I used to be a Republican. When growing up, I admired both Barry Goldwater and John Rhodes. But as I grew older, the Republican Party left me. It started to align itself with causes that I could not support. So, I looked around for another place where I felt comfortable.
I ended up in the Green Party. Greens are the only party with a set of values that I can relate to, expressed as the 10 Key Values. There are some of those key values which I feel are being ignored right now, pushed to the side in an effort to become the "political voice of the progressive movement."
I read, and enthusiastically signed the Avacado Declaration. It did, after all, begin with the statement that "An avocado is Green on the outside and Green on the inside." That was right where I wanted us to be, a strong statement of Green Values.
In the year+ since the last election, the Green Party, especially in California, has not lived up to that. There are many who are more like watermelons than avacados. There are others who seem not willing to agree with anything.
Early in 2005, Kevin Danaher published his "New Strategic Focus for Progressives: The Local Green Economy" Again, I found a statement of Green Values that brought back my enthusiasm.
The progressive movement is realizing that merely protesting must be supplemented and eventually replaced with positive examples of our alternative system. Unless we can create economic institutions that provide meaningful jobs, while producing needed goods and services aimed at healing the environment, we are stuck in the rut of decrying the policies of those in power and elaborating policy alternatives that we cannot implement because the two corporate parties dominate policymaking at the national and state levels.
Kevin is saying that the future of the progressive movement is to be found in Green Party values, not that the future of the Green Party is to be found in leading the progressive movement.
This is the problem that I intend to grapple with in public. How should we keep the Green Party focused on Green Values. If Kevin is right, when we do that, we will, in fact, lead the progressive movement. When we stray from that, we will fail. Right now, I fear that we are straying far from the path.