Can a Third Party be Formed Without Helping Democrats Win?

Barb Wire

When one speaks with fellow Republicans about the future of the GOP, it is common to receive some negative feedback. This is because many conservative/libertarian Republicans feel the party has simply not done enough to challenge the Obama agenda. There is a widespread feeling among the rank and file that the country is hurtling toward socialism while Republican leaders sit on the sidelines and either do nothing or propose ways to manage socialism more effectively.

And the corruption and illegality of the Obama regime has been breathtaking, making LBJ and Nixon look like rank amateurs. How many people have been indicted for Fast and Furious? Zero. If Bush had used the IRS to harass his political opponents, there is little doubt impeachment motions would have been introduced. But no such impeachment motions have been forthcoming. The Federal budget is completely out of control but all the Republicans do is submit their own series of “earmarks.” We don’t want the GOP to pursue a “socialism-lite” agenda. We want them to go on the warpath and do whatever it takes to stop the destruction of our constitutional Republic.

Moreover, many people wonder if the GOP will have the stomach to repeal ObamaCare if we ever have the political power to do so. Nor does it appear that the GOP is able to hold strong on immigration issues. The border has been out of control for much longer than the current crises and yet all we hear from Republican leaders is various amnesty proposals. We have gangsters and jihadists coming across the border threatening our security and yet the GOP leadership just endlessly mimics all the rhetoric the liberals dish out.

Even more appalling has been the war on the Tea Party/conservative wing of the GOP. The party establishment has been caught numerous times using the party infrastructure to favor RINO candidates over conservatives. Indeed, the illegal tactics used by Senator Thad Cochran to defeat Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel in the Mississippi primary were beyond the pale. Cochran essentially stole that election and requests for the party to investigate all the irregularities have fallen on deaf ears. We’ve also heard Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell boasting about how he would like to crush the Tea Party.

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It has become increasingly clear that the GOP leadership will do everything in its power to prevent the party from being influenced in any way by the Tea Party. I have given up on the GOP and am simply not sure it can ever be reformed. I would never have said this a few years ago, but it may be time to create a conservative Third Party.  Sarah Palin, among others, has suggested doing just this. But how do we do form a new Third Party without handing the Democrats many electoral victories for years to come?

The biggest obstacle to creating a Third Party is the fear conservatives have that by voting Third Party, it will weaken the GOP, thus allow more Democrats to win. And that’s a legitimate fear and is why all Third Parties in existence today receive only a few percentage points every election and have zero impact upon the political process.

However, there is a way to create a Third Party without helping the Democrats win and that involves using the power of the internet to create a Third Party on paper but not launch it until it is strong enough to be competitive.

For a Third Party to be effective, millions of voters need to join it, become active, recruit others and support its candidates. Moreover, millions of dollars would need to be raised to market the party and fight for ballot access changes.  I propose that a website be set up that collects pledges.  By that, I mean a person would log on, register themselves, and then electronically sign a “pledge” that commits him or her to vote for a Third Party when the party officially launches.  Of course, such a pledge cannot be legally binding, but I doubt most voters would go through the process of registering themselves online unless they were serious. Of course, there would be some fraud, but that would be factored in when determining how much support the new party has.

The when part is the key to this effort. When the number of pledges reaches, say, twenty million voters nationwide, only then does the party launch and actually field candidates.  The same kind of tactic could be used to raise money for the new party. When contribution pledges reaches, say, $50 million dollars, the party launches.  No more feeble third parties that get 1% of the vote.

Again, let me emphasize this. A new competitive and viable party will be created only when and if the appropriate number of pledged voters and pledged donations is reached. This guarantees that the party will be a viable force from the first day it launches.

Once the party launches and it is obvious to voters that it will be a viable party, I predict many more voters will pile on. The new party will do to the GOP what the GOP did to the Whig Party 150 years ago: it will replace the GOP as the main party contesting the Democrat Party. We would also need a stable of respected national conservative leaders such as Sarah Palin and others to lead the charge on such an effort. A well-funded marketing plan would be needed with a heavy emphasis on using the social media. Such an effort may take years but even the process of building a viable Third Party may be beneficial. It will send a strong message to the Republican Party that if it continues its liberal drift, it will be replaced. Perhaps even the mere existence of such an effort will possibly save the GOP.

There is also the possibility that such an effort could be undertaken in a few states at first, just to see if such a model would actually work. So instead of collecting, say, twenty million pledges nationwide, we collect two million pledges in Iowa and then launch the party in that state. If this model works in a few states, we then expand it nationwide.

However, it will not be enough to create a Third Party and hope that millions of disaffected voters will automatically join it. Some thinking will need to go into creating a party platform.  Voters will not break from the GOP unless the new Third Party has a compelling platform that will unite conservatives, libertarians, the Christian Right, and the Tea Party movement.  These groups all have their differences but I believe we can find a consensus on dozens of constitutional principles such as downsizing the federal government, balancing the budget, reforming entitlements, cutting taxes across the board, defense of the 2nd amendment, the elimination of earmarks and crony capitalism, the development of our natural resources for our energy needs and so forth.

Even on the social issues, I believe a coalition between social and fiscal conservatives could be formed around the issue of eliminating all federal abortion funding, reversing Roe vs. Wade (let the states fight it out), and prohibiting the Federal government from granting special rights to people based upon sexual behavior (laws that almost always infringe on our religious, property, and freedom of association rights). I believe such a platform would unite all factions of conservatives and libertarians.

The internet has been used to unite millions of people for all kinds of causes.  Why can’t it be used to build the infrastructure of a new Third Party?    For this to become a reality, a group of respected leaders from the Tea Party, the Christian Right, and the libertarian right would have to come together to form this new party, agree on a set of principles and then launch the website to be used to college pledges.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Steve Baldwin
Steve Baldwin is a former California State Assemblyman and the former Executive Director of the Council for National Policy and Young Americans for Freedom. He has been published in numerous publications and is the author of From Crayons to Condoms, The Ugly Truth about America’s Public Schools.

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