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I dance upon your gangrenous corpse


This is a sad post.

I had hoped never to write it, only that is not quite true – is it? – because I never imagined that writing this post might even be the remotest of possibilities for me, and therefore I could not have actively hoped anything at all about it one way or the other.

For nineteen years, I’ve viewed the Green Party as, you might say, a fundamental component of my identity, an essential element of just what makes Harry Harry. I am not complicated, as people go. I don’t have a lot of moving parts, so the Green Party has loomed large with me.

A week just passed us and it was a miserable week, really, especially with the news stories, and among the news stories I noticed were these:

  • The Green Party of Texas ended its recent petition drive having collected only 500 out of the 50,000 signatures it needed to get back onto the Texas ballot;
  • It’s starting to look like my old friend, David Cobb, and his new friend, Jill Stein, might be into some trouble involving money they raised for an election recount; and 
  • Roseanne Barr had some problems and it reminded me that back in 2012, she got 25% of the delegate votes for the Green Party nomination for President of the United States. 

It is no happy thing for me to type those words. Any of them. It is a sad thing, though there are things, still, even at this very late date, that can, from time to time, come together just so to add a touch of happiness to my life. I insist that hearing of the impending collapse of the Green Party is not one of those happy things.

And it is true I have not been active with the local party since the (“our”?) December meeting descended first into insults, then into chaos, and then, ironically maybe for a party of peaceniks, into actual threats of physical violence. I’ve still gone on saying “us” and “we” when I talk about the Greens, like We’re doing this” or “They make ballot access hard for us.”

It’s because for so long, God help me, I’ve been emotionally invested in this. For so long, I’ve defended the Greens against the world, it’s felt like. It is because many of my very favorite people ever have come to me through the party, like Charlie Mauch, Josh Darr, David Cobb, Art Browning, Brian Howard, Bev Hayes, Johnathan Gerber, Sarah Fern, Jere Locke, David Collins, Alfred Molison, Nick Cooper, Renee Feltz, Barbara Ashley, Gordon Anderson, Jennifer Beazley, Chris Jarzombek, Deb Shafto, Janis Richards, Don Cook…

Whew! That’s a lot of great people but that’s all over now.

To say I will not be working with the Greens again is self-evident I think.

To say I will not be voting for the Greens again is meaningless, as they’re never going to be on the ballot again for me to vote for. I mean, when you get right down to brass tacks, I am basically speaking ill of the dead* here.

I’ll go further. I’ll say something with meaning. For me it has meaning, anyway:

Green Party, finally, I renounce you.

Happier times: Marching in the Art Car Parade with Joanne, Jennifer, Glenn, and Ruby. Summer 2000.

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*Just to be clear, when I say “corpse” and “dead,” I’m talking about the political party’s health, not to actual people. This post isn’t a kind of subtle threat.

Comments

  1. Sorry to hear that your party has angered you and let you down. Party politics, like any politics, can be an ugly blood-sport. Take time to heal.

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    1. Not all of us have gifts suitable for all walks of life. Maybe I just need to stay away from political activity. This has been a lesson hard-learned but... learned, just the same.

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi, John. I try to keep my posts positive.

      Maybe next time.

      Maybe I'm going crazy from that heat I was complaining about in my prior post.

      Delete
  3. Never having been a supporter of theirs, I can't claim to grasp the magnitude of your disappointment. But I think you've come to the right conclusion, and based on the figures you report, so have many other voters. More than ever before, the critical necessity now is to get as many Republicans out of power as possible, and that means voting for Democrats, however imperfect they may be. Third parties are an indulgence we can't afford right now.

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    1. Sadly, the Texas Democratic Party still doesn't appear to have their shit together.

      For years, we had races for statewide office in which there was only one name (the Republican's) on the ballot on election day. This year, there's only race like that (for a Criminal Court of Appeals position).

      I try and vote for the best candidate. I've skipped a few races.

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  4. I don't know anything about the Green Party, but I will go on record as being in favor of most organic stuff.

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    1. The members themselves are organic, vegan, and made out of hemp.

      Delete
  5. RIP Green Party (not that it's actually dead, I just hope all of those in charge get a good night's sleep).
    I'd feel bad about your time of mourning if it didn't mean that you were coming over to my side, which is no political party. I want to abolish all political parties so people have to run based solely on the merits of their ideas. But, in order to achieve that dream, I'd probably have to join a party.

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    1. Haha. I voted for at least one candidate in all four parties that were on the Texas ballot in 2014 and 2016.

      So basically I'm called a "useful idiot" by people of pretty much all political stripes.

      Local municipal races are non-partisan, meaning that candidates don't have a political party affiliation next to their names, but everyone still know what party they're part of.

      I have no political home anymore. I wouldn't want to be a member of any party that would have me.

