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The more I watch and listen to Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, I wonder should our party endorse such a candidate? I say yes. He may be a Libertarian but as far as the party goes we are not so different. There are a few core differences but in the end I believe if you watch and listen to them you will find a team that most of us in the party would actually look forward to voting for. They both have a proven record as Governors and were both reelected to the office. I think they are worth listening too and I really hope they get to the 15% in the polling numbers so more Americans can see them in the debates. It would be nice to actually vote for someone you want instead of picking the lesser of to evils. (Sorry about the spelling in the title. I couldn't get back in to fix it.)
( an old blog I posted in 2009) Across communities, towns and state borders all over the country, Whigs are diligently organizing. What drives us? What motivates us to take time away from families, our hobbies, and sometimes even our jobs to volunteer in what many would believe to be an insurmountable task? What gives? Are Whigs nuts? (as my wife and sons look askance at me ) To the contrary. We see with clear vision precisely what needs to be done. It may not be obvious; it clearly hasn’t been in as long as we can remember. Many have tried. ALL have failed. Give that mission to a core group of Veterans and see what they come up with. Failure is NOT an option. We set out with some broad tenets, steeped in historical Whig values, of individualism, a gentle hand of government, care for our own communities above the outside world. We attract like minded citizens who “ get it”. And set out to ferment a quiet revolution of methodology over ideology, of setting out to eliminate many of the ills of today’s governance, partisan bickering, poorly constructed public policy, and most importantly, the virtual disenfranchisement of the average American from the process. What is our strategic mission? To “wright” the Republic. No more. No less. Wright. Not the “right” you think of when you hear the word wright in the context of politics. EXACTLY! Part of our mission as modern Whigs is to expose Americans to a new reality, to a new truth born of two opposing truths that have lost their relevance. Whigs endeavor to break all those old synapses, and introduce new ones, a new way for citizens to view their government, as an extension of their community. Wright. Wright, as in the craftsmen of old that took raw metal, wood and other materials and crafted tools useful and helpful to the human condition. Craftsmen which you called upon to repair tools and implements that were no longer capable of getting the job done. Wright. Wright, which sounds like right, as in inalienable human rights, something one is entitled to. We, as citizens, are all entitled to the right of good representation. That is the way modern Whigs are “right”. We believe in the right of all citizens to good representation. We “left” the other “right” behind. Our “right” means the rights bestowed upon us ALL as citizens. The “right” that we all have been granted by our Constitution and Bill of Rights, in the great vision of the mind group called our Founding Fathers. A basic principle of the human condition, picked up in 9th grade Theology class ( many, MANY moons ago) at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester NY, taught by none other than Father O’Malley, of The Exorcist fame, you cannot have freedom without responsibility. First derivative of that: to maintain your rights, you have to guard them with your activity. We modern Whigs believe that these rights, which we were told were ours to lose , are indeed near lost. Whether you are rich, or poor, or in the middle, governance has failed us all. Part of the answer lies in that we are trapped, all of us, in a bad, outmoded paradigm, or way of looking at our political selves and how we interact with our political institutions. They have gone beyond our reasonable control, and no one, until now, has been able to find the right levers to pull. The “wright” levers are the modern Whig levers; Levers of integrity, meritocracy and ETHICS. Let us come together and “wright” this Republic for the next ten generations of Americans to flourish in. EPC NY 2009
As the summer of 2016 has carried on I have really gained a sense of political identity that I never thought I would have. I have a party. I am a Modern Whig. I believe in the message and I believe in the spirit of the party's framework. I think this party is an existential necessity for the United States of America, and I'll give one simple reason. Dogma is a terrible leadership quality. What is dogma? I find the following two definitions to be the most relevant to American politics; “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true,” “a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted.” How can a nation of multitudes possibly be effectively governed by those who are dogmatic? I don’t believe it can be. I think that a person who is marked by dogma is more beholden to their own principles than to their fellow citizens, to the necessary unity of their people as a whole, or to democracy. And just take a look at today’s leadership. Look at today’s parties. Today's leadership has failed to cooperate even when they've discovered common ground, and they have failed to compromise even when our nation has desperately needed reprieve from an issue that hasn’t yielded even the simplest of democratic majorities after decades of political theater and divisive rhetoric. This is because today’s leadership is marked by dogma. Most cannot be elected without being dogmatic themselves or appealing to the most extreme, vocal, and dogmatic voters. The parties themselves, the entertainment industry, the objectivity averse American journalists and educators, and even social media have all helped to strengthen the grip of dogma on elected government. No nation can afford these circumstances for long. We are bleeding to death because dogma is divisive and destructive. We need a moderate party willing to listen, learn, then lead. We need a party that is designed, at its most fundamental level, to avoid dogma. That is why I am a Modern Whig.
