The question this time is forwarded by Steve at motorcitytimes:
“Some people think, long term, that a true Conservative 3rd party is necessary, because the Republicans have proven only slightly better than Democrats when they were in power. The thinking goes; we are never going to change Washington, so why bother voting in the Republicans.
Others say that we need to refocus the Republicans because if we actually form a 3rd party, we are guaranteeing that the left will win election after election.
The question is what should the focus of Conservatives be going forward, a revitalized Republican party or a true Conservative party?”
Do we need a third party?
A Conservative third party with whatever name you choose will only succeed in giving us more progressive, far left liberal candidates gaining office. This is the premise of my article which is a rebuttal to scratcher’s thoughts on whether we need a third party to make the GOP tow the line. You can read all of scratcher’s article here. In part he says:
“I’m now coming to believe that the only solution may be a conservative third party. To be honest, I don’t much care at this point what they call themselves. Be it the Libertarian Party, The Constitution Party, The TEA Party, or even the We’ve-Had-Enough-Of-Your-Collective-BS Party… Anything but the two we’ve been forced to pick between. They’re exactly the same anyway. In the words of Will Rogers:
“The more you observe politics, the more you’ve got to admit that each party is worse than the other.”
We need to send a message. We need to demand candidates, of whatever party other than the established two that will vow to adhere to the Constitution and shrink the ever expanding federal government. No new “contracts” or “Mt. Vernon” nonsense. Each politician must read – and adhere to – the Constitution.”
These are honest sentiments to be sure, but are they practical? Can change be effected in this manner? Let’s look to history to see how third parties have faired in the past. Of course most of you are racing ahead of me and are already thinking of Perot and Teddy Roosevelt. But let’s look anyway, shall we?
In 1912 the political landscape was in such uproar that it makes the partisanship we witness in D.C. these days look like a Sunday picnic. You had the Republican Party pushing their choice – NOT the people’s choice – as the GOP Presidential candidate. This despite the fact that Teddy Roosevelt won 9 out of the 12 primaries; he took California, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. So what happened was that the voters awarded President Taft 48 delegates; and Theodore Roosevelt won 278 delegates in the primaries. However during the GOP convention, The Republican National Committee was dominated by Taft supporters, so Taft was awarded 235 electoral votes and Teddy Roosevelt only garnered 19.
To say the “Rough Rider” and his supporters were mad was something of an understatement. His supporters stormed out of the convention and essentially held their own, nominating Theodore Roosevelt to the “Bull Moose Party.” During the general election, Roosevelt got 27.4% of the vote while Taft got 23.2% of the vote, thereby splitting the Republican vote nearly down the middle. Woodrow Wilson received 41.8% of the vote and became the 28th President of the United States. Had the Republicans not stabbed Roosevelt in the back, he would have been able to claim 50.6% of the vote to Wilson’s 41.8%. In hard numbers that would have been 7,608,963 for Roosevelt and only 6,296,284 for Woodrow Wilson. I know that Roosevelt was a ‘progressive’ in the Republican Party, but he would have been a much better choice than what Wilson turned out to be. We all know about Woodrow Wilson and his ideas for a ‘one world government.’ He brought us the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1913, not to mention that he took over the railroads with the Lever Act. Wilson also brought us America’s first-ever Federal progressive income tax in the Revenue Act of 1913. In short the biggest expansion of government that this country had seen to that point. Do we really want to unleash more of this on our country right now?
As for the Presidential election of 1992, let’s look at what Perot achieved. His on again, off again and back on again candidacy aside, he received 18.3% of the vote in the general election. Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush got 37.5% of the vote and William Jefferson Clinton received 43% of the vote. Had Perot not been in the race, it is easy to see that H.W. would have won in a landslide. What did we get with Perot’s interference? Well it is probably safe to say that Clinton wasn’t as damaging to this country as Wilson was, but he gave us, among other things, expanded Earned Income Credit, an impeachment, and a new meaning for the word “is.”
Now I have laid out two strong examples of a third party killing the Republican candidate. So I think that the formation of a third party isn’t what we need to be considering. No the question we need to be asking ourselves isn’t, “Can a third party really help us get our country back?”
Well I know when I can communicate an idea effectively and I know when someone else can do a better job. So with that, I turn to the “Great Communicator,” Ronald Wilson Reagan in his 1977 speech to the 4th Annual CPAC Convention:
“Our first job is to get this message across to those who share most of our principles. If we allow ourselves to be portrayed as ideological shock troops without correcting this error we are doing ourselves and our cause a disservice. Wherever and whenever we can, we should gently but firmly correct our political and media friends who have been perpetuating the myth of conservatism as a narrow ideology. Whatever the word may have meant in the past, today conservatism means principles evolving from experience and a belief in change when necessary, but not just for the sake of change.
Once we have established this, the next question is: What will be the political vehicle by which the majority can assert its rights?
I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends — perhaps including some of you here tonight — who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party.”
Even back in 1977, Reagan knew that the only way for the Conservative movement to succeed was for it to take back the GOP. Some say there is no difference between the two parties. I posit that there is. How many Republicans voted for Obamacare? How many Independent AND Democratic voters turned out for the GOP candidates recently in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts? If there were no difference between the parties, then why has Cap and Trade been stopped? Why has Card Check been stopped? How many Republicans voted for Obama’s wildly inflated budgets? During the recent ‘Healthcare Summit,’ did the Republicans sound like the Democrats and Obama? If there is no difference between the parties, why is it that Obama didn’t pass his overtake of the healthcare system last summer when he set that first deadline?
I’ll tell you why. The GOP has finally started waking up. There is an old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely. After the “Contract with America” I will be the first to admit that the Republican Party lost its way. It got bloated and addicted to pork. George W. Bush’s spending was abhorrent for a Conservative. The people began to get angry, and I don’t mean the anger stoked by the far left Lame Stream Media over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am talking about the deficit spending that the GOP and Bush partook in.
But the Republican Party is slow to move and I know that infuriates a lot of folks on our side of the aisle. However, we need to remember that just because we might be able to launch third party. And let’s just say for the sake of argument that we actually take the White House in ’12, without changing the rules in D.C. we won’t have accomplished much. If the GOP can get sloppy and bloated and addicted to Big Government and back room deals and…well you get the picture, then so can a new third party.
No Ladies and Gentlemen, the question isn’t “Is it time for a third political party?” The question is “Isn’t about time We the People hold the Republican Party accountable to the principles and concepts of our founding?”