Coalition Building – Federalism vs Self-Determinism

Much of the symbolism and metaphor of this site has been drawn from federalism. Old and outdated methods of doing things must be left behind, but that which is old, and still true, must abide. The actual function of federalism, though not necessarily the concept, is as old as the arbiter, the mediator, the courtroom judge, in whom two conflicting parties willingly invested the power to decide over their mutual affairs, in order to avoid might makes right. Though an old idea, it remains the only means by which peace is possible. Peace is not an absence of war or conflict, but the presence of mutually agreed upon and functioning mechanisms for resolving conflict and for achieving positive goals. It is the antithesis to self-determinism.

The proposal for a People’s Coalition itself is a suggestion to federate the third parties to achieve their specifically defined common goals, centered around a Coalition Platform. All things unrelated to the common goal are left to the respective parties and organizations, freeing them up to focus more intensely on these at a more fundamental and local level. Thus, coalitions increase their powers to achieve the goal of the union, while also gaining new ability to achieve all other goals not related to that union.

Federalism works. Parties, as isolated and competing entities, now vie for support, membership, media recognition, etc. What no one of them is saying is that this is actually survival of the fittest. That kind of competition might be healthy in another world and were we not in a crisis. Right now, this is nothing but infighting, mild and benign as that may seem, and in the very presence of a devouring, double headed serpent!


In pushing for Coalition, the People’s Coalition has heard on several occasions the same refrain, “We are an established party. We don’t need a coalition. We are already doing that. Join us.” Everyone wants to be in the driver’s seat but few are asking why the members of other parties are not joining this or that party.

One size does not fit all, and none can expect to convert the entire membership of other parties over to one’s own. It would be like Californians expecting New Yorkers to all move to California in order to enjoy the fruits of the state. It just won’t happen. The population of New York can however join them in union.

It is true that in this Coalition, the parties will have to give up some of their power to determine their own courses. This is the great barrier to all such coalitions. It always is. It was for the 13 colonies, which, after the Revolutionary War made an attempt at a loose union of self-determined states. And each, determining its own course, went to war by various means, refusing to recognize the currencies of the others, threatening with soldiers on one another’s border, erecting tariffs against one another’s goods, etc. Just as nation states do today. They nearly went to war with one another with bullets because, in self-determined fashion, they had no mediating power higher than themselves to resolve conflicts.

Coalition As Federalism

This proposal is not the loose union of self-determinism, but one of federal union around a political platform of mutually agreed values. It is this concept of federalism that allows for unity without uniformity. With federalism, there is no “get in line” mentality. And in fact, agreeing on just a few essential points together actually grants us more freedom to disagree in all other areas, yet without might makes right in play.

What federalism does is clearly define the roles of entities in relation to one another. By giving up some power to decide into the hands of the collective or common body, each group then liberates itself for further action.

I bears repeating. We are talking here about uniting parties around a core set of values for political action. Everyone wants clean air and water, and so the progressive third parties to the left of the Democrats ought to be able to unite around this core value, stating it clearly as a common area to fight for. Everyone wants good wages and working conditions, and so, the various parties and organizations ought to come together and define in the coalition platform definite goals for minimum wage and the strengthening of unions.

It will always be so that a plurality of voices is noise without some greater defining goal that turns them into a chorus. Plurality in and of itself is not music.

Third parties can and sometimes will unite to enhance their unique potentials, and in unison further those ends that they discover they overlap on. But until they do, they will continue to attempt to drive their own respective cars, this one without gas, that one without wheels, the other without sparkplugs. All with the same roadmap, and none to get us there.

The hour is striking.

People's Coalition federalism


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E Pluribus Unum

No one is an island. The achievements of any one of us is an achievement of all. The success of any one person, organization or political party to further the ends of freedom is a success of all others. This proposal for a coalition of third parties itself does not live in an isolated vacuum, but a landscape of successes and failures. It is not a proposal to replace any other worthy objective, but an effort at enhancing the power of good people to achieve valuable ends and in just ways.

