The Party Platform
Charles Wilson’s heartrate accelerated, as he prepared to address 75 or so citizens who had congregated for a rally on the grounds of the Mississippi State Capitol in downtown Jackson; he took a deep breath, and approached the podium near the steps; then, he faced the crowd and gave them a big smile. He was the Spokesman for The New Populist Party. The organization’s key agenda was membership recruitment.
Party leaders sought to capitalize on the growing number of disappointed voters with both the Republican and Democratic Parties by appealing to a message of ‘economics for all.’ The party’s political platform rendered the needs of average Americans attempting to “make ends meet” a priority. The party’s board of directors unanimously voted to appoint Charles as the Spokesman the previous night on March 6, 2017. All 10 members were in attendance. Charles pondered over his opening statement mentally because his voice tone and every word were important.
The heated discussion at the meeting the previous night lingered on Charles mind briefly. Although most members voted for Hillary Clinton, Charles openly disagreed with members on several key issues. He sided with President Trump on some moral and social issues. The mere fact that Charles sided with President Trump in any manner angered two members. Betsy Ross screamed so loud Charles jerked nervously when she stood.
Henry Evans banged his fist on the table and yelled, “Let’s quiet down now. Somebody has got to have some sense around here.”
“I agree,” Charles interjected softly. Then he added, “Thank you Betsy Ross for your energy. We need your kind of energy to make this thing work.”
“Well, I will be watching you to see if you have the right energy to make things work,” Betsy stated sharply.
Charles graciously added, “Very good. Everyone needs to be held accountable. But, I assure you Ms. Ross, in the end, you will be pleased.”
With the news media present and all eyes on Charles, he cleared his throat, reviewed his notes, looked up, and stated in a thunderous voice, “Good people, thank you for allowing me to share with you this afternoon. I am Charles Wilson,” Charles said. Then he smiled a big smile again.
“If politics is not about the people, then, we had better be about the business of making it about the people,” he declared.
“We the people… by the people… so help me God… politics is the people’s business… we are the people… everyone standing here today is important,” Charles declared.
“This country belongs to the people. Let’s get this right. Let’s make this right. In the last century, small farmers started the Populist Party; they made it right,” Charles said and paused.
“No Medicaid cuts, no Medicare cuts.” Charles yelled, “Healthcare for all.” He paused, and the crowd cheered.
“Opportunities for all,” he screamed waving a $20 bill. Henry Evans started clapping and the crowd followed suit.
“What did the farmers do generations ago?” Charles asked in a mild tone of voice.
“Let me tell you!” Charles took a step back and took a step forward.
“The farmers formed voting blocks. Politicians felt their votes. The votes of farmers lined the thread in the pockets of politicians. The demands of farmers were heard. Their demands were publicly announced,” he stated and laughed lightly.
“Those farmers weren’t shy. Are you shy? Well, if you are shy, let me tell my friend we are going to set the record straight right now,” he declared.
“Throw all those [shy bones] away. A quiet mouth can’t get fed!” he declared.
“Guess What? We are not taking no more wooden nickels. Why?”
“We can’t spend a wooden nickel. They are no good!”
“Every law that is no good has to go!” Charles paused again.
“My friends, the minimum wage is a wooden nickel. We are telling the representatives, the senators, and the governor of Mississippi that $7.25 per hour is insufficient. Don’t give us no wooden nickels,” he retorted.
“My friends can you hear me?” Charles asked very loudly turning his head slightly cuffing his hands near his ears. The crowd roared. The board members stood and everyone else followed suit. When the crowd quieted down, a reporter asked, “What makes the New Populist Party any different from the established political parties?”
“The people should know first and foremost that The New Populist Party is for the people. We’re here for the working class. Visit us online at www.thenewpopulistparty.org. Call us. Stop by our headquarters on State Street. Email us. We want to hear from everyone. We want people to tell us what’s important to them,” Charles stated.
The board members mingled in the crowd and passed out party push cards. “Connect to the New Populist Party. We’re on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook,” Charles announced from the podium. Several board members held their phones in the air for several seconds. Shortly afterward a few people held their cell phones in front of them and put their fingers to work.
Charles said, “I see the people have their phones in their hands. We pray you are following The New Populist Party online. Then he added, Thank you so much.”
Suddenly, Henry Evans, yelled, “Charles gave the people an overview of the history of The New Populist Party.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, I just gave you my closing line. Henry is recommending I continue. Do you want me to continue?” Charles asked.
A lady yelled, “Carry on!”
Another lady yelled, “More!”
A man said, “Take it away!”
“Well, I won’t hold you much longer. But, I really appreciate your enthusiasm,” Charles declared.
The New Populist Party was founded on the ideas formed in the late 1890s by the original Populist Party. At that time, farming advocates promoted an agrarian economy through political protest. On the national level, President Woodrow Wilson and President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted most of the Populist Party’s demands into law. The New Deal legislation, repairing our infrastructure, and creating jobs were ideas from the Populist Movement. Going forward, our party combines durable conservative, liberal, and moderate views which have existed since the 1960’s into our framework.”
In Mississippi, Governor James K. Vardaman who served from 1904-1908 was a friend to local farmers. Governor Vardaman pacified farmers by ending the lease of convicts to plantation owners and the railroad. Governor Theodore G. Bilbo (1916-1920 and 1928-1932) was also a friend of small farmers and small businesses. Governor Bilbo enacted many of the views of the Populist Party even though the party had dissipated before the turn of the 20th century. The Populist Party formed voting blocks, and influenced government from the local level all the way to D.C.
In his Gettysburg address, on November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stated, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
You see the ideas of Abraham Lincoln are no longer significant in the two party system. The main plank of the New Populist is restoring the concept of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We are going to demand action. Our votes will count.
We will not be overlooked!
Charles stood close to the microphone and adjusted it and said, “Thank you for your great listening ears. My time is up. The New Populist Party is hosting a reception tomorrow night at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Thank you for coming. See you tomorrow. Bring a friend with you. There will be no more questions.”