On The Wilder Side: ‘Where is the progressive third party to pick up a few seats in Congress?’

Posted at On The Wilder Side:

John Keenan

John Keenan

our friend John Keenan was asked this question recently:

. . . now would seem a good time for a third party to come forward with some good progressive ideas that the majority of the people of the country could get behind. Maybe said third party could pick up a few seats in Congress if it started now. So where is it?

This is John’s answer:

Interesting question. The short answer is that we are here, and have been for years. The fact that you need to ask that question begs the question, “why are you asking that question”?

Why is the green party invisible? Is it the fault of the green party?

I wish I knew the answer. Some thoughts:

The green party works for all practical purposes without a budget. Quite frankly we are poor. Really we are broke. There is discussion now at the national level with regards to the budget. With the economy a mess, we are concerned about funds. And yet, we realize we have an opportunity to be an influence in the coming elections..ie…2010,2012.

It is unfortunate that so many liberals, progressives, whatever you want to call them, still cling to the hope that the democratic party will represent them.

Admittedly, I would agree that people don’t perceive the green party as a viable party and therefore dismiss them. It is also unfortunate that people’s resources of information are limited. Most people I know read the mainstream newspapers(if they read a paper at all) which, to put it bluntly, suck. The same is true of the television news. What a nightmare. So the green party is sort of akin to Job.

What people don’t realize is that there is strength in numbers. We are also up against two parties that are super funded. Funded by the very enemy of the state in fact. Our only hope is the voters.

It is also unfortunate that elections are a sort of visual showcase, more than substance. If the green party doesn’t come up with a candidate with notoriety, or real visual appeal, it is difficult to “sell”. And the spin doctors have plenty of dough to vilify.

MoveOn.org and the like are all funded by the democratic party machine(Do you notice that you don’t hear much from them now that Obama has gotten in the oval office?). That is how they attain their visibility. Money!!!

We don’t have that resource.

Another answer could lie in “active participation“. That is also difficult. Even registered greens have busy lives, and are just trying to get by in life. It takes a dedicated person to do the dirty work of party building. I am active, and still don’t give it what I could. It is also discouraging to some degree. All the work just to stay alive, but if we don’t do it, it won’t be here. And that is definitely not good for America.

I hate to condemn the people, but truly the people by their lack of participation in their own government are letting it slip away. And the takers know this. And the dems and reps are already in the power position, so they have more leverage when trying to recruit volunteers. A green party volunteer’s only reward is the satisfaction of knowing they are doing the right thing, because at the end of the day, the green party is still losing the battle. One day I hope the tide will turn. The dems are helping us to some degree. I am waiting for my liberal friends to see the light.

Here in NY in particular, we are going to work hard to get a gubernatorial candidate that will garner 50,000 votes. We need that to get ballot status. The dems and reps have the game rigged to keep any competition out of the game. It is so difficult to run candidates, even here in Suffolk county. We petition for candidates on the ballot, but the dems and reps knock us off and we don’t have the resources to challenge it. It takes lawyers and volunteers and money. None of which we have much of.

In presidential elections we work hard(i shouldn’t say we because i take a back seat on that usually) to get a candidate on the ballot in as many states as we can. It is only because of draconian election laws that it is difficult. Cynics may say we simply don’t have the support, but if one knows the election laws it is very apparent that it is otherwise. Just look at the qualifications one needs to get into a presidential debate. Have you ever seen a third party presidential debate by the way? I have. On CSPAN. They are so much more alive. They are excellent. They are real. They are refreshing and honest; even from candidates whose ideas I disagree.

But why in the USA is it like this? It’s wrong.

We will be running candidates for senate, congress, and more in 2010. We always do. The fact that you may not know this is testament to the less than democratic ways of elections in the land of the free.

I worked hard in 2002 to be heard when I ran for congress. The media gave me almost no attention. I was a viable candidate, and I was the best candidate. Well maybe I wasn’t the best candidate for Long Island’s 2nd congressional since it is so conservative, but I was honest, and I was right. And this was when we had ballot status. There are so many aspects to the repression of fair elections that I won’t get into it here, but thinking about my experience that year more come to mind.

The libertarians have the same problems. It’s not that they don’t have a message that is viable. They are also competition to their precious power. And the libertarians, like the greens, will unlock the dirty little secrets of their treason.

And, btw, did you know there were at least 3 libertarians running for office last month right here in Suffolk county? They wound up running write in campaigns because the dems and reps knocked their petitions.

But I’m rambling. I would like to hear your thoughts about how the green party could be more visible, and why you think, or thougth we are not.

I am going to pass your email on to the Suffolk Greens(I will not send your name or address). Recieving this is a hint that the tide may be turning, and your question is one that needs to be addressed. {emphasis added}

7 thoughts on “On The Wilder Side: ‘Where is the progressive third party to pick up a few seats in Congress?’

