Let's Start A Political Party (What is a sane Republican, these days?)

Ladies and gentlemen, speaking as a paleoconservative, a jeffersonian libertarian, a person who would like the feds not to be watching me through the walls of my house, and as a person vehemently opposed to the concept of thoughtcrime, I put to you that the current Republican Party does not match my needs.

Neither do the dems, of course. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’ve got to say, it’s time the people with half a brain in their head tried to form a new, more perfect party. So. Little gedankenexperiment. What’s it take to be a political party? What’s the full scope of a platform that’s needed? I suppose we could go cite by cite through the current Republican platform, and I may do that at some point, but let’s try building from scratch, first.

Specific call-outs: Brutus, Sam Stone, if you wish to participate, please be useful, positive, participants. Liberal, my brother, I want this to be a realistic platform, something that could be elected one day. It is not your ideal. It is not even the libertarian party’s platform. This is going to be one step towards the libertarian party from what we have here. A redefinition of Republican, that removes the Neo-Con and Moral Majority from the equation. Please contribute anyhow, but… I want you to go a bit more real-world, here.

Think of Teddy Roosevelt and Arnold Schwarzenegger, folks. Muscular, American. And remember, even my idol, Thomas Jefferson, paid heed to pragmatism. The Louisiana Purchase was possibly illegal, and entirely against what he wrote, when looked at objectively, but it was still the right thing to do at the time.

I see you are removing the Moral Majority (a fine idea), but will the new Republican party still be socially conservative?

What is your platform vis a vis proactive intervention in humanitarian conditions? Not, for instance, Iraq, which is pretty obvious was, if not the wrong war, done at the wrong time in the wrong way, nor Afghanistan, which anyone but die-hard pieceniks concede we had casus belli for, but the more difficult choice like intervention in Rwanda or Bosnia, especially if it were done early enough to actually make a difference?

I mean, it’s all well and good for a president to not listen to the rest of the world community to make a point that “We’re the U.S., and we just don’t care what you think,” but if there is ANY time that a president needed to cease to dilly-dally and unilaterally involve America in a war, it would have been Bosnia and Rwanda.

I’m really asking: I don’t know what your stance is. But ISTM that no party, not even third parties, share my view on humanitarian intervention (i.e. I’m for it when intervention will be helpful and timely, and would even be willing to expend political capital to go it alone if the international community didn’t agree.)

I don’t think I can provide meaningful input to the other aspects of your imaginary platform, since I am a pragmatist fiscally (which you seem more ideologically driven by,) and a civil libertarian (which I don’t think we will run into much opposition to, on this board.)

Actually, what would be the proposed stance w/r/t currently-illegal drugs? I, personally, think that %90 of drugs should be legalized, that it is the right thing to do no matter what way you look at it: civil libertarian, fiscal, crime prevention. But the other %10, such as crack, crank, and PCP, are a tough call, but I would be willing to make them legal with no strings attached if it meant that the other drugs would also be legal: it would solve so many problems with our criminal justice system(freeing up resources for non-victimless crimes) not to mention providing one less excuse to invade our freedoms.

Wow. Ludovic, I agree with you about intervetions and about the drug war.

My personal perspective on drugs: In theory? Legalize them all, at least we can regulate them when they’re legal. This is unrealistic, and a platform containing this will never pass. In fact, legalizing heroin is one of the major reasons that many people I know will never vote Libertarian.

Therefore, I suggest this: Marijuana should be under roughly the same restrictions as Tobacco and Alcohol. Furthermore, the War on Drugs needs to be overhauled and refocused on growers.

It’s still a bit out there for most people, but it’s defendable and can be argued. As far as interventionism, while, generally, I agree with Ludovic, from a personal standpoint, I’m not sure if I can agree from a professional standpoint. Road to Vietnam is paved with good intentions. Perhaps a restatement of the Powell Doctrine as pertains to this? Also, Africa isn’t really in our ‘sphere of influence’, as much as South America is. (Boy, have we screwed over South America in the past.) Perhaps a statement about ethnic cleansing? I want to help all the nations of the world. I’m not sure if we should. After all, they’re sovereign, as well.

Well, I suspect “Fiscally conservative” might just fall under any disenfranchised Republican’s wish list.

One out of two ain’t bad.

Teddy Roosevelt, you say? Bully! Sign me up.

Can I play? I’m an independent much more inclined to vote Democratic than Republican, but there are a lot of paternalistic BigBrotherly things that Democratic politicians have done that distress me quite a bit, and if we can see eye to eye on economic issues we might have lots of turf in common.

• Thought crimes, hate speech, and other forms of mindless “this act is evil because we already know what thinking had to prompt it” kinds of laws, policies, and even attitudes. Ugh. Hardly an improvement over the worst of social-conservative censorship efforts.

