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The Eagle Party
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A couple of years ago, Andrew Sullivan wrote about "Eagles", people who weren't happy with the Republicans or Democrats, who don't fit neatly into an existing party and want a third way (that no other third party is currently providing).

He linked to this post by Brink Lindsey, a self-described Libertarian who kept getting e-mails telling him he wasn't a real Libertarian. So what the hell am I? he asked:

Let me make clear that I'm not wild about calling myself a libertarian. First, I have to clarify that I'm a "small-l" libertarian -- i.e., I have no affiliation with the Libertarian Party, which I consider to be a cringe-inducing embarrassment. Second, I'm not a hard-core ideologue, as many self-described libertarians are. I think anarchism is absurd, and I don't believe that the so-called "minimal state" is an intellectually tenable construct. I'm interested in expanding the frontiers of real-world liberty, not spinning utopias.

But here's my problem, and the problem of the intolerant cookie-cutter-brains who want to read me out of libertarianism: If I'm not a libertarian, what am I?

Am I a conservative? Let’s see -- I support the legalization of drugs and prostitution, abortion on demand in the first trimester, and the use of early-stage embryos in scientific research. I think that a flag-burning amendment and the restoration of prayer to public schools are dumb ideas. I don't subscribe to any organized religion. And I'd argue that much of the social and cultural ferment of the 1960s was positive. You think the conservatives will have me?

Am I a liberal? Actually, that's how I think of myself. But calling myself a liberal in early 21st century America doesn't make much sense. I support a flat tax, full Social Security privatization, and school vouchers. I can call myself a free-market liberal, and I sometimes do, but that still doesn't clear up the confusion. After all, I’m for capital punishment, and I oppose racial preferences. I favor restrictions on abortion after the first trimester, and an outright ban on late-term procedures. And I find bobo prejudice against red-state America to be insufferable. Who will understand what I mean when I call myself a liberal?

Ah, a kindred soul. And apparently there are a lot of us. Sullivan put a name to this political outlook, after adding in hawkish, aggressive foreign policy -- The Eagle.

But he hasn't written about it much since, from what I can tell. He referred to Schwarzenegger as an Eagle, and I think somebody like Guliani might fit there as well.

I actually wrote Sullivan after the election and asked him about trying to mobilize a third way. He supported a lot of Bush's policies, but in the end endorsed Kerry. He has a huge readership, and many of them are self-ascribed Eagles. So why not formalize it? Why not try to actually start such a party?

Apparently, you need a platform, a formal meeting, and you need to register with your state's Secretary of State, and then're a party. Then you just need candidates to run for office.

Sullivan hasn't returned my e-mail, but as an exercise, I think I'll write up a platform for the Eagle Party, at least a draft. Hell, it'd probably be a good thing for most citizens to write a platform for their ideal party, to help clarify what they think about most issues.

I'll post it in the next week or so and see what people think.

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