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The Green Party

Oh, please, it's The New Left Again......

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, June 28, 2000.

You know, the Green Party is a useful tool, although it's avoidance of chatting about population control betrays its actual fueling motivation, which is simply the saddle of anti-capitalist sentiment thrown over the environmental horse. If it were really, at root, concerned about the environment it would have sanctions and programs laid out to reduce human population world wide. But it only mentions this as an afterthought, and concentrates on fighting corporate excess around the world.

I do not mean to imply that this is either evil or unimportant. We all have seen how the inertia, greed, and bureaucratic stupidity of American corporations has endangered us all. My complaint is that the Green Party sees this as the nearly sole characteristic of capitalist corporations, whereas it is the characteristic of any large group, corporation, government, or political party, including the Greens. No American corporation or corporations in aggregate has ever been the environmental pig that the Soviet government was, for example. It is probably true that, harnessed only by their scruples and not a democratic government with a Ralph Nader in the wings, they might have done worse.

Once in power, stay in power, and by the incremental Machiavellian choices staying there requires, large organizations become all alike, no matter what the initial goals, no matter what nobility fueled their conception.

As if in illustrative example, the American Green Party, in congress assembled at Denver the Damned, just nominated St. Ralph Nader as their Presidential candidate. To the believing mind, such a thing is almost too perfect: the incorrupt man leading the children's crusade. Yet, Nader is a steaming pile of hypocrisy for all the substantial good he has done, and he is therefore perfect indeed to lead the Green Party to oblivion as well as Federal funding, which was the point of his selection by the Greens.

To get the good out of the way first, Nader had courage. He took on Detroit with his first book, Unsafe at Any Speed, when American business and culture were closely entwined and merged in our automobiles during the Vietnam debacle. He, no doubt, has faced down death threats and many smarmy assaults on his character and motives. He has accomplished much good; if nothing else, there is not a CEO in the nation that can plan anything without worrying how it will play with Nader's Raiders and how their reaction will affect the bottom line. This is good, very good, and no stain should be attached to this gutsy legacy of Ralph Nader, once the only real reformer of our time.

But Nader is now a rich man, very rich, not just in personal wealth but in the vast millions he commands tax free. Even Dave Barry makes fun of this hypocrisy. "Big business never pays a nickel in taxes, according to Ralph Nader, who represents a big consumer organization that never pays a nickel in taxes." Worse, Nader tries to hide it, pretending to live a Spartan existence when he essentially lives in the houses of wealthy supporters or in Washington townhouses owned by relatives.

And he is a hypocrite. He belittles organizations that try to hide their decision-making processes, but he controls about nineteen groups he pretends are public controlled, whereas the public has only input in one of them. Far worse, he used a coercive political power to establish collegiate Public Interest organizations across the nation's campuses. Called PIRGs, an acronym that has become a word, these organizations raise millions to feed Nader's goals through mandatory student fees, which may or may not be good, because he files absolute minimum requirements, fights every inquiry, and shows personal animosity and authoritarian hubris when any aspect of his life is questioned.

Worse yet, he is ambitious. He wants to be President, and even though he is a beltway attorney and has been a lobbyist all his life, he retains this mystical aura as though he were Mr. Smith Going to Washington. He has never left Washington. He is every bit the politico, as sanctimonious as Ralph Reed or Jerry Falwell, as manipulative as Clinton, as corrupt, in his way, as any of them. He loves power and adulation.

Ralph Nader does not file financial disclosures about his own wealth. If he's so poor, how come? What difference would it make? Is that an unfair charge? Nader uses absence of proactive activity as an admission of guilt in his enemies, so the same should apply to him.

The marriage of the Greens and Nader is indeed a perfect fit. But you don't have to be greedy capitalist to shudder. Come to power, the Greens would be as authoritarian as Nader, less compassionate, more vindictive, and less - far less - environmentally concerned. Although my personal leanings are towards some of their professed goals, I know Nader and the Greens are far more dangerous than even the grotesque Republicans. They salivate at the thought of Federal cash, never a pretty sight, especially on the face of an alleged reformer.