UNITED STATES PACIFIST PARTY
May 23, 2008
This letter is to inform you that I am again running for President of the United States under the auspices of the United States Pacifist Party (USPP; so far, as a write-in candidate). This decision has been difficult for me. As of this date, May 23, it looks as if Barak Obama will be the Democratic Party candidate, and it would be a remarkable blow against the racist tendencies in U.S. society if an African-American were elected President. Also, Democrats tend to take more humanitarian stands on social issues than do Republicans. However, Democrats do not show a much greater awareness of the militaristic tendencies of our society than do Republicans. For example, I can detect little difference between John McCain’s views on foreign policy and Hillary Clinton’s, and both Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama favor huge military establishments and continuing nuclear deterrence as the foundation of U.S. foreign policy. In general, Democrats urge that they should be elected not because they will significantly reduce the military establishment, but because they will be more “efficient,” and “responsible” in their use of military power than Republicans.
Another consideration in favor of running is that our two-party, winner-take-all, electoral system is a deliberate construction of both the Democrats and the Republicans; it exists because of legislation sponsored and enacted by these parties. Neither major party wants third parties in the field. The great danger of such hostility to third parties is that it stifles the generation and promotion of fresh political ideas. Without the constant generation of fresh approaches to politics, the political system will–and has–become dominated by established economic and political interests, and, progressively, less realistic. Much politics in the U.S. tends to serve the rich and ignore the vast majority of human beings who are poor, and promotes the idea that the status quo can be preserved forever by police, prisons, and military force. This concept of the world is morally indefensible and scientifically unsound. To be moral, politics must serve the poor. To be scientifically sound it must recognize that military force is a “Faustian bargain,” that may be able to preserve a precarious “peace” for an indeterminate period, but only at the cost of eventual castastrophic accidents with nuclear weapons, and—in all probability—nuclear war.
If third parties are supposed not to mount campaigns so that they will not be “spoilers” in the current elections, just when can they promote their viewpoints? If “political realism” stifles them now, when will it not stifle them? The fact is that national elections offer the best vehicles for promoting political perspectives. It is during national elections that the public in general becomes interested in different political perspectives, and the mass media feels the democratic obligation to make the full spectrum of political thinking available to the public. Give up your right to conduct a third-party campaign during a national election and you effectively give up the ability of the third party perspective to have any influence on political life. If I say that the United States Pacifist Party will not run its own candidates so that it will not become a spoiler, and decrease the likelihood that the Democrats will defeat the Republicans, I am effectively saying that the USPP should not exist.
The USPP has a viewpoint that can be considered the most realistic of any political party. It does not waffle with militarism. It describes the exact nature of militarism–an amoral system with an insatiable appetite for, and ability to waste, economic resources; a system that can “win” specific wars, and may “deter” other wars for an indeterminate time, but has as its ultimate issue catastrophic accidents with nuclear weapons and nuclear war. Probably the most important task of any political party is to bring these facts to the public’s attention. If the USPP does not do this, who will? There is no other political voice in the country that calls for defense by nonviolent resistance, reduction of the military budget toward zero, and economic programs capable of rapidly abolishing poverty worldwide.
These are reasons that influence me to run again for President under USPP auspices. Furthermore, I recommend that everyone who considers her or himself a pacifist, and believes that conflicts should be resolved by nonviolent means, run for offices, too. You may not have the means needed to pay the fees necessary to get on the ballot, but it is not too late, and costs no more than the cost of a press release, to run as a write-in candidate. If you decide to run, please let me know. And good luck!
More information about the USPP: its 2008 platform, explanations of several planks, downloadable images of bumper stickers, and images of available buttons, are available on its website: www.uspacifistparty.org Also, please do not hesitate to write, phone, or email me if you would like further information. Of course, the Party has expenses, and contributions always are welcome. Checks should be made out to the United States Pacifist Party (or USPP), and mailed to the above address.