A New Way Forward: The Populist Party

A Populist Party platform should focus on kitchen-table issues. The issues that affect all Americans.

The United States is in one of the most divided and politically charged times in recent memory. The incursion on the U.S. Capitol building shocked everyone on the political spectrum and it has only ramped up from there. With both Republicans and Democrats coming at each other with political bludgeons, blaming each other for the rancor and often overuse rhetoric of turning average Americans into enemies of the state.

Americans have gotten used to the dichotomy of the two-party establishment. Even to the point jokingly, although seriously at the same time, that they are the uni-party. This is the problem in politics today. Third parties need not apply.

There are other parties in the U.S., such as the Libertarian Party, focused on liberty, limited government involvement in domestic and foreign policies, and the Green Party, which is focused on social justice and environmentalism. However, both of these parties have had mixed, if not lackluster performances at the ballot box. They tend to find hyperpartisan candidates that are unappealing to the average voter, like Gary Johnson(L).

At most, 159 million Americans voted in 2020, which is about half of the total 330 million Americans in the U.S. today. According to Pew Research, 34% of voters are independent, whereas 33% identify as Democrat and 29% identify as Republican. 34 percent is a large voting block that the two major parties often overlook and the Libertarian and Green parties barely capture.

In that voting block, are where the majority of Americans live. The blue-collar worker, the urban family struggling to make ends meet, and the single mother trying to make it to daycare. What they want, and what they need, is a party focused on them. A party focused on the people and not continuing the establishment policies of giving out money for corporate welfare and burning money on foreign aid as a bribe for hostile nations to play nice, and endless wars killing our youth, and endless spending on programs that does nothing to help them to promote social justice. The average American doesn’t care about intersectionality and identity politics, they just want to know why their property tax is high, why universities costing a fortune, how much my doctor visit costs, and when is that pothole of 7th street is going to be fixed.

For too long, secularists in the Democrat and Reblupican party has promised to address these issues on the local, state, and federal level but have yet to work meaningfully to fix these issues. They are too busy calling each other racists or communists to do any work for the electorate that put them in office in the first place.

It is not the responsibility of the government to dictate morality to its people. Its responsibility is to address grievances related to governance, not cultural issues.

A Populist Party platform should be focused on kitchen-table issues. The issues that affect all Americans. Cultural and religious issues belong in the courts and academia, not in politics. We already have civil rights laws to address any possible future change and discrimination of any sort should not be tolerated, but it is not the responsibility of the government to dictate morality to its people. Its responsibility is to address grievances related to governance, not cultural issues. That is not to say social justice isn’t important, just that it doesn’t need to be the main platform of a political party. Through proper governance and focusing on issues of the American people (medicare public/private options, lower the cost of universities, ending corporate welfare, re-allocating funds from foreign aid and wars to domestic policies, law enforcement reform) most, if not all, social justice issues will be eliminated.

So what would the Populist Party platform look like?

Simple. Populist issues that most Americans agree too.

  • Elimination of corporate welfare and unnecessary subsidies to corporations like Amazon that abuse workers and pay low or close to zero in taxes.
  • Simplify the tax code. Progressive tax brackets that do not burden the average taxpayer.
  • Immigration reform that focuses on a streamlined application for citizenship and securing our nation’s border. With easier an application program, most illegal crossings should be reduced or stopped altogether.
  • Medicare public options and private insurance. Reduce the out of control pricing of medical devices and standardize hospital pricing.
  • End foreign aid to hostile nations.
  • End wars and foreign intervention.
  • End wasteful spending and pork in national and state budgets.
  • Reduce the cost of universities. Create better grant programs for education and end the need to rely on loans.
  • School choice for K-12, afterschool programs, and early learning centers.
  • Criminal justice reform focused on rehabilitation and removing non-violent offenders out of prison. Audit and reform outdated laws.
  • Law enforcement reform. Require more training after the academy and continuing education, like nurses and EMT workers complete.
  • Renew the infrastructure of America’s roadways and public transportation and toll reform.
  • Safe, Secure, accessible firearms. Create a licensing program that requires better background checks and requires continued education of firearms and training. License renewal every 2 years would be used to purchase firearms and also, eliminates the ATF tax stamp on applicable devices and firearms.
  • Farming programs to address food deserts and bring in younger generations into the field.
  • Lower property taxes and rent reforms.
  • Lobbying and election finance reforms.

These are just a few of the many issues that America faces at the moment and have been persistent problems of the last few decades. This is what America desperately needs. A third party that will fill the gap of the electorate and unites the populist in the independent section of the voting population. In doing so, the dichotomy of Republican and Democrat is forced to build coalitions with Populist members and gives the American people a new way forward in politics.

The American people deserve a party that doesn’t need to pander to the woke progressive left or the religious or extreme right, we need a party that puts the people's needs over partisan rhetoric and one-ups. The American people deserve a Populist Party that sticks to kitchen-table issues and focus on governance instead of tweets.

Coy Mack is co-host of The Hooch Podcast, a formerOpsLens contributor, writer, filmmaker and 2/7 veteran.

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