We Need a Third Party Think Tank…
How to Build a New Party
In Brief: A viable new party will identify groups that aren't well served by existing parties, and will build coalitions between them.
Democratic & Republican Constituencies:
You may not agree with the makeup of these lists. We could argue about it—but let's not. This discussion is intended to illustrate how a third party might form constituencies; the lists will work for that discussion.
These groupings are generalized. Of course, not every African-American or every woman votes Democratic, and not every business person votes Republican. But the parties have allied with these constituencies. In some cases, the constituencies have chosen the parties, rather than the other way around, but party rhetoric, and party policy speak directly to these groups. The parties always try to create the impression that they serve the interests of these groups.
It's also important to understand that the following example is hypothetical, meant only as an illustration. Later in this article, we'll talk about how to actually implement these ideas.
Notice that the Democratic list includes unionized labor, not all working people. And the Republican list has five different business constituencies. The reason for the five business groups is simply that these business categories don't have the same interests. Oh, they may have some needs in common, but consider this question: do Wal-Mart, a neighborhood merchant, and a massive multi-national corporation have the same interests? Of course not.
We can make a similar analysis of working people as a constituency. What serves labor unions may not be particularly helpful to non-union workers.
Now look at how the two major parties serve these constituencies. Organized labor is huge in the Democratic party. Unions contribute massive amounts of money to the Democrats, and their members work hard in the party. The party certainly works to serve the interests of the unions. But if the needs of non-union workers on some particular issue are at odds with the needs of the unions, who gets served? The unions, of course. And non-union laborers are left without a voice. The Republican Party won't help them much.
Then, let's consider whether and how the Republican party serves big business (more than 1,000 employees) and very small business (fewer than fifty employees—most with fewer than a dozen). If there's a conflict between those constituencies, who gets served? Big business, of course. Who gets left out? Very small business. It's simple.
A Hypothetical Example of Constituency Molding
Are the Democrats ever going to make ordinary working people a top priority? They'll say that they do—but they don't—and they won't!
Will the Republicans ever align themselves with very small businesses to the disinterest of big business? They'll talk as if they do—but they don't—and they won't!
What Is Possible?
What would happen? That party would have two large and loyal constituencies. And the Republican and Democratic parties would lose those votes. It could change everything!
A Research Outline
Then Everything Can Change
Please Speak Up…
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The political saga of the past several years has brought changes across the polical spectrum. It has not, however, changed the fundamental principles expressed on these pages.
Some of the pages have been revised, and some await revision, to add content and to update specific references to parties, events, etc. While that revision proceeds, please read the information posted here for its fundamental ideas and principles.
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