Five Other Political Parties
Everybody seems to be complaining about the Democrats and Republicans these days. The Tea Party formed because they were supposed to be a "party of the people", but have been pretty much absorbed by the Republican Party who are using them as a way to promote their ideals. Everyone has heard of the Libertarian Party, who supports greater state control over the federal leadership. What you may not know are that there are other political parties out there besides these or simply "Independent". Here are five of them:
Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA)
While you may believe that the current Democratic Party is Communist, Socialist, and Fascist all in one giant bundle, the Communist Party is an active political party within the U.S. and it started in - 1919. That's right. This political party has been around for 91 years. While the children of the Cold War have always been taught to fear Communism as if it were a boogie man, the entire ideology was looked at differently in the early part of the 20th century (until Stalin took over). It played a very prominent role in the U.S. labor movement from the 1920s through the 1940s, having a major hand in founding most of the country's first industrial unions (which would later expel communists by adopting the Smith Act) while also becoming known for opposing racism and fighting for integration in workplaces and communities during the height of the Jim Crow period of U.S. racial segregation. Through the 1920s, the CPUSA had nearly 100,000 members. They are still active in the United States and are based out of New York City and have had Presidential candidates up until 1984.
The Constitution Party (CP)
The Constitution Party was founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The party's official name was changed to the Constitution Party in 1999; however, some state affiliate parties are known under different names. The party's goal as stated in its own words is "to restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law to its Biblical foundations." The party puts a large focus on immigration, calling for stricter penalties towards illegal immigrants and a moratorium on legal immigration until all federal subsidies to immigrants are discontinued. The party absorbed the American Independent Party, originally founded for George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign. The party ran Presidential candidates as late as the 2008 campaign.
Reform Party of the United States
This party was founded in 1995 by Ross Perot for his independent Presidential race. Perot said Americans were disillusioned with the state of politics—as being corrupt and unable to deal with vital issues—and desired a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties. The party has nominated centrist candidates like Ross Perot, conservatives like Pat Buchanan, and liberals like Ralph Nader. The party's biggest victory came when Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota in 1998. Since then, the party - which is still active - has been fraught with infighting.
The Modern Whig Party
This revision of the original Whig Party was founded in 2008 whose stated intention is to be a "party for the rest of us." It is recognized as a mainstream and non-fringe "middle ground" between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the party has over 30,000 members nationally, with a sizable proportion affiliated with the American military. The general platform of the Modern Whig Party relates to fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, and social progression.
United States Marijuana Party (USMJP)
Founded in 2002 by Loretta Nall specifically to end the war on drugs and to legalize cannabis. Their policies also include other socially libertarian positions. Local chapters have been formed in 29 states, and they are affiliated with a number of international cannabis political parties. Currently, this party has one candidate running in 2010 for the 18th Congressional district in Illinois. Some of their missions include:
- Seek to remove all penalties for adults 18 and over who choose to consume cannabis in a responsible manner.
- Demand the right to use any medication our healthcare providers and we deem fit without government interference.
- Demand that our law enforcement officers make more efficient use of our tax dollars and use the resources they have at their disposal to go after violent criminals and crimes that actually have victims.
While this political party really has only one cause, they are working to get politicians elected and further their cause through awareness.