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  6. Not trying to be funny here but this seems to fit: "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

    Tom Paine

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    1. I do think that, when bad behavior is rewarded in politics, everyone else just sort of gets off the field, leaving ONLY the bad actors.

      But Thomas Paine says everything better than me (and look where he ended up).

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  7. It seems we both of us had disappointment (and a healthy dose of disdain for the reasons behind it) in our ink. It's tough to see something we care for fall to pieces. Or, even worse, show us a nasty face we never thought it was hiding.

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    1. Your new one is sharp-edged but encouraging.

      I stay in denial even longer when it comes to personal relationships than I do when It comes to institutions. I always believe I'm going to be able to fix things with some gentle nudges at the edges. Things rarely if ever have gotten fixed that way, though.

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  8. Dude, it could be worse: I'm a fucking Democrat. Do you have any idea how many times my party has been absolutely, irredeemably, over? How many times it has just up and shat on my interests and done the thing it has become famous for doing these days "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory"?
    I think the Greens may have a part to play in the aftermath of the thing that is happening now, because there may be a power vacuum on the far side of the Overton window when the very far right collapses a little from its current state of ascendance.
    For as much as we get labeled a danger to the country, there isn't much of a functioning left in this country, and the Greens are as close to a functioning left as we have had for a while.
    The Democrats may be the opposition to the political right, but our candidates for president have been centrists. Obama, as much as I admire him, was a "process guy" president who didn't admit to himself that the Republicans were never gonna work with him until very late in his administration, and Bill Clinton was the best Republican president we've had in my lifetime.
    Somebody has to drag us back the other way, and as a Democrat, I'm loath to trust my party with that task.
    So maybe it's not over for ever.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. There are issues I care about which I don't believe the Democratic Party has done ANYTHING to make better, and in fact made much worse. Part of it is that I was 18 in 1992 and had such big hopes for Clinton. By 1999, I was so disillusioned.

      I hope people don't all get disillusioned. It looks like some of the younger generation are doing well at pushing on individual issues outside of the party structure.

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    2. I'm really missing Molly Ivins right about now.
      Richmond, Ca. had a Green party mayor for two terms, and the current mayor, who is a Democrat, is following the same policy guidelines. It seemed to be working well as Richmond, a place that even some Oaklanders are scared of (I lived in the "Iron Triangle" for a while, and had fewer problems with crime there than I did in South Berkeley) went almost five months without a homicide this year.
      Then there were three of them in one week, but still, overall, they are way down.

      -Doug in Oakland

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    3. I know a few years ago, there were places in California where the number of registered Greens was higher than the number of registered Republicans.

      Which is strange for me to think about, having lived in Texas and Nebraska my whole life. I've always lived where Republicans were pretty much the norm (although that's been changing in the Trump era, when even the conservatives I know have been increasingly refusing to align themselves with the party's policies).

      Delete
  9. Green lives on in Ontario...we had our election last night and this little community of ours elected the very first Greenie to hold a seat. Yay Green. Better move to Guelph Ontario Harry.

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    1. I saw that!

      That sort of goes to show you that a lot of this is just luck or a few good people. I mean, the basic Key values are the same for the party in every country, and yet the Greens are winning in Canada now while in the US, they're nowhere, and in Mexico, they're actively evil.

      There are a lot of things I like about Canada. Living in Texas, I don't know that I'm allowed to say more than that...

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  10. Sorry for your loss, Harry. Hope you are able to find another political affiliation that you can throw your support behind. But it sure is hard these days to get excited about any political party.

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    1. Thanks, Mr. Shife.

      I think there are ways to do it. Keep it to the local level, maybe work on just one or two issues that affect you right in your community. Maybe work on the issues first and see how it can spread into the electoral politics realm - instead of doing it the way I did and do electoral politics that tries to advocate on a range of issues.

      Or maybe I should just start trolling political sites on the internet...

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  11. Man, I have been there. I was a part of the "Repulican Revolution" in the 90's. So disappointing. I was invigorated on the other side by "Hope" and "Change." Meh. I even got caught up in the laughter of "Anyone But Trump," but the last laugh was on me. Politics, my unrequited love, you have broken me so.

    But I cannot quit you.

    So tell me, Harry Hamid, where do we go from here? I'm up for another run at the gold, even if - in the end - all we end up with is pyrite on our hands...

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    1. I wish I had some ideas about what comes next.

      I was young and idealistic and full of hope in 1992 with Bill Clinton and I don't know whether I'll ever recover from how much he let me down.

      It's sort of a "back to the drawing board" moment for me right now, which might just mean I'm not feeling strongly enough about anything at the moment. I'll get there.

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  12. While the green party and I have a lot in common, I don't really have any real support for the party at the voting level.

    Sadly our two-party system makes a vote for the Greens, a vote for the Republicans.

