Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Third party perceptions

I was reading an article talking about the GOP going libertarian. Apparently Thaddeus McCotter feels that is the direction the GOP is headed. At the bottom of the article there were many comments about what is libertarian, who might be a true libertarian, and is this truly the direction the GOP is headed. I don’t know if the author or Mr. McCotter truly understand some of what they were referring to since the title refers to this transition to libertarianism as a new world order for the GOP. Some of the comments even discussed how off this comparison was to what is more commonly referred to as the new world order. Overall I wasn’t over whelmed by the article or the expectations for change in the GOP.

I think the GOP is going through some changes with the tea party and I think that will still have more of an impact than libertarianism in the near future. I see many people still viewing the Republican Party as a mainstream party even with the somewhat extreme right wing behavior of the tea party. And that leads us to a problem in creating change in our political system.
I feel people are skeptical of the idea of a third party. Historically third parties have tended to be extreme or fringe parties to the two major parties. Occasionally a movement or individual knocks on the door of coming close to being considered a potential mainstream party or candidacy. Probably the best recent example was Ross Perot. Many people thought he was a bit of an eccentric, but he did garnish more support than any of the current third party choices such as the Libertarian Party or Green Party. The Green Party had a name candidate in Ralph Nader, but even with him on board they could not move the needle on main stream acceptance.
Frequently I mention the Progressive Party of 1912. This has been the most successful party to attract mainstream attention outside of the whole Republican/Democrat history of our country’s politics. Mr. Roosevelt definitely had a major part in that acceptance, however, William Jennings Bryant had been working on developing this alternative for awhile. The fact that President Roosevelt had been somewhat of a maverick anyway helped the populace to accept him making the change to the new party. The other factor that helped the party have some success is people viewed their platform as they would the Democrat or Republican platform, one that was workable and had definitive ideas that they could relate or support.

Generally third parties have been the communist party, the socialist party, hard core right wing parties, and other fringe elements that tend to alienate mainstream Americans. This viewpoint carries forward and even makes it hard for the Libertarians or Green Party to attract widespread support. Some of this maybe because their platforms still carry a bit of perception of fringe policies. For example, the Green Party’s platform is strongly alternative energy which is slowly garnishing more support, but they tend to be very liberal in their social policies. This super liberalism could be alienating moderate Democrats or moderate independent liberals that might support the alternative energy development ideas of the Green Party. The Libertarians shoot themselves in the foot by combining a less government/conservative ideology with a very liberal social policy stance. Mainstream or moderate conservatives to even hard core conservatives are not able to accept this dichotomy to their traditional conservative viewpoints.

The trick then becomes how a third party creates a mainstream following. The obvious answer is to create a mainstream platform. And last year I did make an attempt of a full fledged platform that fulfills mainstream thinking, but moves us past the faults of the current Democrat and Republican Party platforms. Well at least my views of what are their faults. And this is beyond my usual criticisms of both parties having failed us by becoming self serving only. Both parties have come to give lip service only to general ideas, but cannot actually create policy they can enact that actually helps the people the supposedly represent.
The difficulty is having the general populace realize there can be a party that does offer mainstream alternatives to the two current major parties. How would a new party or movement be able to attract attention basically by being bland? And yes I purposefully chose the word bland. Fringe and extremism are exciting, attract attention (even attention that isn’t productive), and cause reactions. Convincing people you are a realistic alternative to the two major parties means you cannot espouse extreme views, but somehow must be viewed as a radical departure from the Democrats and Republicans. Your “noise” has to excite without alienating or scaring off potential voters. You must create new adrenalin in the body politic, yet your message has to resonate as rational, practical, and competitive to the current messages. And most important people have to believe the new party has a chance of being successful. People do not want to support something that others feel isn’t going to work. We do follow the herd.

Based on cursory readings of blogs, posts on political articles, and even some editorials you would think this country is ripe for a party of this nature to take off. And still we continue to support two parties that have lost touch with the country, but somehow carry off the perception they are truly representing us. The perception that only these two parties can be mainstream have allowed them to continue to survive even though any practical evaluation of what they have done for the middle class would suggest they should be long gone.

