Political Parties Suit Array of Tastes; Laws of Nature or 'Commercialized Vice' Can Spawn a Movement
Byline: Deb McCown, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Republicans and Democrats not getting the job done? No worries. There are hundreds of other political parties from which to choose on local, state and national ballots, ranging from the serious to the offbeat to the obscure.
For example, there is the Rural Party, which focuses on preserving the rural economy.
"The backbone of the economy is the rural economy, is the self-employed," said founder Mark Dunau. "The reason that the Rural Party was created ... is that there's no party speaking for the self-employed right now in this country."
Members of the Natural Law Party believe American politics does not follow the laws of nature. The party says on its Web site (www.natural-law.org) that perfect government is possible "by accessing the full range of nature's intelligence and harnessing its power."
Cal Jillson, professor of political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and an observer of third parties, said they are organized "around what they think to be a critical issue."
Some draw inspiration from social movements of the past.
The Prohibition Party promotes a moral society and opposes the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, pornography and other "commercialized vice."
"Alcohol is a terrible blight on our country," Prohibition Party presidential candidate Earl Dodge said. "It hurts people, it causes them to die, and we believe as citizens we need to battle it."
Reaching even further into the past is the Southern Party, which, more than 140 years after the South's failed attempt at independence, thinks it is time to give it another try.
An alternative is the Southern Independence Party, which seceded from the Southern Party over personal disagreements.
The Constitution Party favors drastic reductions in the size and power of the federal government.
"We need to restore the constitutional basis for law and public policy," said James Clymer, the party's national chairman. …