans seek to convince the middle classes and labor to support the

rule of the wealthy with the argument that "What's good for GM is good

for the country," that what benefits corporations is also going to

benefit regular people.

The Democratic Party is different. They act as a "broker" negotiating

and selling influence among broad layers of the people to support the

objectives of corporate rule. The Democratic Party's core group of

elected officials is rooted in careerists seeking self-promotion by

offering to the corporate rulers their ability to control and deliver

mass support. And to the people they offer some concessions,

modifications on the platform of the Republican Party. One important

value of the Democratic Party to the corporate world is that it makes

the Republican Party possible through the maintenance of stability

essential for business as usual by preventing a genuine mass opposition

from developing. Together the two parties offer one of the best possible

frameworks with which to rule a people that otherwise would move society

towards the rule of the people i.e. democracy.

An example of this process is our minimum wage laws. Adjusted to

inflation it has been gradually declining for year. Every now and then

the Democrats pass a small upward adjustment that allows the downward

trend to continue but gives the appearance they are on the side of the

poor.

MANIPULATED ELECTIONS

Together the two parties have made ballot access increasingly difficult,

defended indirect elections such as the Electoral College, insisted on

winner-take-all voting to bloc the appearance of alternative voices and

opposed proportional representation to prevent the development of a

representative democracy and the flowering of choices. The undemocratic

structure of the US senate and the Electoral College, that are not based

on one-person one vote, but instead favor the more conservative areas of

the nation, are supported by both parties.

Elections are based primarily on money. By gerrymandering and

accumulating huge war chests -payoffs for doing favors for their rich

"friends"-- most officeholders face no real challenge at the ballot box

and are re-elected. In the Races that are "competitive," repeatedly the

contests reduce themselves to two individuals seeking corporate

financial backing. Whoever wins the battle for money wins the election.

Districts are gerrymandered into "safe" districts for one or the other

party. Gerrymandering lowers the public's interest and involvement while

maintaining the fiction of "democracy" and "free elections." The news

media goes along with this, typically focusing on the presidential

election and a handful of other races, denying most challengers the

opportunity to get their message out to the public.

Corporate backing shifts between the two parties depending on

short-term, and even accidental factors. In the 1990s more endorsements

from CEOs went to the Democrats. At present the money has shifted to the

Republican Party. Most corporations donate to both parties to maintain

their system in place.

NO CHOICE NO HOPE

The Democratic Party preaches defeatism to the most oppressed and

exploited. Nothing can be expected, nothing is possible but what exists.

Before the people they justify continues betrayal of what could be with

the argument of lesser evil. It's the Republicans or us. Nothing else is

possible.

DEMOCRACY VERSUS COOPTATION

Democracy remains a great danger for those who have privilege, and

control. When you are part of the top 1% of the population that has as

much income as the bottom 75% of the people, democracy is a permanent

threat to your interests. The potential power of the people is so great

that it puts sharp limits on what corporations can do. The ability of

the Democratic Party to contain, co-opt and demobilize independent

movements of the people is a critical element in allowing the continued

destruction of our planet, abuse, discrimination and exploitation based

on race, gender, sexual preference and class, and the immense

misdistribution of wealth.

As we enter the 21st century there is no more important issue than

saving our planet from destruction. The world economy is becoming

increasingly globalized. Corporate power is now global in nature and

leads to massive dislocations and suffering for most people. The planet

is over populated and the basis of human life declining. The greatest

suffering and dislocations exist in the third world but there is also a

downward trend in the United States as globalization leads to a

polarization of income and wealth. This shift is making the United

States each day closer to a third world country with an extremely

wealthy minority and a growing under class. This polarization adds

further fear of democracy for the elite.

THE GROWING SHIFT AGAINST THE RULE OF LAW

The shift away from the rule of law has accelerated in recent years.

This process will be a factor in the 2004 presidential elections

especially if a Green candidate is involved in the race. The shift away

from our Constitution is proceeding with the complicity of both parties

and the courts. The process through which the Constitution can be

amended is not used as changes are made illegally through legislation

because it would awaken a massive resistance to the changes underway. A

similar process is under way regarding the rule of law internationally.

