Paulie Cannoli and I are trying to organize a Jeffersonian “Caucus” within the Democratic Party. The purposes of the group will be to educate people on the principles of Jeffersonianism and encourage people who embrace those principles to run for office as Democrats.
The principles in question are:
- Radical Decentralism
- Opposition to Central Banking
These are the things that Jefferson stood for. Around the country, Democratic Party groups have “Jefferson-Jackson” dinners, while the GOP has “Lincoln Day” celebrations. Lincoln, of course, was a radical centralist, militarist, and fiat-currency lover — the exact opposite of Jefferson.
Indeed, the history of the Republican Party is one of nearly pure evil. So while some Ron Paul supporters say they’re trying to “restore the GOP to its roots,” they don’t realize that George W. Bush is almost perfectly in sync with Lincolnianism. There were/are some good Republicans — Howard H. Buffett and Ron Paul standing out above the rest — but they are the exception to the rule. The Democratic Party, by contrast, has a strong history of classical liberalism, and boasts not only the greatest political philosopher among the presidents (Jefferson), but also the greatest president of all time, and last of the classical liberals, Grover Cleveland.
Yes, this is ancient history. But at least the history legitimately exists. We can point out this history and force statist Democrats to reject or embrace their own party’s legacy. And we can, hopefully, attract people to ideas that are now radical but were once mainstream.
Right now, our group’s agenda is as follows:
- Draft statements explaining the basic implications of the three principles with plenty of quotes from Jefferson supporting those principles and their implications
- Establish a high-quality Web site with public-domain writings from Jefferson and other classical liberals along with original articles applying Austro-Jeffersonian principles to current issues; as well as a blog highlighting news stories of interest to modern Jeffersonians
- Create a Facebook group to spread awareness of our existence and get people to sign on saying they will support Democratic candidates who abide by these principles — if we’re able to attract tens of thousands of members, I’m sure candidates will step up to the plate
We are looking for help with all of the above. If you’re interested, leave a reply.
When the Progressives achieved their “success” in the dreadful teens and twenties, they did so by having a presence in both major parties as well as third parties. There are already “libertarian” Democratic groups, but they don’t exactly embrace the full implications of Jeffersonianism, and thus, they haven’t caught on.
When the Democrats lose this election, improbably (again), perhaps there will be a realization that they’ve been out-big governmented by the GOP. Perhaps new Democrats who take up the ideas of the old Democrats will be allowed to move to the forefront.
A huge majority of Ron Paul’s support came from Democrats, independents, and “others,” and in some states, he got more votes from Democrats than from Republicans. The GOP and conservatism are inextricably linked with anti-Jeffersonian principles and thus, we believe, making the principled populist case for liberty to the working-class electorate of the Democratic Party has more promise than any other option currently available. If you agree — or even if you don’t, but think it’s worth a try — please join us.