    So yeah, I'm basically a default-Democrat, because there's very very few Republicans who actually have any honor or good ideas anymore.

    I also do not care for Jill Stein in the same way I don't care for Gary Johnson. Two third party candidates who seem they enjoy the attention than the actual chance of winning an election.



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    1. I can definitely understand that!

      Texas has had an interesting situation the past couple of decades wherein no Democrat has even come close to winning a race for statewide office... since 1998. And it hasn't been close and it hasn't been within the Green vote margin of error. So going Green hasn't been a hard decision for me until they became a party I couldn't support.

      I don't know what I'm going to do now because I don't want to reward Democrats for bad candidates.

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  13. I was just a kid with black and white TV when JFK was shot. Looking backwards can distort you view. The good stuff will appear larger in the rear view mirror. Was politics better then?
    Politics is a mixture of good and bad. I like to think there is more good than bad. It's hard to think that way when the opposition party is in control.

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    1. Things almost look better in retrospect, which sucks, because it means I'm probably not going to know that the really, really good parts of my life were really, really good until years after they happen.

      So far as politics go, I'm thinking of being more issue-oriented for a while and see how that goes. Electoral politics are really way too broad, and this is made worse when your party isn't even on the ballot most of the time.

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  14. The scary thing is, sometimes the "stick your head in the sand" party seems to be the only choice that lets you maintain your sanity.

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    1. Yeah, I've never wanted to just do something without thinking: You know, claim to belong to this religion or this group or this party as a way to NOT weigh decisions. You know, like "I'm for whatever X says about this topic."

      But I'm old now and maybe I have to prioritize what I spend my time thinking about sometimes.

      I probably will keep overthinking everything. But there's something to be said for maintaining my sanity, yes.

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  15. I'm so sorry Harry!! Take time to heal! I'm proud to say, in Ontario, Canada, where I live, we nominated our first Green Party member!!! Don't give up!

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    1. I seem to have a lot of people from Ontario who stop by this page! It's good to hear that the party is well enough organized somewhere to win an election.

      I'm reassessing. I'll figure out what comes next for me.

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  16. Yes, I was going to add that in Ontario, the Greens have a seat in the Provincial Legislature for the first time. Is our kind of Green different from yours?

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    1. The basic Green party and platform is largely the same everywhere, I think. The difference is that they're just much better organized in some countries. In countries with parliamentarian systems, minor parties have a lot more clout in general. In the US, minor parties are... largely irrelevant. Not irrelevant, but, rather, disregarded.

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  17. Here's my expanded take on the Stein-Cobb post-recount grifting story from the Daily Beast. http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/05/jill-stein-is-still-recounting-while.html

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    1. It was your May 30th piece that finally got me going about that particular issue - although I believe she might have finally released some official numbers for filing just a couple days later (June 4: https://www.thedailybeast.com/jill-stein-finally-reveals-how-shes-been-spending-recount-money )

      It's always disappointing to me when the small guys talk about how they would do things cleaner, and then it turns out that the reason they might appear to be doing things cleaner is because they don't have the opportunity to be as dirty as the big guys.

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    2. Added Davis' update to my original piece, along with snark about Cobb trying to justify his existence.

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  18. And, my just up piece about looking at third parties of the left in general, and specifically, recent updates to the SPUSA platform. (They were available by write-in for president in Texas in 2016.) http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-need-for-third-parties-of-left.html

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    1. I like that. Of course, the third party thing is just so tough in Texas unless you become purely a mechanism for fundraising to stay on the ballot, as the Libertarians have, basically.

      So far as your saying in your piece that you didn't get the chance to sign the Greens petition this time out: I'm the former co-chair of the county party, former steering committee member, and was endorsed for governor by the party in 2006 and so much as contacted by email this year about maybe signing their petition, so I suspect they didn't do much.

      The State Party was torn about launching into a petition drive at all and ultimately aid that they weren't going to organize it but wouldn't stop such a drive, either - they'd file the intent paperwork that needed to be filed with the sec of state. I'm not sure they're going to be in any better of a position in 2020, but... bless their hearts.

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    2. I remember, per DBC, who's also talked about the meltdowns in Houston, that the state party was unsure about doing the drive.

      That said, yeah, the Socialists are even smaller ... but, they don't have that stupid "decentralization" fetish as a "key plank," among other things.

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    3. I've thought about that key value, and I'd say that someone in the original Green bunch was an anarcho-syndicalist trying to distinguish the Greens from socialists via a solitary anarcho-syndicalist idea but never figured out how to flesh it out.

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  19. Damn, that's frustrating! It makes me feel like slapping people but that's not actually helpful. I cannot fathom why people can't look after the earth, or each other. I get why frustration leads to threats, obviously. And why you need to let the corpse go.

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    1. I will always treasure the initial misconceptions I had about that group.

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