” I see 2024 as a great opportunity to elect some Greens to public office. The GOP will nominate that loopy criminal ex-POTUS, the Dems will put forth an unpopular octogenarian. Millions of voters will just “sit this one out.” In a nation of 332 million can’t we find SOMEBODY better than these? Our advantage is that neither of these will have broad coattails. The big race in Michigan will be for the US Senate. The nominal Republican Party under Kristin Karamo will push for a Trumpist, the establishment will put forward one or more palatable (to them) conservatives. There’s an excellent possibility that the GOP loser will go on to run as an “independent,” and there will be a 3-way race. A Green candidate with a strong message could make it a 4-way and in that case the candidate with the most votes, even if not a majority, would win. There is an outside chance here for us.
The Michigan legislature is closely divided. Here again, the GOP dysfunction and Biden’s skimpy coattails could work to our advantage. We have 17 locals. If each of them could put forth a good candidate for House and State Senate with a strong and unique message, we could get some seats. All it would take are a few winners to hold the balance of power and with that bargaining chip, get some of the Green agenda enacted.” —– Donnelly Hadden GPMI member
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“A new direction: Green Party Guerilla Politics”
- By Darryl Gibson
“Why does the guerrilla fighter fight? We must come to the inevitable conclusion that the guerrilla fighter is a social reformer, that he takes up arms responding to the angry protest of the people against their oppressors, and that he fights in order to change the social system that keeps all his unarmed brothers in ignominy and misery.”
— Che Guevara
The Green Party has struggled to maintain an effective presence for many years now. It seems no matter how hard we try; it feels as if we’re stuck in neutral with no hope in sight. When I was elected as a Co-chair of the Green Party of Michigan, my personal mandate was to take the necessary steps to help pull this party out of obscurity and into the mainstream for the voting public.
I have done plenty of research seeking unconventional solutions to help our organization rebound. What follows are just a few of the conclusions I have come to. This is only my opinion based on research I have done over the last year or so.
The method of operation for both major parties is solely compatible with capitalism, the constant pursuit of cash being vital to their existence. The ultra-wealthy and corporations are aware of this. And they continue to manipulate it more each year. Eliminate the corporate backing and the Republican and Democratic parties would collapse within months. Why? Because they have no real message for the masses. No real substance.
The two corporate parties are structured to maintain profits for the donor class and control their own base supporters through fear and distrust just enough to keep them voting against their own interest. Nothing more. That’s why they fight so hard to preserve the system status quo. As EcoSocialists, we are an anomaly, a threat. And that is why we have endured their wrath. We’re starting a game of electoral Monopoly with no money and a fifty-move impediment.
As we are a grassroots, anti-capitalist body, it seems that following a similar template will never be consistent with the organization we claim to be and therefore, unsustainable. I believe a fresh approach is needed. One more fitting with the structure of the Green Party.
Being a Marine, it was instilled that when the original plan doesn’t work, you improvise, you adapt, and you overcome. We have twice the hill to climb without the tools to make the ascent in our current condition. Within this situation, we cannot thrive. Time to improvise.
- Next: The Issue
A wasted vote. Not a viable option. Vote splitters. Helping the Republicans. Same as the Democrats. These are just a few of the insults we have grown accustomed to as we near a new election. Lies. Deceit. Suing us off the ballot and other exclusionary tactics.
We are constantly suppressed by the two major parties. Because of this, we are somewhat unfamiliar to the voters of this state and this country. People don’t know who we are or what were about. Our reputation does not precede us because it doesn’t really exist.
There’s not much we can point to as proof of our effectiveness as a political party. We have nothing to sell other than ideas and hope, and that is not automatically a good thing. We must find a way to gain support from the communities we desire to represent as it is imperative to our continued existence and success.
The duopoly is not inclined to listen to the concerns of their base. Why? Because both major parties are controlled by dark money. Ever top-heavy, their method of operation is to flood the airwaves with fear, which makes it easier to hypnotize voters to vote to keep the game going.
They ally with the corporate media to help with the control of the national discourse with faux partisan bickering while maintaining the status quo of padding profits for their ultra-wealthy and corporate donors and it has become very effective.
We are not Republicans. We are not Democrats. And even though more than half of Americans support the need for a third party, we have become stagnant as a political organization. We have been reduced to a group of loosely affiliated activists with no real plan or direction.
Our very survival dictates changing our structures and methods. We need to spend our efforts separating ourselves from the duopoly just like we report. Why would we want to be a part of a corrupt, corporate-engineered system which doesn’t serve us or our communities? We must make our own way and take it directly to the people.
- Next: The Narrative
Republicans and Democrats control the daily discourse through flooding the airwaves with noise and nonsense and believe it or not, it is extremely effective. Every day, we search for, watch, and read their interviews and articles. We allow them to stir our emotions. Then, we go on social media and post about it.
We voice our frustration with their blatant shortcomings. We cultivate conversations with others. We talk to our friends, family, and co-workers about it. It consumes our day. And once the anger and frustration have begun to fade, we find we are no closer to growing or strengthening our organization. And the cycle continues.
