Saturday, December 31, 2005

The first post for a new blog should say something about why anyone would want to start yet another blog. Maybe there is no good reason other than that I am not satisfied with the current state of any of the political parties in California and I need to vent.

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.


Unknown said...

Welcome to the (Green) blogging world!

It is good to see it keeps growing with different people and different viewpoints.


Wes said...

Well, you found it before I publicized it, so somone must be looking for Green Information. I am gathering feedback from a few people that I trust and will make use that to make sure I do this right.

Anonymous said...

For some time I have said it would be interesting to collect stories from Greens about how they became Green. It's hard to imagine Wes was once a Goldwater Republican, but who am I to throw stones?

As a black kid growing up in Virginia, I was your basic Kennedy-Johnson Democrat.

In the late 1960s I swung over to the black power/antiwar Left.

Well, the riots and the angry rhetoric of the "New Left" was a bit too much even for me, so in the mid-1970s I swerved back to the Center. I actually campaigned for some (sane) conservative Republicans in Virginia.

Ah! But then came the 1980s and the "Reagan Revolution." Reagan pushed me back to the Left again and I actively supported Jesse Jackson's two campaigns.

By this time I had left "Old Virginny." I was living and working in Mario Cuomo's New York where I met my lovely wife. Soon after Cathy and I got married we moved to Massachusetts, the "liberal paradise" of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Barney Frank. We lived in Somerville, Massachusetts outside Boston and Joseph P. Kennedy, III was my congressman.

Up until then, as an "Angry Black Man" from the South, I had sort of romantised "sophisticated" Eastern liberalism. I was shocked, shocked at how crude, sleazy, feckless, and casually corrupt the Eastern Establishment liberals.

When my wife and I finally settled in Northern California just in time for the last days of Bill Clinton, we had both finally had enough. I left the Democrats for good and never looked back. I supported Nader for president and Camejo for governor. If I had the same choices I would do so again.

I have traveled a long road since I grew up in a 100% segregated community in Hampton, Virginia. All my life I have been told that African-Americans like me should forget about slavery and segregation; forget those who died in my lifetime for civil rights. Little hypocrites quote Martin Luther King's exhortation to judge people:

"not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Very well.

I have judged our Democrats and Republicans by the content of their character. They stink! It's time to go beyond the cynical corrupt games of Republican "conservatives" and Democrat "liberals." The 10 Key Green Values is key.

Wes said...

Thank you for the post, Alex. There are many paths to enlightenment. You and I seem to agree on one thing, that the 10 Key Values of the Green Party, if followed, are what differentiates this party from the Republicrats and Democans.