Why you should vote for the Reform Party
About the Reform Party
The Reform Party was founded in 1996 by Ross Perot while he was running for President. Candidates have included Pat Buchanan, Perot himself, and Ralph Nadar. (Is there a party whose ticket he hasn't run on?) Their biggest coup was getting Jesse Ventura elected governor of Minnesota.
To date, the party hit its peak under Perot in 1996. as they received matching funds, and were the largest third party at the time.
The party's stated goals include term limits for Congress, balanced budget, campaign finance, among other items.
The party image
As of right now, there is still a primary going on with two contenders. their descritions come from reformparty.org
Dr. Lynn Kahn – Dr. Lynn Sandra Kahn received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the American University in Washington D.C. in 1977. She has more than 35 years experience as an organizational psychologist and executive consultant. Her areas of expertise include multi-partner and multi-agency strategic planning, designing the coordinating structures for complex missions, public sector reinvention and transformation, multi-city and multi-agency town hall meetings, conflict resolution and group dynamics. She is the owner of LSKahn Associates, LLC, New York.
Ken Cross – Ken Cross’s purpose for running for president is to promote progress, enhance national security, encourage fiscal responsibility, promote fair trade practices, nurture the private enterprise system, protect the environment, promote equal justice under the law, and improve the general well-being of the citizenry of both present and future generations.
Dr. Lynn Kahn's platform
Ken Cross video on Federal Debt
The Reform Party platform on Constitutional Rights
"Supporting Constitutional Rights means that we recognize that the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence were primarily written with a basic premise in mind: governments, by their nature, limit freedoms." (source: Reform Party platform)
I would presume this implies that they are against gun control. You could also imply an opposition to Defense of Marriage Act and the Patriot Act here. Much like the Constitution Party and Libertarian parties, the Reform Party believes the federal government has overextended its reach, and needs to be reined in. While they appear to be believe we need security (see below), we cannot, and should not, do so at the expense of our civil liberties.
Dr. Lynn Kahn
Reform Party on Education
"Equal access and accountability for education means that every child should have access to a quality education. It also means that school administrations, teachers, and school boards must be held accountable for student learning and performance without “teaching to the test” or being over-burdened with repeated standardized testing. Teachers should be paid in a way that matches their skill and criticality to our society.
(source Reform Party platform)
The implication is an end to No Child Left Behind, Common Core, Race to the Top, and other education programs. Unlike Libertarians and Constitutionalists, they support the Department of Education, and the raising of teachers' wages. There is also a belief that education is the cornerstone of our nation's future, and the best means of raising the standard of living for everyone. I would also imagine, however, that equal access also applies to higher learning, and they would more closely scrutinize college graduation rates.
Reform Party on Energy Independence
The something for everyone category. Basically increase production of fossil fuels and alternative energy, this way we are no longer at the mercy of OPEC, and no more fighting for our oil supply. This could mean easing out the oil reserves, while also investing in the production of alternative energy. This is a middle of the road stand on energy, that agrees with the right on increasing fossil fuel production, while also agreeing with the left that we need to do more investing into alternate fuel sources so that we lessen our dependence on environmentally unsafe fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal.
(source Reform Party platform)
Reform Party on the Environment
"Safeguarding our natural resources balanced with the need for economic development means that we must be good stewards of land, air, and water resources. Development needs must take into account the value of natural conservation and vice versa, and must always look at the long-term impact on quality of life. You do not inherit the earth from your ancestors; you borrow it from your children." (source: ReformParty.org/platform)
This is old school conservation, straight from several of Teddy Roosevelt's ideas on conservation. In short, there must be a balance between the advancing of technology, and the preservation of nature.
Reform Party on Deficit Spending
"Fiscal responsibility with accountability means that the Federal Government puts an end to the historical cycle of deficit spending and does so with commitment to “accountability without loopholes” to guarantee responsible budgets. As of 2010, our nation is spending $3.72 Trillion on federal programs and services per year, but we are only taking in $2.165 Trillion in revenue." (source: Reform Party platform)
In short, fix the deficit by ending wasteful spending and put an end to deficit spending. This calls for a balanced budget, no more loopholes, no more kicking the bill down the road, etc. It would also clean up overlapping agency responsibilities so that there is much less government waste. (Part of the problem with deficit spending,)
The Reform Party was originally formed in response to the failures of Clinton and the Republicans to reach an agreement on balanced budgets, so this is the single largest portion of their platform.