The reason given for these steps since September 2001 is the terrorist

attack within the borders of the United States by forces originally

trained, armed and supported by the United States government. The

so-called "war on terrorism" does not exist. The United States

Government has promoted, tolerated, and been party to the use of

terrorism all over the world. The United States has even been found

guilty of terrorism by the World Court.

The terrorist attacks against U.S. targets are important, but they need

to be countered primarily in a social/political manner. That approach is

the opposite of the Patriot Act, and the occupations of Afghanistan and

Iraq. On the contrary, by aggravating inequality, injustice,

disrespecting the rule of law and its military interventions and

occupation, the present policies of the US Government add to the

dangers faced by US citizens throughout the world and in the United

States. Especially dangerous are the promotion of nuclear, chemical and

bacteriological weapons, and the open declarations of the intention to

once again use nuclear weapons.

This recent shift, while rooted in bipartisan policies over the last

decades, has been accelerated by the present Republican administration.

Its ability to carry out these actions has depended on the Democratic

Party's support, and its ability to contain, disorient and prevent the

development of mass opposition.

Amazingly in December of 2003 General Tommy Franks the recently retired

head of CentCom was quoted as stating that he thought the people of the

United States may prefer a military government over our present

Constitutional Republican form if another terrorist attack occurs. Such

a statement is so far off base one most wonder why it is being made. The

people of the United States are solidly opposed to any consideration of

a military dictatorship in the United States. In fact, polls have

repeatedly shown they favor increasing our democratic rights such as

limiting campaign contributions and allowing more points of view in

debates.

Never in our history have top military leaders or ex military leaders

spoken openly of ending our Constitutional form of government. No leader

of the Democratic Party has protested Franks' comments. How many

officers in the armed forces have such opinions? If there are any they

should be immediately removed from the military.

DEMOCRATS: PATRIOT ACT AND UNEQUIVOCAL SUPPORT FOR BUSH

The Democratic Party leadership voted for the USA Patriot Act. In the

United States Senate only one Democrat voted against the Patriot Act.

Democrats considered "liberal" such as Wellstone and Boxer voted for the

Patriot Act. Huge majorities have repeatedly passed votes in the

Congress against the United States Constitution. In one case only one

Congresswoman, Barbara Lee, voted against the abrogation of the

Constitutions separation of powers in Article One Section Eight.

Democratic Party politicians, when called upon to support the Republican

Party and their corporate backers, repeatedly comply and vote against

the interest of the people and against the Constitution they have sworn

to uphold.

The Democratic Party leadership as a whole gave repeated standing

ovations to George Bush as he outlined his platform in his January 2002

State of the Union address promoting the arbitrary decision to occupy

sovereign nations through military aggression in violation of

international law. The ovations given the Republican Platform by the

Democratic Party was done on a nationally televised format for the

people to see a unified political force. The effect is to make people

who believe in peace, support the UN charter, the World Court and the

rule of law feel they are isolated, powerless and irrelevant.

A resolution was passed in March of 2003 calling for "Unequivocal

Support" to "George Bush" for the war in Iraq. It had the full support

of the Democratic Party leadership. Even Democratic "doves" like

Kucinich would not vote against the resolution. Only a handful (11) of

congressional representatives voted against the motion for "unequivocal

support" to George Bush.

THE ROLE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

The usefulness of the Democratic Party in its open defense of the

Republican Platform and its attacks on our Constitution and the rule of

law internationally would be of little value to those who favor the

present policies if it led to the development of a mass independent

opposition. The failure of such forces to exist in sufficient strength

permits the Democrats to be more open in their support for

anti-democratic policies.

Nevertheless some voices outside the Democratic and Republican Parties

are beginning to be heard. Massive anti-war street demonstrations, and

the voice of a new small party, the Green Party, have gained some

attention and respect. In no case did the Democratic Party as an

institution support, call for, or help mobilize popular forces for peace

and respecting international law. Yet large numbers of its rank and file

and many lower level elected officials against their party participated

and promoted anti-war protests.

