Josh Frank’s recent critiques of the Green Party may be right, but I do not think so.
First, Ralph Nader showed up at the Green Convention in Reading and gave the most inspiring talk of the meeting. He left the stage to cheers of Run, Ralph, Run. The rank and file want to support him.
Second, some supporters of Nader are keeping a careful eye on the Green meetings like the one here in MA.
Third Cynthia McKinney is doing the same, showing up in Reading and in then at the Green/Rainbow (the MA Greens) convention here in MA. McKinney stated flatly in MA that she WILL leave the Dems with a timing and in a fashion to maximize the impact. Earlier that day she endorsed the candidacy of Cindy Sheehan against Pelosi at the antiwar Kennebunkport rally.
As one who was not invovled INSIDE the Greens in 2000 or 2004 and also as one who has never voted for a presidential candidate other than Ralph, I have turned to the Greens hoping to get something going in 2008. We have run two successful gubernatorial campaigns in 2002 and 2006 here in MA. And our Secretary of State candidate in 2006 got about 20% of the vote, enough to put us on the ballot in 2008.
You mention the outspoken John Murphy in your missive. He demanded a change in Huckleberry’s statement and Huckelberry changed it (albeit when the hour was late) and still Murphy and others objected. You can view Huckleberry’s statement as an attempt to open old wounds OR to state the party’s clear intent to run a 51 state (including DC) in 2008. I view it as the latter, ruling out any safe states strategy, and it was passed for that reason. I voted for it.
As for the woman from TN who wants to move money from Wall St. to Main St., she is a strange distraction and that is how I have treated her. She apparently has been harrassed by the Bushies – but about her “economics” I know little and care less.
The Greens are a very dysfunctional group. Nader has recognized that, and so have many of us who struggle inside this party. Right now, however, it is the only game in town. Our Green/Rainbow city councillor in Boston, an African-American, put an antiwar resolution before the city council and embarrassed the Dems including Mayor Mumbles Menino into voting for it. These Dems had never raised a peep about the war until Turner forced that on them.
The Dems and Zios are scared shitless that the Greens (with their ballot lines) will get a candidate like Nader (with his stature) in ’08 and administer a coup de grace to the Dems. That is what has Todd Gitlin and his ilk in such high dudgeon. And I am sure that there are provacateurs and Dem and Israel sympathizers inside the GP who wish to undermine it. We have to struggle on even as they go about their dirty work and we cannot even be sure who they are.
So we struggle on with what we have. If you have a better idea, let me know – but the Greens do represent a social democratic impulse in the US, and outside the socialist groupings, we are the only political party to stand against the war on Iraq, against the coming war on Iran, etc. Also as shown in MA we can manage a difficult but real alliance between the professionals in the suburbs and the workers in the cities.
Right now we need Nader far more than he needs us. And we must do something in 2008. Begging the Dems to change or going to yet another demonstration will not cut the mustard.
John V. Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.