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  • As I have reported upon here, last summer I trucked down to Philly for the Democratic National Fiasco and signed on to assist Jill Stein’s insurgent candidacy in 100° heat and thunderstorms. One of my tasks was to trundle a stack of 50-pound packs of posters to her rally site and post a bunch of them. The lot included five different emphatic union-made posters, mostly of the butter-not-guns and justice-for-all varieties. That was in July. In October, I decided to plant a Jill Stein 2016 campaign sign in font of my Massachusetts home, and that’s when the trouble started.

    Remembering the stacks of posters, I figured it would be no sweat to run down your basic lawn sign. But after rummaging through and the national Green Party’s site, all I came up with was a few free brochures to download and some shirts and bumper stickers for sale. So I moused over to the Massachusetts Green Party, and was again unrewarded. In fact, several site visitors had already posted pleas for lawn signs that had gone unanswered. That avenue clearly led to a cul-de-sac, so I left it.

    Not willing to quit quite yet, I returned to Jill’s campaign site to look for a local campaign office to call or write to. A nice little Google map pinpointed a bunch of them in various states, one of which was not only in Massachusetts but also nearby, in fact in Jill’s home town a couple miles away, but the only contact information provided was its street address. I figured it was worth a trip, so a little later I drove over there. What I found was a modest cape on a leafy suburban side street. It displayed nary a lawn sign nor placard signifying the place was a hub of progressive activity, only a cute sign by the door warning visitors that a lunatic cat lived there.

    It surprised me that Stein’s campaign office wasn’t a storefront on a busy downtown street. Perhaps this quiet little house on its quiet little street was merely a front for a big operation. Perhaps inside, occupying the whole space from the attic to the sub-basement were dozens of dedicated campaign workers busily duplicating broadsheets, stuffing mass mailings, and making cold calls.

    My knock on the door was met not by a deranged feline but by a mature woman seemingly dressed for a bridge party, who upon hearing my needs told me it must be her husband I was looking for and went to fetch him. I chucked the notion that I had come upon a clandestine field office humming with activity, slightly depressed that this seemed the sum total of succor for the candidate in her very back yard. But the gentleman who then came out to greet me was happy to help and listened patiently as I described how difficult it had been for me to score a simple yard sign. He sympathetically told me that certain logistics seem to have fallen through cracks between the Green Party and Jill’s organization. Sounds like Trump versus the Republican Party, I said to myself.

    He did, however, volunteer information that a man the next town over had a certain quantity of signs sitting in his garage and offered to put him in touch with me. He then asked me to wait while he visited his basement to retrieve a wire standard for the sign and returned with a complete yard sign he said was from the previous batch. I thanked him—opting not to ask why the sign wasn’t on his lawn—took it home, and stuck it in the dirt by the sidewalk.

    Now the street I live on is just one block and 40 houses long, so I can’t expect much bang from my efforts to support my candidate. I had been prompted to make the effort by the realization that I hadn’t seen a Stein sign anywhere in my locality that I could remember, just a scattering of Hillary Together ones. Not a good sign, especially in Jill’s home territory.

    It’s a shame, because no matter how exalted Jill’s platform is or impressive her social media presence may be, the Green’s ground game sucks, at least in my ken. If a healthy slice of the electorate doesn’t know she’s a contender, it doesn’t matter how many retweets she has; without some good precinct-level energy behind her, she’s doomed to become another neverwozzer with a Wikipedia bio.

    The Green Party of America has a pretty dismal track record in state and national elections, and since the turn of the millennium has been stigmatized by mediocre minds for having the temerity to run Ralph Nader for President, thus throwing the election to GW Bush in Florida. Their few successes have come in local races, and most of those fortunate candidates re-registered themselves as Democrats after a decent interval, or even before, because they had careers to build. These defections are both a cause and effect of a party that thrives on anarchy, a party that seems to assume that all it takes to ultimately prevail is right thinking. It’s the same attitude that has left evangelicals and cultural conservatives twisting in post-election winds, save for some successful red state efforts to limit abortion and insert religious loopholes into civil rights statutes.

    Heavens to George Soros, don’t Greens want to win? Without a Mister Moneybags or a major political party pandering for their votes, how will they get any leverage? Their agenda may get occasional lip service, but not room service. So, I guess it’s up to me. Now that I’ve established contact with local activists I can try to stir something up in my suburban ghetto. I’ll write to the local paper promoting Jill’s campaign, and have already begun by commenting to a post there by a woman advising her grandson in an open letter to ignore both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein—whom she called “ditsy”—and vote Democratic. Hopefully, my reply to her got me off on the right(?) foot:

    Bite your tongue. Jill Stein is anything but "ditsy," unless it's ditzy to be anti-imperialist, for lowering the cost of higher education and health care the way the rest of the civilized world does, and for de-militarizing police forces and ending the war of terror on immigrants and citizens of color. The media has cauterized the flow of information that doesn't fit official narratives, and instead—along with people blogging and commenting here—manufactures hysterics about a Trump victory. Well, that's certainly not going to happen in Massachusetts, so why not vote your conscience for a change? Neither major candidate is fit to be president and either could take us into a nuclear war with Russia with their heedless saber-rattling.

    Take that, you moderate. What else you got? Don’t know if you can see to it vote for Hillary or Trump without gagging? Then mouse on over to, check out what she and running mate Amaju Barak have to say and if you like it, get involved.
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