Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago on why it may be time for a third party. As vice-chairman of the America First Party in Mississippi, I wholeheartedly agree. The AFP is a conservative party without any scintilla of racism, which we vehemently condemn and do not tolerate. We are a reformist, records-open party with a conservative bent. If we were to choose a legislator that most closely reflects our beliefs, it would be U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) or Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas). If you want to know what the AFP's political philosophy is, we are the Old Right. To find out what the Old Right is all about, read Joseph Scotchey's book Revolt in the Heartland.
I used to be a Republican Party activist. For twelve years (1980-1992), I served on the Rankin County Republican Executive Committee and was treasurer for eleven (1981-1992) of those years. I worked in many a campaign for a Republican candidate in Rankin County. It was the Reagan Revolution that got me involved, although I had been active in politics since I was 14 years old (The Goldwater campaign). It was Reagan's seminal speech, "A Time for Choosing," that galvanized me. And from 1964 to 1996, the GOP could count on me to work like a dog for them.
But when Bush 41 broke his "No New Taxes" promise in 1990, my support for the GOP diminished. I worked for Pat Buchanan in 1992 in the Republican primary. I stayed in the GOP (nominally, I'm still in the GOP for two-party purposes in the state) because of the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994, hoping things would change. I worked for Buchanan again in the GOP primaries. But I left to support Buchanan of the Reform Party in 2000 (a total disaster).
Bush 43 is no conservative. Other than the social issues, his judicial appointments and cutting taxes, he is no conservative. Indeed, he is one of the biggest spending liberals we have had since FDR. The old-line Republicans would never have gotten us into this unneccesary war in Iraq. But both Bushes have done so.
This Republican Congress is tone-deaf to the voices of the people. Illegal immigration is sweeping the nation and the GOP has done nothing. Manufacturing jobs are being shipped overseas and the GOP gives us NAFTA, CAFTA, ad nauseum. The grassroots GOP wants spending limits and Congress spends money like drunken sailors. The GOP screeched against Bill Clinton's healthcare plan but gives us drug coverage for Medicare, which will cost over a trillion dollars in due time.
The Democrats are even worse. They are ultraliberal on the social issues (abortion on demand and homosexual marriage), will vote to raise taxes and will spend money worse than the GOP. If the GOP is horrible, the Democrats are even worse. So where is a conservative to go?
While the AFP is in its infancy stages, it concentrates mainly on two issues: Illegal immigration and the shipping of manufacturing jobs overseas. But unlike a lot of third parties, it has a lot of sensible ideas on state issues as well.
The Republican Party has abandoned its conservative base. Isn't it time for a change?