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A Declaration of Independents’: A Call to Excellence in Popular Sovereignty

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.

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1. Rincon Society, “A Call to Excellence in Leadership”, edited

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A Presidential Write-in Candidate anyone?

Curious if anyone else has heard Prof Laurence Kotlikoff speak and is aware of his write in candidacy? They claim to be honing on on 100% write in eligibility. He sure sounds like a Whig..... www.kotlikoff2016.com What say ye fellow Whigs?

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The emperors have no clothes - the ugly truth about our politics.....

Just the other day I tuned into some discussion amongst pundits about the two major party candidates and it struck me – why do they, and we the people, accept such poor choices from the two major parties time and time again? Their discussion, given that perspective, was worse than academic – it detracted from the stark reality we’ve been experiencing for quite some time now – CLEARLY, the emperors have no clothes, although they still try and make us believe they do. For those who have known and experienced true leadership, you must know that there is a selflessness about it. True leaders speak in terms of us, we, our team, our mission. They often swallow their own egos – that is the “zen” of true leadership. What we get from the two major parties is often quite the opposite – short-sighted individuals pursuing nothing but their own self-interest, their quest for financial security, or fulfillment of their egos. They say anything to us that forwards their personal goals, knowing full well they won’t be accountable in the future. This is exacerbated by the demographics of our elected representatives, who tend to be predominantly from the “me” generation. For empirical evidence, please take another look at the two major parties candidates for President. Both speak in terms of me and I in their natural state – artificial campaign slogans don’t count in our stark reality check here. So the pundits talk about Don’s ties, or Hillary’s insular control of the press, as the raw truth is hard for them, and us, to accept. We have been, and continue, to be given exceptionally poor choices which end up being leaders-in-name only. How many times have we heard “ they all become the same once elected”? Indeed, myopic self-interest is remarkably similar even across many actors or even now, between these two major parties. They look all the same. When will we the people move beyond this state of denial and realize that the two major parties have outlived their usefulness? When will the press finally question all their assumptions and start to move us to that truth and reality? Why has it taken so long to see the truth? It should be VERY CLEAR to all on November 8th, the best candidates are not the ones the party controlled system has produced. And, unfortunately, they never will be. The time is now to start to dismantle the “castle walls” the two majors have elected and let competition of ideas, instead of the almighty dollar, be our primary tool of governance and protection of our beloved Republic. Our Republic needs true selfless leaders. "Party" is NOT part of that equation.

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Why I'm a Whig; Dogma is a terrible leadership quality

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.

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Moderation and Centrism in action

We can best serve our county by getting to know those of different cultures and beliefs. That is the only way to reduce racism and fear. I suggest we all go out and help someone. Remember that intelligent compromise and conversation is the way to bring knowledge of the future of our county. If there comes a time while we are helping others we can bring up this alternative. Thank you to all! Tom Bovee from San Diego.

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Lets "wright" this Republic!

( 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

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Are the whigs isolationist/protectionist?

So far, I'm all in. Unless the answer to those questions is yes and then I have to think

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I am watching the GOP convention.

Please say we are going to ramp up our media outreach... because... that Elephant is dying.

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Platform Archive

Do we have an archive of MWP platforms? Should we maybe have those on the website?

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Should the Modern Whig Party Endorse Garry Johnson for President?

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.)

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Career event for Vets in San Antonio

Military MOJO will be hosting a career event for Veterans holding a degree on June 16th, 2016, in San Antonio, TX. Here's the link to their website: https://www.militarymojo.org/

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The following information regarding a scam targeting veterans was forwarded to me today...

Zachary Becenti, a member of the Whig Veteran's Committee out of Texas just sent me a link to information regarding a scam targeting veterans. I've included the link at the end of this post. Please pass this information on to every veteran or serving military member that you may know. Here's the link: http://www.kens5.com/news/local/veteran-warning-other-vets-about-scam/216743856

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Houston Opportunities?

Hey, I just signed up today and I'm wondering if there are opportunities in Houston for me. Please link me or provide the best emails. Thanks! Evan

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Public Libraries, the Patron Institute of the Modern Whig Party?

