I recently spoke to a couple of Participation in Government (PIG) classes at Greece Athena. I had a wonderful time. For being in school at 7:20am, they were pretty engaged. (Having school that early in the morning is another issue we could get inot, but I'll save it for another time)
In one of the classes, the resident Fox News advocate (there's one in every crowd, isn't there?) asked me THE question:
"Why don't you just become a Democrat and try to change things from the inside?"
Well, we did talk about that to a degree, but there was limited time and my answer would have made reference to a number of things that were beyond the scope of what we were talking about. But in summary, I can answer it this way...
Because I believe in standing up for what I believe in, and the two corporate parties believe in staying in power.
I bring this up because of something that happened in Washington on Friday. If you're reading this blog, it's probably because you are relatively sympathetic to what the Greens stand for. If that's the case then you are probably not down with the Patriot Act. Well, the Patriot Act is up for renewal and some want even stronger provisions put in it.
One Senator, Russ Feingold from Wisconsin, is trying to put amendments onto the Act that would prevent us from becoming a facist state. You can read his comments from the Senate floor here.
Friday, there was a vote on Feingold's amendments. They were voted down 96 to 3. Sens. Byrd & Jeffords voted for them. That's right. That means your Senators, Clinton & Schummer voted to keep us paranoid and like the countries we say we don't agree with. Do they represent you? Jeffords is an independent...so that means only 2 Democrats voted for these amendments.
Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature claim that because of the Repbulican majority in the County Leg they have no say. Will any of them do anything about it like Texas Democrats did back in 2003?
A couple of years ago, local Greens reached out to people working on Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign. We invited some of them to come to a monthly meeting to talk to us about Dennis, what he stood for, etc. The three people who came proceded to use an hour of our meeting not to tell us about Kucinich, but to convince us to register Democrat. That was the respect we received. I had people calling & e-mailing me, mad as hell about it.
It's similar to situations we all faced as teenagers. Someone would try to get you to try smoking or drinking because they did it - and if you joined them it would validate their decision.
Well, I will not validate their decision to be in a party that sells out the people in purports to represent; whose excuse is that they don't do it as much as Republicans. If that's the inside, then the view is just fine where I am. I choose to walk the walk.