The people who follow us on social media and in the community already know about the duopoly’s corruption. They see it within their ever-increasing struggle to survive every day. Therefore, we must move away from the constant party-bashing, complaining, and finger-pointing or other activities which serve to sustain these conversations.
Every time we show posts highlighting the failings of the Republican and Democratic Parties, they continue to control the narrative. If the conversation remains on them, there will be no focus on us. This also makes us appear as victims and victims do not make very good champions for the people. Other than providing free press for them, spending time feeding and engaging in the daily duopolitical noise is a fruitless endeavor.
For a change, we must direct the conversation to us and what we’re about. Our agenda and how we’re trying to achieve it. Our focus must be on promoting our organization by showing the benefits of Eco-Socialism, our candidates for office, how to join the Green Party movement and sharing political events.
Sharing content which aligns with our mission can also be effective. Although, it’s important to begin creating original content. The more people see, the more they become interested. If we want people to join our party, we must allow them to get to know us. And we cannot do it by constantly talking about Republicans and Democrats.
- Next: Structure
As a grassroots group, the Green Party needs to start with a base. The definition of grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes that shift as much decision-making authority as practical to the organization’s lowest geographic or social level of organization.
That translates into power to the people or, power from the ground up. We must empower our members through their direct involvement in our process from the moment they register until they make the choice to leave our organization.
Everyone joining the Green Party should be allowed the immediate option of joining a caucus, committee, or working group. Caucuses are defined as a group within an organization or political party which meets independently to discuss strategy or tactics which can be effective way to help maintain a focused agenda.
Every caucus, along with committees and working groups are our best authorities for providing guidance and direction to our organization on a particular subject through discussion, debate and regular reports.
This reduces wastefulness in our process and gives our members a sense of purpose. From election support to ways and means, a committee or a working group is a group of people appointed for a specific function, in some cases, for a limited period, typically consisting of members of a larger group.
Each of these organizational tools feed information to each Local which is a broader group of members within a specific area defined by at least three neighboring counties. Our mission should be to cover the entire state of Michigan with our Locals.
Local co-chair/contacts equipped with information from their local members, caucus, working group and committee representatives report to the State Central Committee for necessary debate and proper measures.
In turn, the State Central Committee creates a plan of action to achieve the agreed upon goals, delegating resources to proper persons or body, for a direct commitment to a project. Failure of a specific project may warrant a request for revision and alternative actions.
Successful projects may be documented and used as a template and a teaching tool for future endeavors. The weekly SCC to Locals report can be an effective tool to provide information on open positions in each special group.
- Next: Agenda
For Democrats, non-election years are spent rubbing shoulders with the Green Party and progressive groups, nodding in agreement with true leftist rhetoric as they search for a blue candidate who can bridge the divide within their own party. They will co-opt progressive messages and use it to bring you closer. Then, they will search for and find their champion in a corporate-propped, shiny progressive and soothe the cries of the masses.
Then, at the eleventh hour, when you think affordable housing, food and college or single-payer improved Medicare for all is in reach, they undermine their own candidate, insert a candidate more palatable to their money masters, then tell you to “unite” against the scary Republicans and claim your vote without resistance. Bait. And. Switch.
I think there’s a remedy for this. Perhaps, we should be focused on vital issues we know they will never completely commit to. Issues which have plagued the people of this state and country for far too long. From runaway inflation to clean drinking water, we must become the voice and power of the working class and poor.
Then, with the support of the people, create an itemized agenda to fix these issues. Then, we call out the duopoly, demanding a signed commitment to this contract to the terms of the people. Either they fall in line or openly oppose the needs of the people.
Their failure will warrant an immediate press release to every independent media outlet we can find. Our candidates can use this as fuel during campaigns. That will eliminate the tactic of co-opting our message and provide clarity in the disparities between us and them.
- Next: Attention
For so long we have been trying to garner more attention for our party. We struggle because we continue to use the normal avenues to do so.
We’re trying to push into the national media conversation without national media conversation funds or connections. Which means we must rely on word of mouth and other tools. Social media may be the great equalizer if used properly. Here we have the potential to reach several thousand voters across the state.
Between the GPMI Facebook page and group, we have almost ten-thousand followers. Granted, some may be duplicates and some are from out of state. However, that doesn’t diminish the importance of the opportunity we have to spread our message.
With so much information and almost everyone having cell phones, people tend to be more inclined to watch quick content than read it, especially young people. Original pictures, videos, or livestreams of Green Party activities with a short message is an attention getter.
There are other groups who are aligned with our organization and may share our content, join our events and activities and vote Green. Acting independently when there are many other groups heading in the same direction seems like a wasted opportunity. We have acted in support of several organizations, from social justice groups to environmental defenders yet ask for nothing in return from them. Why not?
We had a previous alliance with the Socialist Party of Michigan for the 2020 elections in which they supported our candidates and may have influenced voter turnout. I would suggest reviving this alliance and seeking out other groups to form a solid left collective.
Reaching out to independent media for candidate and officer interviews to promote the Green Party agenda should be ongoing. This should help to create more consistent original content to share with the public.