Monday, April 18, 2005


Welcome to Michael Rochmes's Green Party Blog. Although nobody has asked me any questions about this newly minted blog, I'll introduce it in a Frequently Asked Questions manner:

Q. What is the purpose of this blog?

A. There are three things I am trying to do here. The first is to work out my own political opinions. The second is to start a discussion within the Green Party about the direction of the party, and how it can be most effective. The third is to create a space to discuss and diseminate news and research that impacts that discussion.

Q. Is this website officially related to the Green Party?

A: No. This site has no official connection to the Green Party. I have not told anyone I am starting it. I am, however, currently the database coordinator for the Green Party of Los Angeles County, which means I maintain the database of voters that the GPLAC got from the Registrar of Voters. But that position has nothing to do with this website.

Q. What kinds of issues will be discussed on this blog?

A. Well, I believe that the most important issues for the Green Party to address are energy and health care, so those wil come up a lot. Since all politics are local and the Green Party is a grassroots political party, I will discuss issues affecting California and Los Angeles (I grew up in Santa Monica, went to college in Berkeley, lived for a year in Washington, D.C., and returned to Southern California in the summer of 2004. I now live in Los Angeles, near Larchmont Village). Lastly, I will discuss internal Green Party politics -- the kind of thing you can read about the Democrats or Republicans in the Los Angeles Times or popular blogs, but that go largely unreported about third parties because of a lack of mainstream interest.

As best I can, I am going to keep this blog focused on solving problems, rather than attacking individuals. So don't expect accusations about Tom DeLay's corruption or gossip about the sex lives of conservatives. If that makes this blog boring, so be it.

Q. Why is this called Michael Rochmes' Green Party Blog?

A. This is not going to be a personal blog. I am not going to talk about what I had for breakfast or what my favorite movie is. But I do want to be open about where the opinions that are discussed are coming from.

I have wanted to start a blog to discuss my political views and the Green Party for some time, but have been reticient to do so, particularly because of concerns about identifiying myself. Although I have been involved in the Green Party off and on since high school, I have not always wanted to wear my political affiliation on my sleeve. For one thing, I wanted to become a journalist, although I now think that is not the right career path for me. Secondly, many people who I agree with on most issues were so angry over the presidential election in 2000 that I was afraid of being shunned or even discriminated agaisnt by a potential employer. (For the record, I supported Ralph Nader -- loudly and vigorously -- in 2000. I supported John Kerry in 2004.) Conversely, I was worried that fellow Greens would get angry over my criticisms of the Green Party and some of my more conservative views.

In the end, I decided that anonymity is more trouble than it is worth.

Q. Why the Green Party?

A. This is a tough question. Kerry's campaign was more liberal in many ways than Gore's, and the destruction of the George W. Bush administration calls out for a unified opposition. But I still believe there is a place for the Green Party in the short and long term. Democrats are too cautious and too wedded to the status quo in terms of fuel efficiency, universal health care, the war on drugs, and yes, gay marriage. While I hope the Democrats can regain power in Washington, I think the Greens, if we get our act together, can help move public opinion on vital issues facing our country and the world. If the Democrats (or Republicans) steal these issues from us, so much the better.


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