Green Party, Reform Party: Third-party politics the answer to Occupy Wall Street
The Occupy Wall Street protests have attracted significant support from Democratic Party politicians. But two of the country’s most significant third parties say that the message of the protests is that the two-party system is broken.
Green Party Media Coordinator Scott McLarty told The Daily Caller, “the claim from some people that the Occupy Wall Street and related ‘Occupy’ protests express support for the Democratic Party is more than disingenuous, it’s plain dishonest.”
“Organizers have made it repeatedly clear that the protests are not partisan, to the point of barring representatives of political parties from speaking publicly at the protests,” McLarty said. “The protests aren’t only driven by anger over the Wall Street’s greed and recklessness, but also by the two party political status quo that enabled Wall Street’s theft of the country’s future.”
Reform Party Chairman David Collison offered a similar analysis.
“Every American should recognize that the frustration we are all experiencing is due to huge problems with our financial services sector and due to 20 years of poor policy decisions made by both Democrats and Republicans,” Collison told TheDC. “This has caused the loss of over 8 million manufacturing jobs and was a key contributor to the creation of the current speculative model in the financial services sector.”
Collison said that the protesters “are really focusing on a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself, which is that we need one or more new political parties that can offer something other than the same recycled rhetoric. We need comprehensive reform, and that includes reforming the financial services sector,” he said.
McLarty offered a scathing analysis of the Democratic Party’s policies. “Greens hold Democrats, including President Obama, as responsible as Republicans for the subprime mortgage crisis and 2008 economic meltdown, as well as for the endless wars that have drained the nation’s financial resources and cost lives,” he said.
“President Obama is a Wall Street politician — he accepted record amounts of money from the financial services industry in the 2008 presidential race and he went on to appoint Wall Street operatives like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers,” McLarty added. “He first endorsed the taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout as a candidate in 2008 and rejected steps towards genuine systematic reform, such as restoring Glass-Steagall and breaking up the ‘too big to fail’ financial firms.”
According to McLarty, “Obama’s claims of sympathy for the OWS protesters are contradicted by his policies, such as his willingness (on his own, without GOP pressure) to carve up Social Security and Medicare. He recently undermined his push for job creation by seeking job-killing trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.”
The Reform and Green Party representatives told TheDC that they were hesitant to lay claim to the movement, but said that disaffected Americans would be welcomed into their fold.
“If they support our ideals then we are happy to have them join us and we are happy to represent them,” Collison said. He noted that the Reform Party has not expressed a formal position on the protests and that the party “will not make the mistake of throwing our support behind an organization in which we have no direct voice.”
“Wall Street, oil companies, insurance firms and other corporations already own two political parties,” McLarty said. “Working Americans deserve a party too.”
The Reform Party reached the height of its power in 1992, with Ross Perot’s presidential candidacy garnering 19 percent of the vote. The Green Party’s highest performance in a presidential election to date was Ralph Nader’s 2000 candidacy, which attracted a 3 percent share of the national vote.