Since 2016 I’ve been advocating for a third party to make a legitimate run for political offices around the nation.
I think a big problem with what we’re seeing today, and this myth that we have no other option but to vote for either the Republicans or the Democrats is that most third party hopefuls wait until an election season and then go straight for the presidency.
I’ve always maintained that for any third party to be taken seriously, they have to chip away at the base of the “Big Two,” doing the legwork between election cycles and occupying the small offices in our communities, then proceeding upwards.
Our school boards, city council panels, mayors and county commissioners – all are a starting point.
Then, of course, is the work of getting included on ballots, and that process varies from state to state. The system doesn’t make it easy, but given the current sorry status of our union, it’s worth the effort.
Our very survival as a free republic depends upon it.
Of the myriad third party options available, February 2018 saw the emergence of the Federalist Party of America, with the promise of being a different organization, where everyone has a say in its growth and direction, and guiding principles that should appeal to all, at our most basic level.
Speaking of those principles, from the website:
Statement of Principles
The strength of America lies in its people, not in its government.
Government solutions, when necessary, should be pursued at the lowest level of government possible, that closest to the people they affect.
America has one overarching set of laws authorized directly by The People: The Constitution of the United States of America. That supreme governing document stands as is unless and until amended.
An ever-encroaching federal state threatens the general welfare of current and future generations of Americans. That encroachment can and must be reversed by democratic means.
A 28th Amendment to limit the number of terms that members of Congress may serve is necessary and justified to restore restrictions on federal powers as intended by our nation’s founders and delineated in the Constitution.
You mean put the government back into the hands of the people? There’s a novel idea.
I reached out to pro tem Chairman William F. Buckley O’Reilly – and yes, he’s named after his uncle, William F. Buckley Jr., conservative author and commentator.
I asked five questions of Mr. O’Reilly, to get us acquainted with the Federalist Party and its mission.
- To begin with, introduce yourself.
Thanks so much for asking. I’m a New York father blessed with a patient wife and three wonderful daughters. I’ve worked in Republican politics for 30 years, and am currently a partner at The November Team, a corporate and political communications firm. I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to pen a twice-weekly column for Newsday for the past several years.
2. What can you tell us about the Federalist Party and what are the long term goals? The more immediate goals?
The Federalist Party of America is a long-term play. We don’t pretend to have all the answers to the nation’s challenges, but we’re fairly certain we’re on the right track — mostly because we’re doubling down on the discarded blueprints our founders left us. They were a pretty sharp bunch.
In a nutshell, The FPA is seeking to restore the balance of power between federal, state, and local governments in an effort to move the nation onto a sustainable political, economic, and sociological path. We support solutions at the lowest levels of government possible.
Congressional term limits are a key plank in our platform. We see term limits as integral to dismantling overreaching and unsustainable federal bureaucracies and to returning powers and responsibilities to individual American communities.
The FPA is forgoing ballot status in 2018 for two reasons: we don’t want to get out ahead of our skis, and we want Republicans and Democrats to be able to join the FPA without having to change their current party registrations. We’re confident that a kick-the-tires-trial- membership approach will yield solid results in the long-term.
The FPA seeks to grow slowly, steadily, and organically. This is not to be a flash-in-the-pan movement.
3. What has happened to our nation’s political system, in the grip of the “Big Two” parties?
Men are not angels, Madison rightly warned us. And we’re seeing that yet again in the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Both parties are now badly corrupted — in a co-opted sense, not a criminal sense — having become bought-and-paid-for appendages of corporate and other special interests. Re-election is now the principal goal of being in public office; that requires lots of cozy arrangements that do nothing for the average American. Principle has become an afterthought sadly.
The Republican Party is virtually unrecognizable from the Reaganite party I grew up with: All three legs of the Republican stool — less government, traditional values, strong national defense – – have been kicked out from underneath it. When push comes to shove, I have no idea what the national GOP stands for anymore, other than self-survival.
The Democratic Party has gone totally insane, and I don’t mean that to sound impolite or hyperbolic. The party has abandoned all reason and accountability in its positions. The federal government is $21 trillion in debt, and Democrats still want to add multi-billion-dollar programs to our national Ledger. There is zero recognition that most federal social engineering experiments haven’t worked. It’s always, ‘if only we had more money.’
The Democratic Party’s positions on immigration are totally irresponsible, almost suicidal. It’s become a party bereft of grownups. That can’t last.
- What needs to happen for there to be a real move to return to the kind of government envisioned by our founders?
Failure and panic. The latter is assured by the federal debt clock, and the former plays out every day in Washington. Herpes may be more popular than Congress now; I’d have to check Gallup.
5. Where are you now, as far as the development of the Federalist Party, and what needs to happen to advance?
We’re sixth months behind where we need to be every single day. Membership is growing quickly, and we’re getting a good social media following, but there are only so many hours in a day. We just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
What we are doing well — what we are really focusing on — is putting together the fundamentals for a sustainable and expandable party going forward. We are doing everything in our power to build a movement that guards against human nature as best as possible, one that puts principles over personalities.
As students of politics, we are also working to avoid the pitfalls that have sunk other American political parties and movements. Getting the fundamentals right — building a party on a foundation made of rock, if you will — is the gift the current FPA leadership hopes to leave begins .
I envision the FPA as a movement with the Constitution in one hand and Madison’s admonishment in the other. That’s a powerful combination — and it’s what this country was always supposed to be.
Given the partisan bickering and absolute dereliction of duty of our current crop of lawmakers, coupled with the sideshow of Trumpism, this all sounds like a distant dream. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be. We, as a free people, have the power to take back our nation and demand commonsense governance, once again.
Our only true limit, at this point, is will.