So, after a little less than a year of being a registered Dem and a dues paying Green, I have officially filed to change my registration to Green. This may not be significant to many of you, but for me it was hard to do at first– though I am very glad I did. Here’s the break-up letter I sent to one of the Dems who was hoping I’d stay involved with them. Note that this letter is written referring mostly to the local Democratic party in Atlantic County, though it’s applicable across the board realistically.
After a lot of contemplation, and even more frustration, I have decided to leave the Democratic Party and join the Green Party, where I feel my efforts to affect change will be more welcome.
I’ve seen the Democratic Party from the outside; outside it seems a little reclusive locally, showing up only to throw some candidates into the fold, though admittedly, I know you’re trying to change that; however, I fear it will not be a long-term change, if the change happens at all. From the outside the Democrats seem like they are fighting for people who are socially and economically disadvantaged, but I see the party continuing to rarely run people of color, and never run/support LGBT individuals, and people who vocally and actively fight poverty in their communities. From the outside the Democrats of Atlantic County just don’t seem to have energy, they don’t get involved in things physically, they just throw money or a speaker at a problem and then pat themselves on the back for a “job well done.” I acknowledge this has changed recently to some extent, mostly due to Bernie Sanders, an Independent who excited the Democratic party in a more sustained way than any Democrat, even Barack Obama, has.
I have seen the Democratic Party from the inside; inside it is focused on money, votes, and winning, instead of affecting direct change in the community and government. Inside, I have listened to people admit that donors and party elites have been backing county chairs into a corner by threatening not to help fund campaigns if they didn’t endorse Phil Murphy. Inside, I have seen the County Dems endorse Phil Murphy MONTHS before the convention, with no say from your members, all but ensuring him the endorsement at the convention (which, indeed, he received). Inside, I have watched the county party actively discourage candidates who wanted to run because candidates were pre-selected. Inside, I have seen ideas to affect change be ignored by leadership, and those who offer ideas be encouraged to stay involved and try to make change, only to be turned away every time they raised their hand. Inside, I have seen the party string along supporters, giving occasional comments feigning support of ideas and communities, only to spring right back into business as usual.
The party can try to argue that endorsements don’t matter, and that “anyone can run at the convention,” but when the party puts its weight and voice behind someone, acting like anyone else has a chance is foolish. I am leaving the party because I am frustrated with the people being ignored in favor of the profit, the “winnable,” and the easy. Changing things isn’t easy; helping people isn’t easy; making the world better isn’t easy, and the Democrats will not succeed in changing anything just by entering a tug-of-war for seats in government.
I am excited about joining the Green Party. In the Green Party, every idea is listened to and considered. In the Green Party, there is total transparency, and anyone is encouraged to become actively involved in how things progress. In the Green Party, we show up, stand up, and speak up at meetings and rallies. We don’t take our members for granted. We don’t expect “easy,” we expect to change people’s minds and make progress organically with the people, not regardless of the people. The Green Party actively tries to change the greater systems that hold people down, instead of working within those systems and ignoring the fact that nothing truly changes.
Democrats hear “Sexism” and throw money at planned parenthood to fix it.
Greens hear “Sexism” and educate people about systemic sexism, how it impacts everyone, and what is needed to ensure justice.
Democrats hear “Racism” and say they treat everyone equally.
Greens hear “Racism” and point out the white supremacy in our systems of government, law, and finances, and then join Black Lives Matter marchers as they fight for justice.
Democrats hear “Transphobia” and recommend gender neutral bathrooms in all state buildings.
Greens hear “Transphobia” and educate people about Gender as a social construct, explain the flaws of gendered bathrooms to begin with, and point out that it’s not about the bathrooms, it’s about respecting people as who they are!
Democrats hear “Poverty” and bolster welfare programs, and insist they will create jobs.
Greens hear “Poverty” and point out the racist and sexist aspects of our economic systems perpetuating this poverty, especially in Black and Latinx communities, and point out that automation is killing jobs to the point that jobs for many industries won’t exist in decades to come, so we need a fundamentally different economic system.
Democrats hear “Healthcare” and create a system that funnels money into Private health insurance companies (which overwhelmingly donate to Democrats).
Greens hear “Healthcare” and advocate for single payer. Period. Everyone in, no one out, no fees, no exclusions.
The Democratic Party continues to support big business, big money, and policies that do not help those who are suffering. The Green Party brings together those who are suffering to finally say “this isn’t working, and things need to change NOW.” As I said when I endorsed Bernie Sanders at last year’s President’s Day Forum, “I am sick of the status quo, disguised as incremental change, while people suffer waiting for their lives to improve.” I am excited to improve my life by fighting for causes I really believe in, and no longer settling for more of the same, disguised as compromise.
Good luck in your ventures to fix a party that is beyond repair. I’m joining one that is already exactly what I want it to be.
Be Well and Do Good,