When my 17-year-old daughter came home yesterday, she laughed at me and asked why I had a brand-new “Vote Green Party” sticker on the bumper of my car.
“They’re never going to win- you know that, right?” she asked.
If she’s talking about the presidential election coming up next November, there’s a pretty good chance that she’s right. But creating change in politics to better our world is a whole lot bigger than any one election, and voting for who you think has a good chance of “winning” is no way to participate in a democracy.
If you follow politics closely like I have for the last 10 years or so, it’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day battles between the “conservatives” and the “liberals” that dominate our national media. Did you hear what Nancy Pelosi said today? And the response from John Boehner? To choose a side is only human, and to defend that ideology against all who oppose it is nothing short of a patriotic exercise of one’s First Amendment rights. You have to pick a side, right?
But what if you start to realize that BOTH sides are really one in the same? What do you do when you recognize that BOTH sides are bought and paid for by the corporations that funded their multi-million dollar election campaigns? What happens next when you come to the conclusion that BOTH sides are happy to argue for a position when they think that it will help sway public opinion, but write legislation that only serves to maximize profits for the executive class of America at the expense of We the People?
As a progressive liberal, I often found myself passionately defending the positions of
the Democratic Party against attacks from Republicans, only to be disappointed when the
Democrats eventually caved to the pressure of the media machine that infests our daily lives with half-truths and an absolute refusal to do the investigative work necessary to accurately report on a story. I began to realize that although the Democrats talked a better game than the Republicans, their actions betrayed their statements. During the negotiations over ending the Bush Tax Cuts last December, the Democrats failed to adhere to the will of a huge majority of Americans that wanted to see an end to policies have contributed to creating massive national debt and overwhelming income inequality in our nation.
It should have been a very easy win for Democrats, but they somehow lacked the political will to challenge their wealthy donors that helped them get their jobs. Comedian Will Durst blogged at that time that “the heartless are pummeling the spineless while the clueless cheer them on.” That statement has stuck with me because there is just so much truth to it. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed at all since then.
The clueless Tea Party continues to guide the heartless Republicans further off the cliff, and the Democrats sit idly by and enable the destruction of our nation out of fear of offending their donors and the backlash from the well-polished right-wing smear machine.
Unfortunately, the game is rigged for now. Without being able to raise millions of
dollars to compete with the millions that the two corporate parties have, it’s almost impossible to challenge the entrenched powers. Right now, the heartless ARE pummeling the spineless while the clueless cheer them on. But what do you do when you realize that you are none of the above? What do you do when you realize that the only people that truly fit into Durst’s description are the elected officials that are running our country? You do the only thing you can do- you find the movement that is bringing the power back to the hands of the people.
There is a way to get our democracy back from the big money donors that run our legislature. It’s called people-powered politics, and it starts on a local level. That movement is called the Green Party.
When you look around the world today, you see unrest everywhere. From Egypt to
Syria to London to Madison, Wisconsin, the people are starting to see the light. The people
are starting to recognize that it is you and I that should have the rights, not the corporations and the oligarchs they put in charge. The regular people of the world are standing up and telling those in power that we are tired of the greed. We are demanding social justice and equal opportunity for everyone, not just the rich.
As Greens, we are dedicated to building a true grassroots movement that begins at the local level. We are running candidates in our local municipalities and county elections, building a base of elected officials that are informed, caring, and willing to fight for the people that elected them. As the winds of change continue to blow, more and more of our fellow citizens are recognizing that taking corporate money out of our election process is the only way to get representatives that actually represent the people.
We may not be ready to take the White House next November, but we will win. We will win not by buying consensus through the corporate media, but by building consensus on the local level and spreading the message of the people from the bottom to the top. The people are waking up to the fact that the two parties have become one in the same, and that neither one represents them.
I didn’t apply my new bumper sticker because I thought it would make me look like a winner, I did it because I know that democracy begins when you get involved. I
did it because I want to support a party that is represented by the people, and it’s very clear that the only party that does that is the Green Party.
For more info on the Green Party: