This is not about Donald Trump.
This is very much about the Republican versus Democrat narrative, that would suggest that there’s a discernible difference between the “big two” political parties.
There really isn’t.
They have both become big government behemoths, pulled and molded by special interests that are less motivated by the will and well-being of the people, and far more invested in their bottom line.
This is also not the usual, quixotic effort that pops up during every election season. You see some new, third party hopefuls emerge out of nowhere and demand a seat at the table with the entrenched political power structure, with very little name recognition or a clear party structure.
We all know how that works out in the end, but if you want a clue as to how most people have been conditioned to see third parties, look no further than the Libertarian convention during the last election cycle.
I may be wrong, but I don’t recall any other party having a candidate strip at their convention, before dropping out of the nomination process.
That guy went on to be the Libertarian party chairman in Florida after that, by the way.
No, this feels very different.
The Federalist Party of America officially launched today, heralded in with an announcement written up for the National Review Online.
William F.B. O’Reilly (No, not that Bill O’Reilly), New York political consultant and nephew of National Review founder, William F. Buckley, penned the announcement for the party launch.
Says O’Reilly, in spelling out the need for a new direction in Washington:
Here’s what the nascent entity has going for it: the best-thought-out platform in human history; sharply limited scope; appeal to disillusioned Republicans and Democrats alike, and, most significantly, supreme fealty to human frailty. Indeed, mortal weakness is baked into the Federalist cake.
It’s the key ingredient.
The Federalist Party picks up where our nation’s Founders left off — wary of human nature. Its small but growing membership, which includes everyday men and women in states around the nation, recognizes that Washington has gone off the rails because the people we’ve sent there, term after term, have done what anyone naturally would: create donor networks and bureaucracies that benefit their electoral interests. That doesn’t make them bad people; it makes them human.
I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. O’Reilly on Wednesday. I asked him how this effort would be different than other third parties. He explained the goal of structuring government properly, as was intended by the founders.
In other words, protect the taxpayers from the politicians. At the core of this federalism is term limits. There are too many politicians who treat Congress as a retirement village.
What if Congress had to return to their neighborhoods and truly live by the laws they pass? Right now, it appears that the longer a politician remains in Washington, the more susceptible he or she becomes to the draw of lobbyists and outside interests.
Another thing pointed out by Mr. O’Reilly was that this wasn’t about tearing down Washington, but rather, about building up local government and communities, giving them more autonomy in running themselves, without the overreach of the federal government.
Can we not run our communities and states better than Washington? Wasn’t that the intent of the founders?
What they have wrought in the process, though — profound debt and discord — poses a threat to the nation so potentially grave that American citizens must reach for the tiller to reestablish course. Otherwise, debt alone will bring this country to its knees.
It’s painfully clear that neither Democrats nor Republicans are going to right the ship. Republicans talk a good limited-government game, but the tug of self-interest has proved irresistible. The Democratic party doesn’t even pretend anymore. Its candidates openly compete for who can propose the biggest new national programs.
The Federalist Party has but two goals, at once simple and colossal: 1) the eventual reestablishment of government jurisdictions as prescribed in the Constitution and 2) congressional term limits, the latter integral to achieving the former. All other issues take a back seat to these; most should be hashed out within our towns, cities, or states.
I’ve long said that for any third party to see any sort of success, they can’t wait for an election year and dive in. They have to do the legwork, between election cycles and free of the usual, election clamor, get their message out there, maybe sweep up some smaller, local or state-level seats, and establish themselves ahead of time.
That seems to be the track the Federalist Party of America is following. They’re looking at the long term goal, and it begins with this first step – getting out the word.
Explaining further, Mr. O’Reilly goes on:
The Federalist Party of America isn’t delusional. We know we can’t compete with the major parties in the short- or even near-long term. But with patience and humility, we hope to restart a national conversation about the intended roles of our tiered governments and how we can begin claiming responsibility at the local level for things we long ago surrendered to bureaucrats in Washington, even if that means more work for us at home. Perhaps especially so.
And there’s more:
By intentionally forgoing early-ballot status, Federalists hope to attract frustrated Republicans, Democrats, and independents who can become members without changing their current ballot status. Call it a kick-the-tires trial period. Even modest early membership should put the major parties on notice. That alone would be worthwhile.
And this is a particularly interesting move, perhaps truly separating this fledgling party from either major party, or most every third party: They propose to hold themselves accountable by rotating leadership every year, and restricting donations to the party to $100, annually.
Following this announcement, a second announcement from the party named Mr. O’Reilly as the first Chairman Pro Tem.
Americans are increasingly distracted by titillating daily news coverage and poll-driven wedge issues, such as who should go to the bathroom where. Meanwhile, the real threat to our liberty and economy — indeed, to our General Welfare — goes unattended. It is human self-interest, just as our forefathers warned, that will take a great nation down if left unchecked.
The Federalist Party of America, against all odds, and claiming no other wisdom, launches itself today. We ask our fellow Americans to wish us Godspeed.
This isn’t a partisan thing. It’s an American thing, meant to bring Republicans, Independents, and moderate Democrats to common ground.
That common ground should be the well-being of this nation we all call our home, and a return to what our founders intended.
It sounds good, to me.
You can read up and learn more about the FPA here.