See Why the Green Party Exists
August 23, 2001
article is a response to A
Stern But Not Too Partisan Critique of the Greens by Confuscious.
Whether we view them as spoilers or not, I have been disturbed
lately by a lot of the arguments made against the Green Party.
One of the things that I've always held in high regard about
us liberals is that we tend to extend the same decencies to
everyone and use logic and rationale in our debates rather
than propoganda, fear, and confusion. Some of us may view
the Greens as spoilers, and some of us may not. Either way,
a lot of the recent outlashing against the Green Party has
reminded me of something you would read about us, written
by a Republican.
Most recently, a critique of the Green Party was posted on
Democratic Underground by a writer named 'Confuscious.' There
are a lot of mistakes in reasoning in this critique, that
when read, provide a somewhat misleading view of what the
Green Party is trying to do. We Dems have always been the
party that has stood up for the rights of our fellow Americans.
Yet, recently it seems that we are viewing ourselves as the
ONLY party that anyone, other than a conservative, has the
right to support. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth for
what I believe we are all about.
One of the lines that Confuscious wrote that really bothered
me was: "However you want to say it, the Green Party does
not have a mandate to run or criticize candidates who have
We live in the U.S. don't we? Anyone has every right to criticize
any candidate or run for office wherever and whenever they
like. Surely one of the first truths about freedom and liberty
is that in order to preserve them for ourselves, we
must extend the same liberties and privileges to our "enemies?"
Whether you agree, or not, with the Greens, the KKK, the ACLU,
the Communist Party of America, or you neighborhood ice-cream
man, they all have a right to exist and operate how they please
under the laws of this country.
In his article, Confuscious said: "I beg myself to guess
the main supporters of Ralph Nader and Green Party candidates,
and it appears most of them are youngsters - some as young
as 14, others as old as 28 - who have little understanding
of politics, other than a viewpoint that because Democrats
and Republicans are a majority they're like their parents,
or an authority figure. The anger and bewilderment of this
age group proves to be a political goldmine for the Greens,
who are currently fishing for as much support possible and
at any means neccesary"
This is unfounded speculation. Personally, I can see WHY
the Greens exist. A lot of progressives feel left out by the
shift to the right that the Democratic Party has taken in
recent years. Things like backing of NAFTA and the WTO, corporate
welfare, and so on. I do NOT agree with how Nader ran his
campaign accusing both parties of being the same. However
to many the current Democratic Party looks more like the Republican
Party of the Sixties and less like the party of FDR, and somewhat
rightly so. Again, whether you agree or not isn't the point
to this particular debate.
I've heard many Democrats call the Greens "idealists." When
did that become a bad word? I thought WE were the "idealists."
When did we become "cynics"? I hope it's not too late for
us to turn back. Maybe that's the key to beating the Green
Party - getting rid of the reasons that the party started
in the first place.