Three Fronts

The battle that we are fighting must take place on three fronts. These have their merits and demerits, but none of them should be ignored:

  1. Reforming the Democratic Party & Replacing Congress.
  2. Draft Bernie
  3. The People’s Coalition


Some of us cannot go back to the Democratic Party. This writer is one. We have waited impatiently upon a Democratic Party to realign itself as the so called party of the people, yet this has not happened. In many ways and in numerous circles, the Party is entrenching itself in a refusal to acquiesce to the obvious. There are however some who are working for this change. Among them are the Justice Democrats, now aligned with Brand New Congress, in a progressive push to transform the Democratic Party from the bottom up. It is a worthy effort to strive and work towards that end, to reform an institution caught in the doldrums of political pride and wealthy donors. That is one approach to victory for the people, and we should encourage those who are attempting this reform. We may have finally refused the Democrats, but the more of its numbers that join the ranks of progressive ideology, the better is our strength. We will need allies within that party as well as outside of it. Therefore, we should encourage those who are attempting that work, even should we regard that Party as a white sarcophagus, outwardly clean, but full of dead men’s bones.

Draft Bernie

This is our hope, and it should be a main effort of every individual reading this. Sign their petition to Draft Bernie now! Yet it is not enough. Should Bernie Sanders not be swayed by this initiative–though I am of the strong opinion he will–then we cannot be left with but one option of reforming the Democratic Party or replacing Congress. We cannot be dependent on any one man or woman. If Draft Bernie succeeds or fails, we will still need to reform the Democratic party (to supersede it) and we ought to still work to coalesce the third parties of the left as one voting bloc.


A coalition of third parties is necessary. We must fight on this third front simultaneously while working with and for one or both of the other two fronts. The third parties of the United States must form a singular voice. Even should we shift local Democrats to the left, a coalition of third parties would make for a powerful statement of solidarity. Below is a more detailed description of the proposal for a coalition of third parties.

Legislative and Electoral Coalition

Third parties, one voting bloc is not an unattainable ideal. Coalitions of various kinds are a fact in numerous nations, just now a necessity in the United States. There is even a bipartisan coalition rising up between Democrats and Republicans at the State level in the Wolf-PAC. Do look them up, as they are a shining example of the power of coalition!

The Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress itself is a coalition, what they themselves call the Coalition of the Winning. It is based around a progressive platform:

But to what end do we create a coalition of the left, termed #LeftCo? And in what form? This proposal for a Coalition of third parties is specifically to achieve an electoral alliance as well as a legislative coalition, as defined by the National Democratic Institute in their pdf report, Coalitions: A Guide for Political Parties, pp. 14-15, 18. Wolf PAC itself is a legislative coalition. Its goal is to achieve the singular reform of legislation: money out of politics, state by state, until a quorum of states is reached to force a Constitutional Convention on this one issue, to amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United. The alliance works because they have a clearly defined legislative goal they strive to enact. Party dogma falls away in this singular item, so that Republicans and Democrats can work side by side. They do not lose their identities in any other way. The Wolf PAC organization acts as a coordinating body, without dominating the two parties in any way.

A legislative coalition of third parties requires a Coalition platform (or some goal of legislation) in which coalition parties agree on some key point or points. This is proposed here, and is the foundation for voting as a bloc on various issues, as well as for forming the basis for consistent candidate vetting across party lines within the Coalition.

An electoral alliance is a coalition specifically geared to gain seats, to gain office. This is not unlike the goal of the Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, an electoral coalition, only that the proposal here is of third parties work together to coordinate candidates, vet them on a consistent basis around the coalition platform, and help one another in signature drives, ballot access, rallies and the sharing of information about one another’s candidates.

These two forms of coalition constitute a voting bloc of legislation and of candidates. This is powerful. This will gain more seats than any one party can do on its own, and will push harder on legislation related to the Coalition Platform than any one party can achieve. This is the beginning of the breaking of the deadlock of the illusion of choice that the two party system shackles us to.

The Fight

The fight must take place on all three of these fronts. We cannot do any one of these and hope for complete victory of the people. This is the fight of our lives, the lives of our children, and the life of the planet. Support these efforts.

E Pluribus Unum

People's Coalition - Third parties. One voting bloc.

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