November 16, 2002
GANG GREEN:Green Party celebrates its best year yet, sees more success ahead (MATT STEARNS, Nov. 15, 2002, The Kansas City Star)
"The message we have and the method we use is one that voters respond to," said Dean Myerson, the Green Party's national political coordinator. "They need to have candidates to believe in and who inspire them. It's a fairly simple thing, and it's something the Democrats, across the spectrum of their party, haven't figured out." [...]
Many pegged Green presidential nominee Ralph Nader's strong showing in 2000 -- he received nearly 3 million votes -- as a main reason that Democrat Al Gore lost to George W. Bush. They fear more of the same, especially as Green strength grows in college towns, big cities and the coasts.
"We're concerned because you're talking about strongholds of liberal Democrats," said Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, a left-leaning group allied with the Democrats. "The places where Greens are strong are where Democrats get elected in safe seats. There's a danger that, in those races, the Greens not only aren't going to win, they're also going to help unseat some good Democrats."
Hickey's group plans a "progressive summit" next year to figure out how to move the Democratic party to the left and attract disaffected progressives. But observers say that could compound the party's problems among moderate voters. And experts on third parties think the Greens have a staying power that other recent third-party movements have lacked.
[Myerson's] best-case scenario -- "that the Democrats don't figure it out and we replace them" -- is the kind of vision that Green critics see as dangerously counterproductive.
"I'm not going to predict that's going to happen," Myerson said, "but there's no reason to put a ceiling on yourself. That's our goal, to become a major party and replace the Democrats."
The history of third parties in America suggests only two real alternatives, either the Democrats become like the Greens or they're replaced by them. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 16, 2002 5:53 AM