For Immediate Release
Green Party Rebuttal to President Trump's 2018 State of the Union Address
WASHINGTON - Green Party leaders responded to President Trump's 2018 State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 30, with sharp criticism of his statements on energy in light of the climate crisis, plans for more nuclear weapons, health care, immigration, and other administration policies.
Green rebuttals to Mr. Trump's speech and to reactions from both Democratic and Republican parties can be read below. The rebuttals advocate alternative ideas like the Green New Deal, Single-Payer health care, and global nuclear disarmament.
The Green Party aired a simulcast of the president's speech on GreenStream, the party's livestream channel, with post-speech comments and Q&A by Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, the 2016 Green presidential and vice-presidential candidates respectively. Craig Seeman (Green Party of New York) was technical producer for the broadcast. The comments and Q&A can be viewed here.
Green Party rebuttals to President Trump's State of the Union:
ExxonMobil's $50 billion investment in the U.S., praised by Mr. Trump in his speech, comes at a time when drastic measures are needed to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and the power of oil companies.
In November 2017, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries warned that humanity is facing "widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss... Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory." The scientists sounded an alarm on greenhouse gas emissions, temperature change, ocean dead zones, and depleted freshwater resources, vertebrate species, and total forest cover.
During the State of the Union, the president boasted of expanded fossil fuel use (especially "clean coal" -- which doesn't exist) and reduced corporate regulation, in line with the reckless and anti-scientific skepticism of the Republican Party despite recent predictions of more extreme effects.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party acknowledges the threat of climate change but has refused to endorse steps necessary against the crisis. President Obama blocked international agreements to reduce CO2 emissions from being legally binding and the 2016 Democratic platform rejected carbon taxes and excluded limits on drilling and fracking.
Greens have proposed a way to avert a global climate catastrophe, convert to a 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030, ensure financial stability, address human needs, and provide millions of new jobs in clean, renewable energy technology, retrofitting homes and buildings for energy efficiency, expanded mass transportation for a sharp reduction in care traffic, and other measures.
This plan is called the Green New Deal.
Global warming went unmentioned in Mr. Trump's speech and in Rep. Joe Kennedy's response on behalf of Democrats. The Green Party remains the only political party that takes the crisis seriously.
President Trump promised to reduce the price of prescription drugs, but GOP reforms will only worsen the Affordable Care Act's defects. Both major parties remain loyal to generous for-profit insurance, pharmaceutical, and other health lobbies.
The Green Party calls for Single-Payer national health care (Improved Medicare For All), the only solution that will make medical care universal, drastically reduce costs, and save Americans from financial ruin over a medical emergency. Greens call for health care to be recognized as a human right, not a commodity.
Military spending, nuclear arms, and foreign policy
President Trump's call for more nuclear weaponry is further evidence of his loyalty to Pentagon generals and dedication to military imperialism, the permanent wartime economy, and grossly bloated U.S. military budgets -- nearly $700 billion in the proposed Fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which has bipartisan support.
The Green Party calls deep cuts in military funding (except for veterans's services) with redirection of such to money to human needs; global nuclear disarmament; closing of Guantanamo Bay and U.S. bases around the world; diplomacy and adherence to international law to resolve international conflict; a halt to U.S. aid for countries that violate human rights, including Israel for its brutal apartheid system and Saudi Arabia in its continuing assault on Yemen; and an end to Mr. Trump's insults and reckless threats aimed at North Korea, Iran, and other nations.
Greens see a glimmer of hope in current negotiations between North and South Korea undertaken independently of the Trump Administration.
Greens are equally concerned over Democrats' revival of the Cold War, with McCarthyite allegations against those who engage in political dissent (some directed at Jill Stein and the Green Party) and an embrace of neocon foreign policies. This mentality has resulted in tacit approval among many liberals for corporate censorship of ideas on the Internet.
The Green Party calls for a new peace movement that recognizes the belligerence of both the Democratic and Republican parties. See also commentary by Ajamu Baraka, 2016 Green vice-presidential nominee and founder of Black Alliance for Peace.
Greens called President Trump's focus on gang violence committed by a small number of immigrants a slanderous and racist attempt to stoke fear and hatred. In reality, undocumented immigrants are statistically more law-abiding than the general U.S. population.
Republican enthusiasm for criminalizing and deporting immigrants -- bolstered by Democratic compromises during the recent government shutdown -- have been used to justify the president's repeal of DACA and barring of refugees seeking asylum, many fleeing countries like Honduras where bipartisan U.S. support for brutally repressive governments led them to seek shelter in the U.S.
The Green Party calls for human rights for immigrants, an end to Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and deportations of immigrants, preservation of DACA, and a welcome to those fleeing violence and poverty.
Post-hurricane aid for Puerto Rico and other damaged areas
In the wake of hurricanes that have inflicted devastation on Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, and other areas, the Trump Administration has been slow to provide funds, fresh water, medicine, food, shelter, electrical power, and other kinds of relief. President Trump was silent about Puerto Rico during his State of the Union address.
On Monday, it was announced that FEMA would stop sending food and water to Puerto Rico. According to reports from Puerto Rico, many people still depend on FEMA rations.The Green Party calls this decision premature.
The Green Party continues to support independence, self-determination, and self-government for Puerto Rico and cancellation of the island's massive debt. Greens noted that the storms are evidence of increasing climate stability as average global temperatues continue to rise.
Greens said that those who reduce The Resistance to "Restore Democrats to Power" are offering no resistance at all.
The Democratic Party, competing with the GOP for checks from the One Percent, has abandoned working people across the U.S. Both parties pretend that economic recoveries and prosperity for the corporate sector and the rich mean good news for everyone. In reality, wages have stagnated. Financial security and protections for working people continue to shrink.
Placing corporate-money Democrats back in public office will be an invitation for future GOP victories, with the possibility of Republicans even worse than Trump.
Real resistance means changing the dangerous direction of the U.S., which can only begin to happen by opening the political field to more than the Two Parties of War and Wall Street.
Donald Trump won the 2016 election because voters who didn't want Hillary Clinton prevailed over voters who didn't want Mr. Trump. In other words -- more than any other reason -- we got President Trump because of the two-party election dynamic.
The Green Party has an alternative vision for the future of America, for working people, and for Planet Earth. That vision can become a reality when millions of Americans declare their independence from the two neoliberal parties and business as usual.
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