On September 11th, 2001, our great Republic was attacked and the world stood still. Horror and disbelief quickly turned to anger and a lust for vengeance. The world didn’t just start spinning again; it spiraled out of control.
In the madness we sought to strike out fast and fierce, we took no thought towards the costs. We sacrificed freedom in the name of safety. We happily gave greater powers to fewer and fewer leaders who sent our armed forces halfway around the world to fight nameless enemies.
Then we saw an unprecedented economic recession. Life savings and investments were wiped out seemingly overnight. Our elders had to stay hard at work to compensate for eviscerated nest eggs. Our youth, having done all that had been asked of them now found that it was not enough. The employment pool was already full and experience was the new price of entry.
Again we turned to our leadership. We sought to punish any and all responsible, and give us reprieve from the consequences of our past decisions. Responsible parties were too big to fail and proposed solutions to our ailments were too long to read. We passed laws we did not fully understand and buoyed insolvent institutions on the backs of a drowning public. And even when called before judgment, our justices abdicated to the implied will of the masses.
How have we been rewarded for the confidence placed in our supposed leaders? We now have an instable Middle East, social safety nets we can hardly fund, a plague of underemployment, and income disparity all threatening our national and individual security. In our depravity we continually ask each parties strong-arming politicians to bully our neighbors according to our persuasions. For 2016, it may be too late, yet another missed opportunity to correct our course.
But this does not have to be the death knell for our great Republic. We do not have to devolve into the divisive tribalism of third-world nations. We are still a united people. Regardless of color or creed, we all seek security and opportunity. We want assurances that we won’t lose what we work so hard for every single day. We want to keep our homes. We want our children to be able to walk our neighborhoods without fear of harm. We want our schools to impart to our children the knowledge necessary to improve their station in life, just as we hope to improve our own. We want a fair chance of success for every citizen, not just the well-born and the fortunate few. These are the causes that make us one; E Pluribus Unum.
This is our declaration as independent minds: we will no longer remain silent. We will no longer stand idly by as political extremists ravish our country, pulling it towards the edges of obscurity and devastation. “We must engage life as we find it, we will do so boldly and courageously, with the conviction that if we and reason endure we shall surely succeed - and with the knowledge that the greatest sin is not to have fought at all.” The ‘fiery moderates’ are here, and we are here to stay.
This is our call to the rightly proud citizens of this great American Republic: take up our banner; use your voice and vote to fight for the future of our nation. It is time to heave off the burdens laid upon us by imperial pretenders. It is time for pragmatic solutions, implemented with careful forethought and well-reasoned means. It is time that the trustees of government powers be men and women that are worthy of our trust. It is time for the citizens of this nation to stand together once more and fight for our right to be a self-governed people. It is time for We the People.
