Public Comment

Notes from West Virginia; How Many Homeless People Under the Overpass Does It Take to Change a Strategy

Carol Denney
,in WV
Friday July 27, 2018 - 03:55:00 PM

After a week spent playing music with and meeting people from all over the world with a unified voice about the need to work together in this next election I woke up to an email from a respected friend with an invitation to join a third party’s effort to, in my view, keep Trump in office by weakening the Democratic Party with another third party challenge. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. How many homeless people under the overpass does it take to change a strategy.

If the Nader numbers in Florida in 2000 and the nearly perfect 50-50 split in 2016 didn't educate people about the perils of a third party it's clear that even having the planet itself at stake isn't going to matter in the next election to the Green party or the others contacting me. I'm someone who used to be in the Green party until it became clear that the leadership was in complete denial about the math. I’ve been in several parties all of which seemed more concerned about their own purity and identity - and their organization’s longevity - than policy.

I’m passionate about policy. When Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin decides that accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, should be exempt from rent control, I don’t need a political party to slam his desk and tell him he’s an idiot. I can do it myself, and encourage my friends to do the same. And I need a political party in Washington that can get in the game. The Green Party is like a bunch of bridge players at a gun show.

We need every last voter to flip this Congress. California could contribute a lot more to reducing the Republican stronghold by simply registering voters and getting them to vote. If even the registered voters would vote that would be enough to flip several districts. Many other states don't have this kind of margin. But we do, if we can get our heads out of our asses. 

California owes the nation and the world for producing $120 billion dollars in secretive exploitation by Facebook alone, its sudden stock drop being only the tip of an iceberg of looting- not just of our money but our community sense of what it means to even be a friend, let alone what is actually news. Californians often excuse their third party flirtations with the observation that since we’re such a blue, Democratic state that they can afford to subtract themselves from the game without doing any harm. And they’re wrong.

I'm writing from West Virginia where the turnaround and the willingness to unite behind honest policy change without duplicitous slogans ("corporate bribes") is everywhere. About the only thing that can ruin this moment is the Green Party and its cousins’ reductive, repetitive strategic mistake of thinking that basic math is beneath them and forgetting that, as my family would have put it, “you’re only as good as your local.” I got nothing against purity. But elections are not religion, or they shouldn't be. The Green Party is just dumb not to work positively with the Democrats. And that'll be the day. # # #