Many lower elected officials among the Democrats and even some

Republicans who defend the Constitution of the United States are voting

to oppose the USA Patriot Act at the local level. Even many middle level

Democrats have conflicting views and some time take progressive stances

in concert with the Green Party's platform. These individuals live in a

contradiction with the Party they belong to and while we can and should

join with them behind specific issues we do not adopt their error of

being in a party that is against the interest of the people,

pro-corporate and against the rule of law.

DEMOCRATS ATTACK THE GREEN PARTY

The Democratic Party allows its lower level representatives to present

themselves as opposed to the war. Some of its leaders have begun to take

on an appearance of disagreeing with "how" the policies of Bush are

being implemented. The Democratic Party has unleashed a campaign to

divide and conquer those opposed to the pro-war policies. On one hand it

tries to appear sympathetic to anti-war sentiment while on the other it

tries to silence voices opposed to Bush's policies.

Soon after the 2000 presidential election The Democrats began an attack

on the Green Party on the grounds that since there is no run off system,

that is, since the Democrats in partnership with the Republicans do not

allow free elections, the Green Party's existence and its candidate for

President

Ralph Nader in 2000 should be declared responsible for George Bush

becoming the president.

This campaign has been heavily promoted by the corporate media. It has

achieved success in part because of the support it has received by the

more liberal wing of the Democratic Party and some of the "progressive"

journals controlled by liberal Democrats such as The Nation, and Mother

Jones.

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS JOIN ATTACK

Their political message is simple and clear: "no voice truly critical of

the platform of the Republicans may be permitted; only the Democrats

must appear as 'opponents' to the Republicans". They have no objection

to rightist, pro-war third party candidates entering the race and

promoting their views. They only oppose a voice for peace and the rule

of law like that of Ralph Nader in 2000.

Never in the history of the United States has a magazine claiming to

favor democracy run a front page article calling on an individual not to

run for president -- until The Nation did so against Ralph Nader running

for President in 2004. The fact polls show 23% of the people favor Nader

running (extrapolated to the total voting population that represents

about 40 million people) and 65% favored his inclusion in debates is of

no concern to The Nation that seeks to silence the only candidate who in

2000 opposed the premises of George Bush's platform.

THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE VOTERS

The Nation's editorial board is free to campaign for the Democratic

Party and urge people to vote for the Democrats in spite of their

support for the Patriot Act, their votes for "Unequivocal support to

George Bush" etc. That is their right. But they want something else.

They want the Greens to join with them in a conspiracy to not allow the

voters a choice.

All voters are fully aware there is no run off in a presidential race.

They understand and many who support the platform of the Greens will

vote against their views by voting for the Democratic Party. The voters

will make that decision. But The Nation along with many others are

calling on the Greens not to allow voters who do not agree with The

Nation's opinion, to vote Democratic, to have a choice and be able to

express their electoral wish. They want to silence their voices, not to

allow it to be registered, as a way to try and force them to vote for

their party, the Democrats.

The passage of the USA Patriot Act, the undemocratic electoral laws, the

manipulation of electoral campaigns by the corporate media and the

campaign to silence the Greens are all part of the same phenomena

against democracy. It is just another example of how the two party

system is set up to repress and silence those who favor democracy.

LESSER EVIL LEADS TO GREATER EVIL

This campaign's effectiveness has penetrated within the Green Party

where a minority supports the concept that the Green Party should not

run in 2004. Behind this view is the concept that politics can be

measured as degrees, like temperature, and that the Democrats offer a

milder and thus lesser evil alternative to the Republican Platform. This

view argues that to support the "lesser evil" weakens the greater evil.

Such a view fails to grasp the essence of the matter. Political dynamics

work exactly the opposite. To silence the voice of the Green Party and

support the Democrats strengthens George Bush and the Republican Party

because only the appearance of forces opposed to the present policies,

forces that are clearly independent of corporate domination can begin to

shift the relationship of forces and the center of political debate.

