A disillusioned group of former Republicans will be marching into Philadelphia this weekend for a small convention in an attempt to jump start what they believe will be a new third political party. Their motivation: disdain for President Donald Trump.
Their role model is Alaskan Governor Bill Walker, who parted ways with the GOP in 2014 and won the race for the governorship that year as an independent candidate with a Democrat running beside him.
After his win, Walker told Politico, “Those that are running as independents have to work a little harder. We have to be a little bit more creative and figure out how to get it done.”
So these erstwhile Republicans, along with a handful of Democrats, will hash out the details of running political campaigns for governor in various states and for seats in the Senate next year.
Former Republican political strategists, Reed Galen and Matthew Dowd will serve as advisors for the splinter group.
The Centrist Project is the group’s sole financial support and has raised $750,000 to fund the cause.
According to The Centrist Project’s mission statement, the country’s political system is “at a crossroads.” They say that the struggle between the two political parties is yielding no results as both are more concerned about going to ever greater extremes in order to defeat each other in elections. The “political pendulum” as they say, swings back and forth, getting very little done.
The group promises to “bring innovation to politics.” They speak of vast treasuries of innovation which have sprung up over the past 10 years, innovation that has revolutionized ‘the way we travel, communicate, entertain, live, and learn.’ They say that these innovations have affected every aspect of our lives- every aspect other than how politics is done in this country.
“The Centrist Project aims to reshape and reform our political system – not as a traditional third party, but as America’s first Unparty,” the organization’s stated mission reads. “We are a 21st Century grassroots organization dedicated to organizing Centrist Americans, supporting Centrist policies and encouraging more independent candidates to run for public office to put our country ahead of any political faction in order to solve problems.”
But third parties have not had a strong record of winning in US elections. Almost all political power dynasties in this country are aligned either behind the Republican or Democratic parties. What’s more, the massive crystallization of the parties is powerfully supported by the idea that it would be a waste of a person’s vote to cast a ballot in favor of a party that doesn’t have enough popular support to win.
Third parties are seen as outsiders, and outsiders face the enormous obstacle of in-group bias. The most successful third parties in US politics, the Libertarian and Green parties, regularly present plausible candidates in major elections, but haven’t once won any seats in national government.
This isn’t to say that third parties don’t have a place in our political system, but they have a great deal of work to do before they will have a real shot at the White House. What’s more, a handful of political separatists with $750,000 is not going to present any meaningful opposition to either of the major parties.
The group’s plan of action is called “The Fulcrum Strategy.”
“We are leveraging our support base and electoral infrastructure to strategically elect candidates to closely divided legislatures at a state and federal level,” the organization adds. “In these legislatures, like the US Senate, just a handful of independents (3-5) can deny both parties an outright majority and exercise disproportionate influence as a swing coalition.”
It sounds like their plan is to create political blood clots in critical elections and delay policy votes so that political and legislative systems cannot move forward.
It’s understandable that not everyone will appreciate Donald Trump’s personality, like his methods, or agree with his policies. But the fact remains that he is probably the most revolutionary political figure in American politics since Andrew Jackson. Certainly, no president has received as much opposition from entrenched interest groups as President Trump.
If the reasoning that, ‘the enemy of my enemy of my friend,’ doesn’t ring true with The Centrist Project and their beneficiaries, at a point in history when the opposition to Trump is pushing for a nuclear war with Russia, then we can’t honestly say we’ll be sorry to see them fail.
~ Liberty Planet