The General Assembly of the Green Party of California takes place this weekend. For those who will attend, there are a few things I hope you consider while deciding the next steps we will take.
Never before has money played such a key role in politics. Greens have been taking steps to counteract the effect of the Citizen's United decision. However, it does not appear that any great gains have been made on that front, even with key people spending a significant amount of time in the Move to Amend effort.
While washing dishes last night, I listened to the Rachel Maddow show. She was making a very important point regarding the now nearly infamous Paul Ryan budget that passed the House. Republican Congress Critters, including Wisconsin's Ryan, are not being warmly received while back in their districts over the Easter Recess. In fact, they are being confronted with almost as much rancor as was directed at the Obama Health Care plan last summer. Her key point is that, while Progressive organizations have contracted for $106,000 in media buys now, just 4 organizations with ties Corporate Cash, have put up over $2 Mil to support Ryan's budget… the one that would, among other things, end Medicare as we know it.
I introduce this point about money in order to underscore just how uneven the playing filed is. The GPCA has not been so successful raising money. We managed to have a mini-fundraising drive that netted $7,000 just before the General Assembly.
So, what are we going to do if we can't compete on money. Greens back a set of policies that make a lot more sense than those embodied in the Ryan Budget,but who knows what they are.
In a speech given at Occidental College of few years back, Bill Moyers made the statement that "The only answer for organized money is organized people." In fact, this was important enough that he repeated it several time: "The only answer…" and then "is organized people."
It is clear to some that the wheels are coming off the American version of Capitalism. Even Alan Greenspan acknowledged that he did not truly understand just that organizations, like banks and insurance companies, do not act in their own long term best interest, but are tilling to take excessive risks in order to get immediate profit for the executives of these companies. Greenspan was a devotee of Ayn Rand, the same Ayn Rand whose selfish version of living in the world inspires many Republican leaders today.
It is a given that we don't have the money top play the corporate media game. I note the number of people who actually participate in our social media, and it does not yet add up.
If we are to take the next step, and the world needs us to do so, then I think we need to consider just how we can accomplish it. Look around the General Assembly. How many students do you see? If these are the future of the Party, what are we doing to build that future? If we can't answer the question of how many Campus Green chapters exist and who those leader are, it does not speak well for our future.
Maybe it does come back to money, and how we choose to spend what resources we have. We need, at a minimum&hellip' and need to keep it to a minimum… to have full time fundraising that is not dependent on another full time job to live on.
We need to be able to more nimble in how we deal with the media. It is not just that smart cell phones, Android aps and social media have expanded the range of possibilities, they have fundamentally changed the expectation of just how quickly a political organization can respond. This is one more aspect of being a political party that needs full time attention and, once more, there is a need to professionalize it so that no one has to give up making a living in order to do that work.
The real question for this General Assembly is whether we are going to be a player in the political arena, or will we just play at it.