I am a 72 year old grandmother, a member of the socialist party, an associate member of Veterans For Peace, a member of the Brattleboro Area Peace and Justice Group involved in counter-recruiting, a traveler twice to protest against the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning Ga., a mother of five, a grandmother often, a retired registered nurse, an aide in a 2-room schoolhouse, a writer of letters to the editor, and a runner, (on my feet, not as a candidate). I have also been a candidate for Lt.Govemor, and for the U.S. House of Representatives for the Liberty Union Party.
I have not been a candidate because I feel adequate. I would gladly step aside if someone more able came along, for I am both fearful and inarticulate just when I need to talk the most. I am doing it because I am deeply worried about all the children whose futures look so sad in a world that is becoming inhospitable to life. I’m also doing it because the nature of our small alternative party, which does not view politics as a race that one wins or loses, but rather as an opportunity to offer ourselves for a job; which not only allows me to present people with a choice if they are troubled by voting for “the lesser of two evils”, but allows me to speak out, if I can find the words, and say something valuable before it’s too late.
I hope to speak out against a system that for several hundred years has kept power and money in the hands of a few, and for its very survival, depended upon exploitation, militarism, war and the destruction of the environment. Since the founding of our country, war has been both profitable and a means of distracting the public from progressive issues that threaten to take money away from those who, in my mind anyway, have too much. We of the Liberty Union Party are against the use of violence as a policy of our government, and we do not believe that any candidate. Democrat or Republican, will, or can, honestly oppose war and corporate power, or even suggest that we guarantee that everyone in the world has enough to eat. As a nurse, I have worked with the dying, including my own child.
However, because mine was not a victim of organized mass murder,(war), I can only understand a bit of what those parents feel whose children have been killed because of U.S. foreign policy. The anguish and the fury brought on by their deaths is, to me, incomprehensible, and their numbers are beyond belief. For instance, what about the children under the age of five in Iraq, who began dying at the rate of 5000 a month in 1990 when the UN-US sponsored ‘sanctions” were put in place, who continued to die at the same rate for the next 12 years, and are surely dying at the same rate today under the US occupation? They died and are dying from bombs, starvation, malnutrition, and preventable diseases caused mostly by contaminated water.
“Sanctions” were in truth a military blockade, and therefore, like the present invasion and occupation, (from which we must extricate ourselves, at best, tomorrow), an act of war. Bernie Sanders, along with the rest of Congress, supported them. After 9/11, congress gave our president the power to go to war whenever and wherever he wanted, and only Barbara Lee voted against it.. How can I not question those who presided and still preside over the death of so many children who were hardly more than babies, and how can I not oppose a system so savage that it not only kills children but is destroying the world in which they live? Again I will say that I feel I must be a candidate, inadequate or not, and with or without hope, so that I can speak out before it’s too late.