Time for the Unthinkable: a Third-Party
How to Take the Ron Paul Revolution to the Next Level
Nelson Hultberg | AFR
In the aftermath of the sickening travesty that Obama's reelection represents, pundits on the right are building up their strategic juices to project how conservatives and libertarians can "take over the Republican Party" and begin taking the country back.
My answer to them is: It will never happen! Oh, we can take the country back, all right, but not through control of the GOP. The ideological sycophants that comprise the GOP couldn't take back a sack of sunflowers from spinsters in a rest home.
Far too many pundits on the right have ceased to think. Irrationality saturates their minds regarding how to confront the political leprosy that Obama represents. This is because they believe we must, now and forever, work within the statist establishment. This is grievously in error. The present political insanity in America mandates a new direction, a dramatic new strategy. Dare I say it? We need a THIRD-PARTY to provide an escape from the GOP's debilitating lack of chutzpah.
Conservatives desperately need to purge the me-too welfarists from their command centers. But tragically all we hear today from “respectable” voices on the right is the same me-too welfarism we've heard for over four decades about how the GOP must "become more inclusive" and "build a bigger tent." Translated, this means we need to shelve our principles in favor of more compromises with the leprosy of the liberals.
"But most important of all," say the respectable voices, "never are we to abandon the Republican Party for a Third-Party. That is a sure recipe for handing the country over to the liberals. We must always work within the two-party system.”
Actually the above Republican boilerplate is correct if one wants to preserve the present Demopublican system. But we at AMERICANS FOR A FREE REPUBLIC don't want to "preserve" the present system. We want to destroy it – for the same reason one wants to destroy smog and mendacity and slavery.
Today's political system is a corrupt monopoly, and it has to be broken. Thus the title of our book, Breaking the Demopublican Monopoly. But one cannot do this by joining the system and trying to reform it "from within." That's like trying to reform the Mafia by joining their organization and reasoning with them to give up their criminal ways. Their criminality is their livelihood, and they would no more abandon it than wolves would abandon the attacking of deer. The Mafia can only be fought from without. And likewise Demopublican statism can only be reformed from without.
Why "Reform from Within" Can Never Work
Numerous libertarian and conservative groups in America (e.g., the Republican Liberty Caucus, the John Birch Society, etc.) advocate “working within the system” and have been trying for the past 50 years to infiltrate the Republican Party with their visions so as to change its goals. Three or four new congressmen are elected every two years by the efforts of these and other right-wing advocacy groups, but unfortunately the overall number of libertarian and conservative legislators in the GOP never grows. This is because during that two years an equal amount of congressmen who came to Washington in favor of the freedom cause have slid into the "good ol' boys club" and have started voting for more and more spending schemes.
Why? Because our political system is corrupted by the progressive income tax system. This forces new, incoming libertarians and conservatives to almost always compromise with congressional liberals on spending policy. As fast as we send freedom advocates to Washington they are bought off. Here's why:
IRS statistics show that 50% of American citizens pay zero income taxes. This has led to what is called, in economic parlance, "infinite demand for government services." In other words, if services are free to large amounts of voters, they will want all they can get. This is basic human nature. So under our present tax system, 50% of the American voters want more government spending every election year. Add in the guilt-obsessed liberals in upper income classes, and you have a guaranteed 60% of the electorate pushing relentlessly for more spending every election year. Thus all politicians going to Washington conclude early on that they will never be reelected if they push for less government spending.
Therefore almost all libertarian and conservative politicians end up crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats to boost government spending every year. They know they have to in order to be reelected. This is why all advocates of "working within the system" have never made any headway in slowing the runaway freight train of government growth. The system is corrupted by the progressive income tax.
Solving the Tax Dilemma
The only way to end this dilemma is to end the income tax. This is the single most important goal of the 21st century – purging this tyrannical tool of statism from our land. Unfortunately it can’t be done overnight, but it can be done over the next decade if we are resourceful.
