Poll after poll shows that neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties represent a large swath of voters in the middle of the political spectrum. A recent Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll found that 51% of voters described themselves as moderate, slightly liberal or slightly conservative. But the parties have sorted themselves into increasingly extreme political corners that do not represent moderate voters.
A perfect example of this is the just-ended 2021 Texas Legislative session, in which lawmakers pushed an ultra-conservative agenda while watering down or ignoring legislation that would have addressed critical issues important to Texans right now — including the February electric grid failure that devastated our state’s infrastructure, supply chain and economy, and left millions stranded without power, heat, water or supplies.
By prioritizing the extremes, they disparage those of us who do not blindly accept their ideologies as being RINOs or DINOs — Republicans or Democrats In Name Only — or lacking any convictions at all. It is not that we do not have convictions; it is that we choose to think for ourselves. And we do not feel the need to denigrate the intelligence, goodwill or patriotism of those who may reach different conclusions.
Today, we have been brainwashed into believing that political parties must be based on ideology. But it is only on ideological extremes that everyone agrees. Those of us in the “messy middle” might be on one side of the ideological spectrum on one issue but on the opposite on a different issue. It is possible to be both pro-choice and a fiscal conservative. It is possible to believe climate change is a problem and also oppose tax subsidies for wind turbines. It is possible to believe parents should have more choices in selecting their children’s schools and also support public education. Indeed, our life experiences have taught us that the truth about most problems, and the solutions to them are found somewhere in the middle.
But most of us believe in certain immutable principles: transparency, accountability, fair elections, respect for individual rights, honest fact-finding and above all, civility. We are embarrassed by the vitriol and name-calling that passes for political debate today. We refuse to accept behavior from our leaders that we do not tolerate from our children.
We value pragmatism over ideology and do not believe that compromise is a dirty word. Compromise made the very founding of our great republic possible. We recognize that compromise is a necessary element of any healthy relationship, whether that is with our family, our friends or our fellow countrymen.
There are those who will say that a third party cannot succeed. We say that a third party must succeed.
Candidates in the two dominant parties have been reduced to pursuing extreme policies and pandering to their ideological bases in order to win their respective primaries. They benefit from the political theatre and increased polarization. As a result, neither party’s candidates are offering any solutions to address the real challenges facing our country today. That must change.
For the last several decades, Americans have not been offered an electoral option that is not teetering on the left or right edge of the political spectrum. And they have certainly not had a party like the SAM Party of Texas, which refuses to be defined by an outdated world view that sees every issue on a left-right political spectrum. SAM is a big tent party, recognizing the value in diverse ideologies. Rather than organizing around strict dogma, we coalesce around the shared principles of problem solving, electoral reform, transparency, and accountability.
Speaking on behalf of our state party, county chairs and grassroots supporters, we believe that the American people and Texans are ready for that. We certainly are. We hope you feel the same and will join us in building a new kind of political party.