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More choices than Democrats and Republicans

July 12, 2018

by Barry Hermanson

Greens in the U.S. aren’t the only ones pushing to cut American military spending. Greens in Germany are a major part of a consensus building to demand the withdrawal of U.S. troops from their country, where 34,805 are deployed. That number is second only to Japan, which is home to 39,345 U.S. troops. South Korea is third with 23,468. Are we still fighting World War II and the Korean War? Greens are party of common sense. – Graphic: Visual Capitalist via Mint Press News

If you are reading my column for the first time, for the past year, I’ve written every month as a candidate for Congress. My chief opponent on the June 5th primary ballot was the leader of the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi.

There were seven candidates on the San Francisco ballot for Congress. Two moved forward to the November election, Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Republican Lisa Remmer. As a former candidate, I offer them my congratulations but not my support.

Even though I am no longer a candidate, I continue to ask the same question of voters: Why do leaders in the Democratic and Republican Parties prioritize military spending over everything else? Cutting bloated military spending would free up funds to help people, not kill them.

Has the Pentagon ever analyzed the full cost of bombing a hospital versus building one? When was the last time a military appropriations budget had difficulty passing?

Instead, there are endless debates on immigration and the small amount of help provided to people living in poverty. Universal healthcare that would provide better care at a lower cost is off the table.

Why do leaders in the Democratic and Republican Parties prioritize military spending over everything else? Cutting bloated military spending would free up funds to help people, not kill them.

Nancy Pelosi has been San Francisco’s representative in Congress since 1987. The winner of a special election when Sala Burton died in office, Pelosi had the ability to raise large amounts of money that helped her to narrowly defeat progressive SF Board of Supervisors President Harry Britt. Her fundraising ability over the years helped her become speaker of the House and the most powerful Democrat in Washington.

Not since 1987 have there been Congressional campaign forums in San Francisco where national or international issues are debated. Of all the cities in the United States, San Francisco should be a leader in debating these issues, helping to shape the legislative agenda of our representative in Congress. Instead there will once again be none.

I attended a fundraising dinner recently where comedian and political commentator Will Durst said, “San Francisco is the only place in the U.S. where Nancy Pelosi is criticized from the left.” Unfortunately, even in San Francisco, there are few critics of the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Of all the cities in the United States, San Francisco should be a leader in debating these issues, helping to shape the legislative agenda of our representative in Congress. Instead there will once again be none.

In this one-party town, it is easy to point fingers at Republicans and blame them for whatever is wrong in our country. In Republican districts, Democrats are blamed.

What is not talked about is that the leadership of both parties prefer funding war instead of peace. They support Wall Street over Main Street.

Both parties support big banks and have chained an entire generation of young people to a lifetime of student loan debt. Students have little hope of ever buying a home or starting a business. Support is strong in Washington for the 1 percent. Not so much for the 99 percent.

What is not talked about is that the leadership of both parties prefer funding war instead of peace. They support Wall Street over Main Street.

During the last two years of campaigning, many people told me we need a change in leadership. But will we see change?

The old guard in Washington is grooming new leaders who will promote the same agenda. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” said The Who in “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

In 2001, I decided not to be fooled again and registered to vote with the Green Party. Voters in the United States need more choices than Democrats and Republicans.

I never considered registering as “No Party Preference” (NPP). There is no organization for voters to advocate for anything.

I decided not to be fooled again and registered to vote with the Green Party. Voters in the United States need more choices than Democrats and Republicans.

The Green Party is the only national political party that supports:

  • Cutting our bloated military budget to reinvest in America.
  • An Improved Medicare for All
  • Urgently moving to clean, publicly owned, renewable energy.
  • Fully funding public education at all levels.
  • Eliminating student debt.
  • Closing for-profit prisons and ending the death penalty.

Greens value people, planet and peace over profit. Leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties do not.

I invite you to register and vote Green.

Barry Hermanson is member of the San Francisco Green Party County Council and a former small business owner.  Email him at barry@hermansons.com

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