Holistic Party? Why Not?
Let us start our branding exercise by going all out more of everything: liberty, equality, nature, and morality. I cover it all here at Holistic Politics. Why not follow on with a Holistic Party? (If you are new to this site, take a look at the menu above. The red column features chapters on economic equality. Green for preserving nature. Blue for balancing Christian standards of morality and liberty. Gold for liberty vs. practicality.)
For starters, why should we? In all honesty have not built a powerful brand here. Yes, I get some pretty enthusiastic emails now and then. And I have gotten a couple orders of magnitude more people wanting to join a political party based on the ideas herein, than I ever recruited into the Libertarian Party. And all I do here is have a web site; I used to work tables, badger friends and coworkers, and walk neighborhoods promoting the LP. But the appeal is still narrow. The writing is college level, the graphics unprofessional. This is a site for big-brained wonks. I do not have The Donald’s gift for mesmerizing the masses. “Holistic” must stand on its own merits, not on branding to date.
Holistic Party would be technically correct. From the start, this site began as an explicit rejection of Murray Rothbard’s “No value can trump liberty” dicate. (See Chapter 15 of For a New Liberty.) The legacy parties aren’t quite as bad as the Libertarians in this regard, but they are still bad. Republicans have downplayed the importance of poverty relief, personal liberty and the environment in their quest for lower taxes and higher personal morality. Democrats have downplayed the importance of economic liberty in their quest for economic security and protecting the environment. A political party that furthers all values, that seeks out the synergies, would be a good thing.
But would the masses “get it?” What does the word “holistic” say to the random person on the street? I fear it conjures up visions of crystal power, quantum cartoon waves, and people who stare into space and say “vibrations” a lot. (And actually, that was the crowd I was originally trying to reach with this web site. I was in Hippieland East – Asheville, NC – at the time. This site was originally an attempt to get such people to join The Party of Pot – the Libertarian Party. Pull up an old copy on archive.org and you will see the original hippie motif.) How many people want to be part of that crowd?
Those with a more scientific background will get the technical meaning of “Holistic.” I have recently restyled the site to have an old-school PBS science documentary vibe. (Whether that works is a matter of controversy.)
Put together the two demographics and you have a party that might play well in the Bay Area. Anywhere else will require some serious explaining. In politics explaining is expensive.
And what do you call a Holistic Party member? A Holist? (This is a question to ask about any potential party name.)
There is an even shittier image problem to deal with. Way back in my grad school days, I used to thumb through the Dallas Observer, Dallas Texas’ free city newspaper. The Classified section featured all sorts of wacky and disturbing ads. There was one category entitled “Holistic Services” which featured ads for colonic irrigation. Ew! Not exactly a positive brand.
(Then again, the idea of giving our government a high enema is somehow appropriate. There is a lot of crap impacted in our law books that needs flushing out. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to come up with a theme appropriate logo. Just don’t show it to me.)
Finally, a full-on four dimensional political positioning may be a bit too limiting. With each slice of the tesseract, we eliminate potential voters. Though it entails unpleasant compromise, it may be better to look at a flatter political map – which we shall do next. (I will, however, come back to some other 4D options later.)