Greens Looking for a Winning Strategy
by Josh Frank
June 17, 2003
The Green Party will gather in Washington DC on July 18-20. They will be discussing how best to blitz Bush Jr. in 2004. At the state level Greens have been brain storming candidate options for the upcoming election. Ex-Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader and radical writer/filmmaker Michael Moore have been among the names stirring in Green circles. Of course, selected candidates must agree to run - wholeheartedly ready for the enduring campaign trail that lies ahead.
Not all Greens believe they should challenge Bush in 2004, as old Nader supporter Ronnie Dugger wrote in a December issue of The Nation, “We cannot afford another division in our ranks that will bring about the election of George W. Bush in 2004.” Nader may have heard Dugger’s plea. On June 26, he and Rep. Kucinich will team up and speak at a rally in Baltimore. It may show that progressive Democrats and Greens have much in common.
However, Nader is not the Green Party. It is true he isn’t even a registered Green. As Jo Chamberlain, a steering committee member for the National Green Party says, “We would never endorse a Democrat. We are trying to build a progressive third party in the United States. The Democrats have shown no signs that as a whole they are willing to change.” She went onto say that, “it is highly unlikely that we would decide not run a candidate in the next presidential election. A token liberal doesn’t change the Democratic Party as a whole.”
Deciding not to put a candidate on the ballot could be harmful for the Greens. Much of the work that went into getting Nader on state ballots in 2000 could prove to be a waste. Certain states require Parties to put up candidates in major elections. If the Greens decide not to, they could lose ballot access.
Ultimately, the Green Party members will choose how best to sack Bush in ‘04. Will they decide Party building is more important than tackling crucial issues? No doubt that the team up of Nader and Kucinich will spark debate among contesting Greens – with the DC convention as their first formal arena for deliberation. What will come out of those discussions, at this point, is hard to say. Let us hope it is a winning strategy. With the Republicans left with 4th and long.