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The Federalist Party decoded: An interview with activist JD Rucker

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JD Rucker Federalist Party

“I decided that somebody’s got to do it, if nobody else will, then I must.”

I had the pleasure of speaking at length with head of the Federalist Party, political activist JD Rucker. I became intrigued by Rucker after I learned of the Federalist Party’s existence and their fundamentally different approach to challenging the two-party system. In our current climate of political mayhem, could a third-party be a feasible alternative for the somewhat ideologically homeless conservative? I thought speaking with Rucker would be a good place to begin.

From start to finish, the conversation with Rucker was both enlightening and heartening. Rucker’s understanding of what fundamentally plagues our political system is in congruence with many disillusioned conservatives—the Right’s disappointing failure to fight “big government” has morphed into a growing fondness for bloated bureaucracy. And therein, Rucker defines what he believes to be the purpose of the Federalist Party: “Our third party is designed in particular to essentially pull them [GOP] back to the Right, if that’s even possible. And if not, then we are prepared to take over.”

He sees the Federalist Party as a “reminder” that the GOP can no longer take the conservative vote for granted.  But Rucker isn’t obtuse on how we got here—he’s direct and forthright when he flatly states, “We have allowed the government to do this to us.”

He’s also not naïve about the abysmal success rate to which third parties typically fall privy. However, he does identify the Federalist Party strategy as decidedly different, proclaiming “the primary difference for us is that we are going to build this from the local level, up.”  He coins the Federalist Party’s approach as “bottom-up” in nature, focused on creating an initial footprint in everything from sheriff elections to city council elections to state legislative elections. And indeed, for a party focused on returning power to communities, this approach is refreshingly organic.

Rucker wrote a piece several weeks ago discussing how federalism isn’t about protecting states but rather about protecting the individual. When I asked him about this particular message, he expounded in detail on the government’s general failure to serve the “primacy” of the individual, who has now been belittled by the ever-expanding state.  Rucker then admits that Americans now are looking for “leaders to save them,” and this desire is fundamentally flawed: “Government should enable the people to find a solution—government was never designed to be the solution.”

In Rucker’s eyes, “the individual can solve problems for him or herself better than any government action.” And Rucker believes the Federalist Party is geared towards reintroducing the long-lost individual back into the political sphere, specifically by enabling and encouraging people to take more active roles in their communities.

The Federalist Party’s main goal is to demonstrate how genuinely small government—manifested as the “localization of efforts”—can benefit people’s causes more than a larger federal apparatus can. From Rucker’s point of view, federalism or “taking care of your own local area” is much more impactful than tackling a wide range of issues on a global scale. Given this metric holds true for both the conservative and the liberal, he envisions the Federalist Party as appealing to a variety of figures from across the political spectrum.

And baked into this understanding of federalism’s appeal is Rucker’s conception of what the party’s approach should be. Indeed, his vision for the Federalist Party is one prudently defined by longevity, rather than by capturing a few seats in 2018.  In fact, he could not have emphasized to me more strongly the importance of 2032 over the impending midterm elections.

But perhaps the most interesting part of my interview with JD revolved around his entrance into politics. It wasn’t a foray marked by a prestigious law degree or longish stint at a private equity firm.  Rucker described himself as simply a politically engaged person who realized about fifteen years ago that the Republican Party had approached a stage beyond saving and that it would be far better to structure a new party around a truly conservative perspective. Rucker succinctly explained his own involvement by stating, “Nobody else was doing it and I felt somebody needed to.”

What struck me as most impressive about Rucker, beyond his assessment of the current political climate and his prescription for reform, was his depthless humility. I am ending with his own words because I don’t believe I could do them quite justice. Needless to say, my interview with JD Rucker gives me hope that the citizenry is still capable of producing selfless and thoughtful leaders. In a time of an ever-expanding federal apparatus, made fat by unabated spending, I am encouraged by thinkers like JD who not only diagnose problems with poise but also have the drive to tackle them.  In the words of JD Rucker:

“I want to be clear. People like to put me down as ‘cofounder’ of the Federalist Party. I look at myself as specifically just a caretaker. Just to get this up and running until more people—better people, smarter people—can get involved. That is all.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Federalist Party and what Rucker and others are doing on behalf of conservatism, feel free to visit thefederalistparty.org.  You can follow JD Rucker on Twitter at @JDRucker.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. David Oslin (@hyperion5182)

    July 17, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Well said and written. An excellent read.

  2. JC

    July 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Great article! Hope to see more from you!

  3. Judith Irlacher

    July 18, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Knowing nothing of the Federalist Party, I am impressed with the opinions of J D Rucker, thank you for sharing his ideas!

  4. Susan Sylvia

    July 28, 2017 at 4:22 am

    I have been with JD (by email!) since Day One when he asked on his website The New Americana, ‘Should we do this?’ and I can say that everything the author says about him is true. He takes a Democratic approach to decision making and is an excellent team leader, while still very humble. He also has a very smart plan, using the latest technology and social media, to make this go, and he is savvy enough to observe what other parties have done wrong and to sidestep those pitfalls. I think that this third party, vs. others that have come and gone or simply languished, has a real chance to take off. And what better name for a party? I’m a member, and I hope others will join!

