HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — Houston is gearing up for a political convention attended by hundreds of people, but they are not Democrats or Republicans.
They’re at the Forward Party, and organizers say it’s gaining traction.
There are some people who believe that some Democrats have extreme views, and on the other hand Republicans have extreme views.
Everyone in the forward party believes in finding common ground in the middle.
At least 1,300 people have registered for the Forward Party convention in Houston this weekend. That’s a lot more than the 200 people the organizers originally expected.
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“Look at the views of Americans, they’re common sense, sort of a hub of street people, and we don’t have a political party representing that group,” explained Bill King, a party leader in Texas, of the growth.
He said the party is interested in the same problems most Americans want to solve, but is working on solutions without attacking anyone who disagrees with them.
“As opposed to two diametrically opposed sides yelling at each other all the time, you suddenly have an intermediary in the middle who’s like, ‘Wait a minute, we’re going to do this from your side and this from our side?'” he said.
One example is abortion, which he says is an issue that goes hand in hand with extreme views.
“You can never have an abortion under these circumstances, or you should be able to have an abortion under any circumstances; most Americans think the earlier the pregnancy, the fewer restrictions there should probably be, but as the pregnancy progresses, you probably must have a pretty good reason to have an abortion,” King said. “It’s the healthy one American common sense view that is not reflected by any of these parties.”
King said the Forward Party has a presence in 37 states, and more than 20,000 people have volunteered to help organize the party.
One policy expert said that while the party gets attention, its influence will have the greatest impact.
“The Forward Party will most likely not influence U.S. policy by winning seats or becoming a realistic alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties, but by demonstrating enough success in the elections that the major parties feel compelled to vote at least some of theirs to take on topics. ‘ said Mark Jones, a professor of political science at Rice University.
King understands it’s not for everyone.
“We’re not trying to replace the Republicans or the Democrats,” he said. “There are people who feel comfortable at these parties and that’s good for them. If they’re comfortable, they should stay there, but many of us aren’t.”
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