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jternan

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all.  This is my first post so I apologize if the issues raised here are addressed elsewhere.  I am a father, a husband, a Catholic, and a lawyer in Texas, and I previously ran for office as a Democrat.  I was recently asked to chair the Justice Party in my home county, and I am trying to determine if it makes sense for me to dedicate my time and energy to this party (as opposed to staying as a Democrat or working for another minor party).

The Democratic Party is a poor fit for me.  The party leadership tends to be concerned primarily with social liberalism--abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.--but otherwise generally reconciled to the economic and governmental status quo.  The Republican Party, although described as "conservative," is actually the party of change--change for the benefit of the powerful--and the party pays lip service on family issues to win votes.  As a Catholic who sees attacks on the family--both economic and cultural--as unjust, there is not much to like about either major party.  I have considered myself a Democrat out of respect for the New Deal, but it does not appear that the Democratic Party will even fight to preserve its accomplishments from that era.  In the European context, I would be considered a Christian Democrat, but the USA, I have no home.

With that context, here are my questions.

1)  Is the Justice Party going to try to win elections (as opposed to building issue awareness)?
2)  If yes, who does the Justice Party intend to include in its coalition?
3)  Are Catholics ("conservative" on abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. but "liberal" on pretty much everything else) in the coalition or outside of it?
morris7200

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Reply with quote  #2 
Greetings, and welcome to the forums!

Those are all great questions.  I am also somewhat new around here (since December), and so I can't answer these to the level of detail that I assume you're looking for.  But I'll be happy to share the perspective I've gained over the last few months.  Just please keep in mind that I'm not speaking on behalf of any party leadership.

1) Is the Justice Party going to try to win elections (as opposed to building issue awareness)?

The majority of the party leadership seems to be focused on winning elections (in the long-term), but you will find some who are more concerned with issue awareness.

2) If yes, who does the Justice Party intend to include in its coalition?

Unfortunately, I can't answer this at all.  From my perspective, this item seems to be undefined, but it's entirely possible that the party leaders have a tentative plan for this.

3) Are Catholics ("conservative" on abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. but "liberal" on pretty much everything else) in the coalition or outside of it?

The short answer is that no one is outside of the coalition (per se).  The Justice Party is building itself on a system of democratic influence rather than financial influence, and so each member has an opportunity to influence the position and direction of the party.  As more like-minded people join the party, you're positions will have greater strength.  On many issues you will feel inside of the coalition; on other issues you may feel outside of the coalition; but on all issues you will have a voice.  I can only encourage you to get involved and help shape the party's direction at any level that you're interested (county, state, or national).

You might visit the campaign website for Rocky Anderson (the JP's 2012 Presidential Candidate) for a better feel of where the Justice Party may stand on specific issues.  Keep in mind that the website represents Rocky Anderson, but the majority of the party (mostly) shares in his views.  As the party grows, I'm sure that will slowly change (through democratic influence).  These are some links you might find useful (based on your specific question):
I hope this response was at least a little-bit helpful.  Again, these are just my perspectives.  I'm not speaking on behalf of any party leadership.  Maybe someone else will provide a better answer to you.

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Aaron Morris
Pittsburgh, PA
morris7200

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Reply with quote  #3 
I realized I should clarify my response to Question #2.  I originally interpreted the question to be "Which specific political personalities/figureheads does the JP intend to include/invite into the party?".  That was before my first morning coffee, and I later realized that was probably far too narrow of an interpretation.

I believe the more broad answer is that the JP encourages anyone who is willing to unite under the Justice Party values to join its coalition.  The values are listed on this website.  (http://www.justicepartyusa.org/vision_mission_values)

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Aaron Morris
Pittsburgh, PA
jternan

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you for responding to my questions, and I look forward to hearing from others.  There appears to be a disconnect between the Mission/Values page and the Rocky Anderson platform.  The mission/values page would suggest that Catholics are welcome while the Rocky Anderson platform, particularly with respect to abortion, suggests that Catholics need not apply.  Indeed, my reading of the platform seems to be shared by some of those making comments.

I think some real thought needs to be given to who will be in a winning Justice Party coalition.  You need a reliable base to provide money, volunteers, institutional support, and voters to win elections, and you're not going to get there with a general invitation to the public.  You need to spend time figuring out which groups you are going to try to convince to form the base of a new party and then craft a platform accordingly.  I do not see any way that a program of economic justice can prevail in our society without the Catholic vote and support.  Indeed, the Democratic Party ceased being a force for progressive economic policies when Catholics were forced out and replaced with social liberals/economic conservatives. 
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