Despite the intention of some of its promoters, the anti Green Party

campaign helps the policies pursued by Bush as well as his re election

possibilities.

Although some claim that George Bush's policies represent only a small

coterie of neo-conservative extremists, the reality is otherwise. Bush

and his friends serve at the will of the corporate rulers. His standing

with the American people can be crushed in a moment if the corporate

rulers so choose -- just by the power of their media, which today is

concentrated in the hands of a half dozen giant conglomerates.

It is presently in the interests of the corporate effort to pursue a new

colonialism to have Bush re-elected, thereby legitimatizing his

government before the world. In order to safely achieve that, the voices

that truly oppose Bush's policies need to be silenced.

OPPOSITION IS RISING

Opposition is rising against Bush. The massive overwhelming majority of

the world is against Bush's war policies. The resistance to the

occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the inability of the US media

and government to prevent the world from hearing the truth about these

events, is weakening Bush's standing. The corporate interests and their

media apparently want to make a great effort to get Bush elected, but if

this becomes too difficult, the Democratic Party will be prepared to

appear as an "opposition" that will continue the essence of Bush's

policy with new justifications, modifications and adjusted forms.

The only force that could upset the general direction set by the

bipartisan policies voted over the last few years would be a

destabilizing mass development inside the United States along with world

public opinion. This occurred during the war in Vietnam and forced a

reversal of US policy.

In the case of Vietnam the Republicans under Eisenhower initiated the

direct U.S. intervention by sponsoring the Diem regime in the south of

Vietnam when the French withdrew in the mid-1950s. With U.S.

encouragement, his regime refused to abide by the peace accords and hold

talks and elections to reunify the country. The Democrats under Kennedy

sent ground troops in the early 60's. The US force expanded massively

from 16,300 under Kennedy to more than half a million by 1967 under

Lyndon Baines Johnson, Kennedy's vice president, who won re-election in

1964 as the supposed "peace" candidate.

The rise of a massive uncontrollable opposition within the United States

and around the world became a critical brake on the pro-war policies. An

entire generation was starting to deeply question the direction of the

United States in world affairs. The Democrats and Republicans,

reflecting the opinion of the major corporate leaders and strategists,

decided they had no choice but to pull back and concede military defeat

in Vietnam because the developing division in U.S. society threatened to

result in the emergence of a massive independent political force. This

change in policy was carried out under Republican Richard Nixon.

Saving Bush from a backlash is now on the agenda and the positions of

the Democratic Party helps Bush in several ways.

First, they seek to prevent even a small but independent critical

political development, that is they try to silence the Green Party, and

they orient those opposed to the new colonialism to stop demonstrating

and focus instead on the electoral campaigns of their Party.

Second, they seek to convince the people that what was wrong with the

invasion of Iraq was just that the United Nations -meaning the

undemocratic Security Council dominated by the wealthiest countries--

did not lend it political cover, or NATO was not the military form used,

or the US did not include France and Germany in stealing Iraq's

resources, or not enough troops are being used or some other question

about how things are being done rather than what is being done.

They promise that all will be well if the Democrats can take charge and

handle the matter better. With this orientation the Democrats free the

hands of corporate America to give their funding and support to Bush.

With few exceptions of relatively isolated voices they offer, not real

opposition, but only nuances.

And those isolated voices, (Kucinich, Sharpton and Moseley), of

opposition within the Democratic Party, no matter how well-intentioned,

have a negative

consequence: they give legitimacy to the Democrats as "opponents" of the

Republicans.

These exceptions to the general rule are allowed on condition that after

the primary campaigns they urge a vote for the Democratic nominee. This

must be done no matter how different that endorsed candidates positions

are from the positions taken during the primary. The cover for their

political sell out is the winner-take-all system that allows them to

posture as just "opposed to Bush" as they support the very Party that

has supported Bush.

