Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A candidate for 2012? I think not.

Someone sent me the name of a potential candidate for 2012 and asked me what I thought of that person. After all, they are well known enough to produce OpEd material for the NY Times (the old Grey Lady) or The Nation. Barbara Ehrenreich would never be my choice. Click Read more! to find out why.

Ehrenreich is a good person to lob grenades from the sidelines, or even supporting the front lines, but would make a poor candidate if her message is represented by those OpEd styled pieces posted at her blog. I come back to one point again and again when I look at potential Green Party Candidates. Almost every one steps forward presenting a litany of what is wrong with America and offering absolutely no solutions. That is whining, not leadership (a phrase stolen from 49er coach, Mike Singletary), and yet it is the accepted posture and rhetoric of the so-called progressive left. It leaves me asking "progressing toward what?"

It reminds me of a quotation attributed to Julia Butterfly Hill. "Many of us have gotten so good at defining what we are against that what we are against has started to define us." This type of message will never win elections, not for POTUS, not for Congress, or Governor, not even for City Council.

In particular, Ehrenreich's various rants about unwarranted optimism may be accurate, but they will not win more than a couple of votes that she would have gotten anyway.

The Swine Flu Vaccine Screw-up
Optimism as a Public Health Problem

How Positive Thinking Wrecked the Economy

It comes across as smug without any answers nor any suggestions for how they would right the wrongs that they see, sort of a Carteresque Malaise and you know how far that got him.

For our candidates, we need truth-sayers with a plan. One without the other is not good enough.


Edward said...

How can we build our base locally? That is something we have not yet accomplished, so how can we even begin thinking about running a presidential candidate in 2012?

Wes said...

We need to be applying the same practices at all levels. What we are doing now is only classic movement politics where demonstrations take the place of organization.

When locals start to put electoral politics organization in place, they will win more. When Marin County Greens did some phone banking for the Fairfax City Council they elected the third Green to the Council, achieving a majority of the seats.