Sanders voters are upset with the democratic party (intentional understatement) as are Cruz voters with the Republican party. There are currently many third parties to choose from depending on your niche
and so on. Why would anyone think that a new third party is justified when none of the others have worked? Let me count the ways
- Republicans are upset with their establishment (Trump)
- Democrats are upset with their establishment (Sanders)
- Current third party options are single issue parties with the focus of influencing the major parties
- Current third parties do not seek to overcome the influence peddling that has caused 1 and 2, rather they exacerbate it by trying to peddle influence
There are a number of ways Sanders, Cruz, and Trump support overlaps. Let’s consider a coherent platform that would seek to cobble together a coalition based on the real grievances
- Reduce influence peddling
- End too-big to fail
- Criminal Justice Reform
- A Secure Social safety net
- Reduce influence of Federal Government in daily decisions
There are a number of areas that can be compromised on. For instance – we currently spend a lot on healthcare. In fact our government spends more per capita than does the government of England, France, Germany, or Sweden. That’s right, we could for the amount currently spent on government health services provide universal healthcare. Say what you want, but we are being overcharged. It would be reasonable to convert our entire system over to high-deductible plans where premiums could be paid from a tax preferred account (like an HSA). All government support (Medicare, Medicaid, premium support, VA benefits, and so on) would be made as direct payments into the HSA. In this way you have the government completely out of the business of determining insurance plans, out of the business of operating hospitals, out of the business of determining how much to pay for medicines. The influence peddling has been completely removed from the system while ensuring at least the same level of safety net as we currently have.
A similar compromise can be made in education. Conversion of the EITC into a contribution into an ESA. With rollover you could eliminate Pell Grants entirely. Build a structure so that it is easy for states and cities to convert from education provision to direct HSA support.
Criminal justice reform has worked in Texas. Adopt that exact model.
Social conservatives want to see marriage valued and single parenthood decline while inner city neighborhoods are concerned about losing welfare benefits. Allow an option for couples who have been married for more than 3 years where all government benefits can be transformed into cash assistance. This would be a revenue neutral program (conversion from payment for SNAP to direct deposit), but reward marriage. This reaches the social conservative target but should not worry potential constituents.
But is it even possible?
Cruz, Lee, and Sasse could form the foundation of a new party, especially if coupled with the house freedom caucus. Reach out to former blue dog democrats and campus democrats. Cruz last year built an entire national campaign organization. He has the structure in place. If even a handfull of young democrats can be brought on board then the new party would have all the passion of the right and all the passion of the left.
What are the compromises?
- Climate change would be left off the table (difficult for liberals to accept)
- Transfer payments would not be reduced (difficult for conservatives to accept)
- Amnesty might need to be traded for secure borders
- Higher taxe rates might need to be traded for simplified tax structure
What would you be willing to give up?
Here’s the thing, you won’t get everything you want. Personally I believe that a universal healthcare system run by the government (like in the UK) is a terrible system. However, I would gladly accept such a system if nobody in the system was allowed to perform elective abortions and all abortions nationally after 8 weeks were illegal. I think direct payments are a disincentive to work, but I would gladly accept direct payments if it incentivized stable marriage. We should look at our top concerns, the top concerns of Sanders voters, and see whether there can be a compromise to merge those two coalitions. It may be something completely different than what we have right now, but what the hell do we have to lose?