Third Party & Independents Archives

Why I am Green

Most of my friends are not Green. They are largely Democrats or Republicans, with a smattering of Independents and a Libertarian or two. I am often asked Why Are You a Green? The Dems ask why I don’t join them and work from within the system. The Reps ask why I don’t join the Dems since there’s no difference between the Dems and [name of whatever non-right wing political party you care to mention]. The Independents and Libertarians tend to actually understand why I choose to not join the Dems. My perception is that the Democratic Party is beholden to mostly the same corporate special interests as the Republican Party. While they may pay nominally better lip service to wanting to do right by the average American, the ultimate result isn’t wildly different from what moderate Republicans do.

The Green Party has a set of 10 core values. These are the values that I see lacking in both of the major parties, coincidentally.

  • GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY. This is what our great country is all about. The people should be more important than the corporations.
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. All men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights. Our founding father's got it, why don't the politicians of today?
  • ECOLOGICAL WISDOM. Our resources are finite. If we take care of them they will last longer. In my opinion, this is the definition of conservative. Being ecologically irresponsible is the same as being fiscally irresponsible but with longer lasting consequences.
  • NON-VIOLENCE. While I am not a pacifist, I do consider violence to be an absolute last resort. Whereas the "leaders" in both major parties see it as a quick and easy way to get re-elected.
  • DECENTRALIZATION. This is simply a necessary attribute of real democracy. You would think the conservatives would be in favor of this State's Rights position, but they don't really want State's Rights. They only want State's Rights when the states do what the Right wants.
  • FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITY. This is simply an extension of the second point.
  • RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY. Again, an extension of the second point.
  • PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY. People should take responsibility for their actions and what goes on in their community. This crosses all party lines really, as it seems all Americans are more interested in shirking responsibility as much as possible, particularly in the work environment.
  • FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITY. This is, in my opinion, the most important tenet. This is a particular problem in the business world, where there is such an emphasis on this quarters numbers while long term viability of the company be damned. The executives and investors basically say "Screw the future, I'm getting mine now and getting out."

What I find most interesting about this list is that at least half of these seem like they would be a natural fit with conservatives. But the GOP has no interest in any of them, and the Dems rarely do more than spout pithy bromides and then do nothing. This is why I'm a green.

Posted by rev_matt_y at January 29, 2004 1:00 PM