Why the “Future Party”?

We realize the members of the new party  will ultimately arrive at permanent probably grander name, but we needed a working label. By focusing on the future we hoped to leave behind some of the historical baggage standing in the way of progress.  It seems we as a nation keep singing “another someone done someone wrong song.”  Various minorities seeking the end of white privilege, women retribution on men for a catalogue of miseries and Asians wondering how they arrived at a place where everybody else takes it out on them.  Most of those indicted for group offenses feel they personally did nothing wrong but they and theirs face paying a price anyway..  The truth is everyone has a grievance against someone over something in the past.  This isn’t to minimize past horrors, just the realization exacting a price from the innocent just creates more animosity. Descendants of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe coming well after the civil war called on to pay for the sins of slavery or worse children of Vietnamese boat people forced to surrender their rightful place at a top University may feel unfairly singled out..   Grievance begets grievance in an endless cycle.  While arguing over how to achieve the impossible task of evening up the  score for everyone’s past, we can’t move on to solving  our  present and future problems. In any case our two major parties have made the politics of grievance and reaction into an art form.  No one is going to outdo these two masters in appealing to the aggrieved. Rather than being mired in the past, listen to the words of  Nelson Mandala, “Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.”

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Healthcare Update and why Dave’s Plan is Best

“Medicare for all would cost $32 trillion” ,”stripped down low-cost policies now available”,  “Obamacare loses pre-existing condition protections”, “Democrats will highlight Healthcare in the mid-terms” and “House bill allows for more Health Savings Account (HSA) Flexibility”.  Healthcare has been in the news lately and in political campaigns signifying  noise but little forward motion.  Democrats in many of the mid-term races are making healthcare a centerpiece.  What that means varies between  bailing out Obamacare to Medicare for All.  By easing requirements to cover pre-existing condition and allowing stripped down short-term health policies the administration further destabilized the already wobbly Obamacare.  What these efforts won’t do is bring us closer to a workable health policy.  Just more nails in the Obamacare  coffin without replacing it with a workable healthcare plan.

Charging into the breach, progressives led by Sen. Bernie Sanders and his young Congressional candidate companion, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with their plan to save the day, Medicare for All.  The idea is everybody loves Medicare so let’s give it to everybody.  On the face of it, it would seem a poor idea to add millions and millions of people to a program that no longer is keeping its head above water.  Adding to the idea’s questionable fiscal sanity was a report by Charles Blahous of Mercatus Center at George Mason University showing the plan would  add $32.6 trillion over the first decade of Medicare for All.  Not deterred, Sen. Sanders and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez proffered Blahous’s report actually shows when all healthcare costs are figured in Medicare for All is a great bargain.  Mr. Blahous apparently wasn’t amused and took to the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page to show that this clearly was untrue.  Citing not only his work but other concurring studies he laid waste to the Sanders-Ocasio-Cortez talking points.  One would think that would be the end of their use of his report in their talking points, but you would be wrong.  Days after the OP-Ed was published, MS. Ocasio-Cortez appeared on Chris Cuomo’s CNN prime-time show and repeated the same discredited talking point that Blahous’s report shows Medicare for All is a bargain.  Of course Chris Cuomo brought up Blahous’ refutation of everything she was saying. Wrong.  He sat there never uttering a question or fact.  Now in show prep for her appearance this WSJ OP-Ed surely would’ve come up. We always thought Cuomo was a dim bulb but where were the producers?  Cuomo just thanked Ocasio-Cortez  profusely  for her appearance and  insights.  Apparently Bernie and Alexandria will repeat this refuted talking point at every opportunity. Such is the state our healthcare discussion.

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Organize Now. Candidates Later

Some question our suggestion the Future Party start with building organizations in every state led by experienced political workers supported by eager volunteers.  Once established, candidates can then vie in the conventions for the party’s Nominations.  We are well aware of the fact that successful new parties have been built around a personality such as Macron in France and Beppe Grillo in Italy.  The problem is we already have gone down that road with Donald Trump’s take over of the Republican Party.   We feel the best counter to a personality cult party is to offer an alternative. Instead of a disruptive erratic leader, offer quiet competence and solid policies.  After four or god forbid eight years of constant noise and acrimony on both sides, the country just might be tired of it. The better bet for a new party is to offer something quite different.  Further, whatever name personalities out front in the beginning may define the party in ways that turn off would be adherents. The better way is provide a framework potential candidates can see themselves coming out on top in what would initially be three-way races.  If potential candidates see a path forward they will come.  Think of each our two major parties as rivers fed by an extreme stream and a more moderate stream.  Now, mainly do to the primary system and extremes dominating the media, the moderate streams are dammed and out of the flow. Like water, the build up of blocked talented people will find somewhere to go if exists.  We just have to provide a way for these moderate streams to come together to form a mighty new river.

Another criticism is the lack of a statement of principles or platform.  We believe people will gravitate to the Future Party because they are convinced their present extreme parties are headed in the wrong direction and are incapable of solving our pressing problems. Many present independents have already came to that conclusion. Out of control spending, a badly broken immigration system, individual concerns over healthcare and parental leave issues and our political and economic relationship with the rest of the world are just some issues the two present parties have failed to positively address. On these issues there is wide agreement on general principles needed to resolve the problems.  Better to let the new party members themselves come together on a platform they feel they can succeed on. By coming together they would show they can come up with workable plans.  This could appeal to a majority of American and would show the nation who the adults in the room are.  Also, if we set forth a platform in advance we stand to turn off a wide swath of potential party members.

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Today is Bizarre. What about Tomorrow?