1. Rincon Society, “A Call to Excellence in Leadership”, edited
The federal debt is not being talked about much in this campaign for the presidency. Why not? Should there be more focus on it? How do we get to a balanced budget and pay down the debt? Right now, as of July 2016 the gross national debt is $19.48 trillion, about 104% of GDP. Here is a little history: In the 1930’s, during the height of the depression we ran deficits of between 0.1% and 5.8% of GDP; during WWII we had deficits as high as 29.6% of GDP, but we also had surpluses from 1947 thru 1949; in the 1950’s we had deficits that averaged 1.04% of GDP and the debt was 92% of GDP, but we also had surpluses from 0.7% to 1.9% of GDP; in the 1960’s we had deficits that ran an average of 1% of GDP and a debt that was 54.3% of GDP; in the 1970’s deficits ran an average of 2.1% the debt was 36.3% of GDP; in the 1980’s deficits ran an average of 3.8% the debt was 32.5% of GDP; in the 1990’s deficits ran an average of 2.88% of GDP with two years of 1.05% surplus and the debt was 54.5% of GDP; in 2000 and 2001 we had surpluses an average of 1.75% of GDP; from 2002 thru 2009 we had deficits that ran an average of 3.3% of GDP the debt was 55.5%; from 2010 thru 2015 we have had average deficits of 7.3% and debt was 91.4%, deficits have dropped back down to about 3% of GDP in 2014 and 2015 but debt was 102% of GDP. Numbers alone don’t give us a clear picture of the effects the economy has on the federal budget. For example, after WWII the economy grew very rapidly at around 10%, today it is a very anemic 1.2%. Tax rates are the other important part of the equation. For example, during WWII and the Korean War individual tax rates were as high as 91% with 24 tax brackets. Today the highest rate is 39.9% with seven tax brackets. The dilemma is, do you cut taxes or increase taxes in order to pay down the debt? It’s obvious that the high tax rates after WWII quickly brought down the debt and annual deficit, but there are two problems with trying to raise taxes today. One is, the economy is not growing as fast as it was after WWII. The second is that, after WWII the country was still pulling together as one, and people understood that the taxes were necessary. Today, businesses are demanding lower tax rates because the rates in most other countries are lower, and Democrats want to increase taxes to expand social services. That poses a political challenge. In the long run, lower rates eventually raise revenue, but would that raise enough revenue to lower the debt? Republicans want to slash taxes and regulations to get the economy moving, and eventually want to balance the budget; Democrats want more social spending and higher taxes but offer no plan for paying down the debt, that is clearly not practical. I think the real solution would be to raise taxes for a few years, make some spending cuts while increasing spending for the military and infrastructure along with cutting regulations. The problem is I don’t see the leadership needed to pull the country together to accomplish that.
Hello again everyone, I have been a Whig for several years now though many have probably forgotten about me. I was originally one of the very few members in Hawaii when marital issues began & for a while I was a homeless vet. I'm back now with siblings & living in Jacksonville Florida. For the past year I haven't been on the site, but quite active on twitter and facebook trying to bring in new members. I have had several people during that time show interest so I'm hoping our numbers are rising. I've been spending that time on those two media sources because of the current splits taking place among the two major parties. I foresee the Republicans breaking into several splinter groups as well as many of the moderate Democrats beginning to come out of the shadows. I believe that with a concerted effort from the party reaching out we may be able to not only attract new members, but also bring in leaders able to run for higher levels of government. If the party is interested, just let me know my twitter account is @sjclem1 As for who I support for 2016, I believe Donald Trump as the lesser of two evils. I won't vote for Hillary because of several factors including her handling of Benghazi. Though he wasn't in my top 10 choices, he's better than the only other viable option.
I'm a fan of Mr. Wald's idea of starting local debating/discussion societies. I am thinking of starting a Political Discussion Society in my home town and am interested in your input. The format would be a round-table style meeting at a local restaurant or public space. The MWP (or me in the name of the MWP) would pay for the rental space and/or refreshments. I would prepare a list of political topics to discuss. I would moderate any discussions to ensure civility and debate on behalf of the MWP. I would try to find the common ground between different ideologies and demonstrate how the MWP, through logic, evidence, and knowledge best supports the common ground. In order to promote free discussion and conserve privacy, I'm thinking of having the attendees use pseudonyms. The goal of the organization is to promote Whiggery political thinking and expand exposure of the MWP in an area of the country that really yearns for an alternative. I would take notes on the discussion to see what the local population thinks about various topics to help start a base of information for future growth of the MWP. I would not directly promote or proselytize for the MWP unless asked offline about it. What are your thoughts? What are your recommendations?
For those the live in the fine state of Nebraska and are part of the reddit community, I have created a subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/NebraskanWhigParty/. If you are so inclined, come join me to help build the community. Thanks, Joe
Compromise, compromise, compromise, the most important word that is missing in Washington DC Bravo Modern Whig Party ...the party of Progress through COMPROMISE.... Observer Jules
I would like to know the opinion of my Fellow Whigs on the topic of Net Neutrality. As of now, the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, plans on voting to strike down Article II that was passed by the past FCC chairman 2 1/2 years ago to solidify the policy of Net Neutrality. After spending some time on it, I am myself cannot seem to fully understand the issue in its entirety, but I do strongly support one side of the argument and cannot understand the other. Yet, I wish to know what stance should the party take. Is Net Neutrality for the Common Good?
