Amar Patel is the Vice Chair of the American Solidarity party and Director of Social Media.
Have you ever felt passionate about a cause and jumped in with both feet, only to wonder why none of your friends or family dared to take the plunge with you?
I find this to be a specific stumbling block for the American Solidarity Party. Those of us who felt abandoned by the major parties and fell in love with the ASP at first sight can’t fathom why others with ostensibly similar backgrounds don’t feel the sting of Cupid’s arrow.
For years, many party members have believed that the perfect platform and principled policies coupled with active discussion groups on Facebook would eventually go viral and hordes of whole-life distributists would flood our database with new members. While I am reasonably certain there are a good number of political romantics still left in the U.S. who pine for Christian democracy but just haven’t heard of us yet, I doubt that those numbers are in the millions or even the tens of thousands.
Currently, the ASP is a quaint bed of flowers tucked away in a corner of the political landscape, walled off by aggressive major parties who poison the soil around us so we can’t extend our roots into their territories. Their monetary, legislative, and media control over the system ensure that we can’t win by playing the game in a traditional manner.
We must utilize alternative gambits that require us to go well beyond our comfort zones. The main parties rely on extreme voters to drive their selected candidates through primaries and perpetuate the duopoly each November election season. They confidently assume that the average American will check out of politics between elections. This is when we must strike.
I believe one mistake we keep making is assuming our rank and file members will engage readily in political activism. If we want a party of grassroots, we need gardeners who are willing to do some “cultivating.” I propose we task our members with the work they do best and that a Christian democratic party is naturally inclined toward: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, giving shelter to the homeless, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and the imprisoned.
Most Americans sympathetic to our cause will not come to us via convincing arguments or flashy social-media activity. They will come because we give them something to believe in. We have to walk the walk while we talk the talk. Can we show a yearning people that public service breeds public servants?
I challenge the members of the American Solidarity Party to change the way the political game is played by integrating the community service you are called to do with a mindset that we can change the world from the dirt up. If we sweat together, cry together, and bleed together, we will create a radical image that can resonate with millions of people of good will. Then, as political actors, we will have the moral heft or “street cred” to run politicians who can advocate for policies that pass by supermajorities.
Who is ready to get dirty with us?