Thursday, August 3, 2017


    Is there another way to rescue the American government?
Maybe. Some thoughts, rooted in history, follow below.

first, a breath of fresh air
fiscalini ranch preserve-cambria ca. 
nap time
a few of our marine cousins observing rest hour
 the guy below brings us back to the us congress

a third way
    Whether it becomes more than speculative, or a pipe dream, remains to be seen, but we are hearing more about political reform. Could a third party be a method of reform?
      There is no shortage of third parties in our federal elections, but to this point they have been merely symbolic or protest choices. Ralph Nader's campaign helped elect George W. Bush. They've had more impact, historically.
       In 1912 Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party, aka the Bull Moose Party, shook up the nation and the Republican party by winning 88 electoral votes and 27% of the popular vote. 
       Racist George Wallace and his American Independent party won 13.5 % of the popular vote and 46 electoral votes in 1968.  
       Reform candidate H. Ross Perot won 18.9% of the popular vote, but no electoral votes in 1992.
minimum appeal
       The Third Party strategy began to play a role and shape parties and policies in the early 1800's. The list includes:
  • Anti Masonic
  • Free Soil
  • Whig Americans
  • Southern Democrats
  • Constitutional Union
  • Populist
      Today's list includes:
  • Libertarian
  • Green Party
  • America's Party
  • Constitution Party
  • Solidarity Party
  • Citizens Party
  • Modern Whig Party
  • Reform Party
  • Unity Party
  • Veterans Party 
  • United States Pirate Party
  • Communist Party
  • Socialist Party
  • Party for Socialism and Liberation
  • Peace and Freedom Party
  • Justice Party
  • Socialist Workers Party
  • Workers World Party
  • Working Families Party
  • Black Riders Liberation Party
  • New Afrikan Black Panther Party
  • Human Party
  • Legal Marijuana Now Party
  • Objectivist Party
  • Prohibitionist party
  and believe it or not, there are more.  Clearly these parties cater to specific positions, splinter groups and attitudes-they are not mainstream.  
    So as observers ranging from party professionals, academics, analysts and voters look upon the failure and disgrace of the trump White House, the collapse of the Republican Party's ability to govern and the Democrats inability to keep their act together, there is growing talk about a new way.
maximum appeal
a platform for all
     I wonder if a kind of grass roots movement, pragmatic in nature, focused on mass appeal objectives only and deliberately geared to be anti polarizing, might not shake things up?   
  •      Conservatives and liberals might agree with the idea that members of the federal government, especially the house and senate, must offer all Americans the same insurance and health care benefits they have, or theirs are revoked. 
  •      Same for the practice of special "friends and family" insider investment information and opportunities. 
  •      The salary and benefits of Senate and House membership would be trimmed to match the median wage of American workers. They would no longer vote for their own raises, instead they would be tied to COLA standards. 
  •  PACs and Leadership Funds would be forbidden. Money could not be used personally or kept after leaving office. 
  •      Once a member of the Senate or the House leaves office they would be forbidden from working for a consultancy or in a lobbying effort for as many years as they served. The exception is they could accept a position in a presidential administration or department. 
   There are probably other common core values that would appeal across party and ideological lines. 
    If the very definition and nature of the job and its benefits were changed we would find a different quality person willing to "serve."
    By backing out the influence of private wealth and organizational funding we could see a change in the character of the Congress and amongst seekers of public office. 
    I'd like to see restrictions on campaign funding-eliminating the legal influence of special interests of every stripe especially including those President Eisenhower warned us about-the military industrial complex that now controls and benefits from the federal dollar. 

excising the rot
    Donald Trump is the poster boy for a failure of government and the caving of American values.  He is the worst of America and millions of us, in fact the majority of Americans wonder why the hell he was not, or has not been stopped or removed from office. He's not the cause of the rot in our federal election system and inefficiency in government, but he is the face of the cancer and toxic in his own way. 
    Electoral politics is now an industry.  Government is now a business. It is time for a fundamental change and realignment or we are doomed to become a Greece, or Italy, if we survive the antics of the jack ass who is president. 

    A well organized and structured third party-or middle way effort that can unite D's, R's, Liberals, Conservatives, and appeals to all demographic subgroups could change the way the game is played and the power is brokered. 
    There will always be ideological and philosophical differences, but if the idea is about governance and not the aggregation of power or politics by bludgeoning, we could witness our government work the way it was imagined and created by the founders-give and take-compromise-governing for all.
    A fanciful though perhaps, but there have been "inflection" moments in our history and this is certainly one.  Wouldn't you hate to see it stay the same or get worse. It is action time. 

    See you down the trail.



  1. Good analysis of the current trends. I think the real problem with it as a viable alternative is if you look at the lengthy list of third party at present. You listed 24. And looking at them, I despair. The communist party won't even talk to the socialist party. Each party has it's agenda, and they've taken the same tribal route our two major parties have: to agree to nothing that requires any compromise from our platform.
    Nader came the closest, and all he managed to do was elect Bush. Each of these 'third' parties have their specific agenda, however small or large. Any deviation from their line kicks you out. None will compromise any more than the dems and 'pubs do now.
    It's a great, grand idea. And we've decided as a nation to instead go tribal....

    1. We have seemed to tribalize but we are all in this together.

  2. I wouldn't want my grandchildren to think I supported this president and stood by with my thumb up my a#* while he destroyed our country.

    1. Speaking out, posting blogs, resisting the insanity and corruption is our duty.

  3. Sorry that I have been missing some of your postings. I have been busy trying to grow a small business and it keeps me busy. You are always right on target, forthright and often humorous as you speak the words that so many of us feel. You always provide great 'food for thought.' I worry, regularly, about how much our nation will change with a complete, four-year Trump term. He and his administration are trying to tear apart all of the gains that we have made as a nation in the fight for equality, better race relations, women's rights, justice for all... and so many areas that define us. We are going backward and everyone seems to be getting 'numb' and 'desensitized' to his antics and instability. No other presidential candidate, in my lifetime, could have survived the actual *run* for president - let alone win the race - if they had even a few of the qualities of Trump. The lies, the bullying, the racism, including the birtherism, the misogny that would have toppled every other candidate... actually helped fuel his win. And sadly, that says as much about a portion of our nation who voted for him, as it does about Trump. I remind myself that the majority of the voting population voted against him but it wasn't enough...and I don't see anyone really taking a strong stand against the dangers of this type of chaotic President. Republicans seem to hold their nose and use his Presidency to reap their own policy rewards. This shouldn't even be about party anymore. It's about our core values as Americans. I am astounded at what we are willing to give up and overlook based on partisanship. His presidency hurts us all...diminishing our nation in the eyes of many Americans and others around the world. And still... he gets away with it. Third party? I wish but...there is no time to form it and get our nation back on track "during and after" Trump. It would take many years to form a viable third party, I think...but it is wishful thinking. We need Praying for answers, Tom. Thank you for your insight.

    1. Praying is always a helpful navigation in challenges, and we are indeed in a challenging time. Thank you for your earnest and eloquent addition to this post.
      I too remind myself that trump is indeed a minority aberration, but he is corrosive and toxic and we need to respond as such.
      I wish you all the best in growing your business. I understand. Please keep us posted.

  4. your 5-point "platform" for changed rules, is an excellent beginning for improving American politics, from POTUS to dog-catcher.

    1. They seem a simple fix, with the proper and pliable and fertile intellects in place.