Frequently Asked Questions

43d8a-solidarity2bpolish2bunionAbout the American Solidarity Party

Is ASP a Christian Party?  ASP is part of the larger tradition of Christian Democracy, a movement that began in the 19th century and aims to embody the values of the Gospel, particularly by caring for the poor and promoting traditional morality.  ASP supports the free exercise of religion for all people and welcomes people of all faiths or no faith at all.

When was ASP founded?  In 2011, under the name Christian Democratic Party USA, which was changed to American Solidarity Party in 2012.

Where does the name come from?  ASP takes its name from the Solidarity labor union in Poland, which played a pivotal role in the downfall of Communism and the restoration of democratic government in that country.  The Solidarity union is but one example of the broader tradition of Christian Democracy in which ASP participates.

Is ASP socialist?  Socialism generally refers to a system where the government owns the means of production (mines, factories, farms).  We oppose such an arrangement.  Rather, we favor – as did America’s Founders – a system of widespread ownership of private property, as befits a democratic society.

Is ASP a reformed Republican Party?  Reformed Democrats?  Neither.  Our starting point is not a major party which we seek to tweak just a little.  Rather, we seek to focus on America’s real values, real needs, and consensus-building around community-oriented solutions.  If that ends up looking “conservative” or “liberal,” so be it.  Our goal is simply to do what’s right.

What is ASP’s plan for the future?  Why does ASP run candidates who can’t win?  We are a political party, not simply a pressure group, and therefore our goal is to have members elected to public office where we can serve the public through legislation and policy.  But we know we are a young and still relatively small party.  Therefore, we pursue multiple approaches:

  • Running symbolic candidates to attract public attention and new members.
  • Running candidates with a realistic prospect at attracting a substantial portion of the vote.
  • Endorsing candidates in other parties whose positions accord with those of ASP, when they can be found.

What is solidarity?  Solidarity is more than warm fuzzy feelings about your neighbor (though that doesn’t hurt!).  Solidarity is a real concern for others that is lived out in action.  We believe that the dignity of all people and the material prosperity of the United States make it necessary and possible for us to care for the weakest and most vulnerable in our society.

What is subsidiarity?  Subsidiarity is the idea that issues should be addressed at the lowest level possible: the family, the neighborhood, the city, the county, the state, the nation, the global community.  Some issues – such as defense – are rightly national issues; a few – such as climate change – are necessarily global issues.  But most issues are best handled at far lower levels, where people have a more intimate understanding of the problems and have a vested interest in seeing them addressed.

What is the ASP position on….  ASP’s official positions are spelled out in the party platform, which services as a guide to candidates.  ASP believes the specific implementation of these positions, as well as topics not addressed in the platform, should be worked out by local communities to meet their particular needs.  Thus, you won’t find every topic covered in the platform.

…abortion?  ASP recognizes human dignity and is pro-life for the whole of life, meaning we oppose abortion as well as euthanasia, capital punishment, and torture.  Moreover, we think it important to support children and their parents with adequate health care and education throughout their lives, as befits their dignity.

…drugs?  ASP supports the decriminalization, not legalization, of recreational drugs.  Decriminalization mean that drug use becomes something like speeding: you could be fined for it, but it’s not a criminal offense, so users wouldn’t be tried in court, sent to jail, or have a criminal record.  Mass incarceration and the War on Drugs have failed; it’s time to try something different.

…health care?  ASP calls for universal health care, as befits a nation that cares about all its citizens and has been blessed with tremendous material resources.  We advocate a decentralized single-payer system.  There are various ways that could be accomplished, but that probably means each state runs its own fund, which then pays various public or private medical institutions for the services provided to residents.

…immigration? ASP supports broad immigration reform. We need to reform the bureaucratic processes by which people can legally enter the US, but we also need to address the millions of people who are already here.  ASP supports a pathway to citizenship, or at least permanent legal residency, for illegal immigrants who have no other criminal record.

…prostitution?  ASP opposes the commercialization of sexuality, which violates the innate dignity of people.  We recognize that difficult circumstances have driven many individuals into prostitution, and therefore we advocate alternative employment for prostitutes and strict penalties for those who purchase sex.

…war?  ASP opposes war apart from the traditional criteria of just war. In other words, war must be a last resort, only used in grave circumstances, when there is a reasonable probability of resolving the conflict. In the conduct of such a just war, the use of force must be proportional to the threat and the rights of non-combatants must be respected.

Do you have additional questions?  Please leave them in the comments!