Green Imagination

Your Blog for Sharing Green Ideas.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Towards Sewing up the GP Schism

My fellow Maryland Green posted this open letter a few days ago to several local, state and national GP listserves. It's times like these that make me proud to be Green:

Fellow Greens,

It is somewhat paradoxical that I begin an optimistic letter to you with a statement of pessimism...but as we are aware, Greens speak the truth--and the truth, however unfortunate it may be, is that it is extremely unlikely that the American people, on November 2nd of this year, will elect either Ralph Nader or David Cobb to the office of President of the United States.

Outside observers and pundits, who are used to the usual brands of American politics offered by the corporate parties, may assume that this means the end of Green campaigns "intruding" on their comfortable duopoly on power. However - again, as speakers of the truth - we can say without a doubt that they are wrong. Across the country, in the towns, cities, counties, and states where average Americans live, Greens are taking up the call to elected act as agents of positive change driven by unique and principled shared beliefs. These beliefs and these candidacies are planting the seed of a non-violent revolution of the common people, who are weary of business-as-usual and of a lack of meaningful change in their government.

In Maryland, we are proud to say that this revolution is blossoming into full bloom. Last year, thanks to hard work and foresight on the part of our talented legal team, the Maryland Green Party won a case in the Appeals Court of Maryland which struck down as un-Constitutional the unreasonable hurdles which had barred our way to ballot access. In this election, we have capitalized on that victory: Baltimore Greens are challenging the entrenched one-party rule of the City Council in several districts, and all but two of Maryland's Congresspeople currently running for re-election are facing Green challengers.

At the top of our ticket, Marylanders are of differing opinions. A strong contingent of Greens favor the candidacy of David Cobb. Many of Ralph Nader's key organizers have their home here. And yet a third, yet sizable faction, as so eloquently typified by Fred Campbell's speech to his fellow delegates in Milwaukee, have taken a principled stand against running any Green candidate for the Presidency. Again, outside observers would write the epitaph of the Maryland Greens based on this information, believing us yet another failed "third party" in American electoral history. But those pundits would never take into account that our Ten Key Values are more than mere words to us, but statements of action which unite us in a common purpose that is greater than any single decision in any election.

I have spoken to our candidate in the 7th Congressional District, Virginia Rodino, about my hometown of Columbia. I have advised her on some local city concerns, and we have strategized together about how to get her message out to the people...we are, in short, about the business of campaigning. That she is the state coordinator for the Nader/Camejo campaign and I am the state coordinator for the Cobb/LaMarche campaign does not enter into that business. While these labels are reflective of our firmly-held beliefs, they do not overshadow those values to which we committed ourselves at the outset. We are Maryland Greens, and through that association, Greens of the United States. We are committed together to electoral action to stop the true scourges of our age: global climate change, an imperial foreign policy, governmental intrusion on our most private civil rights, and self-interested corporate control at all levels of government. Those scourges have no person within our ranks.

Though we may be marching out of step for the moment, we are guided by a strong compass to march towards a common destination. We understand that the path of progress in making the new world we envision lies in a single direction. And that direction, as the Wisconsin Green Party so profoundly stated at our national convention, is "Forward!"

November 2, 2004, is but one day, and the changes it will herald will last for four short years. We are, as Greens, thinking much farther into the future...envisioning a day when we, or our children, or theirs, may enjoy true democracy, freedom of thought, a healthy environment, justice regardless of their circumstances, and, once and for all, peace. As we prepare for that day, each in our own way, we ask that all Greens keep that flame of hope for that day kindled within us. May they be joined together soon in a mighty fire, which will, as the abolitionist Wendell Phillips said, thaw the mountains of ice before us that we must melt.

We are joined together in a sacred business, and the terms of that joining do not end on Election Day. Indeed, in so many ways, that is when they begin. Let us be about that business-together.
Howard County Green Party
Maryland Delegate to the Coordinating
Committee, GPUS


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