In the last seven or eight months, I have too often heard Gore supporters lamenting their fantasy that his loss was due to those "loonies" (an actual comment) from the Green Party. They go on to claim that no one would have ever voted for Ralph Nader or any Green candidate if the voter had realized that the platform of the Green Party calls for (pick any of the following - feel free to mix and match); the elimination of all cars, the closure of huge tracts of public land which is then placed under the protection of the United Nations, reparation payments for every class of people who can prove even a hint of abuse, quota systems that will force churches to hire transvestite/surrogate mother/Satan worshipping/trilingual/weightlifters, and on and on.
In as much as I see no reason to ever again address the losing effort of Gore in 2000, maybe we can still shine some light on just what the Green Party truly stands for and how it could make this a better, more caring nation and world. The Global Green Party has recently released its charter which spells out precisely what the party stands for and a vivid description of the world it desires to create.
(You can access the document in full right here.)
The principles of the Green Party are simple to understand. They encompass the values that all decent Americans, in their hearts, truly wish for. In fact, unlike the greed and exclusion of most fundamentalist religions, these goals meld easily with the teachings of the prophets from the world's major religions.
Let's look, first, at the list of goals that comprise the Green Party's philosophy and then we'll speak to each individually.
We declare our commitment to nonviolence and strive for a culture of peace and cooperation between states, inside societies and between individuals, as the basis of global security.
Respect for Diversity
What do these phrases truly mean for America and the entire planet? How will they affect you and I when they are put in place?
"Ecological Wisdom" means simply replacing the idea that we have "dominion" over the Earth (which has always been a mistranslation of the original Greek and Hebrew texts, anyway) with the reality that we must accept the "stewardship" of this planet. In other words, the planet does not belong to the wealthy and the powerful nor does it mean that we have the right to destroy any part of it in the simplistic and gluttonous drive for more wealth or more power. This planet belongs to every single creature that is riding through the universe with us. Every single one of those creatures has the right to co-exist with us. The world's fabulous wealth and diversity of living beings must always be of greater importance than the short-term goals of greater wealth for the few. Life, in all of its forms, trumps materialistic appetite in all things.
"Ecological Wisdom" also means that no group has the right to displace or harm any other group. The indigenous people of Africa and Asia have the same rights to a decent future as does the wealthiest person in any other land. They have the right to maintain their culture and their home lands without the fear of those of greater power trampling those rights for short-term and rapacious reasons. Racism and other evils such as patriotism aside, there are no people on this Earth who are more important than any other.
We can have an economy in which all benefit while simultaneously tending to the well-being of all people and the planet's health. It has been shown over and again that it is immediately possible to attain a healthy and robust economy at the same time that business protects and heals the priceless and irreplaceable bio-diversity of the planet. Those businesses that create the majority of the damage to our planet do so only because the short-term profits are more important to the executives than the long-term injuries that we leave to our children and, of course, because there is no punishment for doing so.
Granted, in all of these goals, there must be a massive change in the way we, as a species, see our involvement in the ecology of the planet. The goal of massive profits at any cost must be returned to the sewer from which it arose and be replaced with the knowledge that everything on Earth is connected to everything else. The extinction of the smallest creature will initiate consequences which no one can accurately predict. This must become the basic framework from which all other decisions emanate.
"Participatory Democracy" means only that the genuine form of democracy that supposedly exists in America be expanded throughout the world. This democracy would be one in which each citizen has an equal vote and where money and influence is removed forever from the landscape of politics. Each human being on Earth would have the right to be heard and every human being would feel the safety that a democracy offers the dissident.
In a democracy such as this, government would be transparent. The smoky backrooms and the deals made behind closed doors would be eliminated. Any group or individual who publicly supported a candidate or policy and did so through purchasing access to any and all forms of media would only be allowed to do so when those individuals or groups are clearly and absolutely identified. No more would attack ads be allowed and their supporters hidden behind phony PACs or organizations. No more would money be able to purchase anonymity in government or in elections.
