Despite being a fairly young party, the U.S. Green party seems to have been around for a very long time. Part of this has to do with other countries having more seasoned Green parties – in fact, they were the ones who inspired our very own Green movement.
Thanks to their clear-cut ideology that many can get behind, the Green party and its members have enjoyed considerable support from the party’s inception to present day and more good things are bound to come.
The early goings of the party
While we can’t seem to look anywhere without seeing political correctness and environmental awareness these days, it wasn’t always like this. In fact, back when the Green party was starting out in 1984, one could almost say that having liberal views wasn’t popular.
The Green party was formed at a meeting of a modest 50-some progressive politicians – as already mentioned, while the Green party’s beliefs were something of a novelty in mid-80s U.S. politics, they were very much commonplace in other countries from which our Green party drew inspiration. The point of the meeting was to produce a political body that will deal with issues of society and the environment more intimately than erstwhile political parties did (including the Democrats).
The party began attracting notable politicians and enjoyed considerable coverage – by the start of the 90s, several Green party members already held important positions as state heads, helping propel the Green party into legitimacy and establishing it as a force to be reckoned with.
Around this time is when the Green party started experiencing internal conflicts: among other issues, some believed that each member of the party should pay dues as is the case with any other political party rather than simply registering and being granted membership.
The Green party renamed to its current iteration in 2001 while remaining as popular as ever with the masses. More and more Green politicians were being elected in local and state races – or, at the very least, giving their opponents a run for their money – and people began associating Green politicians with positive change and the kind of everyman appeal that most Republican and Democrat politicians can only dream of.
In 2000, the Green party began pitching their first serious presidential candidate in Ralph Nader – while Nader ultimately wouldn’t come close to Democrat and Republican percentages in the election, he still enjoyed considerable turnout from the masses. This was also the year when the party formally wrote down its core values that all members are meant to uphold. The Green party’s 2004 presidential run also saw the beginning of their close ties with the Democrat party.
Over the coming years, Greens struggled as their former presidential candidate ran two separate independent campaigns which hurt both the party and its new presidential hopefuls. 2012 saw the party recover its losses as Jill Stein, the year’s Green presidential candidate, received nearly 500,000 votes which was a record for a female presidential candidate at the time.
To this day, the party continues expanding its membership and gaining more popularity – while Jill Stein’s results in the 2016 election remain to be seen, there’s a good chance that the numbers will be even greater this time around.