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You Can't Facebook a Revolution: When Green Matters

An election race you may have missed last November found Fred Horch losing to the Democratic candidate, Alex Cornell du Houx, by less than 150 votes. Horch also beat the Republican candidate by over 250 votes.

Horch was the Independent Green candidate and the reason you may not have heard about this race was that it was for state representative in the town of Brunswick, Maine, and involved less that 4,000 voters.

Which makes it all the more odd that I kept seeing TV commercials for Horch's Democratic opponent including one that featured former governor Angus King.

State representative seats don't usually merit that sort of attention and a Green opponent hardly ever.

But in Maine, Greens actually matter and the Democrats take them quite seriously. In fact, a few years back when Green John Eder was elected to the legislature with 65% of the vote, the Democrats sought to correct that scary development by redistricting him. And Greens have popped up elsewhere such as on the charter commission and the council of the state's large city, Portland.

Part of it stems from a different view of life and politics. After all, Maine has elected more independent governors than any other state. But part of it comes from the Greens representing the best - rather than the most radical - values of the state, which inclines many to regard them more as missionaries than as troublemakers.

For example, Maine - as much as any state in the union - has come to come to accept and integrate ecologically sound approaches to life with remarkably little ideological uproar. After all, even moose hunters want to preserve the wild. The argument is over process more than principle.

Which is why a small election in Brunswick may have some large implications.

Starting with the fact the Fred Horch was a small business owner - operating a sustainable products store on Brunswick's main street.

Small business owners are among the most neglected of America's political constituencies. Sure, pols talk about them but they rarely lift a finger to help them, and that goes for Democrats, Republicans and Greens. 


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