The second biggest misconception perpetuated over the decades in American politics is that we cannot upend the reality of binary choice within the confines of the two-party system. We are told that this is the way it is and there’s no way to change things outside of an occasional protest vote or minor victory by a third party candidate in an obscure race.
This message is being delivered a couple of days after the first Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There were enough fireworks launched, facts checked, and fallacies embraced to make a dystopian novelist foam at the mouth; the fodder we were fed could be the opening chapter describing the moment when Americans were told we need to give up and accept our fate.
The narrative was clear. It isn’t a question of whether we can vote for conservatism or liberalism. It’s like ordering from a menu that has one entree and two combinations of side dishes. “Would you like fries or chips with your liberal burger?”
It all sounds terrible, but there’s a silver lining. We’ve seen a tremendous rise in interest in a new party. As more people realize that conservatism has no representation at the top of the tickets and down-ballot conservatives are facing challenges from within the Republican Party, the trumpet call for action is becoming louder. Lines in the sand are being drawn by conservatives. The vast majority in DC on both sides of the aisle are crossing those lines and blurring them along the way to make them irrelevant. This is the wake up many of us needed.
Just as some people wake up well before their alarms while others get up at the sound of the bell, so too did many (myself included) not see the writing on the wall until recently. There have been people for years, perhaps decades, who have been declaring that the two-party system is a farce and that the Republican Party is not the right vehicle for delivering the conservative agenda. The rest of us are waking up. Now it’s time to join together.
There will be others. I call them “snoozers.” These are the people who recognize that it’s broken but have accepted that in this election, Trump needs their support (or rather Hillary needs their opposition). It’s completely understandable. Hillary is THAT scary. These people have heard the alarm but have hit the snooze button until after the election. We’ll be here ready for them to join us as well.
What we don’t need are those who have ignored the alarm altogether. They’ve abandoned their conservative values and embraced a combination of the alt-right, populist liberalism, and the GOP Establishment’s win-at-all-costs mentality. They will go on embracing Trump if he wins or denouncing Hillary if she wins, but either way they will continue to embrace Republicanism no matter how far it pushes to the left. They aren’t awake. They do not see the writing on the wall. Perhaps they will someday, but as long as they ignore it, we must accept that they will be part of the centrist party. Thankfully, that opens the door for us.
Breaking the system by joining it
I’ve never been a big fan of reform from within. I’ve supported it at times; though I didn’t see the Tea Party movement as sustainable long-term, I joined in for the sake of temporary victories within the GOP and it worked. We saw some tremendous victories over the last seven years, but today we’re seeing many of those victories dissolving. The Establishment has pushed back and divided the various components of the Tea Party movement. Some have been pushed aside as their candidates are primaried out. Others have been co-opted into Trump’s populist movement. There is still a future for the Tea Party, but it must be rebuilt within the confines of a new party.
John Adams said:
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
Unfortunately, the system itself cannot be challenged from the outside. In an ideal situation, we could dissolve all parties and form coalitions around individual issues rather than encompassing platforms, but that’s the type of change that would take decades to accomplish. However, we can play in their arena of the party system and break it from within.
The Democrats and Republicans are laying the groundwork for this to happen. The Democrats continue to push the bounds of leftism as they openly embrace socialist and communist ideologies. The Republicans are becoming the moderate centrists knowing that they can count on conservatives to support them as the lesser of two evils. We can take advantage of this miscalculation by forcing our way into the system as THE third party.
It’s important to understand the distinction. There are already third parties, but the phrase has been defined as encompassing the outsiders. There is the two-party system and there are third parties today. To be successful, we must build enough velocity to force our way into their system. We can’t just be another third party in a two-party system. We have to turn it into a three-party system. That means that after the election, we have to blitz the airwaves, social media, and the collective minds of conservatives across the country. We must suspend disbelief in the potential success of third parties by letting people know the system itself can be changed.
To accomplish this, we need to increase our numbers. The logistics in forming a viable third party are actually much less daunting than most believe. It’s in the nature of rapid support with viral messages that we can overcome the biggest obstacle: size. Every third party since the 19th century has failed to reach a tipping point because they didn’t have the voice nor did they have the blatant necessity for existence. Modern technology combined with the abysmal 2016 election overcomes both obstacles. This is why we can be successful. We have the ability through technology to build velocity and we have the mandate due to the angst felt by conservatives who were given the choice between Trump and Clinton. This is also one of the reasons that we’ve chosen to start with a new party rather than building on one of the preexisting ones. 2016 is a demonstrable mandate like no other. The Libertarian Party and Constitution Party have failed to take advantage of this.
Unifying before new choices are made
There’s one final point that must be understood. Joining our movement and participating in our party will not pigeonhole anyone. We are on the side of America and the Constitution first and foremost. Our support will be given to conservatives regardless of which party they’re in. We will not support non-conservatives, so if our choices for races at any level in the future are similar to our Presidential choices today, we will support neither and work harder to get a conservative into that particular office next election.
We will also be fighting for issues. This isn’t just about getting the right people in office. Perhaps more important is getting the right message to the people on the issues that need our attention. I firmly believe that conservatism as a philosophy has had its image corrupted by the GOP and a militant media opposed to it. At our cores, I believe that there are tens of millions of Americans who are conservative without realizing it. They hear the rhetoric and are led to believe a two-part lie: that Republicans represent conservatism and that to a be a conservative means embracing the tenets of Republicanism. I know there are millions of conservative minorities who are Democrats because they’ve been indoctrinated by the rhetoric. This will be one of the keys to our success – getting conservative minority Democrats to realize that there’s a better party that matches their core beliefs. The message against illegal immigration has been butchered by many Republicans. True conservatives are not against minorities. We’re against those who break the laws in order to take from ALL Americans, including minorities.
After the election, there will be more choices to be made. We must be unified in voice and conviction to help the country make those choices. To do this, we need to build our ranks. I often ask you to share these message with everyone you know. Talk about it at work. Share it with your friends and family. Share it on social media. Get the word out and help to increase our numbers. We have thousands of active handraisers. By election day, we need to have tens, even hundreds of thousands. We’re growing rapidly; new handraisers are coming in every hour. We need more. We need your help.
This message opened by declaring that the two-party system’s invincibility is the second biggest misconception in American politics. The biggest misconception, the one we must overcome if we’re to succeed at tearing down all of the others, is that we are beholden to the government. The truth is that they are beholden to us. With a unified voice driven by righteousness of purpose, we can break the destructive cycle and pull America from its death spiral.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on The New Americana on September 28, 2016, and was transferred here for relevance.