Monday, February 27, 2006

Latest Column

I have been trying to figure out how best to spend the time I invest in Green Party activities. One thing that made this blog especially worthwhile is that it had some readership amongst folks who actively were engaged in Green Party activities. Readers and commentators included some of the most involved Greens.

By the same token, when I have a piece published in YC magazine, it's read by better than a thousand local citizens. That's likely a low estimate, but most importantly to me, those are local readers, and not necessarily much aware of the Green Party or Green Values.

I have also found that articles I publish via American chronicle get hundreds of readers. Again I assume that many of these readers are less aware of the Green Party than most of the visitors to this blog.

I believe firmly that the Green Party community needs a place to go to get information about Green Party activities. I am trying to figure out how to do that and have as great an impact as possible. Over the next few weeks I will try to come up with a plan that works well.

For now, here is the latest installment of the York County (SC) Greens column in YC Magazine. Not one of my best columns. Just click on the "Read more!" link to get the full article.

R E S P E C T -find out what it means to Greens.

Most folks get involved with the Greens because they have lost all faith in mainstream political parties. One reason we have lost faith in politic-as-usual is that those in power seem to have no respect for average folk’s opinions and ideas. “We know what’s best, so let us run the show.” President Bush disrespects the Constitution by conducting illegal domestic spying. The Fort Mill Town Council disrespects it’s citizens by regulating the height of fences in the town limits. From top to bottom, Democrats and Republicans have shown that they don’t trust us to make our own decisions.

Greens believe in respect. We can make decisions about how we live and what we do without Big Brother, or Little Brother, looking over our shoulders. We believe that everyone has a right to decide their own future. We believe that everyone’s opinion should count, not just the rich and powerful.

We also believe in the value of diversity. From being open to other ethnic and racial groups to being open to new ideas, the Green Party places a lot of emphasis on diversity. In fact, one of the Ten Key Values of the Green Party is “Respect for Diversity”. We believe that everyone is better off if we respect each other.

Respect for diversity doesn’t stop at respect for people and their rights. We also believe that a diverse economy is good for people. Towns that depend entirely on one employer or industry are often the weakest communities. The risk of that one big employer shutting down is always there. Usually these huge employers have way too much control over local government. From Fort Lawn South Carolina to Flint Michigan, communities have learned that corporate cash flows to the highest profits, regardless of the damage done to a community by the company’s decisions. A community that has a diverse economic base is not at the mercy of one big employer, and the rest of the business community also benefits.

York County is a very diverse community. We are fortunate in that regard. Bahá'ís, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Wiccans and the non-religious are all here. Under our system, every faith is accepted as equal in the eyes of the law. Why then would our elected officials say a public prayer to one deity and not the others? In a word, disrespect.

Greens also respect sexual diversity. Sex is a very complicated issue. Greens believe the last thing the government needs to do is try to regulate the behavior of consenting adults. Any adult who wants to be married should be free to do so without government interference. How you have sex, and with whom, is none of the government’s business.

Greens also respect ecological diversity. We do understand that saving an endangered species may anger some folks who wanted to turn a profit on land they own. In the end Greens understand that extinction is forever. Offering the diversity of animal life a place to survive, in and amongst humans, reflects this respect for diversity. We all benefit from the variety of life on Earth, and should do what we can to protect that life.

In general Democrats and Republicans are more interested in control, and Greens more interested in individual and community empowerment. Does the government respect your thinking ability? Does it respect your rights? Does it respect your faith, ethnicity, or race? Greens expect this of ourselves and our governments. Shouldn’t you expect the same?
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