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

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail