The self-proclaimed “base”, that minority of the Republican Party which demands its way in every issue or else, is now talking about forming a breakaway party. It just goes to prove that old saying, ‘those who don’t learn from History, are doomed to make dumb mistakes, which they will not learn from nor even acknowledge, but blame on someone else’. Or something like that.
Throughout American History, political groups have tried hard to coalesce into national parties. Only twice in 225 years has a group managed to create a substantial political party with staying power, and in both of those cases the new party did not merely join the existing order, but forced out an existing but weak predecessor. At various times, indignation or simple anger has driven popularity for a new party, but never to the point of turning national control over to that fad. Perhaps the best example would be Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” run for the Presidency in 1912. Roosevelt was more than slightly irked at Taft, whom he felt had betrayed the party’s trust. When the GOP chose Taft’s position ahead of Teddy’s, he chose to create his own party and run that way. This was a factor in Woodrow Wilson’s election in 1912. I mention this, because in TR’s case at least, the man was properly qualified and competent for the job, something I never believed about Jon Anderson in 1980, Ross Perot in 1992, or Ralph Nader in 2000.
But about ‘third-party’ politics. The most notable “successes” for third-party candidates is a small portion of the Popular Vote for President. While there are some independents who have made it to Congress over the years, in the past generation no one makes it unless they are a Republican or a Democrat. Not that I like either party 100% from their behavior in office, but one has to be realistic. And so, while I understand the mood, suggesting a ‘third party’ is simply how the delusional would help give power to the Democrats, whose responsibility with such control has been well-documented, enough to make me seriously question the sanity of anyone who would suggest it with a straight face.