  1. paulie Post author

    That’s the nice thing about IPR posts…you can always reply to any of them, even the ones from back in May 2008.

  2. Steven R Linnabary

    IMHO, most Greens and Libertarians make the mistake of assuming that voters are as interested in issues as activists are.

    While I believe I was the best possible candidate for Congress last year, I still only got 3% of the vote. It might have had something to do with the fact that I had no TV commercials.

    Sure, I responded to most of the candidate questionnaires and LWV voter guides. But the fact remains that few voters go to the bother of looking up their choices.

    Most democrat and republican candidates don’t bother responding to groups like “Project Vote Smart”. Probably because they know that voters are only going to vote for the candidate they have heard of and have a positive idea of. That and any time a politician takes a stand on any issue, he or she becomes a target for special interests with an opposing view. So the republican and democrat candidate resorts to “touchy feely” TV commercials that stress looks and access.

    Pacem en Terris

  3. Don Lake .......... More Paul Harvey Moments

    Steven R Linnabary // Dec 21, 2009:
    “IMHO, most Greens and Libertarians make the mistake of assuming that voters are as interested in issues as activists are ….(via) candidate questionnaires and LWV voter guides. But the fact remains that few voters go to the bother of looking up their choices.”

    Lake: Uncle Ralph [Nader] calls them ‘legacies’! [Families of Dems and GOP and Ford and Chevy supporters …….]

  4. Robert Milnes

    Greens & Libertarians will get funding galore when they cooperate to coordinate their vote to win by plurality. Progressive democrats will gladly abandon the democratic party when they see that. We need to win the 4 upcoming special elections. Educate the voters. Coordinate the vote for increased polling. GOTV in a small dem & rep turnout special election. WIN!

  5. Michael Cavlan

    Copied from Kim Wilders site.


    First, to show that I am no armchair activist.
    I ran for state house in Minnesota as a Green 2002. In 2004 I was an official Green Party observer in the 2004 Re-Count in Ohio. I was a National Delegate in the Convention 2004. I supported David Cobb because I believed that little weasel and because i had not heard just how bad things were with the National GP (that fact by itself points at the real problem with the Greens) I worked the Convention floor for David Cobb, including working with Cobb, in his “office” there. What a fool I was.

    I went to countless events, promoted the GP, ran for US Senate in 2006. Since I had been to Ohio, I ran on the issue of Voting Integrity. Also, I had lived in northern Ireland as a child so I promoted the northern Ireland Peace Process as a real template for non-violent conflict resolution. As a Registered Nurse, I also promoted Single Payer. As an aside, I am a Burn Care Specialty Nurse, who helped treat some of the victims of the Pentagon attack on 9-11.
    When David Cobb came to Minneapolis, I asked him to publically endorse me. Silly me. He refused but not to my face. He told my campaign manager.

    After this, I became a National Delegate. As Kimberly Wilder will testify also, I was horrified at what I witnessed.

    For one thing, Ralph Nader supporters who had problems with the GP “leadership” were attacked, smeared and eventually thrown off of lists. Simply for pointing out their concerns about a fatally flawed system. As an aside, I was and am a Cynthia MCKinney supporter. However, I witnessed my Nader ALLIES being smeared and villified all over the place, then being thrown off of the lists. Unable to participate. In what I call very direct violations of Grassroots Democracy and Social Justice.

    On top of this, I and others in Minnesota who believed in Cynthia McKinney tried to work on her campaign. To build up a real campaign. We were both thrown off by orders of the National Green Party. In the early days of McKinneys non campaign, we both joined in the conference calls.
    FOUR people, including us were on those calls. All those folks who pushed so hard to have Ralph Nader not be the endorsed candidate and used McKinney as a way for that to happen just did not show up.

    It was at this time that I realized that Cynthia was being used.. As a way to attempt to destroy Naders campaign. Then to use her a symbolic gesture.

    Not to build a real campaign. It was the electoral version of standing on a bridge, with candle in hand to protest the war. Not effective but a feel good moment. Which is, by itself fine. Unless that is used to stop people who are SERIOUS about building ann alternative to the pro-war, corporate corrupted system.

    Now we get to answer your question. What happened.

    When I tried to speak, in an open and transparent manner what had happened, I was pilloried and smeared. Other members of the GP did not want to hear it. they only wanted happy news. Their friends and allies who were DELIBERATELY disenfranchised were not important.

    Bottom line for me.

    If someone is being oppressed or beaten down (as Nader supporters were) and disenfranchised and one remains silent, then one is complicit, a partner in this act.

    The GP is now dying, with multiple states going into “Temporary Inactive Status.”

    You folks didn’t want to hear about it then.

    That’s OK. Some of us have left the GP.. Never to return.

    We are instead building anew.
    We are serious about creating an alternative to the pro-war two party system.

    Oh and Rosa Clamente was not a joke. I heard her speak during the RNC. She and Cynthia were and are spectacular. They are both too damned good for the Green party.

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