What Jesse Ventura understands that Howie Hawkins does not understand

I just heard the buzz about Jesse Ventura.

The reason someone like that considers jumping in to the race for the GP nomination is that he recognizes that the “green” concept potentially has wide resonance.

The Greens themselves haven’t yet figured out how to take advantage of that wide resonance. I’ll support Howie Hawkins on the basis that he’s been a notable long-time builder of the Green Party, but we ought to recognize that his appeal is really pretty marginal. He represents a retrograde kind of leftism that makes a little bit of a comeback from time to time, at which point the socialist movement gets all excited about its renewed prospects without appreciating how marginal it actually is.

Don’t confuse Howie’s red-paradigm orientation with the popularity of Bernie Sanders’ social democracy. Regarding the latter: Sure, life in Norway is better and sure, it would be nice if the Democratic Party could become a Social Democratic Party. That has some resonance and some feasibility. Howie’s red-paradigm idea of “the working class” “democratically owning and controlling the means of production” has little resonance and little feasibility. That kind of leftism lives in a bubble.

The Greens have not yet figured out how to talk about the “greening of society” in a way that both retains a transformational dimension and, at the same time, appeals widely to a significant plurality of the electorate.

The Democrats will be happy if the Green Party runs a no-name marginal candidate like Howie. Too bad Ventura didn’t jump in months ago and make a case that he really wants to promote the Greens. With the idiocy of Trump and Biden a Jesse Ventura coulda been a contender.

A co-editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a Green movement activist for almost thirty years.