13 November 2002

The recent piece by George Monbiot confirms the value of a "protest vote" -- this idea that Nader "spoiled the election" is all a Democratic Party pretext for handing the government over to the Republicans. This year they have only themselves to blame. The apparent victory of Nancy Pelosi in ascending to the leadership of the House is just another giveaway.

So the two-party system is, for now, dead. It will probably take awhile for an opposition Green Party to take shape. When will it happen and what will it look like?

Today the global economy is threatened with stagnation -- even Greenspan admits this -- and the quick fix the Bush Administration promises in the form of more war is likely to fix consumption patterns in their current form, emphasizing fossil fuels while leaving the American and global economies helpless before the stagnation that is the inevitable result of an excess of capital. This situation is likely to end, abruptly and drastically, when the global Hubbert Peak occurs, precipitating a permanent oil crisis, as production increasingly fails to keep up with raging global demand for oil. If the Green Party in the US is poised (at that point) to take advantage of that situation, to offer a real alternative to the status quo (and not just a few wimpy campaigns by unprepared idealists), it could become a serious second party.

This is, in my humble opinion, the GPUS's best hope. The emergence of third parties in American politics is exceedingly rare, and the one major occasion for its occurrence was a crisis that precipitated not only the beginnings of the Republican Party and the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, but the secession of a huge chunk of US territory and the Civil War that was precipitated by that event. We had better hope that tomorrow's crisis precipitates something of political-party value as well.


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