Those are the dues you have to pay to "play" in that game; otherwise

they will be eliminated and driven out of the House, the Senate or a

Governor's office.

For the Green Party there is nothing more important or effective long

term and short term in stopping Bush than to expose how the corporate

interests use their two-party system and the role of the Democrats in

that system. We must let all Americans who question the policies of

Bush, who favor the rule of law, peace, and our Constitution and Bill of

Rights see the Democratic Party's hypocrisy, how they support the war

and the Patriot Act.

DEMOCRATS HELP INSTITUTIONALIZE BUSH'S PLATFORM

It is transparent that the Democrats' objective is to help

institutionalize the USA Patriot Act's break with our Constitution and

Bill of Rights, by proposing amendments and adjustments that will

disorient, divide and weaken the opposition to the USA Patriot Act, and

give the appearance public concerns have been corrected.

The Democrats are making interesting suggestions for how to pursue the

war effort. Some are calling for a more extensive commitment and the

sending of more troops to suppress any resistance to US domination in

Iraq and Afghanistan. Others are suggesting more flexibility in forming

alliances with European nations that had made capital investments to

exploit Iraq's oil wealth under the Saddam Hussein dictatorship. These

proposals are all aimed at continuing the denial of self-determination

for the people of Iraq, which means continuing war and continuing

violation of international law.

The Democrats and Republicans both supported Saddam Hussein and the

Baathist in Iraq before 1990 when it served their interests. Now they

argue with each other on how best to oppress the Iraqis as they try to

fool the American people into thinking they are actually trying to bring

the Iraqis democracy and freedom.

SELF-CORRECTING MECHANISM

The role of these two parties is not a conspiracy. Boxer, Wellstone and

many other Democrats did not vote for the USA Patriot Act consciously

seeking to assist Bush. Being Democrats they become part of a system

that will have them removed if they do not follow the rules of support

when corporate America insists. To rise in the Democratic Party there is

a process that leads to compliant people unable to question, who remain

silent before betrayals, or criminal acts. Cynthia McKinney is an

example of a Democrat who refused to go along, stepped across the line

within the Democratic Party and was driven out of office by the combined

efforts of both the Democratic and Republican parties and the corporate

media.

Voting to abrogate the 4th amendment to the Constitution, which

prohibits searches without probable cause and a judge's order, as the

USA Patriot Act does directly is an illegal act. The Democrats and

Republicans who voted for this law were fully aware of what they were

doing. It is an insult to the intelligence of people like Wellstone and

Boxer not to recognize that they fully understood the choice they were

making. The Green Party differs, it defends the 4th amendment and seeks

to defend the Constitution and respect for the law on how the

Constitution can be amended that requires the consideration and vote of

the states.

That is not to say there are many issues where Greens agree with

Democrats like Boxer and Wellstone and even admire positions they have

taken and efforts they have made. But to go into denial, and refuse to

recognize the obvious --that the Democrats have joined in passing and

promoting the USA Patriot Act against the Constitution with the support

of people like

Boxer--

is to deny the true framework we face politically in our nation.

The self purging process of the Democratic Party is an on going balance

between allowing, even welcoming, voices of opposition in order to

co-opt, but not allowing those voices to form a serious challenge,

especially any challenge that favors the development of political

formations not dominated by corporate money.

SUCCESS OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY

The Democratic Party should be seen historically as the most successful

political party in the history of the world in terms of maintaining

stability for rule by the privileged few. There is no other example that

comes near what the Democratic Party has achieved in maintaining the

domination of money over people.

The Democratic Party through trickery co-opted the powerful and massive

rise of the Populist movement at the end of the 19th century precisely

using the same lesser evil arguments now presented against the Green

Party.

They blocked the formation of a mass Labor Party when the union movement

rose in the 1930s. They derailed, co-opted and dismantled the powerful

civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam war movement and women's liberation

movement. They have even succeeded in establishing popular myths that

they were once for labor, for civil rights and for peace. Nothing could

be further from the truth.

One quite popular myth is that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was pro labor.

