- Posted October 8, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
The impending demise…
In the 90s, when Ross Perot started the Reform movement, first with United We Stand and then we formed the Reform Party, it was the most powerful 3rd party in the land. I was a founding member and worked hard to put Ross on the ballot. (He ended up with nearly 20% of the vote.)
I am writing about this, because I see some important similarities between the demise of the Reform Party and the possible demise of the Republican Party. Throughout the life of that party we experienced tremendous hostility from the left and the right. We uncovered many irregularities in the election process and we ran into tricky actions by the media and local (Texas) officials. One such example out of many was when Ross's advertised Infomercial was rescheduled at the last moment and thereby lost much of the audience.
Mr. Perot and his family received outright threats on their lives if he runs.
The Reform Party was infiltrated by a fringe right wing extremist group, quite similar to today's TEA Party (same logos, flag waving, pushy "patriots"). Pat Buchanan was their idol and candidate. They infiltrated through becoming members and then elbowing their way to a take over and making Pat the candidate of the Party. The original RP members and leadership found themselves forced to accept this, or to get out of the way.
By the time (2000) the convention came around in Long Beach, CA, the arguments and fights have split the party and physically split the convention into two separate ones held in different parts of the same convention center. The two groups had to pass each other at times and there was anger, cussing and spitting, etc.
In essence this was the end of the Reform Party, except for years of litigation over moneys and other matters. It was actually a textbook example of how to take over and destroy a party, or a movement.
Do you see any similarities in what is happening with the GOP and the TEA Party right now? I do. In fact, I bet you that some of Buchanan's people did not go away, they simply became TEA Party people. I am not kidding. For instance here in Arizona the Buchanan bunch was mostly in the Sun City retirement communities. They even moved our meetings closer and made it harder for us to reach. At the meetings we heard a lot about "smaller government", the Constitution and pride. The flag was everywhere...(Buchanan was anti-abortion and anti-gay rights as well, we knew that, but at these meetings his people dis not dwell on that.)
Later I became a Democrat and so did a number of us. When "W" was running for the presidency Ross Perot endorsed him and that ended my admiration for Ross.
In the present situation the Republican Party needs to regroup, set aside pride, take their losses and get rid of the TEA Party. Let's see if they can be independent. I know they can't they don't have the numbers...
Why do I worry about the Republican Party, when I am a Democrat? Well I am not worried.
However, the way things stand, I worry about the American people. With one of the major parties completely dysfunctional, our democracy is at stake.