The real reason why the Green Party is dwindling

There's been commentary on the Green-Rainbow website and elsewhere discussing how the party might not get enough signatures to get on the state ballot this year. I've also heard plenty of talk about an overall dwindling interest in the party. Most folks have chalked this up to people's belief in the old "problem with third parties," meaning the thinking that progressive voters need to stick to voting for the lesser of two evils rather than third parties, to prevent electing people like Mitt and Dubya. Others have blamed it on a lack of strong candidates and a lack of publicity.

Personally, I blame the party's recent lack of success on The Insane Guy. Most people who were at the Boston Dyke March this year know who I'm talking about, as he was particularly irritating on that day. He was hanging out at the Food Not Bombs table at the Dyke March this year (not sure whether he was officially part of their table or just lurking). White guy, about 45, usually wears a t-shirt and baggy pants. Almost always wears a cap covered in political buttons. Kind of scruffy with long graying hair and a beard. He shows up at most every event and, well, bugs the crap out of people. He's also frequently seen on the green line trying to talk to strangers.

He'll approach someone with a greeting such as "do you support the war in Iraq?" or "how would you like to see a lesbian governor?" He takes extreme offense at responses such as "uh, I gotta go meet a friend" or "I'm trying to read here" or ignoring him. He then preaches at people about how their reluctance to talk with him equates with not caring about the community.

Much of his yammering centers around discrediting other progressive candidates, usually not very skillfully. "You know Deval Patrick made $3.8 million last year." And? He also grew up on welfare. Mister Insane Mans doesn't like that angle though, and keeps yammering about how the guy's income makes him bad. He just doesn't let up. Or say anything very logical. At the Dyke March, he actually followed Molly and me around the grounds, yapping about how we could have a lesbian governor. He didn't say anything else about her platform or experience in the 10 minutes he preached at us. Just "lesbian governor blah blah lesbian blah blah." Hi, tokenism much? Yeah, you're real progressive. Does Grace Ross know about this guy? Because he's not doing much for her campaign. If I weren't already knowledgeable about the party, I'd think they were a bunch of lunatics based on this dude.


9 comments:

Chris in Boston said...

Are you talking about a specific person or a social type? I can read it either way.

eeka said...

Ha!

No, I'm thinking of a particular guy.

Anonymous said...

He is known as "Dan the Bagel Man", though I'm not sure why, it's what he introduced himself to me as. I actually just had this conversation the other day, if Grace Ross knows what's good for her, she'll distance herself from Dan the Bagel Man.

eeka said...

OHHHH!

Shit, how could I forget that name? Yeah, he's run for city council and various other things, hasn't he? I admire the energy and commitment, but, well, he has different social skills from many of the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I know Dan the Bagel Man. You may be surprised by this, but Dan is the top signature collector for the party, having collected near 2000 of the required 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot. So I wouldn't blame him as the "reason we are dwindling," which we aren't. Maybe we should have him tone it down a bit, but from our viewpoint, he's not expendable.

Anonymous said...

If it's the guy I'm thinking of, he often wears a Greek fisherman's cap (in the winter) and a leather jacket covered in political buttons. He accosted me on the green line back in 1993, ranting about how obviously I wasn't a feminist because I was using a short skirt to get a job - at which point he started staring at my legs. I told him to go talk to the nice people at the other end of the car. I've seen him an average of once a week (somewhere) since - thankfully he never talks to me.

Mister Goat said...

That last story doesn't sound like Dan--I've seen him with a police-type hat covered with buttons, but never a leather jacket covered with them.

Anonymous said...

This sounds suspiciously like the man we at a local indie bookstore call "Revolutionary James" or "Thomas Paine."
Needless to say, he bugs the crap out of us in so many ways.

Mister Goat said...

For history, Dan the Bagel Man's name stems forom the fact that he used to run a Bagel cart somewhere in town--maybe on the Common? That might just be legend, but I'm fairly sure that I've heard him confirm it.

Though he can be awkward at times, like the cases eeka describes, I've also seen Dan go out of his way to help people, both in his Food not Bombs work and in his general life and relationships. In a discussion that's critical of him, I want to give him credit for this.