By Brian McKay
Right off the bat you might be thinking that the U.S. already has third political party and maybe even a fourth. Those people running for President as the Green Party or Libertarian Party. Yeah, they aren’t even close to a real party. Those are simply designations to attach to a person that has no hope of ever being voted into office. A party isn’t a real third party unless it can actually compete at all levels of government and bring change.
Currently, the United States is readier for a strong third party than it ever has been. That the last election saw populist movements that crossed all ideologies and resulted in the election of the most controversial and unpredictable President in American history, is evidence of the people’s desire for change at any cost. It might even be said that controversial is a massive understatement.
The fallout from this Presidency is creating the potential for, not one, but two vacuums in the American political scene.
The abysmal approval ratings of Donald Trump and the inability of the Republican Party to pass any major legislation are currently tanking chances of future viability beyond its rabid 25% base. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog takes a weighted average, by quality of polling, of all polls and shows Trump with a current 56% disapproval rating versus a 37.9% approval rating. This continues to drop. As the legislative initiatives show that the party is moving further and further from the mainstream opinions in the United States, it might be that gerrymandering and the high voting percentages of those old and white, are all it has to keep it afloat in future elections. Certainly, the Republicans in Congress are hand wringing as to whether they currently need to moderate or continue to support an unpopular President and the unpopular far-right agenda. Poll after poll is showing their legislative and ideology proposals to be unpopular with the American public.
That the average Trump voter is so desperate to see change that they will accept economic promises that can’t be fulfilled and think the swamp is being drained while being filled with Goldman Sachs billionaires, shows the desperation inherit in their need to believe. They want to believe that Washington is being changed for them and will buy any myth to support that. Continually vilifying Hilary Clinton is a way for them to escape the reality of what is happening. It has come down to assuaging insecurity with things that will actually make that insecurity even worse in time.
Democrats aren’t much better off. That the party isn’t crafting a cohesive message that resonates with the disenfranchised American voter, is problematic. Furthermore, one can expect some complacency with the expectations of the eventual backlash to an ever more destructive Trump Presidency. With every tweet, it is too easy for a grin and to think, “We’ve got this in 2018.” While they might have what is needed in 2018, winning by default breeds laziness. Expect that message that resonates to never come to be.
The American people will continue to see economic disparity and minimal wage increases under the current Republican plan. Democrats don’t have a significant message to answer to the eventual fallout. Libertarians, the Green Party, etc. focus on Presidential races and will never establish themselves as valid thirty parties with any real message that lasts.
Now is the time for a grass roots movement that finally brings the third-party people have wanted for decades. It must be a party that achieves office at local and state levels while expanding its message nationally.
So what does that party look like in order to be successful, attract the interest of our citizenry and truly have a positive impact on our country? A realistic platform might look like this:
We believe that government cannot be for the people while individual representatives rely on ever increasing amounts of money to fund campaigns. Our party rejects becoming beholden to corporate interests and policy obligations that favor those that can dedicate millions of dollars. To this end, we will constantly strive for full and complete finance reform to return representation to the American people. We must represent you first. Funding tv commercials shouldn’t come before listening to our constituency.
The Constitution of the United States is our sole reason for existence. We pledge ourselves to support it in every policy and decision.
The strength of a country is based on its middle class. Opportunity and social mobility matter more than anything to a vibrant economy. We commit ourselves to pulling our citizens from poverty with responsible policy. Furthermore, the goal of wage growth for our middle class must always take a precedent in policy. Responsible capitalism fosters wage growth. Corporations must consider all stake holders. Long term outlook is preferable to short term profit taking.
The First Amendment is the first for a reason. Nothing is more important to our party than its protection. All the press must be protected and allowed to convey their message regardless of whether we like it or not. Without the freedom of speech, America no longer exists.
The United States must exist in the world as an example of ethical leadership. To this end, our allies matter to us, as does good diplomacy. Working with the global community will always benefit Americans. It is our goal to be world stewards and moral leaders.
Church and State must always be separate to maintain true freedom and protect the religions of all citizens.
Too big to fail is too big. The accelerating pace of boom and bust cycles only serve to hurt those that are the average American. Our country must not be allowed to return to those hallmarks of the Gilded Age.
No greater gift exists in life than education. Our party pledges to increase educational opportunities for all at every opportunity. In order to meet the needs of an information economy, we must foster the transition of the workforce.
We are data and statistically driven. A truly responsible and moderate party forgoes the blindness of static ideology and vows to change as the information changes. It is only in this manner that the United States can evolve with a world in which change constantly accelerates.
Ethics matter. Our pulpit must reaffirm them at all times.
The tyranny of the majority is unacceptable. We reject all legislation and gerrymandering designed to keep one party in power over another. The voice of the people is what matters. The manipulation of their vote is repugnant and unacceptable.
Science is neither conspiracy or political.
We exist for the people of this country. Their representation is honor and not a career goal. Our party wishes to remove privilege as a consequence of election.
Maybe this is the platform you would like to see as well. Returning the country to the people once again, now matters more than ever.
It is time for that third party that upsets the status quo.
Please give your feedback on things you’d like to see in a third-party platform. Who knows? Maybe we will create one.