With a graduate degree in Health Services Management and Supervision, I have avidly read everything I can get my hands on concerning the ACA and its purported effects, both positive and negative. The one thing I see, is that while the Act makes Health Insurance available and more-or-less affordable for segments of the population who could not obtain or afford insurance before, it does not seem to actually do anything about the cost of health care itself. So I thought I would open the topic for discussion and see what ideas are out there. Is tort reform a possible answer, at least in part? In theory, limiting the awards for malpractice claims should lower the cost of malpractice insurance, and in turn reduce a health provider's cost of doing business. Given a lower cost of providing services, then, it seems logical that the cost of those same services should go down. Or will they? How about educational reform? What if we could bring down the cost of a medical education such that student medical providers were not left with huge educational debts? Could that bring down the cost of health care services? If it were cheaper to get a medical degree, would more students choose that path leading to a greater supply of health care workers? Could a greater supply then lead to lower costs due to competition? The health care industry is a business, let there be no mistake about that. So what sort of changes to the business model are needed to bring down the cost of services? What bothers me about the ACA is that none of these questions seem to be answered. In most business models adding layers of bureaucracy generally raises operating costs in a system. In health care, insurance companies, while spreading the risk across a larger population (which shares costs) can reduce some individual's costs, the insurance company has to get their cut (they are a business too), which could cancel out any cost savings. This brings me back to my original question: How do we as a nation or a society bring down the actual cost of health care at the point of service?
I'm a recent Whig convert, and in that, a rather young one. Being 18, I'm probably the least expected to care so much about politics or the nation. Though who else my age will? I'm one of few Whigs in Louisiana, and am asking for some tactics to reach out to my peers. After all, my peers and I are the future of The Party. I'm grateful for any response. ~Thank you Jody Bachus
Hi Whigs ! I just wanted to shoot out a question to anyone who knows: What is the party's plan for the 2016 presidential election ? I couldn't seem to find any information on the website. Are there any party members who would be willing to run ?
Throughout the whole of human history one primary belief has remained true and especially dear to the hearts of people around the world; health is undoubtedly valuable and obtaining it is crucial to the existence of humanity. However, the modern American society has perpetuated one of the worst man-made health epidemics in human history. Although most Americans see the effects of obesity every day, society has severely neglected this fundamental public health problem for decades and the inevitable consequences of societies negligence must finally be confronted. Over the past decades experts from across the nation and around the world have started to become cognizant of the developing problem; consequently, many propositions have been made to combat obesity. Currently, one of the largest barriers to curing obesity in the United States today is the difficulty and lack of cohesion in addressing the problem that currently affects nearly two-thirds of all Americans. Therefore, the implementation of proven and effective obesity management plans, general public health mandates, and the taxation of the causes of obesity are steps of paramount importance in overcoming obesity in America today. One of the most highly esteemed and empirically proven methods of reducing the prevalence of obesity is the implementation of proven obesity management plans. Although this term might seem relatively vague, multiple components are critical in implementing obesity management plans. One central component to managing the problem of obesity that America faces today is the education of the populace about the issue of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the amount of education a child receives about the issue of obesity from an early age undisputedly impacts their awareness of the effects of obesity and the necessity of proper dietary habits. After ensuring the foundation of awareness is established, it is imperative to ensure that the general public understands the repercussions of obesity and bad eating habits/lifestyles that directly correlate to higher rates of obesity among children and adults. These inexpensive and relatively simple forms of public education are crucial due to the ubiquitous qualities of the media. This ubiquity allows information to spread quickly to a large percentage of the population. In addition to utilizing the media to educate the public, allowing the public a free (or extremely cheap) opportunity to address their health concerns is another necessary step in providing a path to remission for those who suffer from severe obesity. Moreover, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) view medical support as the first pivotal step in achieving recovery from obesity, granting patients who suffer from obesity a chance to seek out professional advice on how to address their health problems on a case-by-case basis. Despite their empirical ability to urge the public to reform their diet and living habits, public education via the media and the opportunity for citizens to seek help in addressing their obesity problems will not be able to single-handedly solve the immense problem of obesity; therefore, it is critical for the community's focus to shift from passive actions to active forms of combatting obesity. Another vital part of the success of these new plans to limit obesity is the concept of implementing and enforcing public health mandates. Many of these mandates include the monitoring of a citizen’s waist size or body mass index (BMI) to allow the government to document which citizens may be at increased risk for health problems related to obesity. Additionally, some of the more austere