Periodically there comes a thrust for a new political party in the US system. Many remember Ross Perot and Ralph Nader in this context. The organizational results are mixed and the new parties are for all practical purposes, evanescent. The problem has been, in my view, that these populist efforts tend to unite, for whatever duration, around single themes (national referendums or environmentalism, for example) and are in no way revolutionary enough to find broad support. Thus, they fade in impact because the fundamental underpinnings are weak.
I’ve heard some speculation that the “tea party” protests could motivate the formation of a new political party. If that should happen, one can only hope that it would represent a real alternative with a fundamental platform. The protests were I understand largely peaceful and represented a cross-section of Americans united by a common concern for outrageous spending by and growth in government. Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated were all represented.
Embracing a view of government as a service paid for by taxes, with regularly balanced budgets and imposing few barriers to movement of people and capital would be an excellent starting point. In the founding tradition the fundamental platform ought to be individual rights and therefore political freedom: the extremely restricted use of coercion by government. It should also emphasize the separation of politics and economics, since the intervention by government in economics is fundamentally an intervention in the lives of individuals.
Naming the party should be easy. Why not the “TEA Party”? Toward Emancipation for All!
Copyright 2009 Edward Podritske