• The whole “nobody, ever, should, under any circumstances, be at risk for anything bad ever happening to them, and if it does somebody ought to be held responsible” bullshit. Overprotectivism writ large, ranging from removing playground equipment from elementary school playgrounds to preventing people from ordering their own medical tests without the parental oversight of a physicial agreeing that they can know these things. Rampant liability lawsuits and the social atmosphere they have spawned. Etc. Oh please.

• The mindless uncontemplative social justice “there are categories of leftout people who need to be protected from oppression and we need to make things up to them, and we know all of the applicable categories and they are invariably and always applicable and permanently so” stuff. Not just because of the unfairness to white male anglosaxon middleclass hetero able-bodied dudes in general, but also because of the insistent assumption that we’ve found all the possible categories and identified them so therefore you could not possibly be a white male anglosaxon middleclass hetero able-bodied victim of categorical oppression. And of course the pernicious notion that no progress will ever be made so all categories and remedies are permanent. C’mon, folks.

• My personal political axe to grind is psychiatric oppression. Liberal politicians, having long ago embraced the notion that it’s more empowering to view us as ‘sick’ and in need of being felt sorry for than to view us as dangerous misbehaving nuts who need to be locked up for everone else’s protection, are often less protective than Republicans & other conservatives of our rights to be as eccentric and nutty as we want as long as we aren’t breaking any laws. Liberal Democrats are quick on general theory of civil rights and pluralism, but whisper “schizophrenic” to them and they’ll rush to support involuntary psychiatric screening and obligatory treatment as fast as anyone.

So I like seeing perturbed & dissatisfied Republicans and conservatives talking about a new party more explicitly founded on personal freedoms and opposing the coercive elements in modern social conservatism, and seeking to return policy to an “everyone is the same in the eyes of the government” kind of basis.

On the economic stuff, I want a balanced budget, and I’d even like to see small but persistent payments against the national debt. I do not believe there is any validity to a redistributivist policy (a la marxism), i.e., undoing the capitalist distribution of wealth by having the government play Robin Hood as aggressively as possible. I do, however, think government has a role, and plenty of room for a role, providing services to citizens that are desirable as services but which aren’t profitable for private enterprises to offer. In many cases I am largely in agreement with the Democratic Party’s recent (last 15 years) priorities regarding what services the government ought to try to offer, and as a taxpayer taking a decent tax hit already I’m willing to have more of my paycheck go to taxes if it’s for services that are well-conceived, important, and efficiently implemented.

Is there room for such as me in this new tent?

I was waiting for someone to say that. Tell me what’s more American than Arnhuld? Came to America with, if not nothing, fairly little, made himself a household name, rich and famous, even married into the Kennedy clan? Heck, he even has a skeleton or two in his closet. (Porn pictures, hitler jokes) He may not have been born here, and I don’t support the amendment, but I certainly salute him as an all-american kind of person. And right now, he is the voice and name of the more libertarian side of the Republican Party.

Oh, Ahunter3, everyone can play. I’m just feeling obliged to review and prune stuff if it doesn’t match the broad guidelines. Joe Lieberman is disinvited, however, as exactly the wrong sort of person in this party. So… hell yeah, jump aboard.
Just remember: Personal freedoms. Conservative fiscally. Reduction of government. If you can combine all three (Legalize pot, save money on the DEA, tax it, earn money on tax stamps, fewer people in prison) so much the better.

Hm. More broad stabs. Space is good. NASA is effed up. Science is good. Atomic Energy is underdeveloped. Stem Cell Research may save Medicaid money in the future. Social Security is effed up, but can possibly be controlled. The govenment is not Big Brother and it’s not your mommy, either. However, healthcare is generally in the national interest. This does not mean socialized medicine, it means that the drug companies are supplying something in the national interest and shouldn’t expect to get away with murder. Competition is good and healthy. Monopoly leads to strangulation. Less regulation, clearer rules, and bigger penalties when the clear regulations are broken.

Oh, and add a slight isolationist bent to this. We are citizens of the world, but we are citizens of America first. Doing what is right for this country, now and in the future, takes priority. Reduce benefits for outsourcing, to start with. I’ll steal that right from Kerry without any shame. In addition, try to help Mexico out and bring it into the first world. This’ll solve many of our security issues in and of itself. Perhaps try to move outsourcing from India to Mexico. There’s fewer people there, and environmental improvements there will reflect back to the USA.

burundi and I were talking last night about how delicious it would be for Tom DeLay’s next race to be against Willie Nelson. Not that Willie is anywhere foolish enough to want to be in Congress, but how sweet that would be.

Would Willie be welcome in your party?

Well, I’m sure he’d be welcome to play for an event, but pot is not the focus of this party. It’s simply a simply grasped example of how the goals differ from both the Libertarian and Republican party, while staying true to the spirit of both.
Truthfully, while I’m aware of many stories of Willie as a wonderful person, and I seem to recall he was a guiding spirit behind… Farm Aid? I’m not that informed about his politics. I do recall his tax issues, though. I’m also not sure John McCain would really want to join. Colin Powell, according to what I read in his book, might, were he not a loyal man first.