When we speak of "Social Justice", we speak to the most basic cause of human suffering. Social justice is the simple but obligatory distribution of wealth, education, health care, and freedoms for all human beings. The charter calls for the eradication of poverty and illiteracy and the sharing of all of the planet's bountiful gifts. It does not stand in the way of any individual acquiring a level of material wealth greater than the average, it only calls for the distribution to all people the ability to live happy, rewarding and healthy lives.
Social justice calls for the adoption of true democracy by all nations. When all people have an equal say in their future, then justice will follow. When no nation will support rule by tyranny anywhere on Earth, then democracy can flourish everywhere. When all governments are responsive to the general health of the world and all of its citizens, then justice is inevitable.
For Republicans, greed is not eradicated, only that level of greed that confiscates basic necessities of life from the whole. Wealth amassed through the destruction of the ecology or the enslavement or abuse of other living beings will not be tolerated. Wealth that is accumulated as a by-product of the inclusion of ecologically beneficial business practices and social policies will always be encouraged so long as that wealth is not then turned against mankind.
"Nonviolence" speaks to a way of thinking not in vogue today. Currently, the "leaders" of nations have convinced their population, or have simply installed policies regardless of the opinion of the masses, that peace can only be attained and retained through the act of threatening to kill or killing a sufficient number of people from other nations. This is the Vietnam concept of destroying a village in order to pacify it.
As this space has long maintained, true peace can and will only be attained through cooperation and respect between peoples. When all nations agree to an equality of life for all of this planet's passengers, the need for war will gradually disappear. When one nation need not envy the wealth of another, when one people are no longer jealous of the freedoms that others have, when the constant competition for this planet's limited resources is eliminated, then a real and prosperous peace can descend onto mankind.
"Sustainability" speaks to all of the aforementioned policies. Only through an active effort of sustainability can the ecology of this planet be protected for all future generations. Only through policies enacted in order to encourage sustainability will social justice be achieved. When all people have access to all new technologies that replace the use of those assets that are so limited from the earth, then sustainability will be common. Only through a policy of sustainability can democracy flourish and nonviolence become an expected way of life.
Replacing power derived from dwindling fossil fuels and the ecological disaster waiting to happen that is nuclear energy must become a world-wide strategy. To replace it with a constantly increasing supply from sustainable and renewable energy from the sun and wind and water and fuel cells and all of the sources just waiting to be discovered is to create energy that will always sustain the environment and all of mankind.
Finally, "Respect for Diversity" is the assurance that all human beings have value. Which gender the cosmic crap shoot determined a mass of replicating cells will become, whom any of us sleep with, whether or not we choose to worship a god, our age or our height or our skin color has absolutely nothing to do with a person's intrinsic value. All people have the right to live as they choose with the obvious stipulation that they harm no one in the process of living that life. The world needs the greatest variety of voices and ideas if we are to survive another 10,000 years.
There is, strident nonsense aside, no religion that is of greater value to the whole than any other. Whom you worship, as is true with whom you sleep with, is of no concern to any other person (again, as long as your choices do not cause actual harm to any other person.
The charter continues, explaining the process by which the Green Party hopes to achieve its goals. It goes on and explains how the world would look if mankind awakens and follows a more ethical and moral path. It goes on, in fact, for about twenty more pages.
This is a document that I highly encourage all to read. Whether you are a member of the Green Party or a Democrat or a Republican or any of the myriad of parties that exist in the world today, you will find much of value within these pages. If you want to compare it to the party platform of your choice, then follow this link and you'll find the home pages of America's major parties. Look at what the future holds if your party has its way and compare it to the future that the Green Party's charter holds forth. Then consider the past harm or benefits that the policies of your party has inflicted upon the world and its passengers and contemplate the different worlds being designed.
I encourage all of you to think deeply and to acquire any information you may need to determine what future you will offer your support for. The problem with the future is that it too quickly becomes history and nothing that mankind can do will change history. Therefore, we must use our time wisely and our efforts with caution. I deeply hope that humanity finds within itself the wisdom and energy it will need to create an equitable and just world. I truly hope it isn't too late to begin.
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