Continuing the policies of Woodrow Wilson who oversaw a reign of

anti-union terror, including black listing and deporting immigrant labor

organizers, FDR's administration sabotaged union drives every step of

the way. When workers overcame their bosses' resistance and began

winning strikes, FDR turned on them and gave the green light for

repression after police killed ten striking steel workers in 1937. As

FDR said himself, "I'm the best friend the profit system ever had."

After WWII Truman used the new Taft Hartley Anti-Labor Act to break

national strikes more than a dozen times.

The Democrats have not abandoned "progressive" positions once held as

some Democrats repeatedly claim but have simply shifted further to the

right as world globalization has advanced leading to the lowering of

democratic rights and the growth of wealth polarization within the

United States.

If a massive opposition develops, if the Greens begin to win races and

its following grows, the corporations will put more money behind the

Democrats, the media will become more sympathetic to the Democrats,

promote its more "progressive" voices. The media would also become more

critical of the Republican lack of sensitivity, all in an effort to

maintain the two-party system. That is, a shift towards the Democrats

will occur if the Democrats cannot control the people.

The two-party system is a self-correcting mechanism that shifts back and

forth between the two parties, and within different wings of those

parties, to maintain corporate political control. Loyalty to the

two-party system is inculcated in the educational system, and our

electoral laws are rigged to discriminate against third parties.

GREENS VOICE MUST BE HEARD

Those who call for a "lesser evil", that is, for evil will unfortunately

succeed. The call for a "lesser evil" is what makes possible the greater

evil. Those voices who say Nader should not run, that the Greens should

consider withdrawing, that the Greens should not campaign in states

where the vote is close are, unconsciously, actually helping Bush's

re-election by weakening the development of an opposition political

movement that shifts the balance of forces. Nothing is more important

than the appearance of candidates and mass actions that tell the full

truth, that call for the rule of law, respect for the Bill of Rights,

and speak out for peace and social justice.

There is nothing more threatening to the rule of the corporations than

the consolidation of a party of hundreds of thousands of citizens,

especially young people, that fearlessly tell the truth to the American

people. Only such a movement can in time become millions, then tens of

millions and eventually win. But it is also the best strategy for the

short term, to force a shift away from the direction being pursued

today.

SHORT TERM VERSUS LONG TERM

The idea there is a conflict between the short term and the long term is

a cover for capitulation. It has been the endless argument of the

Democrats against challenges to their policies. When independent

movements appear they call on people to enter the Democratic Party and

work from within. There is no time to go outside the two-party

framework, they argue. This argument was made 100 years ago, 50 years

ago, 25 years ago and, of course remains with us today. Millions have

agreed there's no time to do the right thing. Very powerful groups, like

the AFL CIO, have followed their advice. As a result the number of

workers in unions has dropped from 37% of the work force to 12% as they

politically subordinated themselves to the pro-corporate Democratic

Party.

Rather than success, these movements have found the Democratic Party to

be the burial grown for mass movements, and of third party efforts that

sought to defend the interest of the people throughout American history.

If we follow the advice of the "left" Democrats who call on Greens to

return to the Democratic Party, the Green Party will collapse like the

New Party did for fear of confronting the Democrats.

The exact opposite is needed. We need to encourage those Democrats who

are opposing the policies of their party to follow the lead of

Congressman Dan Hamburg and break with the Democrats and join with us in

developing an alternative force, fighting for democracy, social justice

and peace.

All people who believe in democracy need to call on The Nation and

others to stop their campaign against the Greens, a campaign at the

service of corporate America. Instead they should join with the Greens

in a battle for democracy in the same manner in which many progressive

Democrats in San Francisco rejected their party's nomination for mayor

and joined with the Greens to create a progressive alternative. We need

to suggest to "progressive" Democrats that they should concentrate their

attacks on their leadership's support for George Bush's policies, and

not on the Greens for telling the truth and actually fighting for the

ideals many of these Democrats claim to hold.

