|A vision for returning democracy to the people, because peace on Earth requires peace with Earth.
Draft Proposal for a Nature Connected, Culturally Creative, Earth Charter based, Green Politics
by Dave Ewoldt
This proposal is for an effort to organize and obtain funding to effect a national campaign to help build support for the Green Party as the only available representative of both the progressive movement and environmental justice, and for advancing acceptance and adoption of the Earth Charter. The way I would like to approach this is by developing the support of the Cultural Creative subculture who themselves comprise about 26% of the adult US population, and through validating the widespread acceptance of progressive ideals as shown by Paul Ray's "The New Political Compass," which presents evidence that these core values, which are basically the ones that the Green Party and the Earth Charter Initiative also express, are held in common by roughly 45% of the American electorate.
The first goal would be to form a small, core group of representatives from the four organizations that have been identified that appear to be best able to represent and mutually strengthen a common set of progressive values at the national level. A coalition of this type would present the best chance of success in gaining widespread acceptance that there is a progressive and caring alternative possible to the current politics as usual, that can represent the core values the majority of Americans actually hold. Further, this could be a model for the world that America could be proud to export.
For advocates of progressive values, a clear and consistent message needs to be advanced. A big part of this message needs to be that we are not alone, that there are literally tens of millions of other Americans who hunger for a just, fair, and sustainable society and future on our life sustaining planet Earth.
A prime demographic is the subculture identified as Cultural Creatives. When one looks at the 18 questions to determine if one might be a CC these ideals seem to be ones that we would want our elected representatives to also espouse and uphold.
There is a federally recognized political party that also express these ideals -- the Green Party -- as opposed to only paying them lip service as the Republicrats do. The term Republicrats is used because as has been painfully pointed out, over and over again in the progressive media since the 2002 mid-term US elections, the current American political system is, for all intents and purposes, a one party system.
It seems more than a little troubling that the current Democratic Party can't find the backbone to stand up for what most Americans say they are in favor of. Such as the polls that show over two-thirds of the US wants to protect the environment and reign in the power of multi-national corporations that cheat the American people out of $70 billion per year by funneling what becomes tax free profits into off-shore tax havens.
If the Green Party were to actively try to pull in the people who share the identified values of the Cultural Creatives, they would have a voting block large enough to sweep an election. For those who may still be under the mistaken assumption that the Green party is only about the environment, please see the Green Party's Ten Key Value statement, and think about whether or not any of those values seem contrary to what Cultural Creatives also believe in or what progressive politics should stand for. The US Green Party also supports the Earth Charter Initiative as part of their core party platform.
Some type of catalyst is needed to bring the Green Party, the Cultural Creatives, and the supporters of the Earth Charter Initiative together into a unified voting block. Although there is a common core subset of individuals who belong to all three, a unifying voice and organization needs to exist for the vast number of groups and individuals who believe in progressive goals such as environmental and social justice, peace and democracy, respect for diversity and the power of local communities, and for putting the spirit back into democracy.
There is a need to develop the synergy needed and gather the resources to be an effective force and voice against the organized right. To better understand how they are doing it, the article "How Conservative Philanthropies and Think Tanks Transform US Policy" by Sally Covington provides a good synopsis. Progressives need to start doing the same. The main tactic is in building unity around common values, long-term strategy, and not focusing entirely on single issues which can divide the core. We also need to spend the time to overcome the negative publicity and criticisms the Moderns and Traditionals direct toward Cultural Creatives, that the Democrats direct toward the Greens, and that WTO supporters direct toward the Earth Charter.
We need some type of a coalition that can unify, inspire, and galvanize people that share Culturally Creative values and ideas into supporting a recognized political party that also holds these ideals. This could become an effective catalyst for change.
A large part of the idea behind NCEP is to build a small core of existing groups, organizations, and documents instead of forming YetAnotherNetworkingGroup, to put forward a coalition that is cohesive in their values, if not their methodologies and goals, in advancing a progressive political, social, and environmental agenda. This would be broadly focused on environmental and social justice, economic reform, community development, and sustainable and fulfilling lifestyles. The idea would be to take advantage of existing name recognition and harness a deeper awareness of existing groups, organizations, and population sectors that aren't so deeply wedded to the existing Republicrat political structure that the alimony of a divorce would bankrupt them.
The vision is simply that the following four groups just publicly agree to support each other toward the common good in support of the Global Life Community, or Web of Life, or whatever they are most comfortable with calling it. In a combination of numbers, they would constitute a block of people about 75 million strong here in the US, which even the current corporate controlled media in the US couldn't afford to ignore. If they all showed up at the polls, it would sweep the Republicrats right out of the halls of Congress. This is the, perhaps lofty but very realistic, goal for the 2004 US presidential election.
The NSTP http://www.ecopsych.com/theory.html is highly supportive of all three of the above, because when people reconnect all of their senses with their natural origins, living in a way that is contrary to these expressed values and ideals simply becomes unconscionable. Even though as a society we seem to be pretty adept at living in denial, the main beneficiaries of that denial are the pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists who try to make us feel sane about living in an insane world.
The NSTP is a process of ecoeducation and ecotherapy that works for anyone that is open to the process. This includes anyone who can openly admit they have ever had a good experience in Nature, or would like to. These experiences include enjoying a natural area, a beautiful sunset, the smell of rain on desert sagebrush, the swoop of an eagle, even a favorite houseplant or goldfish.
Consciously identifying with the subculture identified as Cultural Creatives is important because people do need something to believe in and to be a part of. It's one of our natural senses that we share with the web of life, our sense of community, of belonging, of being a part. People don't want to just say "We're Green," the way they now say "We're a Democrat, or a Republican, or... " The overall coalition is much more than just a political party -- we are a lifestyle, a way of being in the world.
We also shouldn't focus exclusively on activists. While we need and welcome their support, the majority of people don't fit the description of activists. But most people do support the concepts of social justice, democracy, human rights, the need for a healthy environment, alternative energy, and conservation. People are neither happy nor healthy in continuing to support business as usual when it simply furthers the rat race toward over-consumption and exploitation; when it offers no real value to themselves or to future generations.
Political progressives must get the point across that political activity based on fear, which is what we saw in the 2002 mid-term elections -- the blind and unthinking misplaced patriotism of and for the Bush regime -- offers a solution that is illusory. Its real outcome only serves to accelerate the cycles of violence while diverting resources from more humane, productive and sustainable use.
We also need to make connections and build trust with other groups and organizations that have progressive goals and ideals. We can't really expect them to come to us, but we can be there to offer support and guidance when they need it. We need to able and willing to show ways that we can expand and further their goals and outreach. We need to be ready to explain the whys and backgrounds of our terms, such as "Reconnecting with Nature" and "Cultural Creatives" so they understand that we are united in many common causes and that we hold similar and mutually supportive values. The Earth Charter itself goes a long way in accomplishing this goal.
Just as importantly, however, and perhaps even more important than targeting specific groups, is reaching out to everyone, and being as inclusive as possible to the working class, minorities, the undereducated, immigrants, the marginalized and impoverished -- to all cultures, all races, and all religions. We need to make it transparently obvious that we are not an elitist cause simply trying to protect our own self-interests. If that were the case, we'd just have to vote Democrat.
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