Marginalized Green Democrats
by OsoDelMar, Mon May 08, 2006 at 08:42:19 PM EDT
I got a call from the DNC the other night and after the great volunteer got through the rap about giving money to the party on a monthly basis I said, "You really should ask for my vote before you ask me for money." Then she went on about how bad Bush was and how the Republicans have to be beaten in November (Which I agree with 1000 percent). I then asked her what the platform of the Democratic Party was. She came back with six what I will call EMPTY topics. 1 was SS. 1 was affordable healthcare for all (Notice NOT Universal Healthcare). 3 I can't even remember! How sad is that? I do remember this one though, and this is the one pertinent to this thread: Reduce our dependency on foreign oil. (NO mention of the environment there.) I also know that NOWHERE in the Democratic Platform was the Environment even MENTIONED! Here on MYDD and DailKos (and Al Gore, bless him) some of us are talking about the environment. A major part of my religion (UU) and my daily life and thoughts involve celebrating and protecting our environment.
I know I will get attacked here with the party line that "polls show that the environment falls below (pick something) when it comes to how people vote". "People vote their pocketbook." And how we have to stand together against the Republicans and W. But I ask you, fellow MyDD readers. I ask you, Howard Dean. I ask every leader in the Democratic Party. Why won't our party throw the environmental movement a bone? At least in the platform we could say: We wish to conserve and protect our homeland for future generations. (I just made it up and I have copyrighted it. Let me know if you want to use it.) Anything! We can clearly differentiate ourselves from the Republicans on the Environment. This should be an easy one.
I think many Democrats are still mad at Environmentalists (Please don't call us Naderites) that "lost" the election for Al Gore in 2000. I think that the people in the party that think this have it exactly backwards. Many consultants and politicos in the Dem Party told Al Gore that the Environment would not win for him, so he went with SS, etc. If we had actually been the environmental party in 2000 we would have won the election. All we had to do was embrace some environmental platforms (which should have been easy with Gore on the ticket) and bring the environmentalists into the party where I used to think they belonged.
Now, after looking at all the Democrats running for statewide office in Maryland, I am thinking that I might vote Green. I have been very saddened in the past year since I have moved back here. (I grew up in MD and just moved back after living out of this state for 15 years.) Not one of the Democratic politicians running for statewide office represents my values. BOTH Democratic candidates for Governor think that continuing to cut down trees to build stripmalls, roads (Intercounty Connector is best example) and McMansions is just great. I have written letters and emails to all the Democratic candidates for Governor and Senate about their position on the environment and have only gotten one response. The single response came from Gov. Erhlich! If any of the Democrats had come out for the Environment I would have gone door to door to help out. (I'm still willing! Give me a shout out O'Malley and let me know you are with us by opposing the ICC!) This just leads me to the question: If I don't even get listened to by the Democratic party, and the party doesn't represent my values should I keep voting for them? I have seen other posts answer this by saying that the Republicans are worse and therefore you have to vote for the Democrats. I agree with this 1000 %. The republicans have got to go since they don't want to do anything but get themselves and their friends rich (and laid). But that does not mean that the Democratic party will automatically get my vote! The benefit of living in a Blue State is that I can vote Green. When I know the election is going to the Dem I have decided to vote Green. I have voted the Democratic ticket since 1988, the first year I could vote. This included 2000 and 2004 when I really agreed with the Greens on a lot of issues, but voted against Bush! After seeing how many of my fellow Democrats continue to treat Greens and anyone that voted for Nader in 2000 I am sickened by my own party. If I am going to be marginalized I will at the least be marginalized while voting for my beliefs and values. Until this party embraces the environmental movement the party will continue to have this issue. Not embracing the environment has already cost us the presidency in 2000. Please embrace the next environmentalist with some real environmental policy and platforms so that we can move forward together.