Merriam-Webster defines a patriot as “one who loves and supports his or her country.” The Urban Dictionary qualifies the typical definition: “A real patriot is someone who loves their country enough to speak up when they see something that needs to be changed; not someone who blindly assumes that their government knows best and is always right no matter what.”
But what is an American Patriot?
I identify with the answer provided in a 2000 article by Gabe Rodriguez who at the time was a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation: “It is not a blind allegiance to land, government, or nation. American patriotism is loyalty in the heart of the founding — grounded in the message of the Declaration (of Independence):
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
It is in the reverence for freedom and principle established in our Declaration that guides the zeal of an American patriot.”
A political organization subject to Internal Revenue Code section 527 is a party, committee, association, fund, or other organization (whether or not incorporated) organized and operated primarily for the purpose of directly or indirectly accepting contributions or making expenditures, or both, for an exempt function. The exempt function of a political organization is influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election or appointment of an individual to a federal, state, or local public office or office in a political organization. The election of Presidential or Vice-Presidential electors is also part of the exempt function of a political organization. Activities that directly or indirectly relate to or support an exempt function are exempt function activities.
A political party establishes policies favorable to the interests of its members and documents those policies as planks of their political platform. A party nominates and attempts to elect candidates for public office who will promote the platform through legislation and program initiatives.
Most voters assume that candidates who declare an affiliated political party when filing for office have principles that agree with the affiliated party platform. However, this may not be a valid assumption. Often a candidate affiliates with a party just to gain state ballot access. Mr. Trump was a member of the Democratic, Reform and Republicans parties and even an independent prior to running as a Republican POTUS candidate. Some candidates who lose an early major party primary will file as a third-party candidate for the same office in states that don’t have a “sore loser” restriction. Citizens rely on the platform when selecting a party to join. The party has an obligation to enforce the planks of its platform. Elected candidates have an obligation to promote the platform that got them elected.
A typical American patriot seeks a party that promotes the freedoms proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution. Every elected official takes an oath of office to support the Constitution. I found three planks in the Democratic Party platform that refer to the Constitution: the Guaranteeing Women’s Rights plank that states “After 240 years, we will finally enshrine the rights of women in the Constitution by passing the Equal Rights Amendment“; the Honoring Indigenous Tribal Nations plank that states “. . . the Democratic Party will fulfill, honor, and strengthen to the highest extent possible the United States’ fundamental trust responsibility, grounded in the Constitution, treaties, and case law to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes“; and the Fighting for the People of Puerto Rico plank that states “. . . the people of Puerto Rico should determine their ultimate political status from permanent options that do not conflict with the Constitution, laws, and policies of the United States.” There are numerous planks with goals that violate strict interpretation of the Constitution. It is obvious from the platform that the Democratic Party is not the party for American Patriots.
The preamble of the Republican Party platform states: “We believe in the Constitution as our founding document. We believe the Constitution was written not as a flexible document, but as our enduring covenant. We believe our constitutional system — limited government, separation of powers, federalism, and the rights of the people — must be preserved uncompromised for future generations.” The platform appears to be attractive to American patriots but has not been enforced for many years. The New American Freedom Index is a Congressional scorecard that rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements. Republican senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee and representatives Andy Biggs, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, and Chip Roy are the only congressmen with a score exceeding 90%. The low Freedom Index score of most Republican congressmen justifies them being labeled RINOs.
There are several minor parties that emphasize compliance with the Constitution. Examples are the Constitution Party, the American Party, the America’s Party, the Independent American Party and the Conservative Party USA. Unfortunately, all of these parties are Christian religion preference parties. While they claim to be tolerant to people of all religious beliefs, atheists and non-Christians often feel unwelcomed. The Founding Fathers acknowledged their inspiration from God and gave Him credit for influencing the outcome of some battles during the Revolution. However, the delegates to the 1787 Constitution Convention wisely avoided establishing a national religion since that would be a divisive issue with the states. Many individuals will not compromise their religious beliefs and should not have to in order to be an equal member in a political party. The Constitution Party was founded in 1992 (US Taxpayers Party) and since then has been a recognized political party with ballot access in many states. However, it has been unsuccessful at electing candidates to statewide and federal offices. It should be obvious to religious preference parties that it is difficult to succeed in an increasingly secular American society.
Last year a Constitution based party without a religious preference was formed by disgruntled members of the Constitution Party. According to co-founder and national chairman of the Life and Liberty Party, J.R. Meyers, other parties have not delivered on their promises. In the 27 years of existence nothing substantial has happened with the Constitution Party and it is no longer an effective critical force if it ever was. J.R. Meyers attributes this to failure of its leadership and the party system itself.
J.R. Meyers claims a new entity is needed to promote patriotic viewpoints, beliefs and constitutional adherence. A party firmly based on the Constitution as originally written with original intent of our Founders is needed. The Life and Liberty Party will promote an inclusive society with freedom for all, equality under the law, and equal justice for all. The party should have a diversity opinion and be able to engage in respectful dialogue- which is how ideas are refined and party members move forward together. The tendency to demonize those who don’t agree within a party results in periodic purges throughout the history of the parties. There’s room in the political spectrum. There are a lot of pro-life Libertarians and liberty minded constitutionalists who really have no political home.
That is threatening to the existing party structure.
The Life and Liberty Party is like a coalition umbrella. It plans to form coalitions with existing parties in numerous states. It is already affiliated with the Constitution Party of South Dakota and the Alaska Constitution Party. It has achieved POTUS/Vice-POTUS ballot access in Arkansas and a petition drive is underway in South Dakota. Ballot access drives are planned for Alaska, Colorado and Montana. Perhaps American patriots should consider the Life and Liberty Party as their potential political home.