I changed my political affiliation to the Green Party in 2000, when Ralph Nader ran for president. The key issue, nationally, at that time, was the need for public funding of campaigns. As a writer, I had interviewed Ed Garvey in Indianapolis in 1997, while working for a progressive news weekly there. Ed was a national spokesperson for the recently voter approved 1996 Maine Clean Election Laws, which are still the standard-bearer for that concept.
In 2001 I was involved with organizing a local Green Party chapter in Volusia City, Florida. My efforts to get this new Volusia City Florida chapter of the Green Party to do a petition drive for Clean Election Laws failed. Why? Too much rhetoric and too many steering committees and other gobbledygook to even begin a drive. Bottom line: 90 percent of those 25-30 folks who attended meetings did not wish to do more than just … attend meetings! The whole thing left me with such a bad taste, that I renewed my Democratic Party affiliation until …
Bush and company strong-armed the Congress to approve of his illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. A few progressives, myself included, began a weekly street corner protest of the invasion/occupation. When I would go to Democratic club meetings locally, or email members to come to join us – Zilch! The utter complacency (or cowardice, letís be honest) of Democrats who were against the invasion/occupation turned me off. I quit the party.
Now, we have the major hot button issue of health care reform dominating the media. Adding insult to injury, the only demonstrations are being organized (incited?) by the right wing. Where are the progressives, Democrats and Greens alike? Why are they not standing on street corners or outside of our Congresspersonís offices, holding the appropriate signage? More cogent to this column, why arenít the national and state Green Party officials urging members to do so? I cannot even get the few Greens locally to stand on a street corner for 30 minutes a week! Confucius said: “You succeeded because you tried again.” The late Pope John the 23rd said: “Nothing is impossible.” Green Party, you will lose this activist and writer (former talk show host) again by dropping the ball on this Medicare for All issue. Stop vacillating!