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The Independence Party and the Future of Third-Party Politics

Table of Contents &

Summary of Individual Chapters 

Table of Contents


Part I

1. Me, a Senate Candidate

2. Developing a Campaign Strategy

3. Jumping into the Fray

4. Genesis of Issues


Part II

5. Poor-Quality Leaders (a.k.a. My Leftist Critique

6. Making the Free Market Work for More People

7. My Involvement with Labor Issues

8. The Economics of Work and Leisure

9. Nuts and Bolts of the Shorter-Workweek Proposal

10. A Proposal for Fair Trade


Part III

11. Two Events in 2001

12. About the Ku Klux Klan

13. Demons in the Press

14. It Started in the '60s

15. The Downside to Immigration

16. About Lawyers and Politicians


Part IV

17. The Gender Chip on my Shoulder

18. Coming out of the Racial Wilderness

19. Roots of White Self-Hatred

20. Following my Ideas to Somewhere - Inner-City Real Estate and New Women

21. Landlord Politics


Part V

22. Growing up Politically

23. Two Campaigns for Mayor

24. Lessons Learned from the Landlord Group

25. My Campaign for U.S. Senate

26. Paul Wellstone and the Rest of the Campaign


Part VI

27. Building a Third-Party Movement: Part I

28. Building a Third-Party Movement: Part II

29. Confronting the Demons

30. Is There a Third Way?






Summary of Content by Chapter


Part I

Chapter 1 Me, a Senate Candidate The author decides to run for U.S. Senate in Minnesota's Independence Party primary. He finishes second to Jim Moore, the party-endorsed candidate.

Chapter 2 Developing a Campaign Strategy Frozen out by the party and the state's largest newspaper, he pitches his campaign to newspapers in outstate Minnesota.

Chapter 3 Jumping into the Fray This candidate bombards the media with campaign statements and then embarks upon a tour of cities and towns in various parts of the state. He carries a sign in parades and visits newspaper offices.

Chapter 4 Genesis of Issues What issues can the Independence Party ride to majority-party status? Being "in the center" or running celebrity candidates is not enough. This party needs to stake out positions on fundamental questions differing from those of the Democrats and Republicans. The author chooses (1) a shorter workweek and (2) dignity for white males.

Part II

Chapter 5 Poor-Quality Leaders (a.k.a. My Leftist Critique) By most indications, the economic situation of working Americans has deteriorated. The income gap between our society's most and least wealthy citizens has widened. Soaring executive compensation is not a product of the free market but of corporate conflicts of interest.

Chapter 6 Making the Free Market Work for More People Working people can rig the market for labor by supporting proposals for government to reduce work hours. Americans work longer hours than workers in other industrialized nations. The politics of gender and race create a political climate that prevents challenging bad leadership.

Chapter 7 My Involvement with Labor Issues The author began researching issues of work time in the 1970s. He founded an advocacy group and hooked up with well-known political figures. Eventually these activities led to involvement in the fight against NAFTA and the 1995 UN Social Summit.

Chapter 8 The Economics of Work and Leisure There is a mathematical relationship between work hours, employment, output, and productivity. Increasing levels of productivity bring a displacement of labor with several possible outcomes. The main trade-off has been between shorter work hours and expanding output in the form of economic waste.

Chapter 9 Nuts and Bolts of the Shorter-Workweek Proposal The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 established the basic mechanism for reducing the workweek. The requirement to pay overtime wages for hours worked beyond the standard creates an incentive (not a mandate) to cut hours. In the long run, reduced hours do not mean lower wages. On a macroeconomic level, resources might shift back to productive enterprise at the cost of shrinking economic waste.

Chapter 10 A Proposal for Fair Trade The object is to create an international political structure that will accommodate both expanded trade and enforcement of labor and environmental standards. "Free trade" negates that possibility. The author proposes a tariff-based mechanism that would steer global economic development through an orderly process which successively brings greater investment, increased wages, and reduced work hours.

Part III

Chapter 11 Two Events in 2001 The virulent protest that accompanied a small Ku Klux Klan rally at the Minnesota state capitol in August 2001 contrasts oddly with the tolerance of Islamic groups in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This had less to do with the groups' respective propensities to violence than with the liberal temperament.

Chapter 12 About the Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan went through at least three phases. In its period of greatest influence in the 1920s, this was primarily an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant organization which ought to restore American values. Klan violence did not significantly exceed the violence of groups which have criticized it on those grounds.

Chapter 13 Demons in the Press The Star Tribune, Minnesota's largest newspaper, has abandoned fair-minded journalism to spread social-political propaganda. Its stories have a tendency to demonize certain individuals or groups along the lines of political correctness. The Star Tribune is also known for its last-minute hatchet jobs on disfavored political candidates. This chapter offers examples of questionable journalistic practices.

Chapter 14 It Started in the '60s Given to abandoning their supporters, political liberals in the 1960s embarked upon a policy of vilifying white Americans to curry favor with black voters. This led to landmark Civil Rights and Immigration Reform legislation and to policies of affirmative action.