health mandates call for a policy of higher taxation for those who do not fulfill the set health conditions. The logic behind these policies originates with the goal of reducing health care expenses for the general population by reducing the prevalence of one of the most detrimental diseases that exists within the United States. Currently, American healthcare is the most expensive healthcare system in the world, according to the World Health Organization, prompting many citizens to go without necessary treatment because of the cost of receiving medical care. The CDC also declared that America spends nearly 10% of its entire annual healthcare budget ($147 billion) dealing exclusively with obesity; therefore, it is necessary to mitigate the prevalence of obesity in order to make healthcare more affordable for the general populace. The communities of America also have a moral obligation to mitigate the shocking rates of death caused by obesity every year. In 2014 alone, over 600,000 people died in the U.S. due to diseases directly related to obesity, meaning nearly 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. occurs because of obesity. These astonishingly mortality numbers prompted the American Medical Association to categorize obesity as a disease in 2008; despite this classification, no decisive action on how to solve this overwhelming health issue was produced. In contrast to this blatant lack of concern towards obesity, the U.S. spends over $215 billion a year treating and researching cures for cancer in spite of the fact that obesity kills approximately 23,000 more people annually than cancer. Therefore, taxation or financial penalties on the obese could be a necessary step in generating extra revenue to increase the affordability of health care and creating crucial incentives for citizens to become healthier. Although this attitude towards obesity might seem strict and excessively harsh on citizens suffering from obesity, these actions have been tried in the past in nations like Japan and have yielded beneficial results on a national and municipal level. Since 2005, Japan has implemented health mandates for citizens ages 40 to 74, these require citizens to come to hospitals to have their waistline and weight recorded, allowing the government to predict which patients may be at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other obesity-related illnesses. These methods have been implemented on a national and local level in Japan, meaning that urban centers and rural communities alike can experience the benefits of an improved state of public health. In addition to its empirical successes, several health experts, including Yoichi Ogushi, ardently support the inclusion of health mandates in the United States. Ogushi, a health expert from the Tokai School of Medicine states, “if you did this in the United States, there would be benefits, since there are many Americans who weigh over 100 kilograms [around 220 pounds]”. In Japan the program has had astounding results and the Japanese government has projected that they will reduce the overweight population by 25 percent over the next seven years. Due to these triumphs, there is a high probability that the future of America’s public health will rely on its ability to adopt, adapt, and improve upon the public health mandates implemented internationally. In addition to the implementation of proven management plans and the introduction of public health mandates, the process of taxing the root causes of obesity is a critical step in eradicating the disease. This type of taxation, commonly called a “fat tax”, often centers around reducing the affordability of foods that are deemed unhealthy for consumers. This line of action is often regarded as one of the most feasible and historically implemented forms of obesity mitigation in history. Similar to many other great innovations in obesity management, taxes on unhealthy foods were first created overseas. In Denmark, the government decided to implement a tax on certain foods that possessed more than 2.3% saturated fats. After Demark’s experimental trial with the “fat tax,” many other European nations such as Hungary and France joined Denmark’s pioneering campaign to improve the health of their citizens. These successes across Europe prompted the European Union’s health associations to praise the taxation on unhealthy foods, remarking that the action was able to “achieve a reduction in the consumption of the taxed products”. This truly laudable ability to collect revenues from the tax and limit the impact of unhealthy foods on society allows a community to witness an improved state of public health and have enough excess revenue to subsidize healthier foods. Moreover, the implementation of taxes on unhealthy foods are of paramount importance in addressing the public health issues that Kansas is facing. Currently, Kansas has the 13th highest adult obesity rate in the nation at just over 31%. Obesity in Kansas has also increased over 12% since the year 2000; these statistics have led experts to conclude that by 2035, Kansas’s obese population may exceed half the population of the state. Therefore, it will be necessary to implement taxes on unhealthy consumer items in Kansas and the across entire nation; certainly these taxes will play a vital part in how the state and local communities will view obesity in the future. Undoubtedly, humanity truly values the gift of health and it is imperative that the often debilitating, malignant disease of obesity is battled on a national and local scale. Therefore, it is crucial that our community and our nation is able to change and reform to meet the needs of our citizens in solving the colossal obesity problem. Moreover, the future health of the nation depends on how America confronts obesity today. Hopefully, the implementation of proven and effective obesity management plans, general public health mandates, and the taxation of unhealthy consumer goods will mold the future generation of Americans to appreciate the gift of health and strive to ensure the longevity of the generations that succeed them. As a footnote I would also like to apologize for the previous post entitled "Possibly a focus on the future of the Modern Whig Party" for its briefness. I was still new to the site and was unaware of proper posting procedure.
