Although he hasn’t publicly spoken out about this issue, according to the Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump is considering forming a “Patriot Party.” It seems likely that this is intended to be more of a threat from Trump to the Republican Party leadership than something he genuinely intends to do, but with Trump, you never really know. To some people, this may seem like a new idea, but it’s actually one that gets floated semi-regularly. Teddy Roosevelt created the Bull Moose Party back in 1912. Of course, we all remember Ross Perot and the Reform Party back in 1992, and here’s Herman Cain talking about the need for a third party in 2012
“I never thought that I would say this, and this is the first time publicly that I’ve said it: We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No. We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have because I don’t believe that the Republican Party … has the ability to rebrand itself.”
This concept is generally a bad idea since we’re set up as a two-party system and the last time a third party replaced one of the main parties was when the Republicans managed to displace the Whigs over the issue of slavery back in the 1850s. So, why is this a bad idea?
1) If you can’t take over the GOP, what makes you think you can successfully build a new party? If you don’t have the money, support, or organizational skills to take over the Republican Party, why would you think you could start a successful new party? If anything, starting a new party would be HARDER than taking over the Republican Party because your fundraising is going to be limited by law until your first convention, there are difficult hurdles to overcome with ballot access, and you’d have to build all of your party infrastructure from scratch. If you can’t even manage to beat Mitch McConnell or Mitt Romney in a primary, why would you think you have what it takes to create a new party that could successfully replace the whole GOP?
2) You win by adding people, not subtracting them. You win elections by holding on to your base and adding new supporters. You don’t win elections by taking a bunch of people from the populist/grassroots wing of the Republican Party and moving them over to a Patriot Party so that basically, you have the same number of voters split between two parties. That is a recipe for failure for both parties.
3) What makes you think the party will stay pure? The Republican Party is a mixture of country club/establishment Republicans and populist/grassroots Republicans. The establishment Republicans always seem to hold too much power in the GOP and, every so often, the grassroots/populist Republicans get frustrated and want to start a new party. However, this leads to an obvious question. What makes them think the new party would stay pure? Even if the Patriot Party succeeded in replacing the Republican Party, which is extraordinarily unlikely, guess what? They’re going to need money and the people offering it will want things in return for it. They’re also going to have to appeal to a wider group of people than diehard Trump fans or grassroots Republicans to succeed. Those people aren’t coming on board unless they get things as well. This is why both parties do things they really don’t want to do all the time. You can have a political party that is exactly like you want it to be or you can have a political party that wins, but you can’t have both.
4) It all revolves around Trump. Nobody would have any interest in a Patriot Party if Donald Trump wasn’t involved. This is a problem because Donald Trump is 74 years old and it’s entirely possible he’ll have legal troubles and business concerns eating up a lot of his time over the next few years. Do you think he’s really going to want to spend 60 hours a week for the rest of his life working on a new political party? Do you see the party being successful in say 2028 after Trump is too old to run and there’s a nominee other than Trump? The second Trump leaves the scene, the whole thing is likely to fall apart.
5) It means giving the Democrats complete control for years. A Patriot Party would almost entirely pull its membership from the Republican Party, which would mean that it would split the GOP vote and guarantee that more Democrats would be elected. As long as the Patriot Party was around, the Democrats would be sure to hold the House, the Senate, and the White House and you could expect their margins to go up considerably. If your goal is to promote socialism, open borders, and censorship, the best way to do it would be to create something like the Patriot Party.
John Hawkins is the author of 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know.