Chapter 15 The Downside to Immigration The bending over backwards to help disadvantaged groups has extended to recent immigrants encouraging the formation of what some have called "a rainbow underclass." The role of Arab immigrants in the September 11th attacks has created conflict between those who would demand greater cooperation from immigrant groups in combating terrorism and those who stress civil liberties.

Chapter 16 About Lawyers and Politicians The vilification of white, nonimmigrant Americans and designation of official victims serves the interests of lawyers and Democratic politicians. Landlords such as the author become lunch meat for enterprising attorneys who can put together a discrimination case. This society is organized to feed the occupational wolf packs which prey upon productive enterprise.

Part IV

Chapter 17 The Gender Chip on my Shoulder Raised in a world of white-male comfort, the author awoke to new realities of hate stirred up by the feminist movement. His arrest for domestic violence in November 1985 sent him on a mission to protest anti-male policies. Laid off from an accounting job at a public-transit agency, he has since gone on to more interesting and rewarding experiences.

Chapter 18 Coming out of the Racial Wilderness The author's advocating "dignity for white males" raises many questions. He has found greater understanding of this position from within the African American community than among whites. The challenge is to discuss such topics without succumbing to hate.

Chapter 19 Roots of White Self-Hatred While a student at Yale, the author questioned the premise that continuous education was the key to personal success. He dropped out of college to seek more basic life experiences. The author believes that educated whites may hate themselves for similar reasons. Our society should rethink the educational process from the standpoint of young peoples' psychological needs.

Chapter 20 Following my Ideas to Somewhere - Inner-City Real Estate and New Women Preoccupied with ideas, the author followed his own path to relevant activities. He connected with labor groups, published books, and then bought real estate. After he purchased a nine-unit apartment building linked to drug dealing, Minneapolis city government condemned this property. As a landlord dealing with crime, the author met and later married an African American woman. Now married to a woman from China, he has written a book on world history and built a close-knit interracial community west of the Minneapolis loop.

Chapter 21 Landlord Politics The author's problems as an inner-city landlord bought him in contact with a group of other landlords who were suing the city of Minneapolis. He helped to build them into a militant political organization to fight City Hall. Through picketing events and a cable-television show, this landlord group succeeded in turning public opinion around on questions of housing and crime. It played a key role in defeating the city's top three elected officials in the 2001 municipal elections.

Part V

Chapter 22 Growing up Politically Raised in a Republican household, the author was an ardent supporter of Michigan Governor George Romney's bid for the Presidency. He later moved in leftist political circles as a result of his interest in the shorter workweek. Burned by Minneapolis Democrats, he now affiliates with the Independence Party of Minnesota.

Chapter 23 Two Campaigns for Mayor After an abortive campaign for Mayor of Minneapolis in 1997, the author again became a candidate for Mayor after the leader of the landlord distributing literature, he waged an energetic battle against the incumbent administration winning a small number of votes in the primary election held on September 11, 2001.

Chapter 24 Lessons Learned from the Landlord Group The Minneapolis landlords succeeded through action where coercive approaches had failed. Their attitude was internally nonjudgmental. Ignored by the large-circulation newspapers, they created their own media in the form of an alternative newspaper and a cable-television show, thereby acquiring a direct pipeline to public opinion.

Chapter 25 My Campaign for U.S. Senate After attending the Independence Party state convention in St. Cloud, the author jumped into the Senate primary at the last moment. He put together position statements and a campaign web site before driving around the state to visit newspaper offices. The result was a second-place finish on September 10th with 31% of the votes in a three-way contest won by the party-endorsed candidate.

Chapter 26 Paul Wellstone and the Rest of the Campaign The period between the primary and the general election was dominated by Senator Paul Wellstone's tragic death in a plane crash on October 25th. The author had known Wellstone for twenty years. They were in a debate together on October 5th. Though defeated in the primary, the author later campaigned for Independence Party candidates. Norm Coleman was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Part VI

Chapter 27 Building a Third-Party Movement: Part I Because political candidates have a critical need to communicate with voters, the relationship between candidates and the media influences the outcome of elections. Journalists are torn between providing full coverage of campaigns and encouraging candidates to advertise. Third parties, whose candidates receive little free publicity, might consider acquiring their own media capability.

Chapter 28 Building a Third-Party Movement: Part II To build up interest and bring new people into their organization, third parties should let people freely express their opinions, be focused on action as well as winning elections, and keep parliamentary maneuvering to a minimum. The Independence Party has both a legacy of achievement and new opportunities to reach out to a broader constituency.

Chapter 29 Confronting the Demons A fear-based orthodoxy, sometimes called "political correctness", controls public opinions concerning race, gender, and religion. One must confront these demons to gain personal freedom. At the risk of being called "racist" or "anti-Semitic", the author confronts the disproportionately high black crime rate and Hollywood's manipulation of images in entertainment programming to create attitudes favorable to Jews. He offers a belated defense of Trent Lott's statement.

Chapter 30 Is There a Third Way? Social divisiveness and privilege preclude rational solutions to the earth's problems. The author assumes the hated white-male persona as a ploy to break down barriers to a solution. Third-party politics offers the best hope of breaking through the logjam of the current system, producing both social healing and an economic restructuring to benefit ordinary people.




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