Edgar Alan Beem’s engaging “What’s Left of Me” a few weeks ago placed me to his left politically. As one of the principal founders of the Green Party, I daily encounter the labels “left” and “far-left.” A closer look yields a different view.

For example, I am very strong for conserving. I am strong for local self-reliance. I am strong for decentralization, small business and community values, and that means I strongly oppose big government. I deplore the gospel of perpetual economic growth, the sacred mantra of every party on the conventional “left to right” political spectrum. The Greens are shocked at this. I am aghast at the callous subordination of ecological realities to greedy financial calculations. Climate change is not just a buzz word. Extinction is not just an idle threat. The lives and livelihoods of all of us, rich and poor, are now threatened as never before. A foreign policy based on military might – and shoving killing taxes on the poor and middle class to pay for it – is truly sick.

“Left” doesn’t fit. I relate to Petra Kelly’s vision for Green Parties, she being a key founder worldwide: “Neither Left nor Right, but in Front.”

At lunch the other day, Ed Beem and I came away with a better understanding of each other’s politics. Democrats and Greens could work together. Political reforms like ranked-choice voting are crucial for that to happen. More on that as opportunity offers.

John Rensenbrink

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