Here’s the working premise of this post; If you wanted to design a successful third party, what would it look like? This is NOT what I would want in a political party, though some of the views might (or might not!) coincide with my own. So, keep that in mind and feel free to complain anyway. I thrive on attention, positive or negative.
Defense: The tide of public opinion has plainly turned against a continued military presence in SW Asia (principally Afghanistan these days). The desire to cheer the troops and revel in the glory of continued military technological superiority continues, however. A successful approach would be to resurrect the former conservative value of ‘National Interest’. Remember how cool that policy was? By this approach, interdiction in Syria, for instance, would not be considered, but intervention in Mexico might, as it affects our border and presumably has the possibility of spilling violence over into the US. So, increase domestic military activities around our southern border and pursue a policy of increased involvement within our immediate sphere of influence.
Domestic Policy: Nobody likes a handout… to somebody else. This makes it essential to target government largess upon a targeted demographic group. Historically, it’s never been a bad policy to cater to older voters, so make DAMN sure you don’t oppose continued funding of Medicaid, Social Security or Prescription Drug Coverage. Heck, those are yesterday’s news. Introduce a NEW benefit for older Americans. Consider promoting a national challenge to fund and complete research to perfect replacement organ generation, for instance. If all politics is local, nothing is more political than a new liver!
Economic Policy: Overwhelmingly, polls show that people are concerned about the economy. So, it’s essential to make it somebody else’s fault. Face it, economies rise and fall in cycles. You can affect those cycles, but you’re not going to subvert them. The best you can realistically do is enter into the downward slope last, and reach the upward slope first. The only way to achieve these objectives is to balance these three competing priorities well; fiscal discipline (low debt), domestic stimulus (public infrastructure investment), and international competitiveness (profitable exports). So, spend lots of money on things that generate growth in profitable exports. What would that be? Currently, it’s refined fuel, aircraft, cars, semi-conductors, and food… Well, bad news is we already spend a lot on these industries, so a third party probably has to stick with blaming the other guys for not managing things better. As a third party, of course, the advantage is NOT being responsible for anything that has occurred previously. HUGE advantage.
Social Issues: Here’s the really simple plank. There’s a huge segment of the US population that is uneasy about gays, abortion, recreational drug use and the dwindling influence of Christianity on the public sphere. These people simply want to return to a simpler era, where they were comfortable and the different people were kept at bay. They just want to feel safe. Seriously, fuck those people.