George Carlin, however, is just the sort of suspicious and outraged bastard I wouldn’t mind having around. He’d certainly disagree with us on many things, but the essential honesty of the man is the goal we’re looking for.

I’d also, for example, really welcome Al Gore, for his known experience in laying the hatchet down. Same goes for Bernard Kerik. What he did to the NYPD, by implementing metrics and examining trends, was nothing short of revolutionary. He is the man, as I understand it, that turned the city around. (Guliani’s book)

Oh, yes. Scandals. This is to remain a goal-oriented party. If a man has personal scandals, this does not mean he can not be used. It means that his word must be taken, and he must be notified that he will be held to it.

Strikes me as a Republican-In-Name-Only. Even for the ‘good’ Republican stuff. The guy is a liberal Democrat AFAIC.

Kerik did not become police chief until 2000, at the end of a ten year drop in crime rates in NYC. While he wasn’t a bad police commisioner, it’s a bit disingenous to give him much credit for turning NYC around from the crime ridden hellhole it was in the '80’s.

Sounds like your essentially a soft Libertarian. Why not just compromise a bit less and go that route? I’ve been giving it serious thought myself, to be honest. It seems whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, eventually you’re going to find yourself unhappy with Washington, and the more power resides inside the Beltway, they less happy you’ll be. Perhaps the Libs are at least partially right: When it comes to centralized national govt., on balance, less is more. Give more power to the states, and act locally. A lot of the Wilsonian nonsense you and I are both uncomfortable with essentially goes away, then, no matter how interventionist a particular Wash. Pol. feels like being.

Kerik took the job in 2000? In which case, I am thinking of someone else. My copy of the book is… I believe my father borrowed it and then lent it to someone else.

I am, in fact, not a soft libertarian. I am theoretically a hard libertarian. But I realize and accept that the libertarian platform is completely unacceptable in these modern united states, and impossible to implement in any less than a fifty to seventy year increment.

The Libertarian party will not become a major party any time soon, if it continues to run tax evaders for president. It is the counterpart of the Greens, equally unacceptable to the country as a whole. Frankly, at least the meetings I’ve gone to, the persons acted as if they were in high school, more concerned about scoring points off each other than anything else.

Not that this is any different than any of the other parties.

Still, I remain a Republican, but of the sort who A: wants to be left the hell alone, and B: wants to excise the parasitic Neo-Cons and Moral Majority sorts from the party. This is a fumble-fingered effort to see what the results are, to create a well designed political philosophy of a more perfect sort.

I think I started a similar thread to this a year or two ago. Do you want this party to be successful? If so, it has to occupy the center, while picking up people from both the Democratic party and the Republican party. That’s not going to be easy, but let’s see what we can do:

  1. Ixnay on the gun control. It’s a political loser. So this new party is going to re-affirm gun ownership.

  2. Federalism. We could defuse issues like gun control, gay marriage, pot legalization, adn even abortion by advocating the true conservative states’ rights argument. De-federalize these wedge issues so that they can be removed from the platform entirely. Emphasize the desirability of states being able to decide for themselves which drugs they want legalized if any, and who can get married.

  3. Fiscal responsibility. There are enough disaffected Republicans and Democrats who are sick of big spending that you could appeal to a lot of people with a strong fiscal responsibility message. However…

  4. Taxes. Here’s a problem. Advocate tax hikes, and you’ll lose the Republicans. Advocate tax cuts, and you’ll lose the Democrats. So perhaps we need to think outside the box - tie tax hikes to spending cuts. In other words, recognize that a government shortfall is as much a spending problem as a revenue problem. So any increases in taxes must be met by an equivalent decrease in government spending.

  5. Tough on terror, strong on the military. The Libertarians screwed themselves by adopting a pacifist approach in the last election cycle. Many libertarian-leaning people fled the party because they thought this was totally unrealistic.

  6. Reasonableness on religion. Recognize that the extremes on both sides of the argument have gone too far. Fight to allow religious groups to have access to school facilities after hours. Oppose removing ‘under god’ from the pledge. Support faith-based initiatives where they have shown to be useful. But otherwise keep government out of religion.

  7. Strong science and research bent. Support stem cell research. Maintain an open position on therapeutic cloning. Support increased funds for the NiH, the NSF, and NASA. Focus on the positive role science and technology will play in shaping the future.

  8. Be optimistic. This is very important. No one votes for whiners. The Democrats made a tactical error in focusing too much on negative criticism and not enough on a positive, uplifting vision of the future. Be the party that the pragmatists and forward-thinkers want to be part of.

  9. Draft a well known, charismatic leader. Arnie would be a good choice, even if he can’t run for president. Someone like him, anyway.

Sounds pretty good, except I can’t think of anybody for #9.

BG might suggest we call it the Independance Party.