FEELING LIKE CASSANDRA

10 11 2012

One of the most popular archetypes depicted in The Iliad is that of Cassandra, daughter of Priam, the King of Troy, who was gifted by Apollo with the ability to see the future clearly.  She accepted his gift but rejected his advances, and so he added a little something to that gift:  she could forecast the future accurately, but nobody would believe her.  And that, my friends, seems to be the fate of the Green Party.

I said two weeks ago that I would be here tonight, “either crowing or eating crow,” and I’m sad to report that I have a well-baked crow on my plate tonight–and I’m a vegetarian!  Yeow!  Despite the best-financed and organized national Green Party campaign since Ralph Nader ran in 2000, Dr. Stein received only about 400,000 votes nationwide–by far the best Green Party showing since Nader’s 2.8 million total, but far short of our hopes and expectations. Her showing in Tennessee–6500 votes, about 0.26% of the total–was typical of her nationwide showing, which was about 0.3% of the national total.  Well, at least we weren’t  way behind the curve here.  But there are other peculiarities about that total, which I’ll explain a little later.

Martin Pleasant’s Senate campaign was our other statewide race.  We had hoped that the fact that the Democrat Party had renounced their elected candidate would result in a big bounce for Marty, but it was not to be.   Either there are a lot of Tennesseans who think Bob Corker is way too tame, or there are a lot of people who just aren’t paying enough attention to know anything more about who they’re voting for than whether there’s a “D” or an “R” after the person’s name.  “G”?  Does not compute!  Putative Democrat Mark Clayton pulled in 700,000 votes, a hundred thousand of them right here in Davidson County, where he nearly beat Bob Corker, while our man Martin Pleasant only got the attention of about 8,000 voters. Clayton actually won Shelby County. Maybe his strong anti-gay stance resonates with socially conservative African-Americans?  According to the Washington Post, Clayton raised less than $300 for his campaign.  A twentieth of a penny per vote.  I’m jealous.  Bob Tuke, the last “real” Democrat to run a serious Senate campaign in Tennessee, raised around a hundred thousand dollars and only got a few more votes than Clayton.

But hey, the Green Party seems to be everybody’s unwanted stepchild.  The Tennessean left Martin Pleasant out of their voters’ guide.  The Nashville Scene left him out, too, just as, nationally, Dr. Stein got nowhere near the level of attention the mainstream media paid to Ralph Nader.  Can’t let that happen again!

Here in Tennessee, we did a little better on our local races.  Read the rest of this entry »





RALPH RIDES AGAIN

8 03 2008

Like another prophet from the eastern Mediterranian, Ralph Nader has arisen. Unlike Jesus, Nader probably wishes he didn’t have to. At his age he would probably rather be mentoring somebody young, energetic, and charismatic, and not be subjecting himself to the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals. But, with his favorite Democrat, John Edwards, out of the race, the Clintons having shown him the cold shoulder since 1996, and Barak Obama choosing to watch TV rather than find time to meet with him, what else could an unreasonable man of principle do? It’s not just Ford Pintos that are “unsafe at any speed,” it’s the American electoral process.

You know, it really burns me up that Barak Obama takes time to watch “The Wire,” a TV show about the drug war, but won’t make time to meet Ralph Nader. That’s your mind on television, Barak, and frankly I think it displays remarkably poor judgement–not that Hillary’s is any better.

Both remaining Democratic Party candidates are from la-la land, dedicated to perpetuating the American Dream–which is called “The American Dream” because you have to be asleep to believe it. Neither Barak nor Hillary is speaking to the real issues–the unrestrained imperialism that has made America the pariah of the world, the unquestioned lifestyle that takes enough food to feed a person for a year and turns it into one tank of so-called “biofuel” for an SUV, the collapsed economy that is diminishing possibilities for reform faster than you can say “economic stimulus,” the criminal administration that, judged by the standards that were set by a previous US government at Nuremburg in 1946, should be sent to the gallows by the dozens.

Now, I need to point out here that I don’t think the death penalty is appropriate for anyone. I have spent enough time in jail to know that a lifetime behind bars is a far crueller punishment that the release of death. And by the way, I got that from less than a week in the slammer. But, I digress….

Ralph may or may not run as the Green Party candidate this time. Not everyone in the GP was impressed by our fling with him in 2000, and I can understand why. The simplest way to put it is that he is used to being in charge, and the GP likes to run by consensus. He also has a much higher profile than anybody else the Greens could run, which annoys some Greens and appeals to others.

My own opinion about third-party presidential runs is that they are an expensive exercise in futility unless the party in question is already dominant in several states and has representatives and senators at the national level, but that they are also necessary for the integrity of the third parties involved. So, from my view, the Greens ought to run Ralph Nader while we can. At 74, we’re not gonna have him to kick around much longer. Sorry, Cynthia McKinney–you’re black, you’re female, you’re outspoken, but you got time to wait.

At the state level, former Green Party US Senate candidate Chris Lugo, who has spent two months as the only person seeking the Democratic nomination to run against slick, popular fascist Lamar Alexander this year, has been written out of the Dims’ script.  Mike Padgett, a Clinton/Democratic Leadership Council hack, and Bob Tuke, an Obammoid, are staging a Tweedledee/Tweedledumber battle for the right to (probably) lose to Alexander, who has been endorsed by numerous so-called Democrats. Gov. Bredesen has even gone so far as to discourage people from running against Lamar. Ain’t democracy wonderful?

Lugo has been frozen out of candidate forums and media exposure, and even told to “go to Hell” by some DP members. That’s what you get in this country when your slogan is “Vote for Peace,” apparently. Chris is still considering his options. I think he should do his best to stay in the Democratic race, but that’s an expensive row to hoe and I’m in no position to help him. Padgett and Tuke have hired bigtime PR firms and are in the process of raising millions, which you can bet ain’t coming in $25 chunks from Joe Voter. It’s about the money, folks, not about who’s right. But you knew that.

music: Aretha Franklin, “Respect”








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