Finally saw Winged Migration last night. A good movie, but I saw it in Berkeley at the Elmwood Theater. The contradictory opinions some people have are amazing. For example, the scene in which people hunted geese with shotguns was met with hisses and disapproving gasps. The scene in which a bird hunted a fish with its beak was not. People, it’s essentially the same thing.

For the record, since I haven’t mentioned the presidential race since June, I’m for Howard Dean.

I feel sheepish because it seems like I’m jumping on a bandwagon; despite my not mentioning it here, I’ve been contributing to his campaign for months, since before he achieved his presumed front-runner status. My flirtation with Kerry as mentioned on this site was very short-lived, though I did like what he said at the CLCV environmental presidential forum. In my opinion, Dean has the personality, courage, and leadership ability to beat Bush.

Someone who, unfortunately, will not beat Bush is Ralph Nader. Please encourage him not to run for President. He’d only make things worse (if he were to even get any attention at all). I wrote him a nice long comment that I failed to save, but the gist of it was this: If the Green Party puts Ralph up as a candidate again, they will only alienate progressives with any shred of realism. There is one bold move the Greens could make, though, that might gain them some positive attention from a lot of people and potentially help grow their party: endorse the Democratic candidate. Okay, this is rough and off the top of my head, but they could say this:

We were wrong in 2000. George Bush is worse than Al Gore would have been. Far worse. Gore would likely not have gutted our country’s environmental laws. Gore probably would not have curtailed our civil liberties while hiding behind anti-terrorism rhetoric. Gore almost certainly would not have given a huge tax cut to the rich and disguised it as tax relief for all. Gore probably would not have driven up the deficit as high as Bush. Gore also, most likely, would not have waged unjust war on Iraq and directed lucrative post-war contracts to his friends’ companies.

We realize that we, the Green Party, do not have the political base to put up a viable canddidate in 2004. Therefore, we feel it would be a waste of our resources to do so. We recognize that a lot of progressives were angry in 2000 at the perception that Nader helped Gore lose. (We still think Gore and the Supreme Court had a lot to do with it.) We finally realize that not all publicity is good publicity; we’re trying to build a movement, not sell a product. This year, we’re not going to put up a candidate that might be perceived as a vanity candidate; we’re taking a different approach to fighting the hold that corporations have over the flow of information

Realizing further that Bush and his ilk—let’s face it, the corporations—continue to put our country and our people in danger, and are further widening the worldwide gap between rich and poor, and are exploiting people and natural resources, all for the sake of the bottom line, we believe it is necessary to build a true progressive movement in the United States, party labels be damned. Therefore, we endorse ______ ____ [the eventual Democratic presidential candidate]. We don’t really like the Democratic Party; they’re part of the current plutocratic system. ______ ____ is too conservative for our tastes as well. However, we like Bush a lot less, and none of us want to see what he’ll target in a second term. If you care about the United States of America, vote for ______ ____.

I think that if the Green Party were to put out a statement like that, they would get favorable attention from many anti-corporate progressives/liberals (some of whom felt burned by Nader in 2000, some of whom even actively campaigned for him) who are going to vote for the Democrat in 2004 even if they have to hold their nose. Does the Green Party want to grow? If so, they have to widen their tent, get off the margins, and persuasively pull the center towards themselves. If they were to do that, they could even ultimately unify the left and squeeze one of the two current major parties out of existence. They’d need more candidates like Matt Gonzalez to do that, though.

This is coming from someone who would love to see the Green Party do better. [I actually voted for Nader for President twice, in both 1996 and in 2000.]

It will be a bit brisk in the nether realms when the Green Party releases the above statement, unfortunately.