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Forming a real 'grassroots' party.

by S.E. Shepherd
June 5, 2004

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Recently on the PO, James Leroy Wilson wrote that those of us fed up with almost identical “two-party” system of elections and government should find a third party, any third party, and vote for their candidate. Creating a viable third option would send a message to both Republicans and Democrats that, as Dee Snider of Twisted Sister once sang, “We’re not going to take it anymore!”
After viewing the Libertarian, Constitution, and Green parties, I was still unable to find a party whose platform I felt comfortable with enough to vote for in the 2004 election. I asked Mr. Wilson (being the most politically-minded person I know) if there were any more legitimate political groups. His reply was basically no. Fellow PO writer Michael Thomson suggested I create my on political party. With nothing to lose and only a wiretap on my phone to gain, I have decided to try such a thing, outlining my party’s positions below.
I consider myself a moderate or perhaps a conservative socialist, and though Mr. Thomson suggested letting the PO readers name the party (which I’m still willing to allow), I am temporarily naming my party the Observation party. Common sense, something that appears to be lacking both in government and the country in general, begins with careful observation of the world around you.
Okay, really, since this “party” is starting with Partial Observer readers, “Observation Party” sounds good. “Partial party” sounds bad, and after all, aren’t current politics already too partial?
The Platform of the Observation Party:
Foreign Policy: The foreign policy of America, or an American government should always be “America first.”  America needs to look out for its interests first; otherwise is shouldn’t be called the “American government.”
That being said, America’s best interest is to not piss off as many nations as possible, by shoving our system and our way of life down the rest of the world’s throats. Diplomacy seems to be a lost art form with the current government; Observationists would try to bring that back. Raping a poorer country of all its natural resources because it allows Americans to by products cheaper may seem like doing what’s best for America, but if it causes a huge anti-American resentment in that nation, in the long run that’s not what’s best for America.
Domestic Policy: As I stated in my letter to the editor, I believe programs such as Social Security and Welfare need a major overhaul. Ironic, isn’t it, that so many people complain about the “bureaucracy” of modern government, yet many of these agencies are woefully understaffed. It is why many people on welfare can barely make it by, while others can afford swimming pools and plasma screen TVs. The system is broke; we need to fix it.
It’s also ironic that in a country with the best medical technology on the planet we have so many people that can’t even afford to see a doctor. Yes, I am talking about a National healthcare plan; I told you I was a socialist! A person living in Appalachia having access to the same medical treatments as someone in Orange County?? What a concept!
As far as the economy goes, I have no idea how that works. Anyone interested in creating a position on the economy, give me a call.
Creating jobs is not the responsibility of the American government. Unless it creates more bureaucracies.
Homeland Security: We never really worried much about homeland security before 9/11. See “Foreign Policy.”
Abortion: I am personally opposed to abortion; as a Christian, I believe all life is sacred. That being said, I believe Roe v. Wade opened a Pandora’s Box, and to outlaw abortion (if it were even possible) would be detrimental. Perhaps instead of making abortion illegal, we could reform social program so it would be unnecessary. But there I go with my social programs again!
Environment: I think this is one of the most vital, yet least understood issues of our time. Scientists can’t agree amongst themselves if there is a “Greenhouse Effect” or if there is anything we can do about, it if it does exist. Still, with gas prices skyrocketing, and the worry of pollution, it seems logical to invest highly in alternative sources of energy, and more fuel-efficient vehicles. This should have been done years ago.
The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan: The Observation party obviously will not be organized by the 2004 elections. Hopefully, if it is for the 2008 election, the situations with Iraq and Afghanistan will already be resolved.
The Israel/Palestine situation: Fellow PO writer Jonathan Wilson once joked the US should offer Palestine a county in Texas to call their homeland. The area would be bigger, the climate would be comparable, and they could stop worrying about the Israelis and anyone else shoving them out. I bet we could sweeten the deal by allowing them tax-free living and permitting them to open gambling casinos, like we do the Native Americans.
Gay Marriages: Not the government’s jurisdiction. A gay couple should have all the legal rights as heterosexual couple, including tax right offs and visitation rights in hospitals. Call it a “civil union,” marriage is a religious institution, and it is up to the churches whether or not to accept them.
Gay Rights: “All men are created equal.” I think that’s already been covered.
Civil Rights: “All men are created equal.” I think that’s already been covered.
Women’s Rights: “All men created equal.” I think that’s already been…oh, crap!
These are my platforms on the issues so far. If you have any questions, would like to know/express views on other issues, or would like to suggest a better name for the Observation Party, send a letter to the editor.
And remember the motto of the Observation party, “Somebody has to run the Country. It might as well be us.”