To me the Republicans survive more recently because of the dynamics of the change the tea party is demanding. This is creating some new press and offers an alternative to a large minority in this country to become involved in politics again. Sooner or later (hopefully) the extremism and bullying they offer will be recognized and more moderate conservatives will either take over the Republican Party again or create a new party. This would then move the tea party more to the fringe in the general public’s eye. The hope would be the moderates would also throw out the current self serving leadership and look for new people to bring about policies that truly support the middle class, smaller government, and less reliance on the Federal government to solve all our problems.
The Democrats have always had the tendency to be a combination of various interest groups that come together every four years to try and find someone who will answer all the issues that meet the needs of the various subgroups within the party. This has become even more pronounced as time goes on. Right now you have groups dominated by single issues which range from the Unions to social issues like gay marriage. This makes it very hard to have a workable platform that addresses just a few problems our country is facing or creates policy that benefits the whole of our country. Obama tried with his health care initiative. Unfortunately this was doomed from the beginning because of heavy lobby involvement from the insurance companies and the intense hatred of Obama himself. And now the policy itself is so convoluted no one understands it, but accept it because it is going to become the way healthcare in our country is administered. One trend to watch is profits for the large insurance companies going forward. If they make good money we are going to be stuck with reform that actually made things worse. It will be much harder for a dynamic third party to replace the Democrat party because of all the competing interests within the current party. I do not see a trimmed down liberal agenda exciting all the subgroups within the party and probably either cause large scale apathy in politics or the splintering of the Democrats into a variety of parties, but none meeting the needs of becoming a competing liberal party. This leads me to believe the Democratic Party is still here to stay for awhile, no matter how self serving their leaders remain. And what frightens me the most is they are all smug about their chances, that they see all their individual visions as some righteous condemnation of the right without realizing they do not truly offer a cohesive policy that can actually help this country.

We need new parties for a variety of reasons. And I hope some of what I have outlined in this post and some of my previous rants on how self serving our two “mainstream” parties have become will inspire others to think. My favorite question right now is: is the middle class better off than they were four decades ago? And if you can see that it isn’t, then why haven’t you looked for alternatives? As I mentioned I once posted a series of posts that have a platform, mostly philosophical, some general practical policy ideas that meet the needs of a more moderate practical view point than what we are hearing today. If I can type up something just as an idea, I feel there is much more to be explored by the people and a viable third party becoming a true mainstream party. The question becomes what would generate the opening of minds to realize that taking a step away from the current mainstream parties would be the most mainstream action this country could take.

A bit of food for thought from an independent conservative fighting the pervasive inaction of my fellow independents, liberal or conservative, on a cool and crisp December evening here in North Texas.

Friday, December 12, 2014

We can respect

I have an appointment this morning and while driving here was listening to the Herd on ESPN. The President was coming on this morning so they were talking about sports and politics, being conservative or liberal and that it didn't matter either way, that if you get a chance to have the President, you have the President on. Collin said he would have any President etc.

I didn't get to hear the President because of my appointment time, but it did get me to thinking. (yes I know thinking is foolish)

I rail pretty hard on our leaders and I think deservedly so. And it is okay as long as it is for their agendas and actions as leaders. I forget sometimes and I feel our society has really forgotten there needs to be a separation of politics from the person. Personally I think Bush and Obama have made huge policy mistakes as President, but if given the opportunity to have lunch with either I hope I could participate in a respectful manner. We take things so personally nowadays and I think it does our country a disservice.

I don't like giving my age away, however I am old enough to have lived through the Nixon era. I was young and all about how tyrannical the government was and we were all in trouble etc..., but I did get the opportunity to travel to D.C a couple of times then and at times I would feel the awe of being in our Nation's capital. Sometimes you have to let our history and who we are as a country come before our individual gripes with a certain politician's opinions etc. So if House Speaker Boehner wants to invite me to lunch I will be glad to go. I might try to respectfully pick his brain so to speak, but still it would be an honor.

This is not a new topic, but I realize how much we have denigrated in the way we talk about our leaders. Maybe if one were to go out and defecate on a National monument then they might deserve a public outcry on them as a person, but otherwise we have lost much civility.

Another thought that is not unique, but applied is we spend so much of our time trying to look good, yet how much time do we spend doing good. The difference here is what separates people that have value and add value from those who are destroying our society from within, but we damn we look good while screwing up.

Granted I will continue to bash leaders from both parties till they start actually representing the people of this country or we get new leaders who do. I hope though, I remember what I have said here and apply my criticisms appropriately.

In the end, are we judged on how we appear or what we did. I hope I strive for the latter.

Have a great weekend.

First we prepare our hearts, then we celebrate our joy.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

spending bill

First of anything that Boehner and Reid agree on must be the biggest piece of self serving bs there is right now.

And more proof positive Congress is full of it: yeah let the bank lobbyists write in what they want. Yep folks the whole country is so well served by that..oh yeah...yeah us....does anyone in Congress have conscious at all.

