Update: A day after announcing, Hedges announced he won’t run, due to FCC rules prohibiting a federal candidacy.
Chris Hedges, a respected author and journalist, announced today he’s running for Congress in CD12 as the Green Party candidate.
The announcement was made this morning in the following release:
Activist and author Chris Hedges announced today he will be the Green Party candidate for Congress in the 12 th District of New Jersey. He joins GPNJ’s candidate for U.S. Senate Madelyn Hoffman in running for federal office in the 2020 elections.
“We must step outside the system, to pit power against power,” Hedges said. “This will not be easy. It will not happen quickly or in one election cycle. It is a process, but one, especially given the ecocide and corporate serfdom that confronts us, we must embrace as a moral imperative. Voting is a small part of this process, but it sends an important signal to the ruling elites that their time is up, or soon to be up. We must stop fearing them. They must start fearing us.”
“Donald Trump, along with the corporate oligarchs, nativists, conspiracy theorists, Christian fascists and racists who support him is the symptom, not the disease, the product of our failed democracy,” Hedges went on. “Demagogues are always vomited up in societies beset with political and economic decay. I witnessed this in the former Yugoslavia. They manipulate a legitimate rage among a betrayed working class and the working poor to set neighbor against neighbor. Trump supporters are not, however, our enemies. Our enemy is the tiny cabal of corporate oligarchs that have seized control of the two ruling parties, the three branches of government, the media, academia, our health services and the economy. They have usurped our rights to exclusively serve corporate profit. The consent of the governed has become a cruel joke. The politicians and leaders of the two ruling parties are selected and anointed by our corporate masters. They are corporate puppets. Without corporate money and support they would not be in power. They do not work for us. And they know it. This is especially true in New Jersey, which has one of the most corrupt Democratic Party machines in the nation.”
Hedges, the author of twelve books on society and culture, including War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt and his latest book America The Farewell Tour has for nearly two decades been decrying the corporate coup d’état that has taken place in the United States. He worked as a speech writer for Ralph Nader during his last presidential campaign. He took part in Occupy Wall Street in New York City, was with the indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock and has participated in civil disobedience organized by groups such as Occupy Wall Street, Veterans for Peace and Extinction Rebellion.
“Real political change will come only through sustained acts of mass civil disobedience,” Hedges said. “We must stand with those carrying out rent strikes and the front line workers whose health and safety are being sacrificed by corporations such as Amazon, which paid no federal taxes last year and is owned by the richest man in the world. Political power must be an organic expression of these movements. That expression will never come from the Democratic or Republican parties. The mantra of the least worst is a ruse, used to intimidate us. The oligarchs, especially those that fund the Democratic Party, made it very clear in a series of public statements that should Bernie Sanders become the party nominee they would vote for Trump. They prefer Biden over Trump, who is inept and an embarrassment to the empire, just as they preferred Hillary Clinton, but they know that Trump and Biden will slavishly serve corporate power.”
Hedges, a resident of Princeton, spent two decades as a foreign correspondent. He covered the armed conflicts in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Gaza, Yemen, Algeria, the Punjab in India, Sudan and during the first Gulf War, where he entered Kuwait with the US Marine Corps. Hedges was taken prisoner in the southern Iraqi city of Basra by the Republican Guard during the 1991 Shiite uprising and held for a week. Hedges spent three years covering the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. He was the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for The New York Times, where he was part of a team of reporters that won the Pulitzer-prize for reporting on global terrorism.
Hedges, who in addition to English speaks Spanish, French and Arabic, and who studied Biblical Greek and Latin at Harvard University, has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto. He has also taught in the college degree program offered by Rutgers University to incarcerated men and women through NJ-STEP since 2013. In 2018 the play Caged, written by his incarcerated students, was produced at The Passage Theater in Trenton.
Hedges has a B.A. in English Literature from Colgate University and a Master of
Divinity from Harvard University. He also spent a year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard studying classics. He holds an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and serves as the associate pastor at The Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth where he focuses on prison ministry. He has run a series of weekly support groups at the church for formerly incarcerated men and women. Hedges, a fierce advocate for prison and police reform, defines “the system of neo-slavery in our jails and prisons” as “the most important civil rights issue of our time.”
For those who live in District 12 who have not signed another petition for a candidate running for U.S. Congress in District 12, here is the link to sign Chris Hedges’ petition to place him on the ballot in November: https://bit.ly/HedgesPetition
For more on Hedges, check out the Insider iLine here.
The Green Party of NJ released a statement proudly endorsing Hedges’ candidacy.