[Editor's Note: The Observation Party is the sole creation of S.E. Shepherd and is not affiliated in any official way with The Partial Observer. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of the other or other Partial Observer writers.]

Comments (6)

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Lynbrookbum from Alabama writes:
June 5, 2004
I have a suggestion for the economic policies for the Observation Party:

1. We quit giving tax forgiveness to corporations to locate in our individual states, like the state of Alabama continues to do. First, our leaders have exempted the taxes of large corporations as Mercedes, Honda and Hyaundai to start to name only a few. Then, we had a statewide vote to raise taxes in the state because our state is almost broke. Hello?

Then, our leaders get mad because we refuse to pass the tax increase that will apply to individuals and not the large corporations.???

2. Quit giving away our jobs to foreigners. If we do not continue to manufacture our own goods, we will be walking around both naked and unemployed in about 10 years. Naked because we piss off all of the other countries who are making our clothes and they stop making them. And unemployed because we have given away all of our manufacturing jobs.

Michael H. Thomson from Merritt Island, Florida writes:
June 6, 2004
I enjoyed your article and the comments of Lynnbrookbum from Alabama. The analogy about the clothes was pretty good since Lynbrookbum knows of what she speaks since she is from a part of the country where the textile industry has moved to Mexico, China, and Indonesia. No one yet has sent any replacement industry to that part of Alabama.

Beyond that, S.E. Sheperd - I guess I'm on board - even though I don't particulary like the name.

This morning before I turned the TV on and learned of the death of Reagan and the coziness of Bush and Chirac, I was thinking of the difficulty the average American has in accessing their rights under the Constitution. Maybe the We Want Our Constitution Back Party would be a good name boiling it down to an acronym such as the WWOC. I don't really like that one either, but the right acronym can be a power word like FBI, CIA, GOP, etc. Now isn't that a curious string of acronyms that magically flowed out of my keyboard?

Bravo on your initiative! Speaking of that wiretap business - if I might digress and share a funny story:

In 1988, I had just retired from the Army and hadn't started my second career. Seeing this vacuum, my brother in Australia roped me into a deal he was working in the scrap metal business i.e. he, I, and two other partners purchased a ship in Lousiana and sold it to some gentlemen in the United Arab Emirates. Before we were paid, the ship had to be towed to Karachi, Pakistan where it would be scrapped and its metals salvaged. I was the monitor for this slow transaction.

Over the course of two months I received calls at my house from various parties in Pakistan, the U.A.E., and Texas. Because of time differences, the calls came in at all hours of the day. Most the time I used a portable phone. I didn't know the signal leaked.

One day while doing my morning jog - our local neo-con approached me with a grim look on his face. Colonel J. who was a Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve said to me:

Thomson, you just about cost me my next promotion.

How was that, Charles? I asked.

Then he went on to explain to me that when the promotion board asked him if he had any foriegn contacts or associations, he had to give my name.

Dumfounded, I asked Charles how he could envision me - formerly of Top Secret Clearance - as being a foreigner?

It seems like my leaked portable phone conversations had been picked up by the school teacher who lived next door to me and she - Of Little Sophistication - assumed I was an international arms merchant(no kidding). She told her husband - the local agricultural extension agent, and he told everyone else including my Marine buddy, Charles.

I don't know if that stupid little event put me on anyone's watch list - I'm sure it would today, but I guarantee that a viable third party definitely would!

I'm prepared to hang. Are you S.E.?

Jonathan Wilson from Chicago writes:
June 12, 2004
I appreciate the effort. I am curious about two things: How is your platform distinguishable from the Democrats. And, concerning socialized medicine:

How does that work, exactly? When there is a shortage of doctors, do we force people in school to become doctors? Or do we force everyone in the country to receive inadequate care? If the counter-argument is that why should only poor people receive inadequate care, my question would be, was the disparity in care as bad before government involvement in patent systems and entitlement programs, or has the involvement of government produced artificial inflationary and other pressures that has actually compounded the disparity?

When do I start losing my freedoms to make sure you have your entitlements?

To address the shortage of doctors, do we import doctors from other countries, or isn't that just depriving other countries of their resources for our benefit, which is a no-no?

