Saturday, July 26, 2008

Greens as the Next Liberal Majority?

For this Forum topic on the Environment, I would like to share something of a personal belief - a little "speculative politics."

If all indications are to be taken seriously, there is a strong likelihood that our climate is on the verge of a change that could be catastrophic to us.

As ocean levels rise and local climates change, we should prepare ourselves for mass population displacements, health crisis, and civil unrest around the world.

The danger is very real. The effects possibly as catastrophic as a WMD attack. Our civilization may well be threatened. In order to survive these changes, I believe a new global plurality will emerge. If ever there was a time for the Green movement to become a viable political force we may be about to witness it.

"How," Do you ask?

It began more than 40 years ago when the conservative movement coalesced around a long-term strategy to dominate our country's political system. In the 90's in Congress, and on to Bush/Cheney in the White House in 2000, they finally achieved their goal.

But what did they do with their power? The abused it. They forgot the fundamental tenet of our government system: checks and balances.

No democracy can survive without a healthy opposition party. The GOP took their dominance over our system and used it for greed, and incompetently made a mess of our economy in the process. Not to mention the thousands of brave soldiers killed. And yes, even the attack on 9/11 lies at your feet George Bush and Dick Cheney. You had a warning and chose not to act.

GOP strategists say they have a "brand" problem. Well, they're right: the country has just about had it with the governing practices of the Republican Party.

By all predictions, the party who wins this election in 2008 will win by a landslide, and as disaffected republicans, independents and re-inspired liberals coalesce around a new majority, Democrats will come to a similar fork in the road: how will we share our power?

I for one, have had it with the GOP. If the Democratic Party can house as complex and diverse (and divergent) group of people as it appears to be doing, then we will have our new coalition. After a time we will become the de facto status quo.

But we will need to foster an opposition party, and personally I'd rather it was another party beside sthe GOP.

If the Greens were to fill that vacuum of power, then by definition the Democratic Party will become the new conservative party. The very definition of "conservatism" would change, the "brand" of the GOP relegated to the radical fringes with as much power as any third party.

Stranger things have happened, and who knows - we don't know what catastrophic climate change will do to us - but if we don't start taking the threat as seriously as we do the threat of terrorism, there may be no chance for us at all.

D. Tree

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