In the October 30, 2008 Third Party Presidential Debate between Bob Barr (L), Chuck Baldwin (Const.) and Ralph Nader (I), one attendee posed the question, "Why don't you all combine forces?" A quite logical question, perhaps thought of by some before. Barr arrogantly quipped back during his response that he would be willing, only if, "they would join my campaign." And thus, the strong growing third party movement in the United States will gain votes this year, but will most likely divide 3-4 percent between these three candidates. If the third parties could gain a combined 15% this year, the election could hold within its ugly confines a moral victory for a real hope in 2012.
Interestingly enough, Chuck Baldwin had an intelligent position on the future of the third party movement. Quick to reference libertarian American statesman Ron Paul, he mentioned that if the current Freedom movement could combine under a single banner and influential leader, a strong third party would be viable. While Greens and Libertarians would have much to disagree on, especially on domestic policy, a Liberty Party would give leverage to America's civil rights and anti-war campaigns.
Chuck Baldwin, Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader held a press conference as the third party candidates in mid-September and pledged to follow four distinct planks of the same platform. The four points are as follow:
"Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.
Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.
The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.
The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds."
Such a remedy for America is highly needed and a good start to combine efforts. Once established, a new party can now emerge with the wisdom and good will of these disparate groups in mind. The Liberty Party would give America a new chioce, a party which focuses on details of the issues, rather than the personalities of dim-witted politicians.
And for those of libertarian thought who fear a compromise with others who advocate coercive socialist-oriented public programs; it will only be a matter of time before we will convince our fellow good intentioned liberty seekers of the rightness of the cause. For they know that "freedom is popular" and that while we differ on ways to achieve freedom, the fact that one party could represent that dream would be a much needed improvement on the world stage.
So for young and old, liberal and libertarian alike, it is time to unite our efforts and form a Liberty Party which will enumerate the values we all hold dear.