Editor’s Note: Minneapolis 5th Ward Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee presented the official Green Party response to President George Bush’s State of the Union Address. Editor’s Note: Minneapolis 5th Ward Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee presented the official Green Party response to President George Bush’s State of the Union Address. She presented her response to a Green Party delegation at the nation’s Capitol.
Greetings from the Green Party, the party of peace! Tonight the President promised America a policy of war. War on Iraq. War on minorities. War on the poor. War on regular working people. In response, the Green Party, America’s only growing political party, offers an alternative of peace. I represent almost 30,000 working people in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I know my constituents personally, and I know their struggles for decent housing and decent work. When my constituents need help, they call me on the phone. That’s grassroots democracy in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tonight, in Washington D.C., I must ask:
Who phoned Bush and asked for this war? Who phoned Congress and asked for this war?
I know that America did not dial that number. Someone else did. I’ve got a message for the CEOs of the oil corporations and of the weapons manufacturers. You’re tying up the line. America is trying to get through. Like 169 other Green city council members, mayors, county supervisors, school board members, and state representatives, my phone is ringing off the hook. Our constituents are calling us. They are saying, “We are worried about this war.” They are saying, “We want respect and equality.” They are saying, “We want good jobs, education, and health care.” The Green response is always the same: “You are not alone. We will help you. ”That’s our message tonight.
The President promised a policy of war on Iraq. In response, the Green Party offers the only national security policy that really works: A policy whose goal is peace, not war. America can make peace, not war, by putting a stop to the global trade in weapons. We must stop it at its source. That’s here, at home, in the United States. U.S.-based corporations are the prime suppliers of weapons to the world, and European corporations are not far behind. It’s common sense. It’s time to put the weapons manufacturers out of business. America can make peace, not war, only if we are consistent in our support for democracy. The foreign policy of supporting “our” dictators against “their” dictators has been a failure. Saddam Hussein is in power today because the U.S. government once supported him, just as it once supported bin Laden. It is time instead to consistently support democracy. Perhaps it is unfair to expect George W. Bush to understand democracy, much less consistently promote it, but that’s the agenda that will win America trust and allies in an uncertain world. America can make peace, not war, by helping the economies of the poorer countries of the world. Exploitation breed poverty, poverty breeds hatred, and hatred breeds terror. Unrestricted corporate power has caused massive unemployment across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and today threatens the United States as well. In its place, we need a global economic policy whose primary goal is the elimination of poverty, the creation of sustainable industries, and support for real democracy based on the empowerment of working people. America can make peace, not war, by breaking the hold of the oil corporations on Congress. It’s time to kick the oil addiction. Right now. America has the technological know-how and the renewable resources to make the break. We can and should build up our solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources now. Americans want security, not unending war. In its eagerness to invade Iraq, the political establishment has revealed its true purpose. Not security for Americans, but oil for corporations. Not peace in the Middle East, but military bases across the globe. Bush is no reluctant warrior, he is a warmongering draft-dodger, and together with a weak and c