Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity


No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Tea Party Challenge

How can a 3rd party realistically challenge the two entrenched major parties? There is no easy solution. However, there many ways of achieving that goal, but they will require a lot of money, almost as much time, and a great deal of effort. It's been done several times before here in the United States. Our political system was originally envisioned with no parties, since the founders thought that this was a fundamental flaw with the English Parliamentary system.

There the parties were the Whigs (progressives), and the Tories (Conservatives). In England, too there has been an evolution of parties. The Whigs eventually wheezed to and disolved, only to be succeeded by the 19th Century's Liberal party. That party lost steam and gave way to the Labour party. All the while, the Tories have risen and fallen, but have remained remarkably consistent.

During the presidency of George Washington, two parties began to coalesce around Alexander Hamilton (who eventually took the names of the Federalists) and Thomas Jefferson/James Madison. The Jefferson/Madison party was originally called the Republican (and Democratic-Republican by their opponents) and then eventually just the Democratic party after the collapse of the D-R party in 1824. After that there were 2 wings, one centred upon Andrew Jackson (R, later called D), and the other on Henry Clay (D SC).

At the time, the Democrats favoured a rural economy centred on small family farms and a "states rights" decentralized government. While the Federalists tended to be much more mercantilist, or business oriented and favoured a strong central government. Thus the adversarial relationship between the early parties. If you think that today's media is biased, they are, but they still report actual facts howsoever slanted. But 200 years ago, newspapers were a bit more creative in what they reported about politicians from the party they opposed...some of it was even true. In 1816, the Federalist party basically collapsed and didn't offer a presidential candidate in the 1820 election. The D/R party lasted a couple of years longer, but splintered in 1824. Eventually it revived as the Democratic Party in the 1840's.

Now, what does this have to do with the rise of a modern "3rd" party? Well, all the political parties that have risen throughout our history have started locally. Thus, to make a new, "3rd" party viable, this proposed party must begin working at the local level before all else. That means developing a viable party platform, finding people who are like minded and then banding together and working on local issues. The phrase "all politics are local" isn't a recent invention. Then, this proposed party must begin to elect members to local offices such as city and country commissioners.

The 2nd step in this process must be recruiting and then electing members of this nascent party to state offices, such as representatives/delegates and state senators. This is a huge step. I mean a really huge step. By starting locally, and then building upon that local system, you build not just good will, but also party loyalists who will work toward a larger goal.

This is the mistake that the Perot organization made from the start. His group tried to capture first the presidency instead of organizing at the local level first. Only after the 1992 election, did he try and build a local party system. Organizing a new political party is a difficult task, but also an expensive one. Politics is all about money. Taking it from those who have it...and then wasting it in the most ridiculous manner possible.

The 3rd step must be getting party members elected to the US House of Representative and Senate. This is nearly as great a step as the 2nd, but if getting members elected to state houses occurs, then capturing governorships isn't out of the question at this step either. Statewide offices are very important to building the new party. If several different states are captured at this step, then the next is possible. Only after a this step, should this proposed party actually have a candidate run for national office. Of course at this point, having members in the state houses as well as Congress would make this step inevitable.

Now, the Tea Party movement has started organizing locally, though they are also sponsoring a national convention in the near future. That's why I believe this movement has the ability to evolve into a viable alternative to the existing major parties. Despite how they are painted in the major media, most people who profess to the solidifying ideology of this nascent party, they aren't far right wing 'nuts'. Most are much more moderate in their viewpoint. It's only fiscally that they are conservative.

Therefore, this movement has the distinct possibility to become the long wished for "moderate" party. This will be possible as the moderates of BOTH existing major parties are being driven from their respective folds as they move to the left and right. That has caused the huge rise in independent voters that comprise roughly 50-60% of the electorate.

Is this possible? Yes it is. A member of the GOP has switched to independent in the Tennessee 8th Congressional District, his name is Donn Janes. He is the first to do so...he has adopted the party name of Independent/Tea Party candidate...he almost certainly won't be the last.


Anonymous said...

You might have a point here - I have been "wishing and hoping and thinking and praying...." and you probably weren't born when those lyrics were popular so I have been doing this a LONG time - perhaps too long.... that the Republicans will get some guts and take some more conservative stands... hasn't happened. Thought provoking piece here! Marijo

Rich V. said...

Oh, I was born...but barely...and I have too for about 18 or so years now. I thought that maybe Perot had started something, but I was wrong. A flash in the pan...It's possible now I think.

Tears In The Rain said...


You and I have different roles to play. You seek to find a hopeful new path for America. With all my heart I hope you succeed.

My role is different. I am like the lead element in a strike package. My role is destroy the morale, esprit and elan of the American Left. I have work to do.