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Elaine Brown and the Green Party

From Kimberly:

Things are getting hot and heavy in the Green Party. With the primaries coming up, there are all sorts of machinations going on at the national level. Hey, the Greens have these mushy ten key values, and we try to be all non-violence and progressive, but politics is politics. Besides the fact that some sincere people get caught up in competition and campaigns, we have to remember that there are some people in our party who don’t want us to succeed electorally. They just want us to be a lobby on the Democrats, and try to steer things that way.

Because of some genuine, intra-party problems, Elaine Brown felt unsupported by the GP-US leadership, and wrote a statement withdrawing from the presidential race.

I am one of the  many greens who would be very sad to see her go.

I am very happy that Green activist and leader Peter Camejo has written a very strong statement apologizing to Elaine for some of the chenanigans. And, many greens have written public and private statements urging her back into the presidential race.

I will keep the community posted here at a slower, rather than faster, pace. Because, I have been through this before, and I think to heal wounds and communications problems at a national level, you need time to let things sift through.

My fingers are crossed that this can be worked out.

4 Responses

  1. Brown’s action doesn’t surprise me. Some people just take longer to reach the obvious conclusion. Reminds me of the anecdote about Andrew Lloyd Webber, who asked an acquaintance, “Why do people have such an instant disliking of me?” “It saves time,” came the reply.

    Dealing with the nasty, slimy, un-Green “leaders” of the national party is such a rude awakening that I’m surprised that ANYONE who has ever had to deal with them remains involved. It’s like Charlie Brown still going back to kick Lucy’s football, hoping that maybe THIS time she won’t pull it away… but she always does.

    Of all people, Kimberly and Ian should know this, and I don’t know whether their sticking around is just admirable fortitude or incredibly naive and woolly-headed wishful thinking.

    As the FIRST (and perhaps, still, the only) Green to have been RE-elected to municipal office in New York State, I have come to my own crossroads regarding the Green Party, first of the US, and then of NYS. As an alternate and then regular rep to the GPUS National Committee, I got to see firsthand just how corrupt and totally un-Green the so-called “leadership” was, and how totally uncommitted they were to the supposed principles they espoused. I wouldn’t consider most of them worthy of election to dogcatcher, and after trying to effect some reforms, and seeing the fruitlessness of that, I washed my hands of the national apparatus. (See John Murphy’s devastating critique at http://counterpunch.org/murphy12282007.html. Yes, it’s the same players and same behavior *I* experienced from the day I got on the GPUS NC!)

    Hoping to put my energy into a level where it might have better luck, I focussed on my role as a county rep to the NYS Committee, and on the Exec Committee, but found many of the same personality-driven shortcomings. I stuck to my commitment to shepherd the state’s website through the 2006 elections, but withdrew from any other participation after I saw the stupid and nasty behavior of many “leaders” in NYS leading up to that event. When it became clear that the Greens couldn’t even get 50,000 votes in NYS for a rather well-known personality like Malachy McCourt, and had no strategy for actually ELECTING local candidates, I realized the party was over, the ship had left the dock, Elvis had left the stadium.

    After the 2006 election, seeing no future in the Green Party, I contacted my Board of Elections and switched my enrollment to NO PARTY (it didn’t go into effect until this month, as is the rule in NYS). I also decided not to run again for local office this year, and to take some time to re-evaluate where to put my energy for dealing with the imminent problems that most seem to be ignoring.

    I would hope that the sincere and decent folk who still harbor any belief that the Green Party offers ANY practical and likely-to-be-implemented solutions to our electoral, social, economic, or environmental problems, WAKE UP and smell what’s cookin’. They had their chance, and have blown it over and over. They are in decline just about everywhere in the US, thanks to boneheaded (or subversive) decisions, nasty interpersonal behavior, and a total lack of strategic thinking or principled attachment to their supposed key values.

    It’s like those pitiful Democrats who keep thinking that they can STILL change their pathetic party around to a more progressive, Kucinich-Wellstone mode, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

    Sometimes, the rule is “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… THEN quit; no use making a damned fool of yourself over it!”

    The shame of it is, there are STILL some decent and sincere folks who, by NOT leaving and putting their energy elsewhere, prop up the rickety and hollow shell of what COULD have been, and let themselves be USED by the slimy and manipulative ogres who run the show. Non-participation with evil means more than not supporting the evil in power, but also not supporting the evil WANNABES who rule their little powerless world and frustrate any and all efforts to set an example that would recommend them to the majority.

    MOST Greens have NO IDEA how bad it is at the top of the Green foodchain, and certainly most non-Greens are clueless, and only believe what is told about them in the mass media (tree-hugging, granola-eating, sandal-wearing, long-haired, aging hippies, right? If ONLY it were that silly and misguided!).

    SMART people deserve better! They deserve to be TREATED better, and to not constantly see their energy drained over stupid and pointless battles that are Swiftian in their inanity. To see the same few STILL fighting the same losing battles against a stupid and stubborn clique, is disheartening and frustrating to watch. SMART people should know when ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    I would rather start again with a small but SMART group who KNOW what they believe and who PRACTICE their principles, and who can focus on practical goals and not get sidetracked by silliness or get so caught up in playing the game by the OLD rules, that they can’t see that it is a RIGGED game they can’t even compete IN, much less win.

    I have created a small and personal alternative, THE SMART PARTY, of which I am the only current member. I will develop and evolve some key ideas (many of which go back to the ORIGINAL Green pillars), and will put them out there to see if they resonate. If so, great; I welcome the additional input and support of like-minded folks. If not, well, so be it; at least I’ll be true to MY vision of what needs to be perceived and done, and it won’t be compromised by those who are off pursuing some fruitless fantasy belief that THEY are part of some effective mass movement, or merely fulfilling a desire to be king or queen of a very small hill.

    Steven Krulick / SK@Krulick.Com
    Ellenville NY / 12428-130727 / Earth

    SURVIVAL… through
    Ecological Wisdom & Sustainable Action;
    PEACE… through
    Respect for Diversity & Non-Violence;
    JUSTICE (Economic & Social)… through
    Less Privilege & More Democracy;
    COMMUNITY… through
    Localization & Cooperative Responsibility.

    The SMART Party
    (SMART = Sustainably Managed Allocation of Resources and Tools)
    More at TheSmartParty.net

  2. To get the Murphy article to work, you have to leave off the final period:
    http://counterpunch.org/murphy12282007.html

  3. I hope you’ll forgive me for saying so Steve, but just where do you get off telling me that I am wasting my time? I have heard that crap all my life. “War is the way of the world…it’ll never change.” “Poor people are poor because they are lazy…it’ll never change.” “Common people will never control their own destiny. The rich have too much to lose…it’ll never change.”

    I;m not saying that the GP will ultimately be the path to a better planet and society, but if electoral politics makes sense, surely it makes more sense for me to work at the local level with a party that *does* have ballot access rather than something you’re dreaming up at this moment…not that I don’t wish you best of luck, I do. But why should you feel justified to call me foolish for wasting my time on projects I think are valid rather than following you down your particular rabbit hole?

    Sorry Kimberly for expressing my frustration on your site, but as I said, I have heard this all my life, either from those so beaten down that they have given up and think I should as well, or by those who *do* control the “system”, or at least their part, in an effort to take away my sense of self-determination.

  4. Kimberly says “No problem. We love discussion”

    Good to hear from both Gregg & Steve. Drop by anytime.

    peace,
    Ian

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