Political Parties in the U.S.
Can the Democratic Party Reform Itself?
We find the Green Party and the Libertarian Party to be the best representatives of what is good about America. However, some people consider one of the mainstream U.S. political parties to be fixable, and there is much merit in that idea.
If there is any hope for the Democratic Party in the U.S., it is to be found far from that corrupt party's mainstream. Here is a fresh breeze of hope.
A PARTY OF LIMITED GOVERNMENT? YES, BUT NOT THE ONE YOU'RE THINKING OF
St.Joseph, Missouri, U.S. -- "That government is best which governs least," said Henry David Thoreau, an iconic figure to anti-war liberals and anti-tax conservatives alike. That sentiment is often erroneously attributed to Thomas Jefferson -- third President of the United States and founder of the Democratic Party.
It's no surprise, then, in this era of big-government Republicanism, to see libertarians rallying to the Democratic banner. "Republican politicians have talked the talk of limited government since Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign," says Mike A. Bozarth of St. Joseph. "But after ten years of total control in Washington, they have yet to deliver. And the Democratic Party, after ten years out of power, is seeking to reinvent itself."
That's why Bozarth, a long-time Libertarian Party activist and columnist for the St. Joseph Telegraph and Jefferson City Telegraph, has cast his lot with the Democratic Freedom Caucus. Working with other activists around the state, Bozarth formed a Missouri affiliate of the DFC last month.
"The Democratic Party has strong libertarian roots," says Bozarth. "Our job is to water those roots by turning out pro-freedom volunteers for Democratic campaigns, providing Democratic leaders with pro-freedom policy analysis, and bringing pro-freedom voters into a Democratic coalition that can re-shape Missouri and America."
The DFC has existed as a national organization for several years and is experiencing strong growth in the wake of the 2004 election. While the DFC emphasizes familiar libertarian themes -- smaller government, more freedom, lower taxes -- it also advocates social justice and fairness in rolling back social safety nets.
"We advocate tax cuts and ending welfare," says Thomas Knapp, 38, of St. Louis, a member of the new DFC affiliate. "But we tend to favor cutting taxes from the bottom up instead of from the top down, and to place a higher priority on ending corporate welfare than on ending the food stamp program for the working poor."
The group is still in its formative phase, but has already begun publishing a series of policy briefs for distribution to Democratic legislators. The first such brief, delivered last week to Democratic state senators, offers a pro-business rationale for opposing SB 32, introduced by Matt Bartle (R-08). That bill would levy a $5 per customer head tax, and an additional 20% state income tax, on "sexually-oriented businesses." The group also plans to publish a "grade card" on Missouri's legislators, and to support Democratic candidates in the 2006 election.
Also see --
Democratic Freedom Caucus
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