FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2020
Hunter/Elias Campaign "disappointed and concerned" by Rhode Island Greens' Decision not to Place Party Candidate on State Ballot
The Dario Hunter/Darlene Elias campaign is greatly disappointed by the Green Party of Rhode Island’s (GPRI) decision not to work to put a Green Party candidate on the state’s ballot this election. The reasoning used by the GPRI displays what we consider to be a betrayal of solidarity with the many Green Party that have worked through the years to counter the voting myths perpetuated by the two-party system. We are concerned that a Green Party organization, especially one with such an admirable history in the movement, would choose to reinforce the kinds of bad reasoning that have contributed to the poor-functioning system of representation we currently have in this country.
The Hunter/Elias campaign maintains that a democracy should always trust its voters to make decisions based on a conscientious appraisal of candidates. In a May 28 Facebook post, GPRI indicates that it “cannot in good conscience participate in a presidential campaign which has even the slightest chance of helping return Donald Trump to the White House.” This statement is troublesome for three reasons:
First, it implies that the GPRI’s conscience maintains a kind of authority over the consciences of voters. Rather than provide voters with choices that allow them to decide for themselves, the GPRI is assuming that in this particular case these voters would be making an objectively bad decision when voting Green Party.
Second, the GPRI is promoting poor reasoning in implying that someone who votes for the Green Party is voting for Donald Trump. People who vote for the Green Party are voting for the Green Party. There is no reason to add other assumptions about intentions that are not expressed in the actual vote. The bad reasoning of GPRI is based on the assumption that the Democratic Party owns all the non-Republican votes, which is simply not true. The U.S. is not in fact a two-party system, as the long presence of the GPRI itself testifies.
Third, as well-intentioned as the GPRI might be, it is still promoting a belief that is corrosive to democratic participation. It leaves voters with a sense that their voice is not being heard. In a well-functioning democracy, when people vote they are voting for something or someone. The Hunter/Elias campaign continues to maintain that its qualifications, character, and policies are the best for the United States. They believe they are the candidates who are best able to interest general-election voters, providing the opportunity to get the Party 5% of the popular vote and even its first Green President. The GPRI statement, we believe, denies hope in either of these two things and could be a source of discouragement to many Green activists, as well as the many independent voters.
The GPRI indicates it is “fully committed to the Green Party’s values and platform” and we can assume that it will continue to promote changes in conscience among the citizens even if it is backing out of electoral politics in this presidential election. However, it’s decision not to participate in promoting greater voter choice is not helping the cause of the Green Party or United States voters in general. The Hunter/Elias continues its commitment to greater democratic participation and will continue to encourage people to join its campaign.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT
Dario Hunter, Green Candidate for President
Darlene Elias, Green Candidate for Vice-President