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Could current Republican lawmakers leave the party before 2018 elections?

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Could current Republican lawmakers leave the party before 2018 elections

For full disclosure, I’m a co-founder of the Federalist Party. It behooves me to want certain Republicans, those who want to limit government, defend freedoms, and protect life, to leave the Democratlite party (better known as the GOP).

The last week has been a whirlwind for the GOP and the nation. In the gap between two major hurricane disasters, the Republican Congress has worked on or plans to address issues that one would normally associate with the Democrats. They’re going with the Democrats’ plan to raise the debt ceiling. They are now tasked to legalize DACA, bail out Obamacare, and push forth “tax reform” that seems increasingly likely to resemble a Bill Clinton plan than something fiscal conservatives would draft.

Their leader in the White House is making it crystal clear he loves working with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi while despising the agenda (which he helped create) being botched by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. If they’re unable to put forth the so-called tax reform as well as Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure plan (which is conspicuously similar to Schumer’s plan) while trying to fund the border wall, it’s possible for the GOP Congress and the White House to no longer be on speaking terms by Thanksgiving.

Stakes are high heading into a midterm election cycle that is laced with uncertainty. That’s been part of the buzz this week, but even with the debt ceiling being in the news, few have discussed the actual debt itself. With GOP control of both chambers and the White House, it’s inexcusable that the debt continues to skyrocket. How can Constitutionalists in DC watch as their party squanders an opportunity to address the fiscal cliff we’re heading towards? That’s the $20 trillion question.

Could we see Republicans abandoning ship ahead of the election to run as Independents or Federalists? Are some who aren’t going into an election year considering changing allegiance soon rather than waiting? If things continue to look gloomy for both Republicans and Democrats in coming months, the answer to both questions is “maybe.” It’s a long-shot; we weren’t planning on running in many national elections until 2020, but the growing angst has accelerated things.

I wish I could go into detail about the conversations I’ve had this week. Some were surprising. The rest were downright shocking. We’re in a very strange situation where both major parties are failing to inspire any form of support outside of the fervent base. The best thing going for the Republican Party is the Democratic Party. The best thing going for the Democratic Party is the Republican Party. There’s a distinct lack of positive momentum on either side. At this point, all they can rely on is trying to make the other side look worse.

That’s the problem with binary choice. It’s a system that mathematically offers the lowest chance of yielding candidates the people truly want. It’s why we’ve become a political society of attack ads rather than issue-based platform building. Instead of laying out concrete plans for policy, campaigns have devolved to pure mudslinging. They no longer give reasons why you should vote FOR someone. They simply focus on making us vote AGAINST their opponent.

Our intention has always been to focus locally in the 2018 elections and expand to national races in 2020. That plan hasn’t changed, but the calculus is much more favorable now than it ever has been. I’ll be reaching out to those who appear to be Federalists before the end of the year to see what’s possible. If the interest is there (and based upon my calls this week, it is), it’s possible we could see current GOP lawmakers jump ship.

Who can blame them? The Establishment is no longer a representation of what conservatives call RINOs (Republican In Name Only). They’re now what the Republican Party embodies philosophically. It’s the small-government-minded, Constitution-loving Republicans who are no longer considered true representatives of their party’s ideology or plan.

Constitutional conservatives are now Republicans in name only. They see the party as the best vehicle during campaign season because there haven’t been any viable alternatives. We’re trying to change that. Judging by the response we’ve received so far, we’re on our way to reaching the necessary tipping point.

Our biggest challenges are the ongoing failures of third parties. They’ve suffered from amateur strategies and poor choices that end up wasting time, money, and votes. They’ve paved a road towards a dead end. Combine that notion with the self-perpetuating false dichotomy created by the masters of the two-party system and it’s easy to see why so many Americans want a third party but have a hard time believing they’re even possible.

We can suspend disbelief if one or both of two things happen. Our strategy of starting with local, city, county, and state elections is the long road heading towards DC, but it’s solid. The longshot – an exodus by current lawmakers – is entering more of our internal conversations. This time last month, it wasn’t really an option. We’ve apparently been causing some people to take notice which has prompted this week’s enlightening conversations. Now, the exodus gambit is getting stronger consideration. Thankfully, they’re not mutually exclusive. We’ll continue with the first plan while keeping our eyes and ears open for the second.

America needs to be released from the inherent dysfunction of the Democratic-Republicans who’ve had a stranglehold on government since the 19th century. President Trump has stirred the trough shared by both major parties. The time is near when Constitutionalists on Capitol Hill can no longer willfully partake in eating the slop. When the time comes, we’ll be ready.

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Federalists

Be careful about calling for more national election laws

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Be careful about calling for more national election laws

We’re starting to hear rumblings, mostly from Republicans, calling for national standardization of elections. It’s understandable that people are frustrated by what’s happening in Florida. Arizona and Georgia also have some questionable happenings. But it’s imperative as conservatives that we allow the states to fix the problems no matter how bad they may seem.

