Though we are living in a time of great despair, political folly, and a rudderless direction, we as Greens have a positive message and a positive political direction essential to countering this despair.
Replacing "Building Back Better", which at best was political sloganeering and at worst a cynical Trojan Horse of Democratic manipulation by promising much with full knowledge of their inability/unwillingness to deliver. On the other hand, "Saving Democracy: Green Values for a Green World" is a task worthy of our time, energy and serious consideration. Greens can and do back up their values with actions. We just lack public awareness of those values and our efforts. We must change this dynamic.
Within the current efforts of the progressive movement generally and the GRP specifically, I perceive three trends.
- A great deal of our energy is expressed in opposition: We oppose war, we oppose economic exploitation, we oppose racism/sexism and other dangerous "isms", we oppose corporate and cultural practices that are destroying our world, etc., etc. There is nothing wrong with taking these positions. They are admirable and essential, but taken alone narrow our vision and put us in the role of "reactive" vs. "proactive politics. Taken alone they foster our opposition's efforts to have us constantly reacting to their life-destroying/humanity-negating political agenda vs. the promotion of our own goals of building the people-focused Green future with its living in peace alternative.
- The flip side of #1 is that we are not being sufficiently seen as builders of the "brighter future". Not that this is not happening. Many of our efforts are towards taking concrete actions to "build" the institutions, awareness, and attitudes of a positive future. We just have low public visibility. Additionally, unless we consciously frame "building" as essential, we will continue to focus our energies on oppositional efforts minus a positive message. The critical questions we must ask ourselves are: how effective have we been in the 21st century in creating the world we envision? Are our numbers growing? Do we have sufficient influence on the political, economic, and cultural direction of our country? If the answers are NO, then we must develop new strategies empowered by a clearly stated vision of the future, create the actions to get there and promote them beyond our circle of allies.
- Thirdly we must address our divisions while not losing track of our overarching goals: Peace with Justice. We are currently divided on important issues, but we must realize that we can and must join together to replace the "lesser evil" with the greater (though perhaps not perfect) good. "Progress not Perfection" should be our guiding mantra.
The unifying principles of our party are the 10 Key Values. Our task is to both articulate and broadcast these values and then demonstrate concrete action to actualize them. This would include our own efforts but more importantly our collaboration with others. We will grow only by collaborative efforts and positive promotion.
Herein lies the invitation to participate. All are invited to participate. Following is a proposed format to address this issue.
By utilizing the existing monthly "Green Voices" we could include a consistent column that would address each of the 10 Key Values (1 per month) that would:
- Identify and explain the value.
- Report on concrete actions taken in support of this value
- Identify GRPers (individuals and chapters) that have participated
- Also, identify other groups/individuals we collaborated with
- List ongoing activities that the readership and others could participate in and
- Periodic reports back on progress.
Acknowledging that our membership is gifted with varied talents that do not necessarily include the time or inclination to write, but are significantly involved in acting on our values, the Communications Committee could provide a means of fleshing out the details and putting an article together. This process would open the door for our collective membership to bring their ideas and actions forth and get broader acknowledgment of Green oriented actions.