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The Purple Party

by RonChusid

Kurt Andersen proposes the Purple Party in New York Magazine. Andersen typically votes for Democrats nationally, often without entheusiasm, and socially liberal Republicans in New York. He describes what he would like to see in a new moderate party. The Carpetbagger Report does a fine job in summing up this long article by noting he wants a party “that’s fiscally responsible, supports single-payer health care, will fight a genuine war on terrorists but recognizes that the war in Iraq was a mistake, takes the separation of church and state seriously, and is pro-environment, pro-choice, pro-trade, pro-science, and pro-diversity.”

This sounds quite a bit like much of the current Democratic Party and absolutely nothing like the Republicans. Why does he need a third party. He believes “what makes so much of the great middle of the electorate most uncomfortable about signing on with the Democratic Party is the same thing that has made them uncomfortable since McGovern — the sense that the anti-military instincts of the left half of the party, no matter how sincere and well meaning, render prospective Democratic presidents untrustworthy as guardians of national security.”

Here we see the great success of the Republicans at spreading misinformation. Demonization and negative campaigning works–and is about the only thing that Republicans are good at.

Republicans win elections partially by getting people who agree with Democrats on most issues to have a vague notion that something is wrong with Democrats which prevents them from really voting for Democrats. In this case it is the myth that Democrats (the winners of two World Wars) are weak on security. For others it is the feeling that Democrats are quasi-socialists who will tax them out of their standard of living.

Democrats are the Kerry campaign on a larger scale. Kerry is often criticized for failing to get out his message and other vague complaints. Before knocking Kerry (or previously Gore or Dukakis) for this, keep in mind that the entire party has the same failings. This is the effect of the Republican Noise Machine to spread misinformation and give voters a false view of any Democrat running.

9 Responses to “The Purple Party”

  1. Ron, you are on again..

    take a look tomorrow.. for the missing link.. and why Andersen has a promotable value

  2. Security has been brought up in several places as the Democrats #1 issue this year and ’08. And we can apply it so many ways:

    National security
    Port/border security
    Economic security
    Health security
    Religious security
    Personal security
    Environmental security

    These can be broken down and more added.

    Security is what the GOP ran on before. They have failed.

    We keep hearing about McGovern tainting the whole party as pacifist.
    We have to relink the ending of Vietnam with the will of the country at the time, and the leaders who finally brought it to an end.
    Seems to me like the stage is set .

  3. Sorry, off topic. Any news on the Fanueil Hall event?

  4. As I wrote to a columnist a while back the weak percetion grounded into the american psche about dems being weak on security was front and center long before JK ran for pres.

    Ginny’s got the right idea about security issues.

    As for the middle. This has been a trap for the dems in the last few elections.
    The middle is defined by the press at any given time and constantly shifts by events and the people running.

    Hil and warner want to run as the middle person and expouse along with many dems that is how the party will win. The dems have ran to the middle and had 2 elections stolen from them.

    After the decade of Rovian politics there are few rank and file dems or independents that I know of claim to be from the middle.

    When Bill Clinton ran to the middle he triangulated, and compromised much that makes the dem party what it was and sold out the base.
    When he got in trouble he ran back to those considered “the left/base”

    “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic on both sides” – Margaret Thatcher.

    Not that I go around quoting conservatives but she’s right on this one.

  5. If the middle of the road position is the correct position, than I see nothing wrong with being in the middle.

    The problem is in seeking the middle of the road position because of believeing that their is some virtue in being in the middle. Far too often the middle of the road position is a position defined by the views of others and does not necessarily have any special justification.

  6. Ron- my gripe about the middle is
    Folks seek it to try and be everything to everybody when they don’t necessarily believe the middle is the best place but it looks good according to media and polls.

    Fiscal responsibility? I’m for that
    Pro-choice? I’m for that.
    Security/border enforcement/environment/civil rights/seperation of church and state/accountablility/ I’m for all those things that could be classified as middle.

    The question I have is will the middle of 06 and 08 be the same as it was in 92-00 and if so who will decide? The media? If so we are screwed. The GOP? We are screwed.

    Can the dems win without some of middle of the road voters probably not.
    I could vote for a candidate (non-GOP)that although she/he may not share all my views. I wouldn’t seek to change their core no more than I’d let them change mine.

  7. The trouble is the extremes make all the noise and seem to exhibit the most passion (remember an empty tin can makes a lot of noise).
    But if being in the middle means looking at all sides and figuring out the unintended consequences first then sign me up. Too often it means making compromises that dilute the original intention; but that is the nature of democracy.
    I like Jessie Jackson and Uncle Teddy because they set the boundary on the left. You won’t find many prominent Dems left of them. I don’t recall any prominent Dem trying to move to the far right (maybe Liberman?). Now, we are far more conservative on fiscal policy then the supposed conservative Repubs. The old tax and spend charge against Dems is buried and easily countered if heard.
    The trouble is people are normally not homogeneous in their beliefs. You can be a liberal on some values (social) and conservative on others (fiscal) and still be a happy democrat.

  8. No point beating a middle track between two paths going the wrong way. Overdue for a major paradigm shift to find post-military solutions and base decisions on first principles, such as respect for human life. Sure, easier said than done, but at least humanist values provide a road map Republican and Democrat alike appear to have lost.

  9. A third political party can never realise its aims in first past the post voting systems. However, a Purple Party could be a constructive social movement with a political agenda. The opportunity to be part of this movement is yours at purpleparty.com . See you there