Given all of this, anyone who wants to see the reigning in of corporate power in the interests of ordinary people and environmental sanity cannot campaign or vote for Barack Obama again. There is no time to fall once more into the trap of lesser-evilism. It’s not a question of worrying about whether the Republicans will win in 2012; their policies already have.
Whoever does win in 2012—and, judging by recent campaign contributions, the corporations and ruling class are backing an Obama second term—people and the planet will lose. The only way to bring real change, the only hope for environmental and social activists in the United States, is to work completely outside the Democratic Party and within the new social movements against nuclear power, against hydrofracking for natural gas and against mountain top removal for coal, to name only a few.
The challenge of our age is to build links between the movements, with the rank and file of the labor unions and internationally with other groups to create a mass movement in the United States that campaigns for a redirection of government funds toward renewable-energy jobs, energy conservation, public transportation and the new infrastructure that is so obviously and desperately needed. We must reject the false “choice” that we are presented with by both mainstream parties: Do you want us to cut flesh from your arm or your leg?
The money for such social and ecological projects cannot once again be sought from the mass of the people, but must come from the coffers of the corporations and the fabulously wealthy by raising their taxes and pulling out of the wars. Most U.S. corporations pay no income tax, neither do a large percentage of foreign companies doing business in the U.S.
If politicians were really serious about closing the budget gap it could very easily be done just by closing those tax loopholes, let alone by raising their taxes back to historical levels. In itself, this would raise trillions of dollars.
The fact that the richest 400 people in the United States have more wealth than 50 percent of U.S. households—150 million Americans—is truly obscene. Likewise, that the money spent by the U.S. military just on air-conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan was $20.2 billion in 2010 is a monument to the insanity of capitalist priorities in a world that is crying out for food, clothing, shelter and environmental redress.
The only way we are going to achieve real ecological and social progress in the U.S. is to cut all ties to the Democrats and fashion our own independent movement that is organized, autonomous and out on the streets, not lobbying in the corridors of power.
The evidence is so compelling, and the time for action so short, that all equivocation must end, all ties to the Democrats must be severed, and a new, stronger, more effective movement will rise from the ashes of Obama’s false promises, one that can truly combat the inequities of the world and forge policies that will begin to heal the planet.
This really is the last, best hope for the Earth.”