I remember that my father and three of his brothers went off to World War II, but only three of them came back. Edward died near Remagen, Germany and is buried in Belgium. I remember watching newsreel footage of the war in Vietnam every evening after dinner. I remember watching helicopters pushed over the side of ships to make room for more refugees when it was over. I remember protesters throwing things and spitting on troops as they came back from Vietnam... I volunteered anyway. I remember 321 long cold nights deep under North Dakota watching the lights on the Launcher Status-Missile Indicator Panel. I remember cold winters in Alaska coordinating snow removal on the runway in order to recover RC-135 aircraft. I remember near panic when KAL flight 007 was shot down because our recon asset was airborne at the same time, and relief when a few minutes later the crew called from Shemya to report a safe landing. I remember two long years in Korea coordinating and planning over and over what to do if North Korean tanks crossed the border, and duck and cover drills in full NBC gear in preparation for North Korean Chemical Warfare attacks... I remember struggling to find a job, working at Sears selling screwdrivers for a year when I got out of the USAF... I remember joining the Alaska Army National Guard as a Medical Service Corps Officer, sweating through training in Texas, processing soldiers for war, and individually deploying to Germany myself... I remember Mosul and Fallujah... not because I was there, but because of the tidal wave of casualties arriving at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where I was the Senior National Guard Advisor and Patient Liaison Officer... I remember burns, and missing limbs, and gunshot wounds... I remember blood. Lots of blood. I remember one Specialist from Washington State who was blown up five times and was essentially uninjured each time. I returned him to duty four times. The fifth time his commander begged me to send him stateside "because no one will get in a gun truck with him". I remember how hard that Specialist fought not to be sent home... He only gave in when I arranged for him to care for his injured buddies back at Fort Lewis. I remember frigid cold dawn on a mountain top in Mongolia... Lines of Mongolian Civilians waiting patiently to have eye surgery to remove cataracts, have teeth filled or extracted, or to get medicine they had not seen in several years... I remember the thousands of comrades in camouflage, some of whom, like my uncle, did not make it back. Yes I remember. The good. The bad. The unspeakably horrible. It was worth it. If you are a Veteran, thank you for standing with me. If you are currently serving, thank you for not letting the flag fall. If you know a Veteran or a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, take time today to say thank you in some small way, or find a way to pay it forward. Freedom is in no way free. Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET) MWP Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs Veterans Day 2015
I can't speak for the other authors on these forums, but you can feel free to share anything that I post here with anyone or on any social media outlet that you like. Just be sure to mention that you found it on www.modernwhig.org. Spreading the word, so to speak, via person-to-person contact, or via your own individual electronic networks is the most effective means of both continuing the discussion and getting the message across to a larger audience. --Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET), MWP Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs
Throughout the history of presidents since the 1930’s a multitude of presidents have expanded and influenced their presidential executive powers. One of the initial and prominent examples was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From the time of his election in 1933, Roosevelt was intent upon issuing plans with his executive power to lift the nation out of a crippling depression. His establishment of the New Deal in the 1930’s brought a new perspective to the powers of the president. The New Deal itself was a critical example of executive power because it demonstrated how the president could institute massive reforms to the nation created under executive orders. Some of these orders included the establishment of a plethora of agencies and actions that were often labeled by letters prompting criticism of the plans as “submerged in an alphabet soup”. Regardless of the criticism Roosevelt received, and the seemingly overbearing authority of the president, the plans Roosevelt instituted strengthened and confirmed his ability to carry out his executive powers on the nation. Since then executive orders have been used countless times in many different scenarios; however, the sweeping reforms achieved by Roosevelt have, undoubtedly, been a crowning executive achievement of the last century. As a whole, the actions, orders, and reforms promulgated by F.D.R. during his presidency were legal under my interpretation of the Constitution and although the creation of the New Deal agencies was believed to be unjust or unconstitutional, the reality is that many of the agencies formed during the New Deal were passed by Congress, and, under executive orders, they were necessary for sustaining the fiscal security of a nation in distress. Another president in this time period who utilized and strengthened his executive powers was president Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower's major contribution to executive power was his use of executive privilege. The concept of executive privilege, a privilege used by many presidents after Eisenhower, outlines the right of the incumbent executives to resist and reject certain actions of intervention by the legislative and judicial branches into the actions of the executive. This privilege was used frequently and extensively during Eisenhower’s period in office. Specifically, the privilege was invoked during the infamous Army-McCarthy Hearings of 1954. In total, President Eisenhower used