Breaking through the election cycle mindset

Political engagement matters

The great thing about being engaged in politics is that we know how much it matters. We know that engaged voters have the power to influence the decision-makers. Even though corporate money carries much weight with the elected ones, theoretically at least, voters are the ones who keep them in office. This power struggle between corporate money and engaged voters plays out, ultimately, in the ballot box. So, elections determine which side has been more successful in the years leading up to election day.

When voters are not engaged, corporate money dictates what happens at election time. Then it’s goodbye democracy and hello oligarchy! This is where we are in 2017, and contrary to the views of many, we’ve been here awhile.

Creating political pressure

The critical work of politics is to create the conditions in which elected officials are beholden to the voters. For Green Party members, this requires intelligent, fact-based, engagement, virtually 24/7/365, rinse and repeat.

Reality check

Winning a presidential campaign seems a far-fetched idea for Greens in the near future. But, it doesn’t matter right now. The success of our struggle to regain our democracy is not measured in the “if and when” of winning the big chunk of cheese. Success is measured in how much influence we can bring upon not only our government, but also our culture, our society, our educational institutions, and upon the process of decision-making.

On that last point, the process of decision-making is a key value of the Green Party (see Democracy 2016 in the Green Party platform.).

The necessity of becoming a party of activists

Through political activism we remain engaged all the time. We have to be a party of activists, not just uninformed election cycle participants who show up at the polls religiously because that’s all we have to do, we’ve been told, to maintain our freedom and democracy. For us, it’s an “all-in” proposition if we really intend to turn back the entrenched corporate-funded duopoly of Republicans and Democrats.

By the time election cycles roll around, our candidates should be known for what they’ve done for the causes we fight for during the previous two to four years and even before. The candidates should naturally arise from the crowd of possible contenders because of what they’ve done for the issues, and who they are in terms that relate to our core values.

Remember this

Activists have the ability to create ripples that can turn into waves of engagement. These waves can swing elections, and they often do (example: the Tea Party, ’nuff said.).

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