Ed's article is about "After Trump..."
It is too late to create a new party now, before the general election. The only possibility this cycle is the Libertarian party since it already has a position on each state ballot. It might get several times the votes that it has in the past, but that's not enough to succeed. There might be a way to run some well-known white knight in place of Gary Johnson - effectively co-opting the Libertarian party structure. But I don't know of a person who has the right principles, fame and personal power to make that an interesting proposition. I can only imagine what it would take to start now and find a way to get included in the debates. Can you imagine Trump and Hillary both saying, "Sure, we'll let this third person come on the stage and point our shortcoming out" - I don't think so.
So, we are back to the creation of a Freedom Party and it would be for the purpose of running someone in 4 years. What are things going to look like then?
Working on the assumption that Trump loses, and that the Senate goes Democrat, and Hillary appoints the deciding vote on the Supreme Court, we would find ourselves in a very different political environment. Hillary's approach is to work behind the scenes and nail down power. She has never forgotten her political mentor, Saul Alinsky.
Under those assumptions, I see the movement towards the Progressives' ideal government increase at an expotential pace and in ways that reflect Hillary's insider knowledge of how to create the effective structures to lock in the ever-increasing levels of power. What is very important here is to recognize that as liberties have been lost, the rate at which they are lost increases. That with each year the votering population includes more of the younger generation and fewer of the older generation and that is a slow, but certain conveyor belt of political change - in the wrong direction.
I can't stress too strongly the idea that political change is NOT going to be linear but instead will take exponential leaps toward totalitariansim.
So, what would we expect under these assumptions?
- First I would expect that there will be a very bold grab for control of the election mechanism itself. A way to ensure that only those who are approved by the controlling elites will be able to get elected. Progressivism and Hillary are both very much about cutting off the feet of their opponents.
- Another strong push will be to bring out the extremes of 'income inequality' as new laws and regulations... along with putting more of climate change into law and regulations. These become the mechanism for implementing massive control of the economy. Redistribution and social justice remain justifications, but the shift would be more and more towards rewarding supporters and building a political army than altruistic giving. More about building, enriching, and empowering a shadow government and moving it into the system while demonizing and driving out opposition.
- Third will be the movement to bring the political correctness that has become a physical force on campus out into main street as the start of actual conversion of freedom of speech into selective prohibited speech. This is more important to progressives than anything else - this stops opposition at the most important level: intellectual opposition. It is a strong step towards making opposition illegal.
- There might be another severe downturn in the economy and it will be blamed on Wall Street, greedy businesses, failure to regulate the excesses, GOP collusion with special interest groups, and GOP obstructionism.
So, against that, what would a political party need to put forth to win? It would have to be very bold. It would have to ridicule political correctness. It would have to call out where the system is rigged (not surprisingly, these have been used very effectively by Trump). It would have to have a call to action for each strongly emotional position (like the statements by this season's GOP candidates that they will tear up executive orders on day one, and that they will repeal ObamaCare, build a wall, etc. - but they have to more anti Democrat AND GOP politicians than about policy). Proposed actions should be specific and believable and involve totally disrupting and replacing the old elites of both parties. This party can't be just 'against' - it has to be 'for.' There has to be a vision that excites people. Reagan was good at creating the sense of a better America - part with his personality, part with explicit statements in his speeches.
The sense of the strongly desired new state of things has to be seen as very doable. I remember watching Arthur Laffer on a talk show and the guest was lamenting the state of things with all of these laws and regulations and being pessimistic that we would ever get rid of them. Laffer just smiled and said, with great confidence, something like, "It isn't a problem. It is very easy to have a bill that just says this law is hereby repealed in full." That gives a feeling of hope... and remember that Obama got elected on "Hope" (and "Change"). I would try to make concrete and real how rich we all would be if government weren't hoarding all the money. We are being oppressed by the politicians and there rigged system. Talk about the per-capita expense of government with the cost of regulations, taxes, debt, policing the world, wars we didn't need to be in. Both parties have sold our future and the future of our children and grandchildren just to struct about being powerful. Every man and woman who wants to could step into a job paying twice what they make now if all the politicians, for all the decades, hadn't conned us into believing all that stuff they do with our money is needed or helpful.
One thing to point out. With the pace of Progressivism accelerating, time is limited. Each year there are new constraints, new rules, new vigor in the negative attitudes towards any opposition. The exercise of legal, administrative and regulatory actions against anyone opposing their new 'progress' will become stronger and more overt. Look at the IRS, the EPA and the Justice Department under the Obama administration... and then don't make the mistake of thinking you understand what is coming by imagining something like that but increased by 10%. It is better to imagine far larger increases to account for this exponential rate of change. Maintaining a semblance of legality, of fairness, of respect for the constitution or traditions are all things that can - and will - be left behind very quickly. Making it a bit scarier still, understand that attacks when launched on multiple fronts, repeatedly, and which are claimed to be justified, and which receieve spin and official sanctioning seem less important. Too many bad deeds of too many kinds, at once and each one seems smaller than it is. Too many continuing on and the onslaught seems unstoppable.
The new party would be able to capitalize on the angry attacks and demonization of the right and of the GOP and of conservatives by being neither right nor left. Not liberal, progressive or conservative. It should be about giving the country back to the citizens. This has worked well for Bernie (because his followers don't know anything about socialism's actual treatment of the people) and it has worked well for Trump as a populists/nationalist/emotional-magnet. The Freedom Party can have solid principles behind the sound-bytes. The trick being to capture and attract supporters based upon the frustration and anger, but to follow through with sound principles.
Well, those are my thoughts.