As our party’s ranks continue to swell evermore with the passing days, I evermore grow wary of how to continue this growth as well as lay the infrastructure to channel and organize this augmentation. Now more than ever, we must court those like us, the disenchanted, disenfranchised, and the enlightened in a manner that lies within our capacity. Our website (bless its digital soul), cannot quite be the model for en masse recruiting nor the best for communication. Facebook and other social media sites share limitations as well despite being important to any grassroots movement these days. It will take more than thumbs-upping, “pound-keying”, and trending our way to the forefront of the political scene and recruit new members. Therefore, I hold great conviction that our way to expand would be to resort to hand-over-fist tactics; propaganda and personal interaction. Now to how public libraries can contribute to the Modern Whig Party. First, a library can serve as a virtuous symbol for the party. We no longer can gather in the Owl Club of old. However, we still honor the Owl as our patron symbol, and what better to reflect its characteristic of wisdom than to utilize library in such a manner. Today, one cannot separate the idea of owls portrayed in various fictional writings from the stereotype of being eclectic and erudite, and that can also be translated with a library setting. Second, I find it reflective of many Whig principles. For example, reading in solitude, whether it be a book, a newspaper article, or a magazine, nurtures an ability to learn as well as question ideas rather than be insidiously spoon-fed ideological and “dogmatic talking points”; an atmosphere of allowance for critical thinking. Another would be the urging of self-initiation to learn English. While I reside in a predominantly white suburban town, our highly praised school system does attract diverse minority groups. Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Pakistanis, Koreans, etc. can be seen with their kids checking out children books, movies, etc. While overhearing any short verbal exchange indicate the adults do not speak English as their first language, the library provides mediums to encourage assimilation and assures the next generation will achieve proficiency in English and American culture that effaces any disparity from any other American. Third reason poses a deeper look into the embodiment of the Whig Party. Returning to the current political nature of the country, the [political] right demands government must be eradicated on what at times can be described as hackneyed, scorched-earth tactic while the [political] left feels compelled to engage constantly with circuitous if not grandiose government-fueled solutions. I find that the library as the halfway house of such policies in which good can come from common sense service to the people. A government institution that provides a direct and meaningful service in expensing knowledge of the world, literature, thoughts, community outreach, and the arts to every citizen in search of these precious things on a fundamental level. This fundamental plane that a local library exist on should be advantageous for the Modern Whig Party. As a grassroots movement, the local library becomes the ideal platform to germinate our reputation, and even serve as a gathering point. Here’s where the propaganda serves its purpose. Granted, I am aware of the negative connotation of it; but I will not sugarcoat what an advertising campaign of the political persuasion entails. With such immense dissatisfaction from the American people this election cycle, we cannot tarry too long in capitalizing on the restlessness of the populace. Social media will be essential to our growth; however, one cannot underestimate the ability of physical presentation through flyers, political cartoons, and even newspaper editorial columns. People possess a rightful skepticism on the internet or even dismiss it without a second thought. Yet a combination of the two, a physical component to better pique one’s interest by being something tangible and constantly present as well as a digital component to be readily available for further exploration and interaction, should prove to be instruments of compatible and effective design. From there, we can further include them into our movement in a more intimate fashion. Libraries do not mind to in displaying flyers and whatnot for promotional reasons. Quite a few also provide conference rooms for meetings and clubs. Granted, I must imagine that there may be a process for booking one, or we could just gather without one if that becomes the preference (but you will need to keep your voices down). One should not underestimate the privilege of engaging with other people in the flesh and discuss ideas important to our communities, our states, our country, and beyond. To illuminate the need of seeing each other as equally human in an ever partisan society thanks to platforms encouraging faceless fiends to fan the flames and revel in baseless company. From there, we can better organize ourselves with solidarity for campaigns and issues, such as approval voting. Anyhow, this comes as a passing thought from me. I will broach the idea to others at the convention next week. Unlike many people today who dismiss the library as a diminishing institution in the age of the internet, many like myself still bask in the solitude and service it provides in making a better citizen and person; ever learning, ever exploring.

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Next Road Trip...

As the MWP Director of Veteran's and Active Duty Affairs, I try to meet with Veterans and Military Members across the country, wherever I happen to be at the time. Over the next few weeks, I will be traveling to the east coast, and while there I will be available to sit down and meet with anyone who wishes to discuss issues and to develop solutions to them. I will arrive in Richmond, VA the evening of April 28th and I will be staying in Midlothian, VA until May 1st. On May 1st I will drive down to Camp Butner, NC (about 20 miles from Durham) and I will return to Midlothian on May 2nd in the evening. I will again head to Camp Butner on May 4th through May 8th, return to Midlothian again the evening of May 8th, and fly back to Alaska on May 10th. Somewhere in all this, I intend to head north to the Annapolis area, but I haven't firmed up the dates for that as of yet.. If you are in or close to one of these areas and would like to meet, email me at veterans@modernwhig.org or leave a comment here.

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Should allowing discussion on this forum be a Whig concern?

