Hey Bryan. Thanks for the suggestion. I really did look carefully into the Libertarians and other third parties (Socialists, Greens, Nazis, Green Nazis (a truly weird group, if it exists at all), Communists, various religious parties and a slew of other oddities) and was not impressed with any of them, except a couple of independent parties (e.g., the Independent party of Oregon). None of the interesting parties exist here in California.
Libertarians are hard core government hater ideologues, now largely co-opted by religion. I am a hard core secular realist and pragmatist. In other words, I let reality, reasonable compassion, shrewd thinking, reasonable personal freedom and an honest cost-benefit viewpoint dictate what makes sense, not political or religious ideology. To the best of my knowledge, the Libertarians (and most of the other parties) do not view politics like that.
Any other suggestions? I am always interested in checking out something new. Absent that, I want to see a new secular, pragmatic, non-ideological third party here in California. What we here here is a real failure and a disgrace. That's why California is bankrupt.
Have you considered that politics and joining a party is not a solution? I am not saying that it is not but it should be considered.
However if your looking for compassion and reason + liberty I would look into Stefan moleneux. Hes got podcasts, hes on youtube and his show is great. He subscribes to Philosophy, reason, evidence, empathy, anti-gov (anti coercion) and atheism. I think hes one of the wisest people around. Just my thoughts of course :)
The two major political parties have such a stranglehold on money - which is now, with the Supreme Court's blessing, the essential ingredient to success in elections - that the prospects for an effective third party seem to me extremely remote at best. I like what the Greens stand for, but they're (by their own admission) really more a movement than a cohesive party.
Since this originally posted I attended a convention where I met members of the National Atheist Party. While still a fledgling organization I think that their goals may be in line with many here. They have a page here: http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/national-atheist-party-nap
The two major parties (via their winner-take-all primary rules and third party qualification laws) have shut out third parties.
California's new open primary, as I understand it, might result in two Dems opposing each other in general elections. This might help a moderate third party.
The repeated failures of the national Green Party support a conclusion that if a third party is to survive and succeed, it first has to run candidates in and win local and state elections.
Otherwise, joining and helping non-partisan organizations might be the best option.
The only real democracy Americans have is in the states whose constitutions provide for a direct initiative and referendum. In these states, voters can make law without interference by their Dem and Repub parties. Recent rulings by the US Supreme Court have made clear that such law must comply with the US Constitution.
I hope Americans are ready for the democracy a national initiative and referendum will make possible. If we are not ready, a corrupted-by-money oligarchy will remain our lot.
Hello? Is somebody out there? I've been sitting here for more than two years, waiting for a response. I need to make sure that I'm not imagining this. Does anybody else see Tom Sarbeck's comment?
It's been a long, lonely two years....
Hi, Bryanderthal (a most interesting screen name).
My enthusiasm for a national initiative and referendum gets occasional responses.
Leaders of even political reform organizations respond negatively, which I understand because if voters could enact laws those leaders would lose the power they have accumulated in an oligarchic system.
When I was a kid in Cincinnati, a newspaper there ran an editorial page cartoon series titled "Born Thirty Years Too Soon".
I was either born too soon or my old-world-father-is-god Catholic dad was more tyrannical than most dads in the USofA and at 83 I'm still reacting to it.
I was in the Korean War and occasionally, while laughing, tell other war veterans "I grew up in a violent home and had PTSD before I went to war."
I realized a few years ago that my life-long hyper-alertness (the mildest result of PTS) has energized my decades of political activity.
That's great, Tom! You're the same age as my grandfather-- he was in Korea, too-- but I'd have to say that he's out of touch with the current political arena.
I was just making a joke about the last comment (mine) before yours being more than two years ago. It is still an important topic though.
No wonder there is more than a bit of sourness about politics these days.
Much of the sourness I hear comes from people who feel powerless.
And they are powerless; they refuse to moderate their often idealistic views on issues so they remain loners.
They might be playing the "Yes, but...." role in Eric Berne's "Why don't you..." "Yes, but...." game, described in his book Games People Play.
Powerlessness can be a position in a game; people can complain about everything and not lift a finger to help anyone.