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KONK REACTOR column
[Published in the KONK Life newspaper on November 22, 2012.]
I proudly supported Barrack Obama against the mega-rich-financed opposition this year and am happy that he kept Romney out of the White House. Like many of my fellow ecology-minded and sustainability-seeking “lefties”, I felt that in this election the highest priority was to stop the regressive policies that Romney and the platform of the Republican Party sought to impose on our great nation. Yes, I’ve been frustrated by the less than stellar progress under Obama on vitally important issues like global warming, destructive drilling and poverty — but the stakes were just too high for me to cast a protest vote this time. (And I do believe that overall Obama has done a fine job in spite of the obstructionists.)
I have voted against the major parties in the past. In 1976 I voted for Eugene McCarthy over Ford and Carter, and in 1980 I voted for John Anderson over Carter and Reagan. Ever since, I didn’t look much to the third parties — especially after the 2000 debacle where the Ralph Nader vote in Florida (with help from the US Supreme Court) gave W the Presidency. (Many in the Green Party react fiercely to this contention, but it’s hard to NOT draw that conclusion.)
However ever since I was invited onto the board of Last Stand of the Florida Keys, my passion for protecting our environmental resources and our quality of life has grown. And my “inside view” of the government issues involved that I’ve experienced since my appointment to Key West’s Sustainability Advisory Board has helped me focus on the problems impeding what’s best for our future. Over the recent Presidential campaign – with little mention of environmental issues or sustainability – I felt I had to do SOMETHING.
This summer, while pulling weeds (avoiding those poisons) in a rock driveway high in the Appalachians, I listened to a podcast of political economist Gar Alperovitz’s keynote speech at the Green Party convention. Besides his appeal to my green genes, he talked facts and figures and trends that piqued my Inner Engineer. His contention that our political process has entered the “systemic problem” phase was spot on. He convinced me that we have to take assertive steps to revitalize our system. I kinda knew this already, but he laid it out so clearly that I made a vow to myself: after we stop Romney, I must transfer my focus away from maintaining the two-party status-quo to building a party ready to do the heavy lifting required to actually FIX the system.
Most Americans picture the Green Party as a bunch of tree-hugging hippies who don’t understand the big picture. But they think this while totally ingrained in the artificial bi-polar system our current political process has evolved into. No cosmic leap is needed to perceive how it COULD be, though. Wouldn’t t it make more sense for us to stand up for:
- Social Justice
- Ecological Wisdom
- Community Economics
- Respect for Diversity
- Grassroots Democracy
- Personal and Global Responsibility
That, my friend, is the Green Party. It’s worldwide and it’s local. It’s you and me and our community. And its time is now. The percentage of our population harking back to the bad-old-days is fading in size and relevance (despite the yelping of Faux News and their ilk). But it’s just a matter of time before the Corporate Power Structure adapts to engulf the other party. This cannot happen for the Green Party.
So farewell Democrats, I’m going GREEN.… All in.
(Hey, you can now also find my political Facebook discussion on its own Facebook page: facebook.com/GREENReactor)
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