Dare to be significant, Greens
I’m sympathetic to my movement buddies who say that elections on a national scale are mostly just part of the Society of the Spectacle. They say more important than voting for president is to talk up the idea that there should be no king-like president at all, no interest in or support for the leviathan-scale nation-state, no delusions fostered about what “we the people” supposedly can accomplish “together.” It’s a distraction from the important work that needs to be done to build the new society within the shell of the old.
They’re concerned that engaging in electoral activity at the national level gives too much credence to the system. My response is that, for the time being, when the majority of people think about social change at all they tend to turn their attention to the electoral arena and take interest in who’s running for president.
For that reason the Green Party needs to run a candidate.
If so, and even though I’m a little squeamish about the whole process, I then think the Greens ought to try — at least make an effort — to enlist a candidate who the national electorate and the media would consider significant. If the attempt is made and it’s just not successful, OK, run a no-name placeholder candidate (like Howie Hawkins or Dario Hunter … I hear: “??who??”) so that supporters have someone to vote for and so that ballot lines in some states can be maintained with one or two percent of the vote.
I favor grassroots, ideologically very principled Green candidates at the local and state levels of office. But in the presidential arena the electorate would find it appropriate for a third party that wants to emerge from the margins to offer them a really significant choice. When running at that level I think we should give consideration to the broad electorate and what would excite them in regard to a Green Party candidate. It’s narrow-visioned to do otherwise.