In our last post, Future Party 5, we mentioned Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul bending over for President Trump. Some thought I was being much too harsh especially when it came to Sen. Paul.  Now that any interested party can access his interviews and statements since the Helsinki Summit, they might think we weren’t severe enough.  How the supposedly libertarian leaning Senator became a top Trump defender is a case study in a politician putting survival over principle.  After all, what is more central to libertarianism than free markets and trade.  The man he now finds he must regularly defend is a fan of neither.  Both Paul and Graham represent heavily pro- Trump states and the specter of an over-the-top Trumpster running against them in the next primary causing them to  either lose in the primary or being weakened and financially drained enough to be toast in the general election has made them go places far out  from their perceived character.

Of course, this political movement under duress isn’t just confined to Republicans.  The present trials of long time Democrat California Senator Diane Feinstein are illustrative.  She has to run for her seat  in the general election against a far left opponent she handily beat in the primary who actually has the party endorsement and designation on the ballot.  We know this sounds odd but that’s the way they do things in the Golden State.  The top two primary candidates regardless of party face off in the general.  As the Republicans in statewide races are as extinct as the Dodo Bird,that means the top two Democrats. Already we’re seeing Feinstein rapidly moving further left than she ever has been. As we have pointed out in the past, primaries sound good in theory but have been increasingly disastrous in practice.  One can argue whether primaries are to blame for our divided nation, but there is no doubt it empowers the extremes in both parties.  California just has found a way to make them even worse.

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Future Party 5

It’s interesting how knowledgeable people can come up with simple fix for  our dysfunctional political system.  Simply vote for the other party’s candidates.  Now that will change things. Don’t laugh. This has been proposed by a number of our political intellectuals.  Smart people such as Max Boot have stated this is in fact what they’re  going to do and have urged others to do the same.  After all, many small government, free trade, outward looking, pro immigration and fiscally conservative people have already left the Republican Party.  What do they do now? Across the aisle how do Senator Chris Coons and his New Democracy Democrat friends stem their party’s race to far left. By voting Republican? The thinking seems to be when the party, Republican or Democrat, loses big time at the polls people will see the error of their ways and line up behind these spurned leaders to bring them back into the light.  Well, the Democrats have had a string of defeats leaving them in control of little of anything, but they moved even further left..  Instead of getting to work on policies to solve our growing problems, Sen. Coons and others are helplessly watching their party march to the extreme.

Do non-Trumpist Republicans, former and present really think a big Democratic victory will restore them to power? In our elections the moderates on either side are the major casualties.  The more extreme are generally in safe states or districts.  This in turn gives them even more say in their parties. The strange thing is we can imagine Sen. Coons and his New Democracy associates sitting down with Paul Ryan and like-minded Republicans and working amiably towards some solutions to major problems.  Take entitlements. It isn’t to hard to envision a conference using the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles Commission Plan as a basis for entitlement reform and being warmly attended by all these politicians.  What you can’t contemplate is Trump, Bernie Sanders or even Obama attending.  After all, Obama set up the commission and then turned his back on it. This  just how shows distant many of our politicians are from their own parties.  More important these politicians represent millions of our citizens and they’re leaving them without a say in the future of our country.  If you aren’t representing your constituents what are you actually doing?

In truth then, many Republican and Democrat politicians are closer on the major issues to each other than their own party.  We have seen this in the recent bi-partisan Senate vote rebuking the President on tariffs.  Yet going forward they most likely will be forced to choose between keeping President Trump or voting for a candidate.espousing  far left positions.   Don’t think Democratic candidates will be pushed far left?  Just remember Hillary Clinton abandoning her own hard work and opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership.  Think how many of those Senators voting against Trump on tariffs favor treaties such as TPP  and expanded trade. They will have no like-minded Presidential candidate to support.  As we have pointed out, Trump and the far left agree on most major issues in actions and inaction .  Don’t those with other ideas  deserve a choice? More important don’t their supporters warrant one?

It’s hard to see how just saying “I support this but not that” when you know you are furthering policies and attitudes you really don’t support. Do Republicans really think they can avoid association with the ugliness associated with Trump?  Do Democrats think they can avoid the perception of favoring open border’s and socialist policies? Even now we can’t see Senators Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham in the same light as before they bent over for President Trump. Senator Coons and his friends can make noises but if nothing changes, in the end they’ll roll over and support candidates espousing far left positions.

Yes, we’ve heard the “I don’t like a lot things my leaders are doing, but look at…” defense before. For the Republicans its look at the tax cuts, reining in of regulations and appointment of conservative judges.” For the Democrats, look at “healthcare, our diversity and everyone in the world loves Obama.” These of course are “but he made the trains run on time” defense of Mussolini.  Ignore Trump’s destruction of our International Systems so carefully developed over the decades.  His leanings toward what some people call crony capitalism, but what  we call anti-capitalism. Tariffs by their very nature favor some over the interests of others. Attacking some businesses and their leaders, while praising others has nothing to do with capitalism. In fact, it is the opposite. His basic ugliness contributes greatly to the polarization in the nation.  For the Democrats ignore “the fact that their healthcare Plan is unworkable, being liked never translated  in a safer world, and failure to back up his line in the sand was a gift to our enemies and an alarm to our friends.” Both Trump and Obama have refused to tackle major problems.  At some point you have to see the direction you’re being led and decide if this is anywhere you want to go.

Maybe they’ll continue deluding themselves by waiting around for things to change and thinking they won’t be tainted by their present party.  But at some point they are going   to realize they have to go in another direction.  One giving them a future and the people a choice.  It’s hard work building a Future Party but if you think about it , what really is your choice?