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

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Obama’s Legacy
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Christopher Brauchli
Parallel Lives: Trump and Temer
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail