Posts Tagged ‘Independents’


“Without the emergence of the Christian-Right in the 1970s…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Without the emergence of the Christian-Right in the 1970s and 1980s, there is no Reform Party USA today. Why, because what is the Reform Party and what’s the point of it? The Reform Party is what the Republican Party use to be and what they believed in. Before they recruited the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right out of the Democratic Party and into the GOP. They use to believe in fiscal responsibility, economic freedom, strong but limited national defense and foreign policy that’s not designed to police the world and they were tolerant or federalist on social issues. Not believing that the Federal Government or government in general, should be used to tell how Americans should live their own lives and make their personal decisions for them. That was the GOP of the 1960s that Dwight Eisenhower essentially created in the 1950s, that Tom Dewey tried to create in the 1940s. That also had a growing conservative-libertarian wing in it led by Barry Goldwater and others.

If Donald Trump takes down the Republican Party in November and they lose the House as well as the Senate and he decides to take his movement with him and perhaps launches a new third-party and perhaps some nationalist party, the Reform Party could become relevant for the first time since Ross Perot launched this movement in the early 1990s. Along with the Libertarians and this is how the Republican Party could become a national party again that can win the presidency, because it would have the members and voters, to compete for the presidency and not need gerrymandered House districts to hold a majority in the House. Or low turnout elections to win a majority in the Senate, because again they would have the voters to be able to compete with Democrats everywhere. Or perhaps the GOP dies and the Reform Party emerges as the new Center-Right party in America. And brings in Libertarians and Northeastern Conservative Republicans.

The Reform Party, to me at least represents the Republican Party when it wasn’t owned by the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right in America. A party where the Ku Klux Klan and other Far-Right European-American nationalist groups, didn’t feel at home in. Because it was a big-tent party that welcomed African-Americans, Latin-Americans, Jewish-Americans, women, Catholics, immigrants, etc. Where it was the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and yes even Barry Goldwater. Not Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, David Duke, Donald Trump, or the Tea Party. A party that could not only competed in the Northeast with moderate-conservative Republicans, but in the Midwest and the West with Conservative-Libertarians and even California, but in the South as well. And could win high turnout elections, because it had the members and voters to compete everywhere with the Democratic Party. That is no longer the case for the GOP today.


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U.S. Congress
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

National Journal: Opinion: Norm Ornstein: What If Independents Keep Senate Majority In Flux?

What if, what if, what if, what question is more fun to ask and even ask yourself than what if? But the reason why it is such a fun question to ask, is because it gives people who chance to imagine and throw out countless hypotheticals and imagine all sorts of interesting things. But to speak about Norm Ornstein’s what if, he may be on to something right now because of how partisan and divided America is politically right now. With an unpopular President, but an unpopular Republican opposition that Americans aren’t crazy about having complete control of Congress, both the House and Senate.

This is where the centrists, or as I prefer the more independently minded Senators and Senate candidates come into play. Because let’s say we do have a 50-50 Senate in the next Congress with Democrats still in control of the Senate because of Vice President Joe Biden, or a 51-49 Senate in the next Congress that goes either way, without either party having enough of a partisan advantage to run the chamber by themselves, that is where the Independents come into play. Especially if they don’t caucus with either party, or are not in lockstep with the political or governing agenda that their leadership wants to push.

In a divided Senate like that, that is where the Independents have the power, Assuming the Leader and Minority Leader are actually interested in governing and passing legislation in that Congress. And not simply looking for the next partisan advantage that will give them a clear majority in the next Congress. When the leadership’s in both parties aren’t interested in governing and simply looking for partisan advantage, as we’ve seen a lot in the Congress from both parties in both chambers, Independents do not mean a hell of a lot.

Whoever the next Senate Leader and Minority Leader is, they will still set the tone as far as what that Senate can pass in the next Congress. And if you are like me, you are looking for new leadership at the top in both parties without Harry Reid Mitch McConnell leading their respective caucus’. And hopefully new blood will come in and decide to work with the other party. Because whoever holds the next Senate majority, it will be paper-thin, perhaps 52-48 at best for one side. And if they decide to govern, the Independents will come into power and a lot legislation could get passed.

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Governor Nelson Rockefeller, R, New York

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times

If Nelson Rockefeller was alive today and still involved in public service in some way, whether it was in public office or working for non-profits, which he did both in his very long and distinguished career in public service. What party would he be affiliated with? I think it’s clear that maybe outside of the Northeast and of course he was from New York I believe GOV. Rockefeller would’ve had a very hard time getting elected as a Republican today. Especially in a Republican Party that’s now dominated by the Christian Right and to some extent Neoconservatives.

But neoconservatism has lost a lot if influence in the Republican Party, at least in the last two elections. Which I believe is a good thing, but the Religious-Right is still there and powerful there. And of course now with the Tea Party movement that’s now run by economic Conservatives and Religious Conservatives and with GOV. Rockefeller being fairly liberal at least to some extent on social issues except for crime and punishment, I don’t see how Nelson Rockefeller gets elected in the Republican Party today. He would probably be a better fit as a Democrat today with his liberal views on some social Issues. And his beliefs in public service and infrastructure investment, but probably like a Joe Lieberman.

Nelson Rockefeller was a social Liberal and somewhat progressive on economic policy. But more conservative on crime and punishment and foreign policy. I mean the Rockefeller Drug Laws aren’t called that for nothing, GOV. Rockefeller played a big role in advancing the War on Drugs in America. And also served as President Ford’s Vice President. Mr. Rockefeleller clearly had conservative leanings, but not enough of them for him to be successful in the Republican Party today. So where would Nelson Rockefeller go politically or maybe he would work on a third-party Movement instead.

I don’t see Nelson Rockefeller as a centrist, but an independent and they are different. A centrist is someone who’s pretty much middle of the road on most major political issues. But Rockefeller had clear political views, some conservative which is why he was a Republican. But also some liberal and progressive which is why I don’t believe he would be a Republican today. So maybe the Independence Party or a movement for that would’ve taken off with Rockefelller and George Wallace as their Leaders.

Nelson Rockefeller would be a prototypical Independent candidate and perfect for that type of political party as well. Someone who could help advance an Independence movement and would’ve been a great third-party candidate today. I don’t think he would’ve gotten elected President this way, but definitely been a factor as a presidential candidate. Sort of like George Wallace in 1968, Jack Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992. And perhaps because of this we could’ve ended the two-party-system that under represents a lot of American voters and we could’ve had more choices in who to vote for.
History Comes To Life: Nelson Rockefeller Announces For The Presidency in 1968

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Source: C-SPAN

Source: C-SPAN: The Contenders- Ross Perot Preview

Ross Perot not that he ever had a real shot at being elected President of the United States, but his style of politics and what he believed in and the people he represents and spoke for and represents how Independent Center-Right political candidates can get elected in America. And I put Ross Perot on the Center-Right in American politics because he is a true fiscal Conservative who believes in fiscal responsibility, not running up debt and deficits.

Ross Perot believes in limited government and that everything that government does has to be limited to what we need it to. Not do not what we want it to do and that all government including entitlement programs have to be efficient and affordable. But someone who was tolerant to moderate on social issues. Who didn’t push those issues and didn’t believe the Federal Government should be involved in them in most cases and would probably leave the states to deal with them.

He was sort of an Eisenhower or Ford Republican whose philosophy was based around accountability. And limiting government to doing the things that we need it to do and do those things well. Who represents roughly forty percent of the country and how people of this mindset could do well in the future especially if they put together one party that represents this whole movement.

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Source: C-SPAN

Source: C-SPAN: Political Humorist Molly Ivins Talks About Ross Perot From 1992

Ross Perot is classical version of take the good with the bad. As Molly Ivins I believe was explaining that there is a lot to like about the man. And had I actually been old enough to vote in 1992 instead of sixteen years old, I probably would’ve at least considered voting for him. But his weakness’ in a lot of way outweighed his strengths. Because he’s got a Texas sized ego in a New Hampshire size body who thinks a hell of a lot of himself.

And whenever he’s doing something, he tends to give people the idea that what he’s doing is about him. Even as much as he couldn’t stop reminding people in 1992 that he was running for president for the good of the country and I’m sure part of that was true, but he tended to give people the idea that he was the only one who could save the country.

I believe a good way to describe the Ross Perot was that he was a great visionary, but not someone you want quarterbacking your team or a government kinda like a good head coach who didn’t have enough skills to play quarterback very well or play other positions. But someone you might want on the sidelines calling the plays.

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This sounds more like an agenda for a third-party, an American Independence Party. A new center-right fiscally conservative socially moderate or federalist party. Where Jon Huntsman would make a great nominee for president. Instead of an agenda for this divided Congress with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. Where both chambers are so divided on basically everything. They just passed a budget, but that is part of their job and shouldn’t be congratulated for that.

I like the goals and what No Labels is trying to accomplish here. Of trying to bring pragmatists together to solve the problems of the country from both parties. The problem is right now they only have goals without any real solutions. You want to reform Washington, you have to reform Congress to the point where the majority and minority parties in both chambers are allowed to offer relevant substitutes and amendments to bills that the majority brings up. So both sides in the House and Senate at least have their say and can at least have their ideas voted on to what the House and Senate are debating. To turn Congress into a competition of ideas and not partisan attacks.

The other way you fix Washington in this current ultra partisan political environment is for the American people to step up and give one party enough power to govern and put their agenda through. Then at least we would have a real governing party in this country with the power to govern. Because right now it is just too partisan and we are too divided as a country for Democrats and Republicans to do much work together.
Joe Manchin

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Source: Charles Wheelan– Centrist political activist Charles Wheelan

Source: Charles Wheelan: The Centrist Manifesto: Is this Realistic?

I’ve written a couple of blogs over the last few weeks about Independent third parties. And what do I mean by Independent because anyone who is  not a Democrat or Republican politically is technically an Independent. But I’m not talking Independent so much in a party registration, but Independent in an ideological sense. Voters who do not fit in well in the Left or Right boxes.

The voters I’m talking about probably lean right in a political sense. But aren’t very partisan and aren’t crazy about the Republican Party, not far enough to the right to be a full-time Republican. Perhaps even like some Democrats, but certainly not far enough to the Left to be a full-time Democrat either. These voters tend to be fiscally conservative but in a pragmatic sense. That they want good government that is clean but also limited. Not trying to do everything for everybody, but there to do the things that we need it to do. And have the resources to do those core things, but spend them wisely and effectively.

The voters I talk about tend to be tolerant to moderate on social issues. They do not think about them strongly and do not like intolerance and discrimination especially through law. But probably not liberal or libertarian either. The voters I’m talking about are basically the Perot voters. Who represent something like forty percent of the country who also decide all of our presidential elections as well. And you put this coalition together and you have one hell of a third-party, a center-right party that is interested in problem solving. And would work with Democrats whenever they can and would always be looking to work with members of other parties if they were ever in power and if the Republican Party doesn’t wake up and goes off a political cliff, you could see this Independence Party ( that I call it ) step up and replace the Republican Party as the center-right party in America.

Where I differ with Charles Wheelan, who by the way I just heard of last night and why I’m blogging about this now and I would to read his book as well, is that I think we are talking about the same voters, but he’s talking about purely centrist voters with no real ideological affiliations. I’m talking about fiscal Conservatives who probably use to be Republicans. Or perhaps Blue Dog Southern Democrats who are fiscally conservative and not interested in social issues for the most part except as it relates to civil rights and civil liberties. And perhaps are liberal there or even conservative in the classical sense that government and society shouldn’t be able to discriminate against people based on things that have nothing to do with whatever they are doing. Work and housing to use as examples and do not fit in with the Religious-Right in America.

I’m a Liberal Democrat and probably always well be unless Democratic Socialists take over the Democratic Party. But I do not like the two-party system as a Liberal because it leaves out people simply because of their political views.

It is Un-liberal democratic in the sense that it leaves people out because they are a bit further to the Left or Right. Than Democrats and Republicans tend to be or are in the center and are not comfortable being a Democrats or a Republican. Which is why I would like to see the two-party-system abolished and replaced with something more democratic. We need a multiple-party-system that includes Liberals, Progressives and Conservatives of course. But we need something that includes Libertarians on the Right and Socialists on the Left. And Neoconservatives on the Right and perhaps even Communists, Nationalists and Theocrats on the way Far-Left and Far-Right. So we are all represented in America as voters.

You create this multiple-party-system by simply outlawing gerrymandering from the Right and Left that all House districts that are drawn up by the states have to accurately represent the states political affiliations, rather than drawing up districts to simply give Republicans and Democrats better opportunities to win and these districts would have to be approved by a Federal Election Commission made up of Democrats, Republicans and Centrists.

We need universal ballot access that all of the parties are represented on the ballots in all. Federal elections Congress both chambers and the presidency and vice presidency.

We need universal polling that all party nominees for Federal office get polled so a media organization can’t just poll the Democrat and Republican or poll them together. But they have to poll the Libertarian, the Independent from the Independence Party I was talking about. As well as the Constitutionalist and Green or Democratic Socialist that is running as well. So all of the party nominees for office would get ID nationally. As well as in the state and districts that they are running in.

What I’m talking about is easy to put on paper and would work if it were ever to get into law. And if it were ever to become law we would need runoff elections as well. Because it would be very difficult to get fifty percent or more in one round of voting. But it is very difficult to pass especially without a major grassroots movement similar to. Immigration reform because Democrats and Republicans are still in power.

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