By: Duane Paul Murphy
A minor third party is organizing at the Catholic University of America where the college youth wings of America’s two major parties have a dominate political presence on campus. The third party group is part of The American Solidarity Party, founded in 2011 by David Frost and the current chairman is Matthew Bartko. The American Solidarity Party is a self-described Christian democratic party. Similar to those in Europe and Latin America, the party and its platform adhere to fiscal liberalism, such as a single-payer healthcare system, and social conservatism, such as opposition to the death penalty, euthanasia, and abortion.
“Our organization is newly formed on this campus and we are still in the process of raising awareness” said Sean McCarthy, president of the American Solidarity Party’s Catholic University college youth wing. “We are confident that we will appeal to a wide audience because of our distinct platform.”
The party also intends to attract voters who are becoming dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic parties on the national scene, especially after the recent 2016 elections.
“The American political landscape is currently dominated by the two major parties, which, more than ever before, have been revealed as dismally representative of the American people, stifling a thriving democracy,” McCarthy said. “We saw during the recent election season the considerable appeal of alternative, third-parties such as the Libertarian party and the Green party. The American Solidarity Party is a very unique party fulfilling an urgent demand in our society by combining elements from diverse platforms to form a coherent, compelling platform.”
The Catholic University chapter of this third party hopes to attract students who follow the Catholic Church’s social justice teachings and doctrines that appear reflected in the policies of the Christian democratic party.
“Our platform is grounded in a robust appreciation for the dignity of human life, from conception until natural death,” said McCarthy. “All of our other positions can be seen to flow from this core principle, including our commitment to treat the poor, immigrants and refugees with respect and solidarity as well as our commitment to take seriously our responsibility as stewards of the environment, especially in light of the urgent environmental crises we are now experiencing. As I like to think, our platform is in profound harmony with the worldview, principles, and values emphasized by Pope Francis.”
McCarthy hopes to see the party’s college chapter further gain recognition on the Catholic University campus in the long term.
“Our future plans will depend upon the involvement of newly recruited members,” McCarthy said. “We are especially hoping that the undergraduates will assume a prominent role in forming and fulfilling the goals of our new campus organization.’’
The college wing of the American Solidarity Party currently has five official members list on The Nest, the Catholic University’s website that publishes information regarding campus events and official student organizations.
An earlier version of this article attributed the founding of the American Solidarity Party to Matthew Bartko rather than David Frost. We apologize for the mistake.