Third Party Healing

Today Republicans and Democrats hold primaries for the nomination of President of the United States in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri. It is possible that Hillary Rodham Clinton will secure her party’s nomination at the end of today’s voting. However, it is very unlikely that the Republican Party will accomplish the same. Even if Donald Trump sweeps all states, he still will need over 50% of the remaining delegates to be selected as the GOP nominee. What is just as likely is that Governor John Kasich will win his home state of Ohio. If this occurs, Donald Trump will need 63% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination. Either result could take the GOP down the valley to a brokered convention. The current debate among activists of different persuasions is whether it is time for a third party. The answer may be yes, but not for the reasons of conventional wisdom.

There are meetings being held around the country at the writing of this report to pursue a strategy of a third party to seek a candidate who is in line with a particular political philosophy. That is not what our country needs. That will only further deepen and exacerbate the political divides. What is needed is a third party transitional healing process.

The political divisions of the United States today, including the ideologies of all political parties, are now in direct conflict with each other. They cannot be reconciled. Because of the tenor of the Presidential discourse, the poor feel oppressed and taken advantage of by the rich. The rich feel abused and attacked by a class of people who refuse to work. Minorities feel that true justice escapes them. Non-minorities feel that there is no accountability among citizens. A generally angry mix of people feel that their government and their elected officials have abandoned them to special interests and that they are bought and paid for by those special interests. As long as the debate is conducted along these chasms, any bridge across the divide becomes too far.

A bridge is the wrong metaphor. The proper metaphor is a staircase to a higher plateau that combines the foundation of all political ideologies.  If the current invectiveness of presidential dialogue continues along this path, physical riots may ensue and no compromise candidate will be achieved. It is not enough to say that Donald Trump’s rallies have become incendiary. It also is not helpful when Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders dismiss the anger of the American electorate by stating that Trump’s protocol will lead to destruction without addressing the emotion of the anger. Both Hillary and Bernie are lifelong participants in the government that is perceived by a large segment of society as a failure.

What is absent from the overall presidential conversation is a definition of citizen responsibility. Republicans speak of a society wherein individuals should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They imply that the pursuit of happiness and opportunity are to take whatever course an individual may render. Statement is given at times in support of the needy. Yet it is not genuinely felt by those in need that these statements come from the heart. On the other hand, Democrats seek government assistance for an ever increasing segment of society without any accountability for those citizens or an individual’s obligation to take care of themselves. They believe that any citizen who makes more than an average salary is somehow stealing from the system and owes that amount above the average back to the government. It is called redistribution of wealth without accountability for those who receive the redistribution.

The United States of America is not homogeneous. It is not that we are just different in ethnicity. We have differences in culture, differences in religious beliefs, and we have differences in priorities. But if we are to survive as a Nation, we should not have differences in principles. It is critical that the next half of the presidential primary season ask, explore and dissect the concept of citizen responsibility. If the rich are to pay more taxes, how does that develop a national character? If the needy become more responsible for their own wellbeing, how does that develop national character? But the most important question is – what is our citizen responsibility to each other across economic, ethnic, gender, and religious lines to develop national character?

We do not need a third party to further define our differences. If a third party is to emerge, it should be based on the healing factors of common sense and common ground. A third party platform should pursue the definition of the purpose of the United States of America and what it means individually and collectively to the citizens of the United States. This party should advocate a transitional one-term president. In this one term, he or she would call for joint sacrifice to balance the budget, make payment on the national debt, restructure the federal government to better serve the needs of the states, and execute a foreign policy consistent with the principles held by the United States.

The above objectives could be accomplished with reasonable sacrifice and adjustments. The government can be cut 10%. Programs for those in true need can be maintained whole.  Programs could be implemented one time over a four year period to stabilize our economy, our educational systems, and our families.

This party would call for citizen responsibility by challenging all Americans to give back to their country two years as a volunteer. This could not be achieved in just four years, but it could be initiated. The generation of people age 18-65 could decide in a national discussion how they would participate in support of their country for two years. Israel does it. Switzerland does it. Those who say it is Pollyanna-ish to think that America could do it are not being fair. It requires will. We have been too blessed with too many resources, too convenient for too long, to really consider the prospect of giving anything back. Exceptions to this commitment would be those who have served in the military, those who have served in law enforcement, as first responders, and classroom teachers. They have already shown their commitment to their country based upon the service of their profession. There may be others who should also be excluded, but most of us still have dues to pay to our country and to each other.

An example of citizen responsibility would include how we treat the next generation. This third party would call for a new imperative for the support and discipline of our children. A new commitment should be made to early childhood development. Every child requires an equal start in education. We should then further discipline and require our children to graduate from high school. As a country, we should not tolerate high school dropouts. It is not a choice. Of course, there will be a need for special training. Waivers would be available. But it should be the definition of a national character that we require every able-bodied person to graduate from high school in some capacity. Certain government services would not be available to able-bodied citizens who failed to acquire a GED or vocational-technical equivalent.

If a third party is to emerge, what is needed now is a third party for the Re-Set of America. A time-out, if you will, for four years while we do what is necessary to course correct the ship of state. This party would call for a national convention on priorities. It would convene within two years of start of this transitional presidency. Delegates from all parties and all ideologies would attend. You would literally come as you are and bring what you have. This convention would then set priorities to be funded pursuant to a balanced budget. All would participate in the decision. Congress would then be required to submit a balanced budget annually, based on the priorities that define us as a country. This budget would be due by law within 100 days of the inauguration of every President.

There has been much discussion about how business as usual will lead to financial and societal destruction of our country. Further debate along the battle lines currently being exercised by the presidential candidates will also lead to the same calamitous outcome.

The dissention of America has reached a boiling point. It is time for a National Re-Set – a Re-Set of values, a Re-Set of principles, a Re-Set of Purpose. It is time to Re-Set our commitment to each other and the generations to follow.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?