• The Green Party Has a Message for You, America

    Green Party Convention 2012

    To your mailboxes, patriots, for soon you will be receiving a letter from the Green Party of the United States! Okay, maybe it won't be a letter. It might be an op-ed, or a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, if you still have one of those. And it might not be from the Green Party per se, it might be from some members of the Green Party, or members of the Green-Rainbow Party, or some "green-minded citizens," whatever that means. Whatever any of this means! I guess it means that process is hard.

    Anyway, we're here in Baltimore at the Green Party's 2012 convention, and we just attended a high-level* meeting of approximately 30 people who gathered to hammer out details of a Green "open letter to the American people" that will spread the Green message from sea to shining sea. The draft I was handed runs eight pages, single-spaced, because there is nothing the American people love more than reading.

    As befits a democratic organization, the meeting coordinators explained that people would be asked to say one thing they like and one thing they dislike about the proposed draft. This is exactly how the Declaration of Independence was written, by the way. "What we're embracing is radical change," one woman called out, which would have sent Fox News reporters running for safety, if any Fox News reporters had been in the vicinity.

    For the purposes of this meeting, the "radical change" on tap consisted of praising and/or complaining about the letter's contents, or slipping slowly down earnest detours to nowhere. One man felt an exhortation to support independent media should be qualified with instructions about breaking through in the mainstream media, because that is the best way to be heard (apparently this logic does not apply to independent parties vs mainstream parties). Another called for a "negative-interest currency" so money held in banks would decrease in value; still another joked about burning the 1% "for fuel," although I am not even 99% sure he was really joking.

    Taking money from corporations is a sore spot for Greens, and a moment of controversy came when a man from Hawaii rose to explain that he had served on the Greens' merch committee (which, sadly, seems to have petered out as of last year) and that sourcing organic cotton t-shirts from non-corporations is harder than it sounds, and furthermore, many clients of his small accounting firm are corporations, but they're also mom'n'pop shops, at which point several disgruntled Greens left the room. They sure showed that man and his small-business profiteers!

    At last someone pointed out that people don't read letters, they watch YouTube, which is true–especially if that cat still has its head stuck in the box. Unfortunately no one in the room seemed media-savvy enough to suggest the most obvious course of action: set Green talking points to the tune of "Call Me Maybe," create a couple-three killer animated .gifs and let the reblog button do all the work.

    *Not actually high level, and only a couple people seemed high.

    Tags: Green Party, Green Party Convention 2012, Media, Third Party


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