Reform Party on Foreign Policy
Basically, an end to the nation building, meddling in foreign nations' affairs, and other foreign policy antics our nation has been engaged in since the turn of the century. No more overthrowing regimes, no more funding rebels, no more military intervention unless asked by the country itself.
Much like a lot of the Reform Party's platform this is a firm middle ground between isolationism and US foreign policy since Woodrow Wilson. The idea is that we spend too much on helping nations rebuild and restructure, and then in a few short years, the mess we "fixed" is worse than before.
Consider that Iraq and Afghanistan are far from being structurally sound, Libya and Mogadishu are both still a mess, Cuba and Vietnam are still Communist controlled, Korea is still divided, and meddling in Central and South American countries have certainly not benefited these countries at all. This hasn't been a strictly Republican problem, nor a Democrat problem. Both major parties have assisted in disastrous foreign policies.
Reform Party on Government and Ethics
"Highest ethical standards and oversight means that elected officials must have as their first loyalty the entire citizenry they represent, not just the people who funded their campaign or who will pad their retirement." (source: Reform Party platform)
Again, this played a part in why this party was formed so there is much to be said by the party on this issue. They also support term limits in Congress on the basis of the above. No more talk of getting rid of lobbyists, and then circumventing that. The Reform Party wants real reform on special interests, not just tough talk. This would also mean an end to policy advisers, or czars, who were former, or are currently, lobbyists.
Reform Party on Job Creation
"The Reform Party SUPPORTS an “America First” position.
We recognize current trade policies have failed and resulted in the export of our manufacturing job base which sustains America’s middle class. The Reform Party calls for the repeal or revision of current trade agreements. America’s elected leaders have a primary responsibility to assure that American citizens’ economic security takes priority in any trade policy decision." (ReformParty.org/platform)
In short, goodbye NAFTA and other deals.
Reform Party on Immigration
"Guaranteeing the security of our national borders means that we must have the ability to monitor and manage all traffic crossing our land or sea borders. A nation which can not control its borders places itself in grave danger to those who would use that to their advantage, whether they be trafficking drugs or weapons, human trafficking, supporting a black market economy, or intent on terrorist attack. Likewise, the safety of our citizens depends on a professional and independent intelligence service that supports American ideals and interests abroad without being bent to the service of political agendas." (source: ReformParty.org/platform)
Basically, secure the border, protect our interests overseas, all in order to secure the safety of our citizenry. Isn't this what government is actually for? They would also support likely making the CIA less affected by politics and more independent.
Reform Party on Healthcare
"We believe there must be real comprehensive healthcare reform, which includes physician accountability, elimination of junk medical lawsuits, quality of care, reduced cost, and adequate coverage. Reducing healthcare costs is the first priority for making healthcare affordable for everyone." (source: ReformParty.org/platform)
Translation: These reforms would do what Obamacare claimed to do. There would also be tort reform, and possibly less bureaucratic interference in healthcare. I would also suspect that the IRS would no longer be overseeing healthcare, and they have stated there needs to be more transparency in the medical profession regarding costs, availability, and what is actually covered before procedures and medication are given.
Reform Party on Taxes
"A fair taxation policy without prejudice or special interest exemptions means the tax code must reviewed and reformed to create a new tax system that will stimulate economic development, is fundamentally fair, eliminates corporate welfare, excludes loopholes, and would be sufficient to pay for essential federal government operations." (source: ReformParty.org/platform)
Again, a middle ground between Libertarians and Green Party regarding tax policy.
I had actually forgotten about Perot founding this party. I had come to connect the party with Pat Buchanan, David Duke, and at one time, Donald Trump. That seems to be in the past, fortunately.
As you will note, there is no mention of social issues such as gay marriage and abortion under issues. This is intentional on the part of the Reform Party. Their official stance is that they have no official stance. Basically, the Reform Party is focused on job creation, government accountability, foreign and tax policy, and will (except for a brief time when Buchanan won the nomination) remain so.
If someone as charismatic as Perot was at the head of the party still, this party could be a legitimate force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, it seems the party has declined as their star removed himself from consideration.
This was the same fate that befall the People's Party, another populist movement, when William Jennings Bryan stopped running for President. A populist movement only lasts as long as its creator does.
A warning to the Republican Party and Donald Trump, perhaps.
As always, please feel free to comment below, but please keep it civil.