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Choice and the Greens

A comment to the New York Times opinion section describes voting for a Green Party congressional candidate as basking in "self-righteous ideological purity." Columnist Michelle Goldberg adds that she has "yet to see any evidence that the Green Party’s habit of running doomed third-party campaigns has ever done anything to further its ostensible values." She writes of the Green Party justifying their runs as movement-building tools and mentions Ralph Nader (Green Party candidate in 1996 and 2000) as having told her that 'They don’t know how to multiply themselves.'

My opinion: It's unfortunate that Nader in 2000 didn't choose to publicize his points by running in Democratic primaries.

Many of us know that politics in the US (lacking a parliamentary system) is best done in big-tent coalitions, that fragmentation, ideological purity and sectarianism invite failure. It's crazy to think that support for environmental issues and other reforms will come only from Green Party candidates. Goldberg writes of a "new generation" of activists within the Democratic Party. This includes those who support social democracy: economic and social policies that exist in places like Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden. It's neither purely capitalist or purely socialist. It's the Nordic model — described in Wikipedia as "based on the economic foundations of free market capitalism. (Denmark and Sweden have big and successful private banks.)

Some of us oversimplify. On the right we have those who lump Nordic politics with Marxist-Leninism. And we have the Green Party congressional candidate in Ohio, Joe Manchik, who speaks of a "corrupt Democratic-Republican Duopoly." He calls on people to wake up and to "stop voting for the oligarchy."

It's a subject I'd like to see kept alive until November, and I appreciate the following comments:

The vast majority of people concerned about the environment are democrats.

Don't tell me you care about the environment if you know your vote will make the difference between a Dem winning over a Rep and you still choose to vote for your candidate who has NO chance of winning.

The Green Party is the handmaiden of the Republican Party, which is doing a terrific job splitting their opponents' votes into irrelevance. Nov 6 is for all the marbles. Vote Blue.

It is said that if Green Party voters can't vote Green they won't vote at all. But perhaps there are some open to other than a self-indulgent pursuit of the never-never.


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