Observations on the Green Party

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 19 10:11:46 MDT 2003

(This is an excerpt from the lead article
in the Sunday Opinion section of the
Los Angeles Times. Its appearance on
the front page of a paper which provides
ex-radicals like Marc Cooper and such a
platform, suggests that Peter Camejo
ought not to be written off so easily...)

Yes, Schwarzenegger's entry into the race was
unorthodox, but he is a formidable political figure,
as are Cruz Bustamante, Arianna Huffington,
Bill Simon, Peter Ueberroth, Tom McClintock
and Peter Camejo. Collectively, they suggest
how rich our political resources are; in a real
way, their candidacies honor California.

They cannot be easily blasted into oblivion by
negative television ads, as happened to former
Mayor Richard Riordan in the 2002 Republican
primary. Even if a candidate engages in what
state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer has described as
"puke politics," California voters don't seem in
the mood to buy it. Something powerfully
transformative is underway in state politics,
and it is nothing less than voters' self-liberation
from a claustrophobic and demeaning political
culture out of sync with today's 24/7 information
society and unworthy of the larger creativity
of the Golden State.

Kevin Starr is state librarian of California and University
Professor at USC. His "Coast of Dreams: California on
the Edge, the 1990s" is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf.

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