the executive privilege nearly fifty times from 1955 to 1960. The lasting effects these actions had on the executive power was in the president’s ability to use the executive privilege as a veritable shield from government scrutiny and judgement. Moreover, although the executive privilege is not explicitly outlined in the U.S. Constitution, its use and implementation by Eisenhower was pivotal in establishing executive powers in the 1950’s. In my perspective, Eisenhower’s use of executive privilege during his time in office was justified due to the intense political climate around him that, from a Constitutional perspective, was not legal because it was not included anywhere in the document; however, it is a reasonable protection that I believe should fall under the president’s authority as an executive. Harry S. Truman, the presidential predecessor to Eisenhower, was also a president that was able to expand executive powers while in office. During Truman's presidency, he was able to enact executive orders, that, unlike his predecessor Roosevelt, were not massive or expansive; instead, they were highly controversial at the time and affected a largely contentious area of U.S. politics. This contentious executive order was Executive Order 9981, which, at the time, was revolutionary. Order 9981 effectively ended racial discrimination in the armed forces in 1948. This order was a critical example of the president's ability to act and enact tradition-shattering laws outside of a time of national crisis. Before Truman’s presidency, most sweeping reforms to the national system made by presidential executive orders were, in the majority, mad in times of great imminent crisis, such as the World Wars or the Great Depression. This executive order was pivotal in establishing a firm precedent to which future executives could live up to, the ability to institute executive orders in times of peace and, more importantly, the ability to enact orders that deal directly with granting liberties to people who need them. Therefore, Truman’s executive order was monumental in shaping the roles and usage of executive orders. In my perspective, Truman’s actions were completely legal under the constitution because they were lawful in their enactment and they also effectively provided a means for minorities in the army to have essential access to liberty and equality in the armed forces. Another president who expanded executive authority was president Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson, throughout his career, in many different ways, sought to increase the executive power in the United States. One major example of this expansion was the response to the Gulf of Tonkin incident in which the president ordered an exponential increase of the number of personnel present in Vietnam, which, in turn, increased casualties in the Vietnam War. This clear use of overruling executive power to initiate this massive troop transfer into Vietnam was one of the pivotal events in which a U.S. president has initiated “war” in a military sense, without express backing from Congress. Moreover, the congressional establishment of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution granted Johnson the legal ability to take any course of action that he believed to be necessary in securing peace and safety in Southeast Asia. This action massively opened up the possibilities of Johnson’s power in Vietnam and granted him immense power and set a precedent for nations intervening in conflicts without the express need for a declaration of war, as was the case in Korea and Vietnam. From my own Constitutional interpretation I believe that it is (in the broadest sense) Constitutional because Section II of Article II of the Constitution states that the president is Commander in Chief of the United States and from a reasonable position, the Commander in Chief should have the ability to intervene on behalf of the safety of the nation and the world. Finally, one president who expanded executive powers was president Barack Obama. During Obama’s administration, the president has issued a wide variety of executive orders, (over 200 total) one of the most controversial and monumental ones being on the topic of immigration. The president has, in previous years issued a number of reforms on immigration policy that has changed the immigration climate of America dramatically. For example, Obama’s executives orders that have granted more leniency to immigrants in this nation, some of whom have come illegally, has come under intense disapproval from political critics for issuing too large of a change to allow immigrants when the nation is needing to accept less immigrants. However, Obama’s reforms have been completely legal under the president’s exercised and precedented right to executive order and the president also has made reforms that have benefitted the lives of many. Moreover, although these presidential reforms have not single-handedly solved immigration conflicts, the pushes, strides, and executive orders that Obama has issued demonstrates how a president in the 21st Century can institute policies that increase executive authorities by granting liberties to many, even if many in the nation disagree with his actions. Additionally, Obama's efforts to create economic sanctions to the Russian Federation over the previous year also illustrates Obama’s new positions as an executive, a national and international leader who has the ability to communicate and organize internationally recognized initiatives that over the past few decades have become more consolidated. From my perspective, the actions of president Obama are legal by the Constitution because over the course of these reforms the president has not broken any laws or codes of conduct for the executive during the time of these reforms. Moreover, the orders and reforms made by the president also illustrate the president's ability to conform to the Constitutional goal of providing the blessings of liberty and attempting to establish a safer and firmer union by using executive precedents set by other strong presidents before him.
