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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 | There I was at Grossmont College debating a Republican, a Libertarian, and a Green Party guy, experienced debaters all. The PolySci professor had talked me into representing the Democrats. Now, I’m glad I wasn’t debating someone then who has the beliefs I have today. I’d have defeated myself. Perhaps someone did. I’m bailing out.

My old party is in a shambles. Scarcely a day goes by without someone lamenting “if only.” The “if onlys” run on longer than a Kerry screed* on his worst day. Others make no more sense than Bush on his best day.

I’m heading for a party that knows how to do things right. The Green Party loses often, but with grace and finesse. Still, I like their style except for the losing part.

I am a secular humanist and an environmentalist. I insist that applying science is the best way of determining what’s what. Every scientist I’ve talked to is concerned about the harm we’re doing to our world with our population explosion and pollution – and indifference to our environment in general. Nobody speaks to these problems with more fervor than the Greens.

As a secular humanist, I’m scared to death of politicians who put faith ahead of science. But most politicians, even those who have to know better, put their faith right out front and brag about it all the time. Don’t tell me that Al Gore, who has been called the most scientifically literate national politician, really believed wearing a bracelet inscribed WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) would help him make rational decisions. And Howard Dean who suddenly found God when he dropped in the polls!

Not the Greens. They even have a secular plank which holds that they “. . . believe that federal, state, and local governments must be religiously neutral, guaranteeing equal freedom to the religious and non-religious. . . “

Still, in today’s America, a party without strong religious underpinnings has no chance. Furthermore a party that attacks so much of America’s big business will find itself on the outside looking in when the money is doled out. So, should I take a chance of not only throwing my vote away, but of helping cause something like what happened in 2000?

It’s not an easy decision, but there is another consideration. Minor parties do not and will not soon hold high office, but they can have a big influence on what the major parties do. Richard Rider, San Diego’s most visible Libertarian (and perhaps a record holder for losing elections) pointed out that in 1940 Norman Thomas, a Socialist, was asked if he’d run for a seventh time. Thomas remarked that he didn’t need to. Thomas claimed everything the Socialists had fought for in 1916 had been enacted by 1940.

Then there’s the matter of self respect. Why do I want to continue supporting a party whose leaders constantly cry “me too” when confronted by a party largely controlled by religious fanatics?

I’ll going to try a party that sees things my way and doesn’t equivocate about it.

*Screed: a lengthy discourse b : an informal piece of writing.

Keith Taylor is a freelance writer living in Chula Vista.  He can be reached at

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