Can Common-Sense Economics Found a New Party?

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Now that the runaway train of one-party profligacy has flown off the tracks in Massachusetts, is there any chance We the People might seize this opportunity to re-examine our party loyalties, challenging the destructive duopoly that's been serving our nation so poorly? How can the decisive repudiations of both the party of George Bush and the party of Ted Kennedy in quick succession possibly be spun to the merit of either?

Isn't it obvious that a disgusted electorate has had enough of both? Why do we continue to give allegiance to political parties captured by extremists and funded by special interests when the vast majority of Americans are socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and politically independent? Isn't it about time for a party to emerge that speaks for us?

Is it really impossible to recapture our heritage of live-and-let-live provided everyone does-so-at-their-own-expense? How hard would it be to pitch a big tent around a few common sense economic principles, agreeing to disagree on social issues not directly related to saving our country from this tsunami of Demopublican debt?

Why can't pro and anti abortionists, pro and anti gay marriage activists, and pro and anti drug prohibition advocates get together and figure out what they can agree on? Why let incumbent Congressmen use these secondary issues to divide us so they spend our money on vote buying schemes primarily designed to keep them in power? Would it be so awful if most social issues were decided on the state level rather than by a one-size-fits-all federal government, especially if that size is extra-extra large?

Can you imagine turning our states back into the laboratories of democracy they were initially designed to be? Do you prefer states that are toadies of Washington, begging for the next handout while stooping under crushing mandates? What cataclysm would occur if Blue states chose gay marriage, taxpayer funded abortion, and pot legalization and Red states didn't? What constitutional principle would be violated if some states had lavish social services paid for by high state taxes and other states had fewer social services with proportionately lower taxes? Isn't it easier and cheaper to move to a state that suits your temperament and pocketbook than it is to displace a ten term Congressman?

Do you believe that the Democratic and Republican parties are both beyond repair? If so, why do you keep lurching from one party to the other desperately trying to escape the excesses of whichever is in power? How about relegating both to the permanent minority status they so richly deserve? Where is it written that we are forever stuck with only two political parties?

What foul bit of sophistry convinced Americans that it is not only proper but a civic duty to vote for the lesser of two evils? Isn't that a perfect recipe for perpetuating evil? What else can explain the fact that we have surrendered giant swaths of our economy to Congressmen that are rated less trustworthy than used car salesmen?

Why do we stand up like trained monkeys and cheer when politicians lie to us about the "change" they are going to deliver when experience tells us that as soon as they obtain power it's business as usual?

Just because the pendulum started swinging again does that mean the clowns who govern us have learned anything? How long can we let the entrenched parties play musical chairs before Washington turns us all into indentured servants? How many months a year do you work for Uncle Sam?

What possible value is there in preaching bi-partisanship when it's the parties that are the problem? If a third party isn't there to give us better choices wouldn't incivility, dysfunction, and gridlock be preferable? Isn't that pretty much what we have now? If you claim to be tired of it, then why aren't you supporting a third party?

Must we wait for the arrival of a charismatic leader to get the ball rolling? Don't third parties built this way inevitably fade when their founders do? How about building a party based on ideas rather than politicians? Do these ideas have to pretend to offer comprehensive solutions to all of society's ills? How about focusing on a short list of core functions that the Constitution actually charters the federal government to provide? Wouldn't doing fewer things well make less of a mess than doing many things poorly?

When was the last time you asked yourself questions like this? Isn't it about time you started asking others? If not now, when?

Bill Frezza is a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and a Boston-based venture capitalist. You can find all of his columns, TV, and radio interviews here.  If you would like to have his weekly columns delivered to you by e-mail, click here or follow him on Twitter @BillFrezza.

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