Hillary Clinton would be the first woman president.
Barack Obama would be the first African-American president.
Bill Richardson, despite his anglo name, would be the first Hispanic president.
There is a Green Party challenge in this, with special emphasis on identity politics.
To begin with, each of these candidates will have an obvious arguement that a vote for them is a vote for their identiy constituency. In many cases, these are the same voters that we would want to reach out to in the Green Party. We would be offering them ideas and ideals, policies that make sense. But a vote for Clinton, Obama or Richardson offers them a chance for power.
If you bring this back to California, where the issues raised by these constituencies have turned California into a very blue state we will be engaged in a fight for our political lives. These are are unusual times and they require unusual actions.
Besides the commonality of representing a frist, these three campaigns were similar in that they made their official announcements on the internet, reaching out to the netroots of the party. Beginning with Howard Deans campaign, the Democrats have learned how to do this very well. The Republicans have learned how to use the internet in other ways, being very skillful at using what they know about you to microtarget the messages you receive. All of that is stored in The Vault.
Every one of the Democratic initiatives is backed up with large amounts of cash, enough to pay for flashy, professional web sites. The Green Party depends on volunteers to keep things going. Most of the work on the GPCA web site is handled by one person when they are not attending to their day job or to family life. Similarly, the entire GPCA IT Committee is in the same position, doing the best that they can in the time that they can afford to give.
The challenges for the GPCA are very specific and how we meet them will determine if we have a future.
- Do we allow identity politics to cut us off from constituencies who need Green Solutions to real problems?
- Do we make a real effort to develop an effective netroots strategy, or allow the Democrats to claim that as their own special province? At least Vibes Watch has returned and is taking on LA area Green Issues.
- We have been most successful in terms of number in urban areas: LA and the San Francisco Bay Area. Do we continue to build there or do we reach out to the faster growing ares of the Inland Empire and Central Valley to grow our base?