Democratic Underground

A Stern But Not Too Partisan Critique of the Greens
August 18, 2001
by Confuscious

Let's put the Nader issue aside (for now), and look into the future of the Green Party as a whole.

I've been to the websites of Green Party candidates, many of whom ran for national and local races. I've found myself agreeing with many of their viewpoints. However, I don't see very many differences that the Green Party has with Democratic Party other than a few stands, like Kyoto or Capital Punishment. Personally, it's much easier to tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans than between Democrats and Greens.

If I was a Green Party cadie running for office, I wouldn't berate similiar candidates in order to gain support. I would publicize my issues, clearly explain how they would benefit the public, and, in a nonpartisan way, distinguish how different they would be from my Democratic frontrunner. I've noticed some Green Party candidates doing such. Some have simply felt that they're so idealogically similiar to their Democratic rival, that they taunt them with PAC contributions or personal investments just to make a discernable difference.

Let me tell you something, PAC contributers are absolutely irrelevant. Most supporting causes the Green Party endowes (Labor Unions, Abortion Rights, etc.) give majority of endorsement to Democratic candidates. Yes, some PAC contributers include big businesses, but the near entirely of that money goes to Republican candidates. Democrat candidates receive 20% or less of it. Likewise, 20% or less in populist organizations contribute to the GOP. The reason? Impartialty. Hence, the argument that Democrats are nothing more than big business pigs is a lie. A flat, bald face lie.

I just dismantled the most common campaign technique for the Greens. So, what next?

I think they should, again, consider what they're running for. And why they're running. If they're just running for a message, what is that message? If they're running to "bring power back to the people", what do they mean, and how will they do that? Lastly, if they do have a hell on highwater chance of winning, what do the demographics show that would cause a belief? Not very much. I will concede and say that there are Greens sitting in state or local government positions right now, but many of those positions are not hard to come by or were uncontested.

As haunting as this information will be, Greens got the same single digit percentage they received in some elections where no Democrat campaigned for the seat, and a Republican won. There was either a low turn-out of Democratic voters, or the majority of voters - both Democratic and Republican - agreed more with the Republican winner than the losing Green.

However you want to say it, the Green Party does not have a mandate to run or criticize candidates who have more support.

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.

Is it about exploiting others for support, or about the issues? That's what they should ask themselves. What is the motivation? What is the accomplishment? What are the "so maverick" endevours that should entice anyone to trade their vote for another?

Alas, should we never know, the Greens will be no more than just your ordinary third party and a potential political spoiler.

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