The first step toward abolition of the income tax is, of course, to generate in the people a strong desire to get rid of it. But we can’t do that as long as 50% of American voters are exempt from paying it. The majority of voters will continue to support this hated tax as long as it applies only to the upper 50% of income earners in the country as it presently does. Thus if we truly want to get rid of the income tax (rather than just protest about it), we need to first destroy its progressivity of rates. This is the only way to get a majority of voters to vote against it.
This means we must totally flatten our present progressive tax structure to a simple 10% equal-rate tax with no exemptions whatsoever. (Please keep in mind, such a flat tax is not our ultimate goal. It is merely a temporary expedient to bring about our ultimate goal of total abolition.)
The 50% of voters who presently don’t pay must be required to pay. This would immediately end the income tax’s popularity among all voters, and it would end the "infinite demand for government services" that progressive tax rates bring about. The 50% of the voters who presently pay zero income taxes for their services would very quickly lose their desire for more services if they had to pay for them out of their own pockets. This would bring about widspread demand for reduction of government services rather than their constant expansion. Most important of all it would create widespread demand to lower the rate of the tax every year. Millions of irresponsible voters would suddenly become quite responsible. They would begin demanding massive cuts in spending so that their tax rates could be cut from 10% to a more tolerable 5%. At this time the flat income tax could then be replaced with a national sales tax of about 8%. The IRS could then be ended. This could be done over the next decade or two.
(Please note: The present Fair Tax will never be salable to voters at today’s level of government spending because its rate is 23%. Total government spending must be reduced first, which only an equal-rate income tax can bring about.)
There will be many who disagree with such an incrementalist approach. “Why not just abolish the income tax right away,” they reply? Why do we have to go in stages to end this hated tax? Because the voters have to be induced to end the tax, which can only be done by requiring them to pay it. In addition no presidential candidate can be elected at this time by advocating total abolishment. Ron Paul is a perfect example. As noble as his cause was (and is), the voting public marginalized him because they feared him. They feared him because he spoke the truths of freedom in language that meant ending the welfare state overnight.
For example. The income tax presently takes in $2.1 trillion in annual revenue for the Federal Government. To end it immediately would mean ending $2.1 trillion in annual government services tomorrow, which is very scary to the voters. Yet a zero income tax as quickly as possible is what Ron Paul campaigned on, and it is one of the main reasons why he got only 12% of the vote. He scared too many of the voters.This fear creation needs to be avoided for 2016. If a political reformer is to genuinely shake up the Demopublican system and end its despotic grip on our lives, then he needs to get into the national TV presidential debates like Ross Perot did in 1992 where he can stand on that stage and tell 70 million American voters how the Demopublican candidates are destroying the country via the income tax and the Federal Reserve. This cannot be done if our “freedom candidate” is marginalized by the people. And he will be marginalized if he speaks of abolishing the income tax overnight.
To gain entrance into the national TV presidential debates, our freedom candidate needs to get 15-20% in the polls. So we need to work smart instead of working emotionally. This means not scaring the American people into marginalizing us.
This also means that working within the Republican party and participating in the GOP nomination debates will never do the trick. The nomination debates only go out to about 10 million viewers on the cable channels. They are viewed primarily by political junkies. But the big debates in the fall between the Democratic and Republican candidates are viewed by 70 million viewers on the major networks. This is where the course of the country is decided. This is the big leagues. And if we are to save America, this is where we must take our stand. But this can only be done by a nationally known candidate running as an Independent. The GOP will never nominate a true “freedom candidate” who speaks of phasing out the income tax.
Would a phasing out of the income tax by eliminating progressive rates be salable to American voters? Yes, if it was explained properly to them. In our book, Breaking the Demopublican Monopoly, we show that a 10% equal-rate tax, when combined with a computerized 4% auto-expansion of the money supply for the Fed, would result in a minimum 16% annual increase in the standard of living for all American citizens. Thus the lower income classes who would have their taxes raised from zero to 10% would still net a 6% annual increase in their standard of living. What’s most important is that these two pillars of reform would light up the sky of productivity and wealth for everyone. They would bring back millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in investment capital to America.
