FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Problem With Green Party Leadership

by MITCHEL COHEN

I agree with the main thrust of William Kaufman’s essay in CounterPunch, “Pwog Fantasies of Power“. My one caveat is that there is nothing wrong with listing what amounts to a “Speakers Bureau” for the Green Party per se, as it may give people an idea as to where a Presidential campaign could go, so long as it views “electoral campaigns as an adjunct to political organizing, not a substitute for it.”

The problem is, that is exactly what the Green Party is doing. Instead of throwing resources into non-electoral regional direct action campaigns on critical issues of the day and then linking those campaigns via coordinated regional councils (which is what the Green Party should be doing), the Green Party leadership is doing exactly as William Kaufman criticizes. (Most rank-and-file Greens, on the other hand, are deeply involved in all sorts of great organizing efforts; but those receive no organized expression within the Party on the national level, which has long been a “flaw” with the Party and was one of the key criticisms leveled at it by the no longer existent Green Party USA.)

Additionally, any project of the sort should involve the rank-and-file of the Green Parties and not appointments imposed on us from on-high. There are tons of people and groups doing good work that are not reflected in the Green Party’s “Shadow Cabinet”, and that is emblematic of a top-down, non-participatory “honcho” approach to doing things.

We are a supposedly transparent and democratic (small “d”) party; it would be good to solicit nominations from Green Party enrollees for each position and have all members of the GP vote for the ones they want. In other words, INCLUDE Green Party members rather than dictate to us who a few have chosen on our behalf.

No diss at Mark Dunlea, for example, but it would be good to have real farmers in the position of agricultural secretary. Percy Schmeisser comes to mind, or lots of others involved in the farm groups. (Black Farmers Association, e.g.)

Where’s Glen Ford, e.g. as Minister of information. There’s a lot more wealth in terms of ideas and people rooted in different community organizations that we should include.

I see that Ben Manski is self-appointing to the role of Halderman and Ehrlichman rolled into one! Yikes!

As NY State Green activist Craig Seeman writes:

“It seems to be more or less a speakers bureau (or writers bureau in some cases). It’s simply something some larger entity can go to or refer to for information on a given issue. They don’t (can’t) supplant anything happening on the community level where local relationships are paramount.

“If the purpose of the ‘cabinet’ was to create buzz, draw attention to issues (and those who have written/spoken/acted on them) then I think an opportunity was lost by not taking advantage of the many Greens who might have started talking or submitting names and the resultant discussions. The cabinet would be a pinnacle rather than a starting point. Basically there was no build-up that might have happened if there was more involvement in Green circles.”

Precisely.

The Green Party “leadership” is missing another opportunity to involve the rank-and-file greens in participating in this process, and in so doing is once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mitchel Cohen is an organizer with the Brooklyn Greens/Green Party.

Mitchel Cohen is Coordinator of the No Spray Coalition in New York City.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 24, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Reflections on DC: Promises and Pitfalls in the Anti-Trump Uprising
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Developer Welfare: Trump’s Infrastructure Plan
Melvin Goodman
Trump at the CIA: the Orwellian World of Alternative Facts
Sam Mitrani – Chad Pearson
A Short History of Liberal Myths and Anti-Labor Politics
Kristine Mattis
Democracy is Not a Team Sport
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Mexico, Neo-Nationalism and the Capitalist World-System
Ted Rall
The Women’s March Was a Dismal Failure and a Hopeful Sign
Norman Pollack
Woman’s March: Halt at the Water’s Edge
Pepe Escobar
Will Trump Hop on an American Silk Road?
Franklin Lamb
Trump’s “Syria “Minus Iran” Overture to Putin and Assad May Restore Washington-Damascus Relations
Kenneth R. Culton
Violence By Any Other Name
David Swanson
Why Impeach Donald Trump
Christopher Brauchli
Trump’s Contempt
January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Mark Schuller
So What am I Doing Here? Reflections on the Inauguration Day Protests
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail