The Justice Party Spreads The Seeds of Grassroots Politics
Ross C. Anderson, known to most as “Rocky” Anderson, joins host T.J. O’Hara on Deconstructed to talk about politics and the Justice Party. Mr. Anderson served consecutive terms as the 33rd mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, from 2000 to 2008. Upon leaving office, he founded High Road for Human Rights that now functions through the Justice Party, which he helped form in 2011. In 2012, Mr. Anderson served as that Party's presidential candidate, drawing attention to issues that the major Parties were ignoring.
Mr. Anderson, who had been a life-long Democrat, begins by describing why he left that Party. At one point, he had been a Democratic nominee for congressional district in Utah. His relationship with the Party began to unravel after he argued on behalf of same-sex marriage only to have 20 Democratic colleagues hold a joint press conference to distance themselves from his position. He describes his disappointment and what he believes needs to happen to affect real change.
TJ raises an issue both he and Mr. Anderson ran on in 2012 that remains a focal point for the Justice Party: systemic corruption. Mr. Anderson cites the corrupt campaign finances, which neither major Party is willing to address. He shares why he believes a movement, similar to the Civil Rights movement, will be required to force change in this area. He also addresses the favoritism the major Parties show toward the financial industry. He talks about various aspects that led to the economic collapse our country suffered in 2008... and how the financial institutes were afforded a bailout while the victims were left homeless.
The two then shift to a discussion about how the Justice Party is different from other Third Parties. Mr. Anderson describes how the Justice Party does not require a singular allegiance. You can join the Party and remain a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green or other Party member if you choose. He also describes that the Justice Party’s focus is on issues such as universal healthcare, a higher minimum wage, the end of government abuses such as warrantless surveillance, the end of presidential-made wars, and the end of financial corruption (as he previously addressed), just to name a few. It is all about organizing grassroots activism.
If the Justice Party were to run political candidates again, Mr. Anderson stresses that it would be to raise political awareness to get people on the same page, and then organizing and mobilizing them. He shares a fascinating example of a march that took place in Salt Lake City years ago; how it took place versus how it should have taken place. In his opinion, it’s not about voting for politicians until you elect someone who will do something; it’s about joining together to create a level of public pressure that will force the changes we need.
Mr. Anderson also says that, even if the Justice Party does run candidates, it will never allow them to serve as a “spoiler.” If it appears that certain candidates might split the vote in a meaningful way (i.e., Ralph Nader in 2000), they will be required to withdraw from the election.
TJ then raises a question about the student debt issue that is of a growing concern. Mr. Anderson talks about the underpinnings of the problem. He describes how federal legislation was passed that made student debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy... and who voted for that change and benefited from it. What he reveals might shock you. He also describes what other countries are doing in the area of education.
Mr. Anderson has years of experience in the world of politics, and he is open and honest about what is transpiring behind the scenes. This interview will give you insight into where we are as a nation, how we got here, and what we might do to escape the current political paradigm. Listen and learn.