THE YEAR 2004

The year 2004 will be a critical year for the Greens. The campaign of

the Democrats will be powerful and to some extent effective. Some will

abandon us but others will be attracted by our courage and our

principled stance. In California the Green registration continues to

rise even as the campaign against the Green Party grows. We may very

well receive a lower vote than in 2000. But if we do not stand up to

this pressure and hold our banner high, fight them and defend our right

to exist, to have our voice heard, to run candidates that expose the

two-party system and the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party and its

complicity with the Republicans, we will suffer the greatest lost of

all.

THE GREEN PARTY

The Green Party can and will win the hearts and minds of people when

they see us as reliable and unshakeable, if we stand our ground. In time

this leads to respect and then support. Those Greens who agree with our

Ten Points but have disagreements with this Avocado Declaration need to

be respected. We need to allow an open and honest debate as an essential

part of our culture.

Truth can only be ascertained through the conflict of ideas. Thus

democracy is essential for society but also for our internal process.

The present discussion around the 2004 elections is one that will not

end but will be with us for a long time. It finds expression in many

forms because it is the most FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE of American politics in

our epoch. Are we willing to stand up to the rule of corporate

domination and its central political agent that has deceived and

betrayed our people, the Democratic Party?

THE GREENS MUST BE A PLURALISTIC ORGANIZATION

The Green Party seeks to bring all those who agree with its Ten Key

points into one unified political party. It welcomes diversity, debate,

and discussion on issues of strategy, tactics and methods of

functioning. A healthy organization that fights for the interest of the

people by its nature will always have all kinds of internal conflicts,

sharp differences, personality difficulties and all other things human.

This is not only normal it is healthy.

The Greens do not consider themselves a substitute for other movements

or organizations, such as peace organizations and other specific issue

groups that seek to unite people of all political persuasions around a

specific platform. We welcome diversity with other groups that seek to

move in the same direction with us but are not agreed to join us. We

will try to work wi th such organizations where common ground exists.

Thus the AVOCADO DECLARATION includes a call for the Greens to accept

diversity, and maintain unity as we seek to build an effective mass

organization.

Let those that agree with the AVOCADO DECLARATION help protect and build

the Green Party as a vehicle for democracy, freedom, liberty and justice

for all.

JANUARY 1, 2004

[This statement helps place the Avocado Declaration in context -- it

indicates what Peter Miguel Camejo and his friends have in mind and are

trying to promote.]

AVOCADO EDUCATION PROJECT

Mission Statement

The Avocado Education Project (AEP) educates on the history of struggles for

democracy in the United States and their relationship to a multi-party

political system. Americans have repeatedly called for a multi party

democracy throughout our history. Since the founding of the United States

of America the political establishment has rejected moving towards a

multi-party framework.

Related to this development is the one-person one vote issue that has also

faced a long uphill battle in US history. While often accepted as the goal

of democracy many US institutions such as the Electoral College and the US

Senate reject the concept of one-person one vote.

The AEP seeks to learn from the experience of the majority of nations

holding elections where multi-party systems exists, the law protects

one-person one vote and the juridical electoral forms favoring a two party

system have been rejected.

Specifically the AEP is a project that focuses on the existing debate within

the United States on this issue. Should the US electoral system, and its

electoral laws favor limiting elections to two parties or should it be

opened up to a multi-party system? Should governmental electoral

institutions and electoral forms that do not follow the one-person one vote

rule be allowed to exist?

Should entities that are not people and do not follow a one-person one vote

decision making policy, such as corporations, be allowed to participate in

elections through financial donations?

Through its website, publications, conferences and symposiums, the AEP will

provide a forum where all those committed to advancing democracy in the

United States can share ideas, and learn from each other.

==================================================

Ten years ago while working as a corporate executive,

he gave this interview with the Green Left Weekly on

Cuba. He would be an outstanding candidate for the

US presidency. We could do no better than Camejo!

http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/1994/132/132p19.htm

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How do we contact him to ask him to run? Green Tuesday, Jan. 06, 2004 at 9:40 PM
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