Can’t believe I forgot to post this earlier; I had meant to give everyone advanced notice.
About a year ago, I was at an event at the convention center — a luncheon or banquet; I forget the occasion — and Oscar Lovelace, leaving early, paused by my table to tell me that he and Jim Rex were planning to start a new political party, and he would have more to tell me later.
Oscar Lovelace is the country doctor who ran a quixotic campaign against Mark Sanford for the Republican nomination for governor in 2006. Jim Rex is the former university administrator who served as our state superintendent of education, and ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010.
Both are reasonable, moderate men. I can easily see either of them reaching the conclusion that I reached so many years ago, that our two-party system ill serves our state and nation.
Anyway, after that initial mention, I heard nothing more until this past week, when Dr. Lovelace sent out an email that the new party was forming, and that its first meeting would be today:
Dear TEDx Friends,
I hope everyone has recovered from an incredibly stimulating event. Thanks to each of you I have marked at least one more experience off my bucket list!
If you found my remarks about health care in our state and nation concerning please consider joining me and former Superintendent of Education, Dr. Jim Rex in doing something about our problems – instead of just talking about them.
I first met Jim Rex when I was running against then Governor Sanford in the Republican primary and Dr. Rex was running for Superintendent of Education in 2006. He won as a Democrat and currently is the only Democrat elected to state-wide office in the past decade. Dr. Rex later ran for governor in 2010 as a Democrat.
Since our experience as gubernatorial candidates, Jim and I, have become resolute in our conviction that the current two party system is broken beyond repair and owned by the corporate interests which fund and control them. As a result we have a dysfunctional, polarized and paralyzed government. We need systemic change to renew our democracy and our nation. Months ago we recruited about 12 others to assist us in starting a new political party.
The Free Citizens Party was named to honor the freedom we enjoy as Americans and for which many have sacrificed greatly. We have the freedom to be apathetic but a higher call as citizens to make our government work for the betterment of society. Our first organizational meeting is:
Sunday Feb 10, 2013
3pm to 5pm
Tapp Art’s Center
1644 Main St.
We are encouraging everyone who plans to attend to bring others who are similarly interested in this effort. One of our first tasks will be to gather 10,000 signatures on a petition to start the new party, Of course we will need to raise money and develop the structure and function of the party.
Please share the appeal below with others you may know who are willing to work for a brighter future for our state and nation.
If you plan to attend or bring others let me know. If we have the names of others who plan to come we can more easily prepare. It would also be helpful to have the email, snail mail address and cell phone number of those who are interested or plan to attend in the event of any last minute details and for future correspondence. .
I hope to see you on Sunday afternoon, February 10 in Columbia,
Oscar F. Lovelace, Jr., MD
Lovelace Family Medicine, PA
Yeah, I know. I’m not crazy about the name they chose for the party. It sounds like a name the Tea Party might have toyed with before coming up with “Tea Party.” It suggests snake flags and the like.
Not that I have a better name in mind. I call the UnParty that in part because once you call something this, you’re saying it’s not that. You’re limiting it. Also, I wanted it not to be a party at all, but an anti-party.
But we’ll see how this one defines itself. I plan to go to the meeting. Perhaps I’ll see you there, despite the last-minute notice.