Commentator and gay activist Dan Savage is getting on my nerves these days. Not only is he dismissing Green Party voters as pasty-faced straight white people who don't care about people of color and LGBT folks, he has implied that the Green Party has focused so much effort on running Jill Stein for President that it doesn't focus at all on down-ballot races where any political party worth its salt would start to build itself up. He has said that maybe the Greens should contest races for smaller elective offices before going for the White House.
Dan Savage is full of crap. The truth of the matter is that the Greens are running several candidates for all sorts of offices this year in the United States. Overall, the Greens are running 279 candidates - let me repeat that number: 279 - across the nation in 2016, but you probably didn't know that because, when the media do talk about a third party, they talk about the Libertarians and their standard bearer Gary Johnson's ignorance of Syrian geography. And the Greens have been running candidates in lesser offices, concurrently with their presidential candidates, for years.
Here are some more numbers, directly from the Green Party itself, on how successful it's been in building itself up in the U.S. as an alternative to the Democrats: The party has won 31 percent of all the elections it's contested, it's put 1,013 people into local office and gotten 57 mayors elected since 1987, and there are 140 Greens who, at this writing, hold elective office. One Green who has held office is a woman who got elected twice as a member of the Town Meeting in Lexington, Massachusetts. The woman's name? Jill Stein.
The Democrats, aided and abetted by elitist supporters such as Savage, want you to think that a true party of the people can never challenge them. Well, Hillary has offended too many people who are looking for real change with her hawkish forging policy proposals, her coziness with Wall Street, and her arrogant attitude toward environmentalists, and some of us had enough of her and her party's centrist claptrap. The polls suggest that the Democrats may revitalize themselves in the elections, but it won't change the fact that it is declining and rotting from within just as much as the Republicans are. The two-party system is closer to the verge of collapse then it's ever been since the 1850s, and it's time for new voices and new ideas.
And someone please tell Dan Savage to stop bullying Green voters and focus more on his . . . anti-bullying campaign.
I, for one, plan to vote for as many Green Party candidates on my local ballot as I can. Alas, I live in a very Republican precinct, so Jill Stein may be the only Green I can vote for. :-(