The Green Party is committed to a healthy environment. But the Green Party is not solely committed to just that.Cynthia McKinney
The above quote points out that even though the Green Party is widely known for its climate policies, its focus also extends into progressive politics. The party is an essential component of the global Green movement, and it is also an independent political party affiliated with several American social movements. Moreover, it shares some core values with social movements, as evident in its Four Pillars: Peace and Non-Violence, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, and Social Justice.
Green Party History
The party evolves from Green politics or what is often referred to as Eco-politics. It is formulated based on a political philosophy that seeks to promote an ecologically viable society based on conservationism, non-violence, social justice, grassroots democracy, and similar values. The party started gaining prominence in the western world around the 1970s.
The party is popularly referred to as the Greens or GPUS in America. It is a federation of the Green States political parties in the United States. The idea of a Green Party in America took root when the first Green State-level political party was formed on January 8, 1984, following a meeting of seventeen people in Augusta, Maine. According to the list of political parties in the United States of America, the party is regarded as the fourth largest political party. In 2001, the party got its official recognition as a national political party with the Federal Election Commission.
The party has the vision of building a major political progressive force in American politics by becoming a viable third party to curtail the monopolization of American politics by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The party seeks to provide an alternative platform for embittered liberals to transform Washington through the election process, then elect state and local candidates.
The party consists of individuals who profess to be environmentalists, grassroots activists, advocates for social justice, nonviolent resisters, and regular citizens whose membership is jointly premised upon the desire to change the dynamics of corporate-dominated politics.
The Reform Party
The party is usually compared to the Reform Party in the 90s. This comparison is made in terms of the sudden stir and attention it received when in the year 2000, Ralph Nader ran for the Presidency under its auspices. Based on the above, there are often questions as to how long the Green Party will last and how much impact it can make on the political history of the United States of America.
Green Party leaders are, however, optimistic about their party’s progress. They firmly believe that the party is on a growing momentum. They often refer to the party’s ability to win a state legislative race against a Democrat in Portland, Maine, as a plus for the party, given how difficult it is to win partisan seats in an electoral system characterized by a winner-take-all mentality. However, they have also posited that winning elections may not be the party’s only goal; instead, creating a formidable third party to break through America’s two-party nature will be a win on its own.
Along with the Baltimore Green Party, the Green-Rainbow Party -also known as the Green Rainbow Party- is an important affiliate based in Massachusetts.
Liberalism and the Environment
It is worth noting that the Green Party of the United States of America is seen to have advanced from just activist environmentalists into a broad-based political party that has the capacity to win elections and serve as representatives of the American people at high levels of government.
The party stirs up controversy within liberal circles. For example, there is an ongoing debate about whether the most pressing need was to save nature or prioritize social and economic justice first before taking the environment into account. This controversy also raises the issue of whether the party tends to adopt socialism or capitalism in its economic principles. Finally, there is the issue of whether the party seeks to adopt reforms or resolutions in achieving its objectives.
Finally, even though the Green party is still small, it is a growing party and has recorded some success since its inception. Therefore, it has carved out a name in the history of American politics as a grass-root national party as opposed to its earlier perception as a radical outsider.