Just as the flowers of May come after the rains of April, so do presidential campaigns to fertilize political ground, sprouting viable new third parties for post-election dreams.
“We … declare our intention to catalyze an American renewal,” 150 mostly Republican ex-politicians and security-state veterans wrote in a breathless joint letter on May 13, “and either our founding ideals To re-imagine a party dedicated to or else hastily build such a choice.”
This new movement, presented by co-founders Evan McMullin and Miles Teller in a follow-up Economist essay, seeks to either wean the GOP from the “cult of personality” surrounding Donald Trump or “unify the American electorate who have become politically homeless. A new political tribe – the resistance movement of the ‘rationalist’ against the ‘radicals’.”
Well, good luck with that. Political independents are a fractal bunch. Building third parties from scratch without the benefit of money or celebrity is an almost bottomless slouch, and the Republican politics of the past five-plus years have produced a series of insults to the #NeverTrump right.
if American Renewal The founders’ names are vaguely familiar, that’s because they are just two of the many anti-Trump bugs that have spread on MAGA’s windshields.
McMullin, an ex-CIA official, ran for the breaking independent presidential race late in 2016, finishing fifth with 0.5% of the vote. Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, caused a media stir in 2018 with an anonymous New York Times op-ed titled “I’m Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” Few people could choose two people from the police lineup; Meanwhile, Trump remains by far the most popular politician in the party.
Joining McMullin and Taylor are several other signatories who have tussled with Trump and lost: former 2016 Jeb Bush strategist Mike Murphy, short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and the “Three Stooges” (in Trump’s sarcastic terms). ): Bill Weld, Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford. He ran against the 45th president in the 2020 GOP primary and lost the popular vote by a combined 93 percentage points.
Reforming the Republican Party from within seems a tall order, when half of the GOP congressional delegation voted against ratifying the 2020 presidential election, and when last names like Cheney and Romney are radioactive. So what about some of the newer Third Way?
Here is where the possibilities really run out.
It’s too hard to start a new political party, “at the risk of understatement,” 50-year-old Libertarian Party chairman Joe Bishop-Henchman told me in January. It requires a lot of money, a lot of work, a lot of volunteers. “
Newcomers are at a massive fundraising loss from the partying jump. The Federal Election Commission only allows parties with “national committees” to accept individual donations as high as $35,000; The rest will have to be done with a check for $5,000. To be recognized as a national committee by the FEC, parties must jump through all sorts of hoops, such as holding national conventions and running “a sufficient number of states to have a sufficient number of federal candidates nominated by the party on the ballot”. in different geographical areas. “
Now, you may believe because I believe such rules are unfair, but let’s remember who writes them: officials elected and appointed by the two major political parties who together held 18 out of the last 24 The President has combined for at least 97% of the vote. Elections including four of the last five. And as we’ve seen from the 2021 controversies in states like Georgia and New York, partisan wrangling over rewriting election law has become an ugly exercise in brute political force.
I too would love to see a Republican Party that goes beyond the worst aspects of Donald Trump and denies them. But then again, I’m not a Republican. The 74 million people who voted for the boy in 2020 are unlikely to be persuaded by arrogant ex-spooks and 1990s reform governors to hold their breath until enough people declare Orange Man Bad Threatened.
Every week comes with new developments — the debate on launching a bipartisan January 6 commission, for example — to remind us, with the always able help of the media, that many Republicans are determined to remain professionally viable during Trump’s spell. He will constantly distort his principles. The party still stands. It is not beautiful to look at. But neither is looking the other way as Democratic-run Washington zooms through record spending bills without too much in the way of scrutiny.
If it is true that Republicans absolutely cannot spare Trump, it may also be true that neither the media nor #NeverTrump can be right.
As evidenced by the fundraising prowess of the Lincoln Project, a Trump-tweaking political action committee whose many co-founders have signed on to American Renewal, there’s a market out there for selling the dream of a fractured GOP to Democrats. As if indicated, the new movement on MSNBC has already been invited and saluted by Stephen Colbert.
Turns out this is the easy part. Ask 35 GOP House members who voted for the January 6 commission whether they think “rationalists” will soon win over “radicals.” For a meaningful new party, McMullin and Taylor also acknowledge that “it will be Mount Everest of political challenges.”
If American Renovations is going to be more than a fundraising vehicle, better start climbing now.
Matt Welch is editor at large at Reason and a contributing writer for the Los Angeles Times Opinion Section.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.