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  What If the Green Party Stopped Being Kooky and Started Getting Real?
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Aug 07, 2016 09:02pm
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AuthorChristopher Hooks
News DateSunday, August 7, 2016 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionHOUSTON — In Philadelphia, at the Democratic National Convention, the woman had been a delegate for Bernie Sanders. But now he was gone and she was here, on stage at the talent show at the Green Party convention in the student center at the University of Houston, very far from the center of the political universe. She hadn’t known much about the Green Party before she came, she said, but one song had come to mind. So she pulled up the lyrics on her phone, and launched into a slow, a capella rendition of the Muppet anthem: “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

It's easy to make fun of the Green Party — maybe too easy. They don’t try to make it hard. At the convention, Green Party delegates shared spaces with baffled U of H undergrads and queued with them for the McDonald’s in the food court. Much of what took place at this week’s convention alternated from a cringe-inducing earnestness about the political process — the convention’s slogan was “Houston, we have a solution,” offering a green future to a city with 575 miles of freeways that celebrates oil tanks with murals that depict moments from the Texas War of Independence — to the sort of self-unaware kitsch that might play in a Tim & Eric sketch.

The talent show, a keynote event and fundraiser the night before the nomination of presidential nominee Jill Stein and vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka, is a great example. Here is a party that aims to be taken seriously, whose new narrative centers on the theory that 2016 is a year of Green Party emergence. And here are their senior members, listening to open-mic poetry with lines like "Isis is a goddess, not a terrorist" and “We are gonna Banksy the big banks, see?” and ukulele songs about the unimportance of money and the comparative importance of dancing. The night ended with an off-key group karaoke version of “We are the World,” but with new lyrics: “We’re not going to go with Trump or Hill-ar-y,” those on stage sang, as
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