The Veterans' Party of America - Good idea, but...
Recently I saw a post on Facebook promoting a group called the "Veterans Party of America" and figured with the word "veteran" in it I should have a look and see what it was all about, so I did. Here is my take on the organization. Remember, this is MY personal take on it. I suggest you read their mission statement and platform to formulate your own opinion.
Let's start off with their Mission Statement:
Our mission is to place solution oriented leaders, that will not forget their oath to the Constitution, into political office so America can once again be the nation it has always been-Strong, Fair, Just. We believe in Liberty, Justice and Freedom.
I like that it is in true military fashion - BLUF (bottom line up front) - but it really only touches on two factors, solution oriented leaders and the Constitution. Also, the last bit about Liberty, Justice and Freedom is a bit too simplified. A little more expounding without getting too detailed on those principles would be ideal to show how they differ from any other political party that touts the same principles.
However, their mission statement is just that, a statement, but when we dive into their platform, this is where a few things begin to stand out.
I'm just going state right up front that after having read their party platform, party constitution and by-laws, I am a little leery of supporting a couple of their platform positions. And as a side note, being that there is no means for strictly allowing military or military affiliation within a political party, I wonder how viable, as well as misleading, the title of "Veterans" attached to the party is.
Some problems with the party platform:
- Complacency on SCotUS rulings as final and non-debatable.
- Contradictory statement that says those same rulings can be changed.
- Separation of Church and State needs to be more clearly defined.
First off, I'll go over the items I feel I cannot support.
Before we even get to the points of their platform, an introduction is presented and there is a portion that states,
The constitutionality of social issues, such as, abortion and gay rights, has already been ruled upon by the Supreme Court and any attempts to change these are unconstitutional. We view them as settled and have no choice but to support the court’s rulings with regard to the Constitutionality of them.
So does that mean the twenty-first Amendment is invalid and prohibition is valid and legal because it has been ruled on? Drinking alcohol is a social issue, yet was ruled on twice. I disagree with this stance that once ruled on it is not open for debate. Especially within the corrupt climate our political system is already in. This leads us into the first point.
Point 1 is on the Constitution. While this point clearly believes the Constitution to be law of the land I think they are taking interpretive liberties with it when they state that,
The original framers referred to it as an imperfect document. With that in mind, they saw fit to create a living document with provisions for its modification as times and circumstances changed. It is only to be changed by the will of the people...
This is contradictory to what they stated earlier. If the will of the people ratify and the SCotUS rules it, how can it be changed if they believe that the ruling is settled and we "have no choice but to support the court’s rulings with regard to the Constitutionality of them"? This seems to me as nothing more than another method to present an agenda into the ratification process. Is it the will of the people to allow abortion or gay rights? Not last I heard. I think there is significant divide that this issue is far from settled and now we just have to accept it because a bunch of liberal judges say so.
I am not 100% on the whole issue of separation of church and state. As a Christian I firmly believe that the removal of God in our society is directly reflected in the mess we find our country and society in. I do however agree that the Constitution clearly says that there can be no government-sanctioned religion. This is a REALLY sticky topic and probably the biggest one facing our nation.
Other than those issues, the rest of their platform seems viable and exactly what the country is in need of.
Point 3 is on job security, and they are correct that job creation is critical, but I think they should expound the point to mention that creating American jobs is the main factor in this and that, in conjunction with the education portion, we educate our citizens to become intelligent workers who can equal any foreign workers output right here in America limiting the need for outside resources.
Point 4 is on Border Security and again, spot on. Secure borders are not meant to restrict travel but to protect our nation.
Point 5 is Nation Defense and Security, and again, spot on. A strong, trained and ready military is beyond critical for our nations defense.
Point 6 is Immigration. VERY touchy subject, but I think their three tiered plan is a viable and fair solution.
Point 7 is Education, and as I stated earlier, we need to educate our youth. What I like is that they stand against Common Core and let education be taught and controlled at the local level.
Point 8 is Foreign Policy and I think they do a fair job at stating that basically we will no longer be the worlds police force. I do think, however, the situation with the United Nations needs to be addressed and we need to keep other countries from dictating policy for the American people. That is why we have elected officials.
Point 9 is Foreign Aid. Once again, I agree with this. We have plenty of needs right here on our own soil. That doesn't mean we should not assist other nations but we should not hinder their own efforts to provide their own people the needs as necessary. The idea of teach a man to fish instead of giving him a fish applies here.
Would you support this party based on this hub?
Point 10 is Balanced Budget. This goes without saying. I do think they should put a little more into this point other than the obvious.
Point 11 is Earned Benefits. This is a tough one, and while I do agree with it, I think we have to be careful because of the situation we are already in - that is - promises that were made for certain benefits without long-range planning. I think an overhaul is in need to some of these programs and we need cooperation on every Americans part to get the programs back on track or even restructured.
Point 12 is on Tax Reform. Again, this is completely a no-brainier. Our tax systems is a complete fiasco and needs a massive overhaul. I think they make a good point with their example of the two different brackets that show the rich actually pay less taxes.
Point 13 is Welfare Reform. Hallelujah! This is long overdue. The welfare system is irrevocably broken and an overhaul is what they are suggesting.
Point 14 Election Reform. Spot on. This needs to be a level playing field across the board so there is no question as to what the policy and penalties are for failing to adhere to said policy.
Point 15 hits Congressional Pay and Benefits. It is a start that they point out solutions need to be worked out but that the monies for Congress and Representatives should be State funded, not Federally funded.
Point 16 is Term Limits, and I think they are on the right track with making the States responsible for the limits. However, as they state, a Constitutional Amendment would be necessary for this, and this goes back to my first position that I find a bit of contradictory statements in their position.
Point 17 is Resource Sustainability and what I really like most is that they clearly want to do make sound, environmentally aware choices and get rid of all the alarmists shouting "Global Warming" as the reason for the change. Sound, logical and responsible planning is what is needed.
Point 18 is on Corporate Subsidies and I again agree completely. If the corporation cannot properly control itself the Federal government and people should not be the ones to bail them out of their own mess.
And finally Point 19 is on Unions. I half agree with this. I do not believe in Unions. I think they literally serve no purpose other than political and personal gain of their leadership. I also believe they hinder actual timely and efficient production of a company by unnecessarily meddling in the affairs of the organization. I do agree as the point states that "no American should be forced to join a union as a condition of employment", however, I do not believe the Unions, as they currently are functioning, serve any purpose, even in skilled labor.
So, that is the entire party platform. Personally, I think with a few modifications and clarifications it could be a step in the right direction. The biggest problem we face is the old crony state we find ourselves in and the lack of citizen input and knowledge and a willingness to change a pattern that is broken. Until that happens, no third party is going to be able to break the stranglehold of the current two party system.