There is more, but I am on the train and I am trying not go into a major fit here in public or have my brain ooze out of my ears from a meltdown. Not in a position to be removed from the train in a strait jacket screaming and babbking nonsense about how screwed we are. The family does need my paycheck, but the insanity of how inept and self serving Congress can be is just becoming too impossible to comprehend.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Constitution...... Cowboys...its all good

First: The National Constitution Center is pushing out some stories right now about the bill of rights. Today they talk about James Madison and what he wanted to add. Overall they have good information to read. Check it out when you have a chance.

Second: All the local press is discussing how the Cowboys can beat the Eagles etc... What's it gonna take to win.... I haven't read anything yet, but about to get in car so I'm sure I will turn on talk radio to hear somethings. My thoughts are, it is going to take an act of God to help the Cowboys, like maybe a large snowstorm that slows Philly's offense. Then maybe Dallas' original plan of large doses of Murray might work. I always hope for the best for the'boys, but something is going to have to change to give the Cowboys a chance. I still like the Murray idea, if and only if the Eagles are hampered by bad weather, then we have the advantage. I haven't checked the weather yet, but I am praying.

Third: And speaking of defense... Go Mavs, lets hope they can start developing a team defense mentality themselves tonight.

Fourth: no matter what you do, things don't seem to change. Moved this past weekend and last night our water heater broke dow. It is being replaced, but really. Oh well life goes on.

Have a great evening.

Friday, December 5, 2014

We over conform

I think everyone, but a bat would agree the Republican party survives through conformity. Some people might be shocked to hear though so does the Democratic party. Both parties require a blind obedience to certain principles that benefit the parties, but not necessarily the individuals that support the party.

The evidence is that neither party has improved the lot of the middle class over the last fifty years. Both parties will throw out all sorts of rhetoric saying what they have done, but where are the results. Remember when we were asked are you better off now than you were four years ago. Well okay, are you better off now than you were forty years ago. Well the "1 percent" are, however, looking at true spending power, income growth,ability to save etc...even adjusted for time and inflation most of the middle class is weaker than before. If people realize this, then they might be more open to change.

As long as we conform to what others want from us, we will only get what they want, not what we want or need. It takes new ideas, innovations, stepping outside the box to bring about change, and done right positive change. And the goal can be just the simple switch to making the middle class better. You improve the way of life for the majority then everything else falls in line. If your two major parties wanted this, our middle class would be in great shape. Are we? So why do we conform? What do you want?

And as a prime example of what we can do when we innovate:

CONGRATULATIONS NASA on your launch today.

I don't know how we keep NASA going, but thank you to all who do. It is these endeavors that show why the USA can still be great.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

quick Mavs thoughts

Seems like a few people are not happy with Parsons, time to chill.

I hate to speak for a coach, but I think there is some long term planning going on. Carlisle has a very deep bench so he can take his time with incorporating Parson's into the offense.The defense is still a work in progress. I am surprised Crowder isn't out there more. I hope that is because Aminu is coming along and Carlisle can add Crowder as the season develops. Carlisle has one if the few problems a coach can have that they love. How to distribute minutes, a luxury not all coaches get.

I think Carlisle is taking his time developing and being fortunate by winning with what is working now. And as a Mavs fan I am loving it. If this team gets better throughout the year....wow ... they may really surprise and tick off all the haters.

On a secondary note Black Friday sales were down, sounds like everyone took my advice and stayed home. (ha ha ha)

Seems like there is way too much going on in this world for this trivia stuff, but I do enjoy my teams. Lets all hope that one day we can all find Peace.

You have to prepare before you can celebrate.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Friday night

And now it is Saturday morning...... and haven't been to the mall (yet)

Through a strange series of events la Senora y yo had hi-ball-litas con Crown Royal and watched the two benefit concerts John Lennon and George Harrison did in the early seventies.

It was always a shame that John never toured and especially a loss overall with him. I hate to say this, but John's show needed more rehearsal.

And for the concert for Bangladesh how ironic you have George, Ringo, Eric Clapton, etc, but no Rolling Stones, yet they were indirectly involved by the Hollyword Horns (their horn section when they toured featuring Jim Horn) and Leon Russell jamming Jumoin Jack Flash. What a way to get recognized without doing anything.

And more "how many people must die, before there are too many dead" an iconic line for this concert from a great song. Did Mr. Zimmerman pick this song with this line in mind?

Anyway it was fun to watch both shows,lots of memories

and great songs.

And I forgot to mention , how many people must die, hunger is still killing millions and we do have the resources and capabilities to fight. Too many are dying still