by Carl Archambeau, Sr., Michigan Green Party
I have a confession to make. I am guilty of financially supporting Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney in the recent presidential election. My redemption? I did, of course vote for the Green Party (GP) ticket. I supported Nader because everything he says needs saying and I wanted to encourage him. The same thing goes for McKinney, and I voted for her because she was the GP candidate.
In the process of doing the above, a couple of things occurred to me. The first was since GP financial resources are so limited it is important to promote grassroots organization through the use of state chapters. This would give the Party exposure and a voice in community affairs. In my home state of Michigan many, if not most, members are nonaffiliated and do not want to be in a chapter. Many of the things both candidates said made me think that more should be done to develop a constituency among small farmers and businesses, the self-employed, and other left-out groups, the candidates spoke for.
The second apparent observation is based on what I believe but can’t prove. If you add all those who voted for the Democrats because they didn’t wish to waste their vote, to those who voted for Nader and McKinney or any other progressive party, this would create a very large progressive constituency and a potential reservoir for members and campaign contributions. If all these voters could be brought under one progressive coalition party they would constitute a more formable political force. It would also make better use of scarce financial resources. Maybe they could even qualify for state and federal presidential campaign funding. There would not be anything against maintaining individual party identity so long as everyone could agree on a basic platform. The major parties are made up of several factions while a progressive party would be made up of several coalitions. Perhaps the GP could take the initiative in forming a working group among the various progressive parties and organizations and get this process moving ahead in the right direction.
I think it’s time to stop worrying about what the conservatives are doing and start worrying about what the progressives aren’t doing. As the old saying goes, “divided we fall united we stand.”