The American Solidarity Party: You May Not Know It Now, But You May after the 2016 Election
Upon securing the Republican presidential nomination earlier this year, several commentators noted that Donald Trump was realigning American politics. Through that realignment, economic nationalism, less intervention in foreign affairs, and restrictions on immigration could define the Republican Party.
If Trump loses the election, a key question will be whether his platform will continue in the Republican Party or elsewhere.
If somewhere else, one potential outlet for his supporters may be the American Solidarity Party (ASP).
Formed in 2011, the ASP models itself on the Christian Democratic parties of Europe. Compared to the more decidedly right-wing Constitution Party, the American Solidarity Party appears more centrist in its political orientation. The party motto displays in big letters on its website: "Common Good. Common Sense. Common Ground."
However, unlike Trump, the ASP seeks "amnesty and a path to citizenship for aliens currently residing within our borders." The ASP also proposes a single-payer health care system. Rather than one administered from Washington, they support a system which is "decentralized."
The party this year nominated professional magician Mike Maturen for president after Amir Azarvan withdrew.
Maturen is hopeful that the ASP can eventually grow. He told the American Conservative magazine earlier this year:
"Mainstream America would be sort of center-right on social issues and sort of center-left on fiscal issues. . . . The problem is, they don’t know we exist."
ASP media manager Christopher Keller notes the major parties fail the American people at large. The ASP could be an important voice. Earlier this year, he said:
"With the Republican Party, there’s been greater and greater departures from the interests of the average person, the middle class . . . . Yet on the Democratic side there’s been a detachment from social values."
As with most minor parties, ballot access is a serious barrier for the ASP. Colorado is the only state where the party has official ballot access. However, the ASP has write-in status in several states. These include swing states such as Ohio, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
The American Solidarity Party is looking beyond 2016 and hopes to convince people to vote according to their faith. Maturen said in the Tennessean earlier this year, "As a Catholic, I truly believe that your actions in life are supposed to line up with your beliefs. . . . At some point, we have to try to start voting that way."