Politically active people in America are obsessed with parties. “My team is always right and yours is always wrong” goes the slogan. This could be easily interchanged with a Yankees fan speaking to someone from Boston. The team sports mentality of American politics is destroying our nation.
Both parties are shells of their former glory. The GOP hides behind a veil of “liberty” and “individual freedom” when all they truly advocate for is liberty and freedom for the wealthy elites. The Democrats speak of “equality” and “leveling the playing field”, while the playing field they are on in inaccessible to the average American. If 2016 has proven anything, it is that the parties are now irrelvant.
The GOP nominee and president elect, Donald Trump, was a lifelong Democrat donor and NY city liberal up until 8 years ago. Despite this, he secured the GOP nomination and actually won the presidency. The Democratic candidate that had the most appeal, Bernie Sanders, was not actually a Democrat (as we were frequently reminded by the partisans). Even though Sanders never ran for office as a Democrat, he came very close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination. Trump and Sanders prove that the parties are now irrelevant. So where does this leave us?
Time to Transcend Above Party
Far too many people think we “need to build a new party”. This is false. There are already plenty of small parties in the country with good platforms. They remain obscure and powerless because they fail to acknowledge that the system is set up against them. The winner take all system of American politics prevents small parties from gaining a foot hold within the system. What we need to build is a Citizens Movement that rises above the party mentality. We must build an organization based on a set of ideas and principles, not just the brand of a party. This organization needs to have an active membership base that will take the time to hold politicians accountable for their actions. Members will register with the organization and pay dues if they can afford them.
Individual, Local, State, and National
This organization will be set up on four distinct levels, the individual member, the local chapter, state chapter, and national organization. Each level will have distinct duties and responsibilities to uphold.
The individual members will be tasked with being engaged in the organization. They will register with the organization through their local chapters and be responsible for due payments to fund the organization. (Dues will be voluntary for those who cannot afford them). Each individual should be registered to vote for whichever party is more prevalent in his or her area. It will be their duty to vote in every election and be informed on the organization’s platform “The Next Deal” as well as who is running for office under the organization, or who has been endorsed. Individual members should strive to bring new people into the group and educate their friends and family about our goals and organization.
The local organizations will be broken down by town (in large population centers), and Congressional Districts for more rural areas. It will be the local chapters responsibility to engage in the community and build the base. Each chapter will be focused on three main goals.
1) Organizing – the local chapters will be responsible for community outreach and brining in new members. It will be through the local chapters that we engage with civics groups, workers groups, student groups, environmental groups, and the population in general. Local chapters will be responsible for signing members up, voter registration, and dues collection.
2) Education – the local chapters will be tasked with educating the public and members on our policy goals. Scheduled meetings should be held so members can get acquainted with one another and learn more about the group and it’s proposals. The meetings will be democratic and the members will choose their leadership.
3) Activism – local chapters will be responsible for organizing protests and direct action events to help spread our message and enact our policies. People within the groups who display the desire and aptitudes to run for office will be selected by the group and then vetted by the State chapters.
People elected from the local chapters will staff the State chapters. They will be tasked with the following activities.
1) Organizing - State level activities such as meetings, protests and direct actions. The State chapters will coordinate between the local chapters and make sure they are properly organized and helping one another when needed.
2) Dues collection and fund raising – the state chapters will make sure that dues paying members are current and that all dues are properly being transferred to the organization’s main account. Local chapters will keep a portion of the funds raised to pay for activities such as meetings and outreach programs.
3) Policy – the State chapters will be responsible for determining the policy goals for their State. Since the State laws vary so much in our country, it will be the State chapter that sets the agenda for each state while staying true to the organizations platform. The State chapter will also be responsible for vetting candidates and determining which seats that should be targeted.
The national organization will be responsible for overall organizing and policy goals. Representatives elected by both State and Local chapters will staff the National organization. It will be their goal to make sure the organization, as a whole, is thriving and help steer the States to work in concert with one another. The national chapter will develop seminars, hold conferences, and educate local and state leaders on the platform and organizing techniques. They will make sure that State and Local chapters are keeping their books properly in regards to membership rolls and dues. The national chapter will be tasked with legal requirements of setting up the organization and complying with the federal laws for political organization.
In the coming weeks, we will be putting forth more documents on how to organize and build a chapter. We will come up with a registration form for people to become members and begin the legal procedures to establish the organization. If you are interesting in joining, please begin to talk with your friends, colleagues, and family members about our group. In the coming weeks and months we will begin to launch the State and Local chapters. As of right now, please email us the following information at AmericanReformers2018@gmail.com
State and Town
Do you want to be a member, chapter leader, or run for office?