The Green Party USA is showing itself to be a different kind of political party from the Democrats and the Republicans, who as national organizations stick to the election of candidates as the goal and, once every four years, the drafting of a national platform with abstract policy position statements. Last Wednesday, May 13, the Green Party USA formally endorsed a line of activism, the May 30 National Day of Action for Single-Payer Health Care. On May 30, marches and rallies and lobbying days and other visible demonstrations of support for H.R. 676, a bill to implement health care coverage for all Americans by expanding the Medicare system. At each action, demonstrations will be accompanied by coordinated citizen contact with members of Congress to press for support of the bill (which already has 75 cosponsors).
When the Green Party announced its endorsement of the Single-Payer National Day of Action, it activated the power of bloc recruitment for that social movement, not only using its resources to send out a news release to the press, but also to send out communications to its members encouraging them to take part. By taking part and lending its organizational resources to a social movement, the Greens in turn remind activists of an electoral alternative. Is this a path for the the Green Party’s growth, to let itself be used as a nexis for the coordination and encouragement of a new wave of activism, while converting some movement participants into new party members?