The Plan B Opportunity – Robert Smith

Many independent minded progressives following the 2020 Democratic Primaries are supporting the campaigns of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawai’i.

2020 will be no different from 2016, in terms of the general reactions of voters. If the Democratic Party chooses to nominate a do-nothing centrist, they will once again experience #DemExit by those who are either in the #BernieOrBust or #TulsiOrBust camps. This is extremely predictable behavior, as both campaigns have significant support outside the Democratic Party. Additionally with the reality faced by candidates in a two-party system, both are pressured to work within the confines of the Democratic Party. However, in truth, both candidates offer unique visions that often clash with the positions taken by their respective colleagues in the U.S. House and Senate.

According to Real Clear Politics national polling average, former Vice President Joe Biden leads by over 5% (as of October 31). Assuming he gets the nomination, millions of voters will immediately be considering their Plan B. Only one minor political party on the left has consistently acquired ballot access in enough states to theoretically attain >270 electoral votes. The Green Party.

The first candidate to author and campaign on a Green New Deal, Mr. Howie Hawkins, is the party’s front runner in seeking the Green nomination for president. The former three time gubernatorial candidate from New York State has been effective in bringing progressive policy into the mainstream. While some may describe him as a perennial candidate, the teamster, veteran, and life-long activist has always conducted his campaign seriously, with cutting-edge, detailed policy proposals.

The simple, calm, and humble demeanored retiree from UPS has always pursued a path of justice, even when it was inconvenient.

“When his draft number was called in 1972, Howie enlisted in the Marine Corps while continuing to organize against the Vietnam War.” [1]

Committed to running a serious presidential campaign, Hawkins has already begun to galvanize support outside of the Green Party. He made an appearance at Politicon in Nashville, where reportedly many people have already committed their vote to Hawkins as their Plan B. [2]

Hawkins is on track to meet the requirements to qualify for Federal Matching Funds. He has met the requirement in California, New York, and soon also Texas. Needing 17 more states to qualify, 12 states have already met more than a quarter of their goal (as of October 31). [3]

On October 26, 2019, Hawkins was nominated by Socialist Party USA for President of the United States. The party is the living legacy of Eugene Debs, the most known Socialist in America who last ran for president from prison 100 years ago, receiving almost a million votes. As an eco-socialist, Hawkins is running to once and for all win a million plus votes for socialism.

The other recognized candidate seeking the Green Party’s nomination is Rabbi Dario Hunter. He is the first Muslim-born man to become an ordained Rabbi. An educator and former environmental attorney, Hunter is currently an elected school board member in Youngstown, Ohio. He is the first openly gay black man to run for President, and would be the first Jewish President if elected.

Hawkins, the front runner, is seeking the backing of other minor parties and leftist organizations across the nation. Such collaboration will help secure ballot access for Hawkins.

It is clear that uniting the left is essential in providing an alternative to the Democratic Party.

In states with Ranked Choice Voting (currently only Maine) and in states considered safe (the vast majority), progressive voters should have no hesitation backing the Green nominee, especially should there be no progressive on the Democratic ballot line. But just as the recurrence of #DemExit is predictable, so are the smears and fear-mongering propaganda employed to contain the political imagination of voters. The objective by establishment interests is to prevent alternative candidates from reaching 15% in the polls, so they are excluded from the debates and effectively discredited. This tactic inevitably discourages millions of voters from coming out to vote, by limiting the real choice to only two candidates. In 2016, this resulted in 45% of registered voters not voting. However, despite their effort to dissuade voters, they failed to deter over 7 million people from voting for a minor party or independent candidate.

By overcoming these challenges and expanding the political imagination of voters, 2020 could be the election to prove that the Green Party can rise-up and become the much needed opposition to corporate Democrats and Republicans.

If Hawkins unifies the left, he not only can get over a million votes for socialism, but can also get over 5% of the vote nationwide. This is necessary to retain ballot access in most states and would guarantee the future Green nominee in 2024 to automatically qualify for federal matching funds. Such a feat would give the Green Party a mandate, without debate, as the official alternative opposition to the corporate parties.

[1] https://howiehawkins.us/about-howie/

[2] https://www.facebook.com/runhowierun2020/…/?type=3&theater

[3] https://howiehawkins.us/statematch/

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