First, here in Charlevoix we don't have a functioning two-party system. The Democrats backed an independent candidate against me in 2005-06, but they did not put up anyone in their own name. They have not run county-wide candidates since I moved to Charlevoix in 2000.
Second, to be effective politically and in office, I believe it is not sufficient simply to act on one's beliefs and values. Even with integrity and honesty, one person by himself or herself can try to bring about significant changes in society, but change requires a group effort of like-minded people. That is what a political party is, or should be.
Third, even if Greens are not elected in large numbers along with me, we can still be effective. Bernie Sanders, the like-minded socialist senator from Vermont, was a respected House and Senate member for 20 years. While still the mayor of Burlington and running for governor, my band opened for him in 1986 at a talk he gave in Detroit.
Fourth, the Green Party program most closely mirrors my own ideas. The Republican and Democratic Party principles are less well-defined, and to the extent I grasp them I tend to disagree.
The racist opinions of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are well known.
So are the vacillations of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on fracking and TPP. Clinton allies on the Party platform committee beat back efforts by allies of Bernie Sanders to have the Party oppose fracking and TPP, even though Clinton now says she opposes TPP. A top lobbyist for the pro-frack American Petroleum Instatute said of Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine, “He’s the best we could have hoped for.” She has picked fracking and TPP advocate Ken Salazar to lead her transition team into the White House.
Concerning also are her untruthful answers to questions about classified emails on her personal server, her promotion of furious and biased Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to the position of "surrogate for my campaign nationally," and her wish that the US had rigged Palestinian elections in 2006.
I had my own taste of big-business politics in Charlevoix in 2002. The Charlevoix Courier reported that Republicans opened a local headquarters in Charlevoix. Chuck Yob a member of the Republican National Committee for 18 years was on hand, helping candidates celebrate.
Well and good. But in giving reasons why voters should elect the Republican for secretary of state, the Courier reported Yob said "She is running against a man who is a black attorney from Detroit."
The story ran alongside a picture of local party candidates. If Yob didn't really say what he was quoted as saying, he could have written for a correction. He didn't.
I co-wrote a letter to editor protesting Yob's pitch, and the silence of the Republican candidates who stood around while he pitched it.
A political campaign should be an enlightening process, where candidates put forth their qualifications and positions. I do not agree with appeals like that one. They are one reason I have chosen the Green Party.