I was inspired by the latest Watchers contest.
What if we could have a new party in the US? What would that party look like? I am not yet ready to leave the GOP but this is a mental exercise.
My inspiration was the short-lived but effective Free Soil Party of the last 1840s and 1850s. Free Soil was not really a political party but rather a mass movement or coalition of anti-slavery groups for political action against slavery. Free Soil was not an abolitionist party but the name connoted anti-slavery without the fears that immediate abolition raised.
A precis of the platform of this new party (Let’s call it for lack of a better term – and it may need a better term – the New Free Soil Party) would be as follows:
- Immediate cuts in Federal spending by adherence to the Constitution. Abolish agencies like the Department of Education and send that money back to the states. In the transitional period before abolition, defund these department or grant waivers and in effect block grant the money back to the states.
- Preservation of Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare for existing seniors and those close to that age but gradually privatize SS in the mode of Chile.
- Fight enemies of sovereignty both within and without – no more Agenda 21 type things, and we’ll renounce every UN treaty with positive laws (The SCOTUS has blessed it in the Breard case) We’re for free trade but get out of NAFTA, GATT and the WTO. Absolutely no membership or cooperation with the ICC.
- Get rid of most executive orders and enact positive law to restrict the scope of such orders in the future!
- Non-intervention and no meddling in the internal affairs of other nations unless a compelling national interest requires it. No women in combat without safeguards so that no woman will be required to serve in combat. Let’s also undermine the EU and other attempts to create superempires and stand for the legitimate aspiration of smaller nations to make their own decisions without UN or other interference. NO UN wars or courts.
- On abortion and gay rights – say this: Abortion should be safe, legal, and extremely rare. The constitutional provision that protects abortion (substantive due process) also protects the right to homeschool your kids, adult use of birth control, and have a non-traditional family in your home. Let’s protect that! The word “marriage” should be removed from state codes and replaced with “civil union”. Let marriage be a church term once again. (Nod to Ron Paul and Jonathan Turley on this!) Gay people should have the right to live their lives quietly and if they want to call their union “marriage” let it be so. There are bigger issues than these traditional social issues. National sovereignty, non-intervention and Agenda 21 are three examples.
- Support homeschooling and began a long transition from the “public” schools to a voucher system. Encourage charter schools. Abolish No Child Left Behind and national testing.
- The general rule is: Liberty! The Constitution is a libertarian document or ought to be and judges should be appointed to implement exactly that.
- Abolish the income tax and replace it with a sales tax. Get rid of most of the currency reporting laws and amend money laundering laws to be tighter in scope to catch criminals but not be used for fiscal imperialism.
- Have an acknowledgement that the founders established this nation on Christian Biblical principles: Not to favor a certain denomination but certainly to acknowledge what the SCOTUS said in Church of the Holy Trinity v US that we are a “Christian nation”, without any hateful baggage attached to these terms. If necessary, limit the power of the federal counts to say otherwise until a Constitutional Amendment is passed stating that civil acknowledgement. Never again will our history be held hostage by groups that can hardly fill a major league stadium.
- Those international norms such as abolishing torture will be voluntarily enacted by the US by positive law.
- There will be no place for racism in the New Free Soil party
I would suggest that the New Free Soil party be a coalition of the Libertarian and Constitution Parties and perhaps could use their extensive ballot access to get virtually immediate acceptance. Both the LP and CP are honorable, non-racist liberty parties, although the Constitution Party has a bit much of a religious cast to it and maybe too much social issue emphasis and the LP offends social conservatives with calls to abolish DOMA. Everybody will have to give in to some extent. What is the biggest priority?
Such a party would need probably $100,000,000 to get started. We also need candidate for not just President and Vice President but also lesser offices. A search would be made for offices to run for that would produce the greatest chance of victory thus the party would have credible candidates for higher offices.
How would it start? This summer, representatives from tea party groups, the LP and the CP, non-interventionists, social conservatives and Ron Paul supporters would meet in a central location and start the new party (“Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor and Free Men!”) who would either run candidates or endorse major party candidates for various offices. Research would be conducted on minor offices such as Soil and Water Commissioners that would be most likely to produce victory.
In 2014, there would be a New Free Soil Convention to build excitement and begin to solicit contributions for the 2014 and 2016 campaigns. This party would be driven by alternative media, Twitter, FB and the Internet. Money bombs and similar items would be an early source of New Free Soil funds. We need that $100,000,000 to make that credible presidential campaign.
2015 and 2016 – try for a candidate such as former NM Governor Gary Johnson as the presidential candidate with perhaps Senator Ted Cruz (Yes he is eligible to run – his mother is a native born citizen) as VP. (The original Free Soil party ran former President Martin Van Buren and the son and grandson of Presidents, Charles Francis Adams as VP in 1848. It garnered 10% of the vote but no electoral votes. There were, however, several Free Soil members of the House elected and they controlled the balance of power in the House.)
With a third party, you only need 34% to win under our first past the post system. However, the biggest obstacle is the resistance to third parties by many Americans primarily due to the idea “they cannot win.” The victory of candidates as independent Angus King in Maine and Jesse Ventura in MN show there is interest in a third party if it has a genuine chance of victory and has a compelling and principled (even if sometimes quirky) candidate. The combination of spending cuts, deficit (and debt) reduction, restoration of national sovereignty, tax reform, non-intervention and a generally libertarian platform may be a rallying cry.
The New Free Soil Party may be a transitional party just like the old one – it paved the way for the original Republican Party. The American political system functions best with two major parties. If the Dems run a relatively moderate candidate in 2016 such as Hillary Clinton, the New Free Soil Party could morph into the new party from the factions of the GOP and the groups who founded the New Free Soil Party. The new party would be something like the Tertium Quids (Third Way) Party and it would then win many elections. There are many media sites such as the Daily Paul, the Liberty Crier, antiwar.com and Freedom’s Phoenix that could promote New Free Soil candidates and fundraising activities.
If the GOP continues with tactics like this, and this, they may find themselves quickly on the dustheap of history. People have options. Is it time for the New Free Soil Party? It would require a lot of work and a lot of prayer. But there is a window for victory. Ron Paul has shown us the way.