The latest news from the national other guy, Ralph Nader: he's got no remorse about the way his campaign was run. He's not particularly sorry that George W. Bush is President either, and says that his environmentalist policies are actually good for the environment because they make environmentalists angry. That's right, he's sticking by his old, ridiculous claim that there is no real difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Anyone here notice a difference between the administrations of President Clinton and President Junior? Would they claim that Hitler was good for the Jews because he got them angry and organized? Sheesh. The Green Party's logic is definitely unsafe at any speed.
As a member of my local Green Party, I witnessed some shocking behavior during the election last year that cause one to question the sincerity of the "alternative" that the Greens says they represent. The current co-coordinator and spokesperson grabbed the position after blackmailing the former co-coordinator and forcing him to resign. The new co-coordinator spent the next few days speaking on behalf of the local party through various mass media. The problem was that the co-coordinator was supposed to be democratically elected at a group meeting. When those elections were finally held, it was with the new co-coordinator running the meeting.
The weekend afterward, the local Green Party held a fundraiser at which they serving beer in disposable wax and paper cups. I had to argue with the new leadership just in order to perform recycling at the event. They thought it would be "too much work". At the event, in a large, open-air ampitheater where a total of ten or fifteen people ambled about trying to look like a crowd, Green Party members drank beer out of the disposable cups which they threw away one by one with each consoling drink. "If you don't have beer people won't come," explained the new co-coordinator.
A Cry for Help
To top it all off, there was the email urging support for a bunch of Greens up in Wisconson who tried to get Ralph Nader in the debates by occupying an office of the Democratic Party. Here's the how this email began:
* IMMEDIATE SOLIDARITY REQUESTED *
AT THIS MOMENT WISCONSIN DEMOCRATIC PARTY HEADQUARTERS ARE UNDER OCCUPATION BY A CROWD OF OVER 100 WISCONSINITES.
ALL WISCONSINITES, GREENS, PROGRESSIVES, AND TRUE DEMOCRATS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE GLOBE ARE ASKED BY THOSE INSIDE THE HEADQUARTERS TO LEND SUPPORT IN ANY WAY YOU CAN.
Am I missing something? It seems to me that the Wisconson Greens are telling other people to shut up in the name of free speech. When Green Party candidate Ralph Nader couldn't gain enough support to qualify for the privately organized, non-governmental presidential debates, the Greens demanded that the rules be changed in order to accommodate them. When no special exceptions for the Green Party were delivered, this group of Wisconsin Greens invaded their rival's state headquarters, preventing the Democrats from exercising their political rights by going about their own everyday business of political organizing.
The Greens seek respect, but they throw a tantrums when they don't get their own way. The Greens say that they stand for freedom, but then they prevent others from exercising their freedoms. Since when does the Green Party call for victory by any means necessary?
After years in the activist community, I know that Democracy is on its way out when I hear someone call for "solidarity". Asking for solidarity is another way of saying, "Don't think, just trust me and do what I say".
The Green Party focused their efforts on the debates for an awfully long time last fall. Many seemed to believe that the only thing that kept Nader low in the polls is that he wasn't able to stand up behind with a podium with Bush and Gore. To hear them tell it, there's a conspiracy out there to keep people from knowing about Ralph Nader, and if only people could hear about him, they would have voted for him.
Time was I would have agreed. Time was I hadn't thought the issue through carefully enough.
The call of Green Party members to spread the word sounds suspiciously like the language of fanatical evangelists who truly believe that unbelievers really just haven't heard about Jesus. The fact is, we've all heard about Jesus and we've all heard about Ralph Nader. Nader's been well-known for years - his problem is not low publicity. In fact, as Nader's campaign progressed, spending millions of dollars to gain publicity, his standing in the polls went down.
It's the public image, stupid. It's time for the Greens to face up to the fact that their candidates fail not because of a vast media conspiracy, but because the party's rank and file engages in hypocritical behavior: refusing to recycle at Party events, engaging in undemocratic politicking and now interfering with the ability of rival parties to campaign in freedom. Where will it stop?
It ain't easy being Green. If this kind of irresponsible racket is what the Green Party wants to bring to the Oval Office, I'll be glad to vote their candidates down whenever I can.
Irregular Times require backtalk.