Toward a Libertarian-Progressive Alliance

An article by Ted Becker at The Last, Lost Empire argues that the basis for a "real" third party can be found in the convergence of libertarian-leaning Republicans and progressive-leaning Democrats, in other words, the libertarian-progressive alliance.  Excerpt:
The Real Third Party, whatever it finally calls itself, will be a previously implausible coalition that will span the political continuum from Libertarianism to Social Democracy.  The major themes that their president and Congressional candidates will run on will include most of the following:
  • Ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—all troops and security guys out
  • Ending the war in Libya—no military or covert action funds spent there
  • No more “Imperial Presidency” wars; Return the war power to Congress
  • Radical restructuring of The Fed—investigate lack of transparency and clear conflicts of interests between Wall Street and Main Street
  • Rebuilding the American capitalist infrastructure and manufacturing base;
  • Balancing the budget immediately;
  • Start to deal seriously with climate change as a major national security issue..
Do most Americans trust either President George W. Obama or the Congress run by either the Democrats or Republicans to do any of these things? Public opinion polls repeatedly show a big majority would say “No way.” More than 80% think that the United States is headed in “the wrong direction.” So, if not the Dems and the GOP, then who?
The piece goes on to detail the convergence of opinion between the likes of Ron Paul and Ralph Nader, Rand Paul and Dennis Kucinich, and so on.  It concludes:
Our point is that many very prominent, articulate Americans—who are politically visible and who hail from widely variant ideological positions are now deeply contemplating their mutual antagonism towards the Democratic-Republican regime that controls all three branches of the federal government  What is crucial is that they are doing this, not by arguing, but by exploring innovative solutions, from their divergent points of view. They are emphasizing similarities, not differences.  This has been at the heart of all successful third parties in the U.S.  Such a Third Party can either win or change the game, put in play major solutions, policies and/or constitutional amendments that the established parties ignore. Anyone who thinks this is impossible or even improbable does not know his or her American history . . .
Update:  Via email a reader asks if Politea has discussed this general topic in the past.  Indeed, we've discussed the progressive-libertarian alliance strategy at some length before.  Long time readers might recall my PLEA for political independence with the Progressive Libertarian Electoral Alliance, or the libertarian-progressive populist front against the two-party state.  See also past posts on the Green-Libertarian alliance strategy.


Pete Healey said...

None of the bullet points mention any electoral reforms. This misses the point entirely, and misses important areas of potential agreement among widely differing political perspectives.

d.eris said...

That's a very good point Pete. What's on your electoral reform list? I know you support PR, but what else?

TiradeFaction said...

Electoral reform is something all minor parties can agree with. We should also market it to marginalized groups such as the poor and "small business" owners who are nearly extinct but still very popular in the American psyche.

Otherwise, that's a good list there, which I agree with nearly 100%

Dale Sheldon-Hess said...

I recently posted something that, (somewhat tangentially and towards the end) speaks to this, over at LoAE.

I look at the recent Pew political topology report and the history of the American party system and try to see if we're in a position where we should expect to enter a new (7th) party system. (Spoilers: my conclusion is 'not now, maybe in 8 years'.)

I've shared my views on the chances of success for 3rd parties here before (not good odds), but I also discuss the possibility of a realignment by a swap of constituents (like the transitions to the 4th, 5th, and 6th party system). One possibility involves Libertarians throwing the bulk of their support behind Democratic candidates, and "New Coalition Democrats" reverting back to Republicans, over issues like gay marriage. Like I said; not going to happen by 2012, maybe by 2020 though. But more likely, I think, than a progressive/libertarian alliance taking on both major parties.

Pete Healey said...

Most states, like New York where I reside, have ballot access laws that are heavily weighted in favor of the Dems and Reps and against all others. I'd start there as well.
In addition, I've shopped an idea about voter registration being automatic at 18 in the same way that military registration (Selective Service) is required. One of Charlie Rangel's people was interested a couple years back but... we know what happened there.

DLW said...

I'd proffer that it'd be good to rally support around the push for 3-seated congressional elections in Louisiana, New Mexico and Utah.

If these get attention then it'll make it easier to adopt 3-seated state representative elections, preferably with a hare rather than a droop quota to enable third party reps to get elected.

But these rules with the Droop quota would suffice to increase the number of elections, reduce the cut-throat rivalry between the two major parties and give more voices to minorities.