Like the income tax, the Fed is not going to be eliminated overnight; Ron Paul concedes this. But the Fed can be phased out over the next decade or two. And the first step is to end the FOMC’s power to arbitrarily expand the money supply. We must force the Fed by law to keep money creation at the same rate as goods and services are growing; this would create zero percent price inflation annually. Milton Friedman’s 4% auto-expansion plan for the Fed would accomplish this. It would end the terrible debasement of our currency while we sell the voting public on the need to end the Fed totally over the next decade.
We at AFR call this reform of the tax and monetary systems the "Two Pillars Strategy." And we corroborate it with statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Federal Reserve Bank, and wise economists such as John Williams and James L. Payne. This demonstration could be simplified so it is understandable to 70 million voters who tune into the national TV presidential debates.
What Needs to Be Done
To bring this about the National Independent Party is being launched. But we are not just another third-party like the Libertarian and Constitution Parties. This is because we will not marginalize ourselves by advocating the immediate abolishment of the income tax and the Fed. Our “Two Pillars Strategy” is incremental; thus our candidate will not scare the voters and will easily get the crucial 15-20% in the polls to qualify for the national TV presidential debates where he can educate 70 million voters. This, neither the Libertarian nor Constitution Parties (with their 1% vote tallies) will ever be able to do. Consequently one should think of us as not just a political party, but as a dramatic gathering place for the patriots of America, a "gathering of eagles" that can alter the annals of history.
Here's a good way to view the National Independent Party: In the early 1770s, the patriots of Boston (led by Samuel Adams and John Hancock) were meeting in the local taverns every few weeks. But by 1772 their numbers had grown so strong that they overflowed the largest of taverns. Some other place had to be found to bring them all together. Adams and Hancock found that place; it was called the Old South Meeting House. It held up to 5,000 patriots, and this is where the American Revolution was launched. The Patriots met there from then on to plot their strategy, to invigorate their spirits, and to exchange ideas. As a result, the Old South Meeting House in Boston is today a famous landmark.
This, in essence, is what the National Independent Party (along with its website) will be. It will be the Old South Meeting House for the new patriots of today. And there's not just 5,000 of them out there that can be brought together. There's probably a million of them who would join the Party. What kind of money contributions would come from a million passionate patriots determined to end the insanity that is consuming America? It is not unrealistic to expect $50 million contributed to the cause of restoring freedom. Fifty million dollars would buy a lot of major advertising going into 2016. That would make our Gathering of Eagles a mighty powerful force for change in America.
Our most important goal for 2016 and beyond is to convince a major libertarian/conservative politician (such as Rand Paul, Allen West, Jim DeMint, etc.) to run an independent campaign and get into the national TV presidential debates where he can then educate 70 million voters about the crucial need for genuine tax and monetary reform to stop government growth. He can do this, like Ross Perot did in 1992, by giving 30-minute lectures on national TV the night before each of his three debates. How would this TV time be paid for? By the candidate's support groups and by the million patriots in the National Independent Party.
Such a campaign would be unbelievably dramatic. It would electrify the nation. It would break the Demopublican monopoly of ideas that is stultifying the system and destroying the greatest country in history. We believe that such a candidate could garner 38% of the vote and win in a three-man race, but even if he didn’t win the White House, he would act as a powerful magnet to draw the two major parties back to sanity because the people would be told the truth. Truth is the most powerful force in the world. It brings down empires.
In conclusion, it's important to understand that the third-party that AFR is proposing is not a "conventional" third-party. It is a reincarnation of Sam Adams and John Hancock's Old South Meeting House. It is a reincarnation of the Sons of Liberty. It will be a million-man army of patriots to take the Ron Paul revolution to the next level. And it will bring in tens of millions of dollars annually to further the cause. That's a powerful lot of persuasion.
Nelson Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic www.afr.org. His articles have appeared in such publications as the Dallas Morning News, The American Conservative, Insight, The Freeman, and Liberty, as well as on numerous Internet sites such as The Daily Bell, Financial Sense, and Safe Haven. He is also the author of a soon to be released book on political philosophy, The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Email him at: email@example.com