As usual, I was scanning through the news feeds this morning, and checking my email inbox.... Today most of the news was just a rehash of the Paris Terror Incident mixed in with Ronda Rousey's UFC defeat. However, in my inbox there was another political email from Dinesh D'Souza. D'Souza is an interesting character. He's pretty smart, a little naïve, and really, really charismatic. In the email was a link to a video of a speech he gave on October 17th, 2015. The link to the video will be at the end of this posting. Now I know it is just over 57 minutes in length, but this one is worth watching. You may not agree with his positions, but have a look at his tactics. I myself kind of like his description of American Politics using the "rope and ladder" examples. To understand this fully, you really must watch the video. Needless to say, the MWP approach is more of a ladder than a rope. However, in the last third of the video he describes a situation with COSTCO. The entire scenario bears close examination. Is this a tactic we as a Political Party can use? In what situations would it be appropriate? In the COSTCO case, it was a spontaneous reaction to a corporate action. Could this be used deliberately and strategically? At any rate, here is the link to the video, watch it, think about it, and comment freely here: http://www.dineshdsouza.com/news/video-dsousa-what-the-democrats-a gang-of criminals-have-in-common/ --Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET), MWP Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs
The MWP has a great platform, but there is no plank that addresses individual liberties, except for the one that reaffirms the Second Amendment. You hear a lot of people talk these days about violations of a citizen's right to privacy. But how is the right to privacy defined legally? Some would say that the Fourth Amendment does that: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, ..., shall not be violated." Others would say that the sum of all legal precedents on the matter are used as guidance in legal cases. But is that enough? In the current age of electronic surveillance, computer hacking, identity theft, etc., it seems as though our right to privacy is eroding. Do we need a Constitutional amendment to spell what right to privacy means, and put limits on the government's ability to infringe on it?
I would love to see some discussion on goals for the party. I signed up and signed a petition, but I have no idea on where the party is going and what to do next. What am a volunteering to do if I sign up? How can I sell this party to those who think that the two party system is here to stay? Here are a few suggestion to provoke a conversation (I know eventually there will be a place to discuss strategy...). 1. Focus on recruiting well know moderate Republicans and Democrats to the Modern Whig Party and promising to fund them in their next election. 2. Increase the size of the Modern Whig party to 100,000 members. 3. Run advertising commercials in states that Presidential candidates are campaigning in. The narrative should be demonstrating that the Republicans and Democrats together have broken American. The right has pushed the financial deregulation on the right which led to the Saving and Loans crisis in the 80s and the crash in 2008. The left in turn pushed house ownership which helped lead to a bubble in the housing market. The left in turn has continually pushed the growth of entitlement programs etc. 4. Get Modern Whig hosting shows on talk radio. 5. Try to get five homegrown Modern Whigs elected each election cycle. 6. The strategy for the Whig party should be to be a powerful minority that can swing the vote on important issues. 7. Open up 100 Whig party clubs on college campuses in the next two years. 8. Have bumper stickers. 9. Try to attract a few household names to the party. 10. Connect to centrist think tanks.