Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Preamble
(NOTE FROM MARNIE: This beautiful preamble was written by the amazing Sam Smith. A co-founder of the DC Statehood Green Party and the editor/publisher of the Progressive Review.)
OLD SECTION TITLE: PREAMBLE
NEW SECTION TITLE: WHO GREENS ARE AND WHAT GREENS BELIEVE
The U.S. Green Party was founded on the four pillars of grassroots democracy, social justice, sustainable ecology and sustainable economics. We are part of a global network of XX Green parties around the globe that share these values - the broadest such political alliance in the world.
Although we are often regarded as primarily concerned with environmental issues, our interest in ecology includes not just the relationships between parts of the natural world, but those between people and their government, workers and their employers, the urban and the rural, the living and the yet unborn, the paid and the unpaid, as well as ones between those of different continents, countries, genders, ages, interests, and religions.
The word eco comes from the Greek word 'house.' We seek to share our house - the earth - fairly, wisely and pleasantly with every other person, creature and natural substance in it.
We seek to be good stewards of our earth, good citizens of our country, good members of our communities, and good neighbors of those who live in these places with us.
We seek a cooperative commonwealth based on decency before profit, liberty before sterile order, justice before efficiency, happiness before uniformity, families before systems, communities before corporations, and people before institutions.
We believe that:
- We should tread gently upon the earth and leave it in better condition than we found it.
- The physical and cultural variety of human beings is a gift and not a threat. We are glad that the world includes many who are different from ourselves by nature, principle, inclination or faith
- We must protect the right of others to disagree with us so we shall be free to speak our own minds.
- Our national economic goal is the self-sufficiency, well-being and stability of our communities and those living in them.
- Ecological principles should determine economic policies and not vice versa.
- The first source of expertise is the wisdom of the people.
- Individuals possess fundamental rights that are inalienable and not contingent on responsibilities assigned by the state. These rights are to be restrained only by a due concern for the health, safety, and liberty of others and are not to be made subservient to the arbitrary and capricious dictates of the government.
- Citizens should participate as directly as possible in our democracy
- Power should be devolved to the lowest practical level.
- The Bill of Rights and other constitutional provisions have deep permanence and are not to be manipulated or abridged for political gain.
- Politics dependent on corporate financing and lobbyist influence is corrupt, anti-democratic and unacceptable.
- Simplicity, conservation, and recycling should be central to our economy, our politics and our lives.
- Individual privacy is paramount and not to be subservient to the needs of the state.
- Individual rights are manifestly superior to any to be granted corporations.
- Our elected officials are representatives, not rulers.
- We need more community more than we need more things.
- We are citizens and not merely taxpayers.
- We own our government and are not merely its consumers.
2004 PLATFORM PREAMBLE
Never has our country faced as many challenges and crises as we do in 2004 and the near future. Levels of federal revenue are the lowest they have been since 1950 because of tax cuts and breaks for the very rich and for corporations. Government agencies charged with safeguarding public health and safety are operating with slashed budgets that paralyze their efforts. Jobs are being permanently relocated outside the country, while social and educational programs are being gutted. Our food, water, air, and soil are increasingly found to bear toxins and debilitating pollution. Every single level of government – local, county, state, and federal – is operating in the red, running up crushing amounts of debt. Many of our allies and former friends around the world are disgusted with our imperial foreign policy, militarism, and arrogant corporate behavior. Realizing that our actions will be judged by future generations, we ask how we can draw on the best of our traditions, calling forth a spirit of ingenuity and citizen participation to achieve a free, democratic, just, and responsible society, one that actively responds to the crucial ecological challenges of our time, rather than denying them.
We submit a bold vision of our country’s future, a Platform on which we stand:
* o Our Ten Key Values as a guide to a politics of vision and action, o A creative, pragmatic plan for a prospering sustainable economy, and o A call to restore and protect a healthy, diverse environment and to cultivate a sense of community at all levels, from the local to the planetary.
We propose a vision of our common good that is advanced through an independent politics free from the control of corporations and big money, and through a democratic structure and process that empowers and reaches across lines of division to bring together our combined strengths as a people.
We, the Green Party, see our political and economic progress, and our individual lives, within the context of an evolving, dynamic world.
As in nature, where adaptation and diversity provide key strategies through which life flourishes, a successful political strategy is one that is diverse, adaptable to changing needs, and strong and resilient in its core values:
* o Participatory Democracy, rooted in community practice at the grassroots level and informing every level, from the local to the international. o Social Justice and Equal Opportunity emphasizing personal and social responsibility, accountability, and an informing ethic of Nonviolence. o Ecological and Economic Sustainability, balancing the interests of a regulated market economy and community-based economics with effective care for the Great Economy in which we are embedded: the ecosystems of the Earth.
The Green Party Platform seeks to identify the most crucial problems facing our country and offers ideas for responsible action to solve them. Looking to the future with hope and optimism, we believe we can truly correct the course of reckless, destructive governance that has allowed and encouraged the degradation of our ecological life-support systems, gutted our economy, and strained the social fabric to the point of causing material hardship for millions of Americans. Our common destiny brings us together across our nation and around the globe. We act in service to our children and the future generations of all our relations in the Earth community. We act in service to the future we are creating today.