The biggest reason: the more the federal government gets involved in just about anything, the easier it will be for voter fraud, counting mishaps, and election official corruption to occur. Take, for example, calls ringing out again for national voter ID. Would it make it harder for non-citizens to vote? Perhaps. But it also runs the risk of catastrophic failure when we centralize and/or digitize the voting system itself. Not only will all of our eggs be in one basket that becomes a single point of failure, but it also slows the process of adjusting against threats. Sophisticated vote manipulators in or out of the country would love nothing more than a federalized voting system.

Taking away the states’ responsibility to administer their voting protocols takes away their accountability as well. Calls for centralization of nearly every other component of administration, from education to the environment to healthcare, has resulted in horrific results that greatly overshadowed the localized problems they were intended to fix.

Some states are having major problems with elections. These states must fix their problems. When the federal government gets involved in sweeping changes that force solutions for isolated cases on the rest of the country, more problems arise. The benefits are greatly outweighed by the detriments.

Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes is incompetent, corrupt, or both. She needs to be replaced and the voting process in Florida needs to be fixed. Let Broward County and Florida replace her and fix their voting process. It may be hard to have faith in the county and state, but do we really have more faith in Washington DC? Should we be calling for more centralized voting laws and protocols because of a few persons’ gross negligence?

No.

It’s frustrating when local officials can affect national elections, but that’s why people can vote them out and force reforms. Where it’s broken, let those states fix it. Bringing in a DC solution will give us DC results, and that’s almost never a good thing.

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Federalists

Bipartisanship has two major downsides

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Bipartisanship has two major downsides

The GOP losing control of the House of Representatives completely changes the course Washington DC will take over the next two years or more. For whatever reason, most Americans don’t seem to understand the repercussions. Most know this means the Democrats can start doing more things against President Trump even if they don’t quite understand the power of subpoena. They know this will slow down the President’s agenda, but probably don’t understand the degree of deadlock this creates.

Democrats won’t be able to get legislation through because of the Senate, and even if they could they’d be blocked by veto. Republicans can’t get any legislation through because of the House. Anything that is not bipartisan such as infrastructure will not even be attempted for at least two years. Since there are very few possible pieces of legislation that can be considered bipartisan, we can expect very little to be done.

That’s the good news.

There shouldn’t be much done. That’s how DC is supposed to operate. It’s supposed to be slow and methodical. The founders envisioned a federal government that could basically only push forward legislation that both sides of the political aisle agreed to, at least in part. Remember, the didn’t like a party system and they definitely didn’t want a two-party system, but that’s how our government has evolved. Perhaps it was inevitable for two parties to split power incessantly, but the founders hoped we would avoid such a mess.

While it’s good for things to move slowly in DC, there are two big problems with it and we’re about to face both of them. The first can best be described as half-measures. The solution to a problem that can get bipartisan support is almost always loaded with political backscratching. One of the reasons the bureaucracy is so big is because politicians have been packing things into their bills for decades. It’s like a bribe – “We’ll include a sugar subsidy in the bill in exchange for your support of our tax hike, Mr. Florida Senator.”

The second problem is the tendency for bipartisan projects to be gargantuan and expensive. The aforementioned infrastructure fix is the perfect example. President Trump, Senators Schumer and McConnell, and possible future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have all discussed infrastructure at one point or another in the past couple of years. Rumors and leaks have indicated such a bill would cost over a trillion dollars. There’s also much talk about attempting a public-private partnership to make it work.

As we face a trillion dollar deficit next year, any thought of spending more money is ludicrous. However, it’s appealing to politicians on both sides because it would create jobs and represents a tangible benefit people can actually experience in their daily lives. It’s not a question of whether both sides can come together on it. The only question is how they’ll divide up credit for it.

In the end, taxpayers will feel the pain. The budget deficit will rise. The national debt will continue to grow at an untenable pace. All the while, Mr. President and Madam Speaker will be giving each other fist bumps.

We don’t need bipartisanship. We need nonpartisanship. The real solutions America needs all point towards limiting government, cutting spending, and pushing more power to the state, local, and individual levels.

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Federalists

Pete Sessions’ limited government message is exactly what we need to hear

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Pete Session's limited government message is exactly what we need to hear

It isn’t often you see a politician operating in Washington DC say something that goes against the common claim that Washington DC must fix everything. The power grabs on Capitol Hill and the White House happen all the time regardless of the party. Democrats may be better at it, but Republicans have been pushing for bigger government for a while.

There are a few notable exceptions. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) is one of them. The Congressman has been an advocate of federalism in which states have an equal say on most issues. It’s hard to wrest power from DC politicians, but thankfully some of them, such as Sessions, are cognizant of the Constitution’s separation of powers between federal and state governments.

“We have to allow people in the states to make their own decisions, to get government agencies out of the way and let local people make decisions about what’s best for them.”

Texans need to help keep America heading in the right direction by putting Pete Sessions on Capitol Hill where he belongs. This race is too important to let it slip through our fingers.

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