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What is the Green Party?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
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In the United States, the Green Party is a national political party formed in 1991 from previous state organizations. It does not have the same clout as groups like the Democrats or Republicans, but it does have influence in elections. For instance, many Democrats credit Al Gore’s failure in the Presidential election of 2000 to the popularity of Ralph Nader, a Green Party candidate. Nader was thought to have stripped Gore of some of his votes, as he received votes from not only members of his own party but also from more liberal Democrats.

The Green Party derives its name from its stance on environmental responsibility. Members advocate sustainable methods of agriculture, business, and transportation. They support the use of alternative fuels and laws providing greater environmental protection. In this way, they stand opposed to “big business” consumption of fossil fuels, deforestation to build houses, destruction or plundering of natural habitats to create products, and any other practices that cause damage to the already fragile environment of Earth.

Moreover, the party is committed to developing universal healthcare. Members are quick to note that many workers cannot obtain affordable health insurance and that this is a right, not a privilege, that should belong to all. They have criticized both Democratic and Republican candidates for being less than responsible with respect to addressing the health care needs of the US population.

Tied in importance with making health care available to all is the Green Party’s insistence that all workers should be given a realistic living wage. In most states, the minimum wage is not actually a living wage, producing extreme poverty even for those who work full time. This concept of a living wage is not only found in the philosophy of this party, but also among some liberal Democrats who have advocated for a realistic living wage for many years. The Green Party also aligns itself with workers in the sense that it believes that most workers bear the brunt of taxes, while those with deeper pockets avoid taxes through a variety of loopholes. Members support higher taxes for wealthy individuals and businesses to pay for a variety of programs that would promote social equality and justice.

The Green Party has also been strongly opposed to US involvement in Iraq. In almost all cases, members feel that solutions to friction between different countries should be addressed through nonviolent means. They also value freedom of choice, along with broad respect for cultural, social, and religious differences. Members typically support a woman’s right to choose, the rights of homosexuals to marry, and the right of any person in the US to practice or not to practice religion.

As for crime, Green politicians focus on crime prevention by investing in social programs to help elevate and educate those most likely to commit crimes, such as minority populations in great poverty. The party stands strongly opposed to the death penalty because of members' inherent respect for human life after birth.

Many dismiss the Green Party as “bleeding heart liberals.” Even among Democrats, the leftist stance of the party's politics often causes discomfort. There are those who fear the party wants nothing less than socialism or communism. It is true that the Green Party advocates for government involvement, placing higher value on people than on corporations. Where their politics tend toward socialism, however, members are still supporters of the political framework of the US, particularly as it relates to the rights and freedoms defined in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Historical Index contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon926618 — On Jan 20, 2014

"Green is the new red. Wise up." You will need to clarify what you mean by this. If you are suggesting that Greens are the new Republicans, I would have to question you.

By anon359464 — On Dec 18, 2013

Green is the new red, wise up.

By anon345506 — On Aug 20, 2013

As long as our country is thinking about the battle between blue and red, we will never have change for the better. Also the Green Party is not responsible for George W. Bush's eight year reign of war and economic failure.

The last time I checked, the Green Party is not a partner of the Democrats. They are trying to get elected themselves. The Democrats have lost my vote over the last four years and the Green Party has earned it. Please everyone consider voting for a third party candidate. That is the only way our country will see change in our electoral system.

By anon294383 — On Oct 01, 2012

"Have a close look at the results of 2010 midterm to see that once again the Greens have done more harm than good!"

That's crap. The people who vote independent aren't to blame for Republicans getting elected. People who vote Republican are.

Don't try to bully people into choosing the lesser of two evils when the Democrats care more about corporate interests than public interests. We are fed up with their crap and we're not going to vote for them out of fear of Republicans.

By anon291268 — On Sep 13, 2012

I'd rather turn red. I am a democratic socialist and I highly support the green party, but I didn't like the article since it compares communism and socialism together. This is not true at all. Socialists are not stupid communist bums.

By anon280856 — On Jul 20, 2012

I am a Green Party supporter and will be voting Obama. I'm in Ohio - the major swing state. I could not stomach Mitt Romney as our president. Eight years of Dubbya was enough.

By anon140579 — On Jan 07, 2011

I used to think in terms of strategic voting but I won't vote Democrat anymore. I'm joining the Green Party, and frankly, the Democrats don't deserve my vote. The lesser of two evils is not good enough. Greens don't cause harm by voting green, the Democrats do it to themselves by failing to represent real liberals.

By anon123729 — On Nov 03, 2010

Since the Democrats are generally more supportive of issues that Greens favor, and where a race between Democrats and Republicans is close, and where the Greens have no chance whatsoever, it makes much more sense for a Green to vote for a Democrat rather than lose to a Republican. Have a close look at the results of 2010 midterm to see that once again the Greens have done more harm than good!

By anon122757 — On Oct 29, 2010

The next election in the state of Michigan is in a few days, and I will be voting green!

By anon111525 — On Sep 17, 2010

Dems, nationally; Greens, locally until the Greens have enough clout nationally.

By anon100922 — On Aug 01, 2010

I have had it with my own party, Democrats, President Obama, they are all the same. When are we going to learn how to live right? no one cares and neither does our so called government. I am turning green.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Historical Index contributor, Tricia...
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