I personally despise politics. Unfortunately, politics is a necessary evil in a complex society like ours. And since democracy is pretty much the least-bad system of politics anyone has devised, I feel a certain degree of obligation when it comes to participating — reluctantly — in the democratic process.
Problem is, much like Treebeard/Fangorn , I'm not really on anyone's side, because no one is really on my side. I actually happen to believe that all human beings have the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness pretty much however they like. That they shouldn't have to sacrifice their freedom on the altar of anyone else's ideology or greed. And that politics is supposed to be about figuring out how to ensure that everyone, everywhere, gets to be free too.
The whole conservative/liberal, democrat/republican thing, holds no appeal for me. Pointless false dichotomy, with two coalitions of wealthy and powerful types struggling for control of the Imperial Capitol in D.C., so they can continue to accumulate wealth and power. But the way the US electoral system is structured, a 2-party system is basically inevitable in the long term, and so the only non-major party "alternatives" are kooky ideological groups like the greens or libertarians (both of which I've been a member of in the past) or one of the other even more ineffectual protest parties.
Americans desperately need a competent third party. So, as an intellectual challenge, I've decided to construct the basic platform and mission statement for a political party I call the Pacific National Party. My goal is to come up with a sane, rational, informed platform that can in theory appeal to 2/3 of Americans — a Constitutional Majority, which is what we will ultimately need to come up a solution that can let us all move forward, and stop wasting so much time and energy dealing with D.C.'s terminal dysfunction.
But here's the twist: because the United States is so large, and so diverse, I don't think it is actually possible (or desirable) to build one 3rd-party capable of appealing to 2/3 of all Americans. Instead, I think what we need is multiple, regional 3rd Parties, all operating independently but in pursuit of the same basic objective: end the democrats' and republicans' hegemony in D.C., and force through reforms — whatever reforms can muster the support of a Constitutional Majority — that let this country move forward.
So without further explanation, here's the Party I'd like to build. Anyone got a couple billion dollars to spare to get it done?
Pacific National Party Platform
The Objective: Enact a Constitutional Amendment allowing groups of states the right to demand and receive full devolution of federal authority, including the right to interpret and amend the Constitution of the United States according to the will of their citizens.
The Goal: Reform the Federal Government of the United States to function as a supra-national capitol with limited powers. Groups of states will form regional federal governments directly accountable to the citizens within their jurisdiction. This allows Americans, who agree on the legitimacy of the Constitution but not how to interpret it, the right to go their own way. In effect, the existing federal government is ported down as-is to a set of new regional capitols, similar to how Australia, New Zealand, and Canada slowly became independent from the United Kingdom, without having to launch a revolution.
The Promise: Freedom for all Americans to seek their own political arrangement under the shared principles of the United States Constitution, keeping the resulting nations economically and politically associated, but independent.
The Dream: To make America great by setting us all free from the dysfunctional disaster that the White House and Congress have become.
- Build a non-partisan, centrist, minimalist governance structure committed to transparency
- Initiate partnerships with public and private organizations to pursue funding and outreach opportunities
- Develop a comprehensive slate of affiliated candidates and reliable allies to support in upcoming federal elections
- Control the federal congressional delegations of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, and Alaska by 2020
- Run a presidential candidate capable of securing the electoral votes in these six states in 2020
- Support a similar, independent "True Conservative" party capable of controlling six to ten states' electoral votes and congressional delegations by 2020
- In alliance with these True Conservatives, prevent any politically extreme presidential candidate from winning the 2020 election
- Formally pursue the Constitutional Amendment process to complete the Pacific National Party's primary objective
- Post-devolution, pursue Constitutional reforms in line with the Ten Pillars below
Maximum Local Autonomy - "A Nation of Communities"
- We must embrace County and City level governance of social and cultural issues to the greatest degree possible
- State and Federal level should set global standards, with responsibility for implementation kept local wherever feasible
Social Security Guarantee - "A Fair Society for Everyone"
- Livelihood, Safety, Housing, Healthcare, & Education are all basic human rights, universal access to them is the mark of a decent society
- Society is only sustainable over the long term when no individual or group is disproportionately or arbitraily denied their basic rights
Free Market Economy - "Opportunity for All"
- Innovation & competitiveness are essential for ensuring prosperity in the modern global economy
- Barriers to market entry, concentrations of market power, collusion, and rent-seeking all threaten innovation & competitiveness
Pacific Trade Alliance - "Fair Trade for All"
- Trade is at the heart of the global economy and our collective prosperity in the Pacific
- Trade agreements must be reformed to protect vulnerable populations while removing unnecessary barriers
Stable Common Environment - "Only One Earth"
- A healthy economy and society are only possible if environmental conditions remain within certain bounds
- We must participate in and improve on the Paris Accord, embracing a renewables-driven, efficient economy as quickly as possible
Embrace Immigrants and Refugees - "Strength Through Diversity"
- The Pacific States are predominantly populated by immigrants and refugees, and are vibrant because of this heritage
- We require an open, transparent, and consistent Visa system, pathway to formal Citizenship, and guarantee of residents' basic rights
An R&D Economy - "Prosperity Through Knowledge"
- The solutions to humanity's most pressing crisis are to be found in wise and rapid uptake of new technologies
- Our National Security and National Interest is better served by investing dollars in research than in weapons
Honorable Foreign Policy - "Peace and Democracy"
- Seek negotiated settlement to all outstanding territorial disputes in the Pacific in exchange for a reduced American military presence in Asia
- Pursue multilateral arms limitation and reduction efforts to reduce the threat of conventional or nuclear conflict
Parity With China - "Deterrence with Mutual Respect"
- Maintain sufficient naval and aviation assets to match Chinese power-projection capabilities at the "First Island Chain"
- Re-invest in our Pacific partners, forming a Pacific Alliance with a collaborative defense industry and military infrastructure
An American Commonwealth - "One America Among Many"
- Though politically sovereign, the Pacific States will remain in perpetual accord and alliance with the other nations of America
- We will continue to serve as America's Pacific Gateway, and guard the interests of America in the Pacific