  5. Kim Gallagher

    July 28, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Ditto Susan.

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Guns and Crime

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

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It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

That will change soon, possibly today. Brennan, a prominent volunteer for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and current Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, released this statement:

On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.

I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.

The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice.

I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.

New Jersey residents are only given a two-year window to file a civil suit. After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action.

It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases. Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.

Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action. Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.

To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve.

Murphy has not commented other than saying Alvarez should not have been hired. He was made aware of a “sensitive matter” that needed to be discussed by Brennan in June and claimed his staff would set up a meeting. That was the last Brennan heard from Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of aide sex assault allegation questioned

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/10/14/murphys-handling-sexual-assault-allegation-called-into-question/1642517002/His accuser, Katie Brennan, was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she spent more than a year seeking action against Alvarez for the alleged sexual assault before directly emailing Phil and Tammy Murphy in June. Phil Murphy responded within the hour, according to the Journal.

“Hang in,” he wrote. “We are on it.”

But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October. The alleged assault happened in April 2017.

Standards set by the #MeToo movement dictate that credible accusations should be believed. Brennan appears to be extremely credible, having reported her rape immediately after it allegedly occurred. Alvarez offered a $15,000 settlement that would have been attached to a non-disclosure agreement, which Brennan refused.

Where is MSNBC? Where is CNN? Where is Alyssa Milano?

Social media is starting to take notice. In particular, they’re going after Murphy and his wife for speaking out in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Katie Brennan

My Take

I am a strong proponent for what the #MeToo movement once promoted and how it started. The original intent was to embolden women who had experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of men in power over them. The goal was to give courage to those who were in very tough situations.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has been weaponized. I’m not going to draw comparisons between accusations against Kavanaugh and Alvarez. That would be unfair to Ford since Brennan’s accusations against Alvarez are much more recent and have the benefit of an immediate report to the authorities. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as of now, either the story hasn’t reached the right people or the right people have chosen to ignore it.

We can’t let them.

It’s not as if this is a political hit job against Democrats. Brennan’s image was used in Murphy’s campaign handouts and she was outspoken as a “Young Democrat of the Week” in New Jersey as a result.

Katie Brennan NJ Democrat

I don’t like when something as heinous as rape gets politicized, but silence from mainstream media and the #MeToo movement is deafening. Would they be avoiding the story if Brennan had accused a Republican?

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Culture and Religion

Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

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Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

National Review reporter and Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf often discusses political correctness. She talks about it so often that one might think it’s a subject she enjoys, but in reality it’s simply a problem she passionately wants to solve.

In American society, it is way too easy to offend. People do not want to hear that their perspectives are wrong. That’s apparently some form of violence. They don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint. That’s allegedly a form of oppression. Many on the left feel entitled to express their opinions in any way they see fit and also to prevent others from sharing their opinions if there’s a difference in worldviews.

The hypocrisy of political correctness is thick.

As Timpf recently pointed out on National Review, it’s a problem that doesn’t have an easy solution, but trends are pointing to positive movement against the specter of political correctness.

Political Correctness: Study Finds 80 Percent of Americans Think It’s a Problem

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/political-correctness-problem-according-to-80-percent-of-people/I could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point: Writing about political correctness sometimes makes me feel as if everyone has gone mad, and I’m very glad to see that this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, a strong majority of people apparently agrees with me. A strong majority believes that political correctness has gone too far, and probably would agree that we need to be careful to protect our ability to speak freely in this country.

That’s certainly encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me feel entirely better. After all, the small, PC-obsessed mob can sometimes be very powerful. Once it decides that someone or something is racist or sexist, that conclusion can carry a lot of weight. It can ruin careers and lives. It can remove perfectly good, innocuous words from acceptable speech, because even the people who might not see a problem with those words don’t want to risk being accused of racism or sexism for using them. The only answer is to keep fighting, to keep exposing and mocking such overreach when it occurs — and to take solace in the fact that so many people have awoken to its dangers.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Timpf.

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Entertainment and Sports

Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

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Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

Rachel McKinnon. a transgender woman who was born male and possesses all the physical advantages of a man, won the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles. It’s the latest event that draws questions about the fairness of biological males competing in female events.

Despite outcry by biological females and men alike, it is being billed by some as a victory for the LGBTQ community and transgender men or women around the world. Critics point out that biological males have an unfair advantage over biological females when it comes to activities that require physical strength, speed, or endurance. That doesn’t seem to deter those competing in these events.

Biological Male Wins World Championship Event in Women’s Cycling

https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/10/14/biological-male-wins-world-championship-event-in-womens-cycling/McKinnon celebrated the victory on Twitter, writing: “First transgender woman world champion … ever.” Later, the professor responded to criticism from “transphobic bigots” by tweeting:

Allowing biological males who identify as transgender women to compete in women’s athletic events has been a controversial subject, as critics argue that it puts female competitors at an inherent disadvantage.

My Take

Unlike some of my colleagues, I have no problem with transgenderism. What I have a problem with is the unfairness of women’s competitive sports being infiltrated by those who have clear and scientifically demonstrable biological advantages over their competitors.

If performance enhancing drugs are frowned upon in sports, what could be more performance-enhancing than growing up with the musculature and hormone advantage of a man, then competing in women’s sports?

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