Matthew Hoh is the Green Party’s nominee for United States Senate in North Carolina and will appear on the ballot this upcoming midterm election.
Born in New Jersey, Hoh served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1998 to 2008 and took part in the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War. He also worked in the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of State from 2002 to 2009.
Hoh came into the national spotlight when he became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war in 2009, citing his loss of “understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan.” Since 2010, he has been a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, a non-profit foreign policy research and advocacy think tank.
Why he’s running
One major motivation for Hoh’s Senate run is his desire to hold those in government accountable for their actions, stemming from what he has experienced in his life.
Hoh listed “lack of accountability for wars, the lack of accountability for decisions made by our government … and the inaction on climate change” as factors motivating his run.
Hoh also emphasized the suffering of the people around him, pointing to those facing financial struggles due to medical bills, losing their homes to corporations and dying of drug overdoses.
As to why he’s running as a Green Party candidate, Hoh characterized America’s two-party system as “undemocratic, corrupt and harmful.” Despite sharing similar political views to progressive Democrats, Hoh is against running as a Democrat because he believes that the party as a whole is fundamentally capitalist and has fully embraced neoliberalism.
Protecting abortion rights
Hoh supports the full legalization of abortion nationwide and wants to sign bills into law that protect all people’s reproductive rights rather than deferring to the Supreme Court, which overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in June. He also supports providing full insurance coverage for reproductive healthcare, cracking down on crisis pregnancy centers and repealing the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funding for abortion.
Hoh does not believe that voting Democrats into power will protect abortion rights, stressing that continuing with the status quo will not produce a different result.
“Why should anyone give them another chance? [They] had 50 years to protect it, they didn’t do it?” he said. “What have they done besides fundraise since … the Alito document was released?”
Fighting climate change
Hoh supports a Green New Deal, a plan that would invest trillions of dollars into green energy, transportation, infrastructure and other sectors. It would also entail measures such as nationalizing energy, banning fracking, expanding public housing and working climate-focused education into the K-12 curriculum.
Hoh’s vision of a Green New Deal would also include an economic bill of rights that would guarantee “healthcare for all, Medicare for all, education for all from Pre-K through university, living wages and affordable housing.”
Hoh ultimately believes that it is too late to do something about climate change and avert its worst consequences. Instead, he thinks that the U.S. needs to assimilate and prepare for what’s coming by rebuilding the economy, infrastructure and energy system.
Part of this adjustment should include accommodating “climate refugees,” people who are forced to migrate due to climate change, Hoh said.
“What’s happening on our southern border now with two million people being arrested by the Biden administration in less than two years’ time — it’s going to be nothing compared to 25 years from now when parts of Central America are uninhabitable due to heat,” he said.
‘Getting money out of politics’
Hoh believes that the government is deeply influenced by corporations, particularly financial corporations. He pointed to the WikiLeaks revelation in 2016 that suggested that the Obama cabinet was vetted by Citigroup immediately before Citigroup received the largest government bailout during the financial crisis as an example.
“It gets back to getting money out of politics, ensuring that our government and its oversight responsibilities are independent and beholden to the people and not to power or profit or anything like that,” he said.
Specifically, Hoh supports publicly financing campaigns and limiting campaigning to a specific period of time. He also favors implementing proportional ranked-choice voting, term limits for Congress and electing the president by national popular vote.
Reforming U.S. foreign policy
Hoh’s primary foreign policy goal is demilitarizing U.S. foreign policy and a reordering of the international financial system.
“The United States has gotten to the point now where we are bereft of any type of worldwide international presence that’s not military, with the exception of our financialization policies, [and] our debt policies” he said. “[We need] a reordering of the international financial system, one that’s fair, one that is not meant to ensure that trillions of dollars go to New York and London every year.”
Hoh also argued the need for “some type of a semblance of human rights” in American foreign policy, noting the hypocrisy of American support of human rights violators like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and the Philippines.
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Jazper Lu is a Trinity junior and managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.