As a policy researcher for the New York State MWP I would like to know whether this forum is broken or being so aggressively censored as to render discussion impossible. When I first joined the Whigs one of my first conversations with he NYS party chair was about why this forum is so underutilized and why there aren't more fora for discussion of the whig movement. If my experience in the last weeks is any indication, I am not surprised. Nearly every post to a thread not started by Douglas has subsequent posts deleted. I don't know if this is automatic, or if it is the result of overactive censoring. However, I do know that whatever the cause it can't be good for the party. I have seen no rules violations in the posts deleted (though it might be good to discuss these rules as well). The current picture of our party discourse is "people comment on Douglas Harvey reading the paper".... That is great (love you Doug) but it isn't the total picture this forum should communicate.

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Should we shutter the VA Healthcare System?

Today, as usual, I was perusing the news when I came across an article on Military.Com which asks the question: Should we end VA healthcare? The article references the commission recommendation to shutter VA healthcare facilities nation-wide and reduce the VA Healthcare Administration to the equivalent of a third party payor. The article does present some cogent arguments against such a move, and based on personal experience, I don’t think this is a good idea. After my last VA annual physical exam, I needed an orthopedic consult. Unlike previous consultation requests, which were handled in house, the VA decided to forward my appointment requirement to the new Veteran’s Choice Program. Veteran’s Choice is a program for veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA Healthcare Facility (Hospital) to be able to be approved for appointments with providers in their local community. I just happen to live in a State that does not have a VA healthcare facility. In Alaska, there is an outpatient surgical center in Anchorage, and some Community Based Outpatient Clinics, but no hospital. After three weeks of back and forth calling with no appointment in sight, I opted out of Veteran’s Choice (or more correctly, declined to opt in). I then went to integrated care who scheduled my appointment as usual and I got seen. The problems with Veteran’s Choice in Alaska stem from the fact that in many communities, there is no civilian provider for the required service. Further, for several years, I had been seen in-house at the VA orthopedic clinic in Anchorage, and all my images and records were there, so for continuity of care purposes, I preferred to stick with the (actually quite good) doctors I had been working with. At any rate, the proposal to shutter VA facilities nation-wide would leave everyone with the equivalent of Veteran’s Choice, and I just am not convinced that this is a good thing. Read the article at the web address which follows, and feel free to sound off in response to this post. http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2016/03/care-commission-shocker-the-push-to-end-va-healthcare/

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Should rationalizing politics be a Whig concern?

Human cognitive science makes it clear - politics is subjective, intuitive and far more irrational than not. Should the Whigs care about that? Is reasoned politics not an important concern?

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Dues or no dues, that is the question...

In any organization's life, there comes a time where that organization must eventually transition from an informal structure to a formal one. During this transition, finances are one issue, as well as formal membership. The Modern Whig Party has reached this juncture. I would put forward that the party needs to establish formal membership, and that party dues are a necessary part of this. At present, while we have many hard working individuals all trying to accomplish rational political goals, we do not have a clear dividing line between those who are "in" the party, and those who, as on Face Book just "like" us. It seems a common sense matter, that the direction and operation of the party needs to be determined by members. It also seems a common sense matter, that members need to be identified by a certain level of commitment. While volunteerism, and participation in discussions do indicate commitment, they are hard to quantify. Money on the other hand is fairly simple to quantify. Money is also one of the key fuels in politics, and the lack of it is one of the biggest barriers to political growth. So given that we need money, and given that we need a way to determine who is and who is not a member of the party, dues make sense. Dues indicate a commitment to the party, provide the necessary financial means for growth of the party, and minimum level of support for the party's activities. Further, given that the party, in many areas of the country, has not yet grown to a level where state or regional structures can yet exist to handle finances, it makes sense that a certain portion of dues and donations paid be reserved for the state organizations responsible for party activities in the areas that such funds originated from, and that the national party treasury hold such funds for those states and manage the funds in such a way as to insure their use for party development in the states themselves. With this in mind, I propose that there be a $25 annual dues structure adopted for party membership, and that of that $25, $5 dollars be reserved for use within the state that the member is from. Further, I propose that the same 20% rate be used for all donations to the party, and that 20% be also reserved for use within the state that the donation originates from. By doing this, we can identify our membership, determine who can and cannot vote on party policy and platform matters, and eventually who can vote in party caucuses for candidate selection. We can also raise needed funds for operating costs, and for party development at both state and national levels. I don't think $25 is too much to ask. In this day and age, that is only about the cost of burger and fries for two. I don't fear that we will drive people away, because if someone is unwilling to pay party dues, they really are unwilling to commit to joining the party in the first place. The equivalent of Face Book "likes" do not equate to membership. Before we can move forward, we really do need to know who is actually with us. ---- Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET) MWP Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs

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