The following is an excerpt:
Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins said in an exclusive interview that he too had “no qualms” about playing spoiler in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, and Iowa — the most hotly contested states among the 29 (plus DC) where his name appears on the ballot.
Hawkins argues that Trump has so thoroughly failed the nation, especially his response to the COVID-19 crisis, that Biden doesn’t deserve to win the White House if he can’t beat Trump under current circumstances.
Presuming Biden wins — and Hawkins believes Biden will — the new president must nevertheless understand how peeved far-left Democrats are that he’s rejected their most aggressive environmental proposals, Hawkins said.
Hawkins added that Biden, whose policy positions are sometimes more moderate than the most liberal Democrats would like, has largely abandoned people who backed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential primary.
“Don’t waste your vote on Biden if you’re a progressive. Use your vote as your voice and put down a marker for after the election,” said Hawkins, a 67-year-old trade unionist and environmental activist from New York who cofounded the Green Party of the United States. “If you vote for Biden, he’ll take you for granted.”
‘We’re not spoiling the election. They are.’
On October 8 in Denver, a day after Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vicepresidential candidate Kamala Harris sparred one state over in Utah, another kind of candidate debate went down.
This time, Pierce, Hawkins, and Blankenship joined Party for Socialism & Liberation candidate Gloria La Riva and American Solidarity Party candidate Brian Carroll for a three-hour “open debate.”
It even concluded with the kind of political party almost anyone could support: one with an open bar at a nearby restaurant, with all candidates and attendees invited.
But before the liquor flowed, the candidates raced along an unbracketed spectrum of ideas and philosophies — some steeped in naked socialism, others borne on a brand of laissezfaire capitalism that’d make Calvin Coolidge blush.
Such conversations are precisely the kind not reflected in a Trump-Biden binary, said Hawkins, who likes his odds of a strong showing in Maine — residents there now use a ranked-choice voting system — and the District of Columbia.
In the Democratic Party’s zeal to defeat Trump, Hawkins argued to Insider that establishment Democrats have at best put forth flaccid efforts to address numerous problems facing democracy, including protecting Black voters from disenfranchisement and ditching the Electoral College for a national popular vote for president.
“I understand that people in a close state might hold their noises and vote for Biden, because we do want Trump out of there,” Hawkins said. “But ask yourself: Do you think Democrats are trying to solve the problem, or are they trying to scapegoat the Greens as spoilers? They’ve got to get real. We’re not spoiling the election. They are.”