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Cat Party

A part of me really wants to start a political party called the Cat Party, because of aspects of the political platforms of BOTH major parties in this country that I disagree and am dissatisfied with. It might be analogous to the Pirate Party in Iceland. And I know I'm far from the minority on feeling dissatisfied with both major political parties - that's how a LOT of Americans feel. My thinking is that the Cat Party would work with existing political parties when appropriate, but would take its own strong stance on issues where neither major party is stepping up. Also, internet cats.

Some of the key issues are summarized in a New York Times article on How France may sound the "death knell" for social democracy. It's useful to look at how matters are handled in other countries just to get some perspective, because right now a lot of Americans are just caught up in a massive freak-out.

A big part of the issue, to me, is that I just don't see free-market capitalism working to serve the majority of people. "Too big to fail" sounds like the opposite attitude from the period where the US went through and broke up monopolies, and consolidations are continuing to happen, left and right. Have there ever been good systems for breaking up concentrations of wealth (+ power)? I'd be interested to learn more on the subject.

Also, on rhetoric and persuasion: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/02/the-simple-psychological-trick-to-political-persuasion/515181/


( 6 remarks — Remark )
Feb. 1st, 2017 11:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm struggling with the same thing. I am far more liberal than conservative but I find the authoritarian stances both major parties are taking very troubling. I am against mass surveillance and against wars and against building walls and deportations. I am for parks and science and the environment, public health and welfare and the advancement of human knowledge. I'm not a capitalist, decidedly not, but I've seen the history on how communism turns into exploitative oligarchy with a quickness. There is no party for me, but if you won't pick a team, most people who are defensively tribal due to feeling embattled regard you with suspicion.

I am doing my best to be a bridge building diplomat, but everyone is cornered-cat screaming and few people are listening. It's not going so well. Single issue nonprofit is okay so far at least, but that's one of 492308209348 problems we have. Thanks for the interesting links!
Feb. 2nd, 2017 05:48 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure you're Cat Party material. :^)

I think you're right about the single-issue nonprofit element. For me, for a long time, that has been bicycling nonprofits, but I haven't been as actively involved in that lately. It may be time to find a slightly different focus.
Feb. 5th, 2017 09:17 am (UTC)
Hooray Cat Party! [grin]

It's weird that I can tell how serious I am about the nonprofit route by how much I have changed my behavior in small ways. I dumped my dancepop radio station for my local NPR affiliate. Hearing the latest any time I drive isn't *fun*, but it's totally relevant now so I'm sucking it up.

We'll see how I do with my goal of being for-everyone and non-partisan and bridge-building... I just invited a bunch of rebel Republicans (the Never Trump crowd) to comment on my nonprofit's approach and volunteer with us if they like what they see. Better to find out early than later and more publicly if we can drink our own Kool-Aid or not, heh. Come on, strange bedfellow friends. Let's get to work. [grin]
Feb. 4th, 2017 05:13 am (UTC)
My feeling is, if you don't pick a team in our entrenched two-party system, you have very little chance of influencing policy, at least at the national level. But Trump has completely changed the Republican party's stance on trade, for example. It is possible to change policy from the inside.

I think you are conflating two very different issues on "too big to fail" versus breaking up monopolies. To break up monopolies, you need strong antitrust law. You have a better chance of a stronger anti-monopoly system with D lawmakers and liberal-leaning Supreme Court justices. (The Obama administration blocked the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, citing antitrust concerns, while the Trump administration is expected to be friendlier to such prospects.) You also probably need to get academics to advocate against monopolies. The "too big to fail" issue, on the other hand, is about what players in the world economy pose a systemic risk to the rest of the system in times of economic crisis. You can refuse to revive them, but there will be serious collateral damage in the form of unemployment, among other issues. Saving the auto companies was different from bailing out the banks, though. It was more a political calculus to save the car companies--but it paid off in getting Rust Belt states to reelect Obama in 2012. I'm glad for that, even if it wasn't purely "good" policy. Anyway, too-big-to-fail is only an issue during times of crisis. If a major bank were to go bankrupt today it would be fine.

I am passionately practical in the political realm, as you can see. But the world needs idealists too.
Feb. 6th, 2017 05:31 pm (UTC)
I guess one challenge for me is that my life has been so uprooted and busy in the last couple of years that I haven't been in a good position to do any sort of local coalition-building or what-have-you on political fronts, which makes it really hard to want to engage with the major political parties. And altogether, I'm still inclined to focus primarily on local and transportation issues in lieu of other federal ones. But obviously I can't ignore the federal issues as they affect me as well. I REALLY do NOT want to be paying for war in particular.

Re: "too big to fail" - I see your point regarding the banks during times of crisis, but a part of the problem that (I think) contributed to that crisis at the time was due to forms of financial consolidation. That said, I know the situation's fairly complex and I'm not especially well-informed about it. I'm going to sit down and read Capital in the Twenty-First Century sometime soon to see how it informs my perspective.

I've also been following, to some extent, what has happened to credit unions after banking regulations got tightened, and one of the net effects has been to push a lot of small credit unions out of existence because they aren't large enough to deal with the current regulations.
Feb. 8th, 2017 02:21 am (UTC)
( 6 remarks — Remark )

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