In the rapidly approaching 2020 U.S. presidential election, the Democratic Party and the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris campaign offer no way forward for working people. With careers built on segregation and mass incarceration, Biden and Harris oppose universal healthcare and lack any serious plan for a just transition to green energy. It is crucial that workers everywhere, including progressives and socialists, unite behind an independent campaign that will organize for far-reaching demands that advance the needs of the working class.
After a series of internal discussions and a formal vote, the Independent Socialist Group (ISG) is declaring its critical support for the Howie Hawkins/Angela Walker campaign for president/vice president. As part of our internal discussions on the Hawkins/Walker campaign, ISG members read “The Case for an Independent Left Party: From The Bottom Up” available free from the campaign website. Hawkins and Walker have made the question of a working-class party independent of the Democrats and Republicans central to their campaign, and have stated clearly that this electoral effort will do whatever it can to further that goal.
The Hawkins/Walker campaign puts forward a strong program with explicit calls for a socialist economy, an eco-socialist Green New Deal, and single payer universal healthcare. Furthermore, the campaign’s platform includes far-reaching progressive demands for social and racial justice, indigenous rights, and demilitarization. It seems to be the strongest campaign on the left, and the best positioned to raise the banner of socialism and discuss left ideas with the broadest audience.
We look forward to being involved in the campaign. We would like our involvement to include bringing forward our ideas and proposals as to how best to build support for the campaign. We believe the Hawkins/Walker campaign can help organize support for socialism and be part of building the foundations for a workers’ party in the U.S. We urge supporters of the Hawkins/Walker campaign to continue organizing for socialism and independent working-class politics beyond this election cycle.
We declare “critical support”, in a positive way, aiming to engage with the campaign and its supporters, including open discussion about the program and tactics. Our critical support for the Hawkins/Walker campaign does not extend to the Green Party as whole in terms of its entire program, its actions, or all its candidates, due to the political weaknesses of some of the party platform and some groups within the party. Additionally, while certainly not a corporate party run by big business interests like the Democrats and Republicans, the Green Party is not a dues-paying membership-based party, which means its internal democracy is limited, with state party chapters holding too much power and internal politics dominated by career politicians, a major criticism that Hawkins himself has correctly raised. We do not believe the Green Party, as a whole, can form the foundation of a mass, left, independent workers’ party. However, we do believe sections of the Green party, including the best layers of voters, activists, and politicians, can play a role in the fight to build a new worker’s party.
We urge progressives, socialists, and other working people to break from the damaging pressures of lesser-evilism by supporting and voting for the Hawkins/Walker campaign as part of the effort to build mass, independent, working-class politics, which can challenge the capitalist class and fight for our class interests.