When we examine the Green's "ten key values", it is apparent that being green
goes way beyond the support of a political organization or party. Yet it
seems that many of us have abandoned our allegiance to the green
movement in favor of advocating our chosen political party. In the
process we may have alienated millions of people who agree with us
politically, philosophically, and even spiritually.
Ironically, in our zeal to promote our political party we may have
actually slowed the advance of the green movement in the United States,
thus stunting the growth of the political party dedicated to the green
movement. A careful examination of the international political successes
of the "Green party" shows that the global green parties gained the
necessary strength only after the "Green movement" became mainstream in
that country. This is quiet evident in Australia, Germany, and Canada,
just to name a few. The basis of unity for the Green movement is
adherence to common principles, namely the Four Pillars of the Green
Party. (Ecology, Social justice, grassroots democracy, and non-violence)
But what about the half of the US population who feel disenfranchised
and who have no real interest in engaging a political system that
utilizes a "stacked deck" and punishes the masses for voting for their
hopes instead of their fears? Does a party that emphasizes grassroots
democracy simply abandon these people because they are unwilling to
align themselves with any particular political organization or party? It
is the view of this green that if we do, we are missing a huge
opportunity to change the world.
Obviously, existing political and religious institutions have failed to
adequately address the coming economic and ecological collapse that will
occur without a drastic change of direction. Just as obvious are the
political roadblocks created to quell any attempt to instill real
representative democracy through our current political structure.
So what am I suggesting?
How about putting aside our need to stump for a political party long
enough to embrace the ideals of the green movement? How about acting
locally to create a space in which people could get together to honestly
face deepening economic, political, cultural, and ecological crises void
of the requirement that they must join a particular political
The term "watermelon" is sometimes applied to professed Greens who seem
to put social goals above ecological ones, implying they are "green on
the outside but red on the inside." Some Red Greens consider this a
compliment, others an insult. Red Greens are not usually considered
"fundamentalist greens", a term usually associated with Deep Ecology.
This is but one of dozens of examples of how we shoot ourselves in the
foot by labeling each other through advocating single issue politics
manifested through our alliance with various activist groups. Yet when
we examine our political commonality, there is no good reason why people
from a wide variety of political perspectives can't find unity through
the green movement.
The basis of unity for the Green movement is adherence to common
principles, namely the Four Pillars of the Green Party. (i.e.
Sustainability, social justice, grassroots democracy, and Non-Violence.)
The "green" view on other issues may span the political spectrum, but
many Greens claim that the concepts of "left" and "right" do not apply
to them or their views.
A good friend and longtime Green party member recently told me that he
considers himself to be a "placeholder" for future greens. I think he
was trying to tell me that change is expedited as awareness thrives.
Maybe by becoming teachers in the green movement, we can set the table
for young greens who can take advantage of the changing of our consumer
culture into something more ecologically wise.
In conclusion, if we can escape the predictable leftist circular firing
squad that results from our loyalty to single issue politics, perhaps
the senseless battles that focus on our political differences could be
discarded in favor of educating our friends and families to the virtues
of the Green movement? It the belief of this "green" that the natural
result will be the growth of the Green party in the United States.