The reason I am optimistic and excited about the Protest Party catching on to an extent that it can make a real impact is that it should appeal to people for several powerful reasons. Three primary reasons are morality, honor, and pragmatism.
The Protest Party should appeal to many Americans for moral reasons. Americans adhere to various conceptions of morality, but those of us who base our morality on something like a universal application of human decency are appalled by the machinations of both our major parties. Even those Americans who put no conscious thought into their own moral code can usually identify when something is wrong: corruption, deception, hypocrisy, and oppression are nearly universally viewed as dirty or suspect. It is no secret that America’s two major parties regularly transgress on all of these counts. Decent Americans of almost all moral persuasions should be looking for alternatives to complicity with these depravities. That’s not to say that I necessarily think people should never be willing to vote for the “lesser-of-two-evils”. Less evil is preferable to more evil, but only when they are truly our only choices. While the existing Minor Parties do provide a moral alternative, voting for them is of limited strategic value. The Protest Party aims to provide an alternative that is both moral and strategic.
Even people who are not overly concerned with leading moral lives should be able to sympathize with the need for self-respect. It should be embarrassing to keep voting for the two Major Parties each election. These two parties have become masters of deceit; each election, the winner seems to be whoever most effectively convinces their supporters that they are different from the last guy. American voters have a peculiar tolerance for this sort of abuse. We are the Charlie Browns to our parties’ Lucy, allowing ourselves to be talked into trying to kick their damn football time after time. Simply based on self-respect, voters should be unwilling to keep voting for either of the two systematic betrayal machines that comprise the Republican and Democratic Parties. Honor demands that we stand up to these insults. Whether this means voting for an existing Minor Party or for the Protest Party, finally refusing to try to kick that football is a truly cathartic act. If the vote is for the Protest Party, as opposed to one of the other Minor Parties, the catharsis can be made all the sweeter through the knowledge that you are not throwing away your vote. Quite the contrary: The Protest Party is designed to leverage our votes to garner support for our agendas when the Major Parties ignore us.
The appeal of the Protest Party should extend beyond those voters interested in preserving their moral fiber and defending their honor. The strategic impetus of the Protest Party is to consolidate voter’s political power in a way that can challenge money’s political power. Once it reaches a critical mass of support and power, the Protest Party will start to become appealing even to those with purely pragmatic political inclinations; on many issues, the two Major Parties have absolutely no differences, and for people that care primarily about such issues, the only viable electoral strategy would be to support the Protest Party. Whereas the Major Parties can be expected to continue ignoring the interests of those without significant financial means, the Protest Party will be interjecting new ideas into the national discourse, and by showing solidarity and uniting under the Protest Party banner, the supporters of various special interest groups (those without significant lobbying clout) can support each other’s efforts to get their agendas recognized. (See the Protest Party Philosophy page for more information.) This may be frustrating for those whose agendas are not initially put forth as the party’s “demand,” but no more frustrating than waiting for the two Major Parties to start caring about interests that don’t contribute money to their campaigns. If one of the Major Parties siphons off some Protest Party support by adopting the agenda of one of the Protest Party’s frustrated minor factions, well, then, mission accomplished! This would be a way of achieving the Protest Party’s primary goal of garnering support for the political agendas of party supporters.
If it were to achieve ballot access, the Protest Party would provide the strategic platform necessary to make it worthwhile to vote in accordance with your morality, your self-respect, and your political pragmatism. By uniting under a single banner, voters of all political persuasions who are sick of being debased, insulted, and ignored by the two Major Parties may find that their votes are finally have some clout. We will work to agree on a single demand and put our collective force behind getting that demand codified. Unlike the existing Minor Parties and their unrealistic stated goal of getting elected, the Protest Party takes the more pragmatic approach of working to force the entrenched Major Parties to adopt out agendas. What we need now is more support so we can get on the ballot in as many states as possible. Take a look around this website and learn how you can get involved.