In proposing a system such as socialized medicine, I applaud you for being honest that you have no idea how the economy works. That is precisely the point. Personally, I think the Democratic national committee wants to lose this election in the hope that the Iraq and Afghanistan problems go away by 2008.

Sincerely, Jonathan Wilson.

S.E. Shepherd from Chicago, IL writes:
June 14, 2004
As far as I can tell, the Democrats, or at least Kerry, has no National Health Plan or plan to revamp the Welfare program, nor any plans to create such programs. And, despite how my propositions may sound, I am not for big government.

I don't know what freedoms your afraid of losing with my platform, or what entitlements you think I'm imposing. I think there should be a basic level of health care that all citizens of the United States should receive. We are trying to set up a National Health Plan in Iraq, why not here?

I have not looked into the Health Care situation to see if we do have a shortage of doctors. I do know that malpractice suits are getting out of hand, and scaring a lot of doctors away from where they are needed. I would not insist on a cap on malpractice suit - rather there needs to be a serious investigation into medical insurance and HMOs. It seems that no matter who wins a malpractice suit, insurance companies and lawyers always make a profit.

Obviously, people who can afford better health care should have the privilege to pay for it if they want, but money should not influence the position of a person who needs an organ transplant. Also I think pharmaceutical companies are running rampant with their prices on prescription drugs.

Here in Illinois, several politicians are trying to pass laws that allow citizens to buy drugs from cheaper Canadian companies. Why? Why not force American companies to lower their costs? Or perhaps, in the name of capitalism, we should allow U.S. citizens to buy from Canada - American companies would drop prices for fear of losing “price wars.”

Unlike Democratic or Republican parties, I do not claim to have answers to all of the ills that plague the American Society. I have some ideas how things might work better, but not having dealt with politics and laws, I don't necessarily know what will and will not work.

Perhaps I fall in line with James Leroy Wilson's Libertarianism, in that I don't necessarily be elected as much as I would like my ideas to have more influence on the current political parties, wherever they fall. Remember, I was initially looking for a candidate with whom I felt I could mostly agree. Not having found that, I was challenged to form my own party, which was the purpose of my article.

Michael H. Thomson from Five miles from the Kennedy Space Center writes:
June 14, 2004
New Platform item: Space

Encourage the development of small entrepreneurial space development companies giving them the same breaks in contract awards as the big guys such as Boeing, Lockheed, and Northrup Grumman.

A good example of how successful these companies can be, is AeroAstro, a company based out of Ashburn, Virginia which has launched 20 satellites in eleven years at costs mega dollars below the big quasi-government space companies.

We can debate for years about manned probes to the moon and mars, but communications, weather monitoring, remote sensing by satellites will be in demand for most of our lifetimes. Some payload requirements are so small that the big guys won't handle them - but use their lobbies in Congress to block entrance into the space marketplace by smaller companies.

The small space entrepreneurs that exist today are accomplishing a lot with a little. They should be encouraged to do more.

The small Virginia company mentioned above has less than 50 employees and has recently developed a satellite that can herd old worn out satellites out of orbit to safe crash zones.

One company, in California, will soon launch a rocket comparable to some of the rockets launched regularly at Cape Canaveral and Vandenburg. Because he is not part of the clique - Elon Musk - a Silicon Valley computer billionaire - has had to fight the bureaucracy in Washington to launch an Air Force payload. He finally won his battle - hopefully his launch will be a success. If it does it will save taxpayers millions of dollars per launch.

Bottom Line: Space Entrepreneurship is growing - The OP needs to let them know we support their efforts!

Tracy Dupuis from iron mtn mi writes:
July 12, 2004
I don’t understand, why would outlawing abortion be detrimental? We made it to 1973 A.D, without it being legal!

“Gays should have all the right as heterosexuals do”? Should men be allowed to marry their horse? Don’t they have rights? Can one marry their sister? How about two wives? (Like I used to say, I need to find myself a good Christian woman, or two or three good Mormon ones.)

Gay marriage is an oxymoron (as another writer in the observer wrote). No one is truly homosexual - they are really a dysfunctional heterosexual. Letting two guys get married isn't hurting anyone, is totally wrong, it is destructive, whether we see the destruction or not. By that same logic, shouldn't prostitution be ok? How about speeding? How about doing drugs?

Gay rights isn’t about gays having the same rights, it is they having more rights. Haven’t you heard all that is happening in Canada? Reading Romans 1 is illegal. What about Christian right, or even more what about WHAT IS RIGHT!!!

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