Ok... I know you've all been waiting for my take on the elections and the votes and the counts and recounts. Every citizen, including those who have been convicted, should have the right to vote. And EVERY vote should be counted. Our system is flawed. Hell, it was invented and still operates under the state-of-the art 2MHz Hardware that was available in the 60's.
But this isn't about the votes.
I'm here to thank the Green Party for the naive clingy approach to a kinder gentler form of politics. The wonderful idealism of the system, the wonderful idealism that believes that it can win outside a system.
First I want to point out some things I agree with Nader on. I believe that he should have been invited to the debates. I believe that Any party that can claim over 1 million registered members should be allowed to offer any candidate to a high political office ballot.
That's where it ends for me. And this is where my dislike of the Green Party's fanatical belief that their approach is a true grass-root movement begins. Throughout the times when Nader had the opportunity to publicly speak about his campaign for the Presidency I heard him espousing 2 major points:
1) That there will be little difference between a Gore or Bush presidency, so the possibility of him taking votes from Gore that he could swing the election, was irrelevant.
2) That America needs a grass-roots 3rd party to force the American political system out of the pockets of the corporations and back into the hands of the people.
3) That he is not in it for the money, but looks for this to be a beginning of a movement that the American people will embrace.
Here's where I see a hypocrisy that has swung an election. I see each of these points as too naive to ever to be allowed to hold the most powerful position on Earth, and in direct contrast to the true motivations of the Greens.
To address point 1. Bush's policy regarding the environment, a cornerstone of Green Party Philosophy, is a travesty, deferring to the interests of big industry, especially the Oil Companies. How much Governmental regulation has come about thanks to Nader's exposition of these industries and those that rely on them? Too many to count. Yet these laws and regulations that Nader personally crusaded are on Bush's chopping block because getting them thrown out is his way of paying back the deep pockets that lined his war chest. Deep pockets of Big Oil colleagues of the Bush family.
Bush's record on civil Liberty, empathy and rehabilitation has resulted in the most active death-penalty system in the country. He has personally crusaded to have people silenced. Ask the Philadelphia RNC protesters about Gov. Tom Ridge's upholding of their First Amendment right to free speech, assembly, and protest. Most of them were incarcerated for the duration of the convention in a manner reminiscent of a banana republic roundup of the usual suspects prior to a balcony speech by El Presidente.
Definitely in contrast with the Green Party's philosophical belief that the people need to have a voice in government.
Thanks Ralphy. You shot your eye out. Good luck protesting Bush if he gets the Oval Office!
To address point #2: Both candidates owe big business leaders quite a bit. But Bush is a child of big business. He is an owner of big business. Big Oil paid for his private schools, his mansions, his booze, his lawyers to get him out of his DUI, his consultants, his barbers and his suits.
Gore isn't much better probably, but at least he has been in the thick of it, he has bled with poor boys in the rice patties of Vietnam, he has championed the regular guy on the street. Even if these were token crusades they are still a hell of a lot more than Bush has ever done for your average American.
To address point 3: Nader is in it for the money. If he could've captured 5% of the vote come next election he can line his campaign coffers with Federal Campaign money. A true grass roots effort that wishes to change things does so from the ground up. It starts locally. And not just in elections. It opens day care centers, soup kitchens, or whatever their philosophy demands to enact a change in the lives of the people. It challenges government by gaining support person to person, not by campaigning, but walking the walk. By showing people there is an alternative, there is a better way of pursuing freedom, of achieving justice and representation.
Nader, and the Green Party, in their pursuit of the dangling carrot of Federal Election Funds by gaining 5% of the vote has essentially won the election for Bush by splitting the left vote. Gore is down by less than 600 votes in the swing state of Florida. He is down by what are essentially a couple school bus loads of people. Nader grabbed 96,837 so far in Florida. He has directly helped give votes to Bush, a person who's past initiatives are directly against the Green Party's philosophy. He has also grabbed 3% nationally, just about a million votes shy of gaining the duckets so desperately needed by a third-rate, self-important party, naive to American politics.
He has, in my prediction, ensured the doom of this party, condemning it to the fringe of society. The Democratic Party know who has swung this election, and they will be sure to come after the Green with both barrels loaded in every political matchup that can be had. Perhaps the Republicans will feel a debt to the Greens and make their lives easy. I doubt it though. The Greens are a very left, enviro-centric party. This runs in exact opposition to what Bush's agenda is. Bush has dealt with political opposition in some interesting ways in Texas, forming Law Enforcement and Judicial initiatives. When the Greens come out in opposition, protesting Bush's anti-environmental, pro-Oil initiatives, he'll crush them with Laws, and since he has the ability to possibly appoint a majority to the Supreme Court, he may be able to do so legally.
So The Greens are going to get a lesson in Real Politick. Survival. That it can only come politically when you have support, a political base from which to enact your agenda. I'll be glad to see them go. For as much as they are now, in my eyes, a self-serving party uninterested in gaining the true grass support they claim to want. I think they should be dismantled by their hypocrisy by lack of support. Even worse than that I cannot find any merit in a party, any positive part to a party that in its hubris seeks to have position to make laws that would govern my life, but refuse to become un-naive about what the nature of politics is. How one truly gains support. Politics is a power struggle, the currency of which is representing those that give support, strengthen one's position by enlisting support of both industry and the populous, and then bring the core values that enlisted the support of others to position by mobilizing supporters in the voting booths.
So to the Greens I say good riddance. You have alienated the powers of the Democratic Party by helping to elect the Republicans which will assault the civil liberties you cling to, and are basically your only line of political defense. And you have alienated me by being naive and misrepresenting what you were truly seeking, having no true ability to actually be able to handle the Presidency were you to get it.
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