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The third-party sillies are at it again

The third-party sillies are at it again

Since the announcement did not get a lot of media coverage, there is yet another effort by disgruntled political figures to launch yet another third-party.  I call them the “sillies” because if they checked out the history of third-party and independent campaigns, they would know they are not climbing a steep hill – but rather a high daunting cliff.

The last and only time a third-party effort was successfully mounted was when The Republican Party was formed in the mid-1850s as an alternative to the Democrats and the Whigs.

The latest folly is being led by businessman and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Wang and former Republican Governor of New Jersey From 1994 to 2001, Christine Whitman.

Third parties and independent campaigns are generally the vehicles of the disgruntled.  The Republican Party was launched by folks unhappy with slavery.  Not only with the Democrats support of slavery in the south but the Whig’s division on the issue.  The early Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln drew strength from some anti-slavery Democrats and the from the Whigs that were predominantly anti-slavery but had a pro-slavery faction – mostly in the south.  The result was a fully abolitionist Republican Party and a fully pro-slavery Democratic Party.

The next major effort to form a new party was when Republican President Theodore Roosevelt was denied the GOP nomination for a second non-consecutive term.  He formed the Progressive Party – nicknamed the Bull Moose Party.  He was unsuccessful in his bid for the Oval Office.  The Bull Moose Party rose and fell in that single presidential election.  It only served to split the Republican Party enough to allow white supremacist Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the election.

The next major effort occurred in 1948, when a group of disgruntled southern Democrats walked out of the Democratic National Convention over southern segregation and formed the States’ Rights Democratic Party – nicknamed the Dixiecrats – with Democrat Senator Strom Thurmond as the presidential candidate.  Incumbent President Harry Truman defeated both Republican Thomas Dewey and Thurmond.  The racist Dixiecrats returned to the Democratic Party following that election.

There have been many efforts to create a third alternative to the two major parties.  They never win at the national level, but they generally hurt the political party to which they are most closely aligned. The most notable were businessman Ross Perot entering the race against President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and former Republican Governors Gary Johnson of New Mexico and William Weld of Massachusetts, who took on Donald Trump in 2016,

The Libertarian Party is always in the shadow of presidential elections, and each year thousands file for various political offices – but too often as a clown show.  In 2020, more than 50 people signed on to run for President.   A libertarian running for some office decided that the way to win votes was to strip-down naked during his speech.

There are always third parties and independent candidates at all levels of political contention – such as the Libertarian Party, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Green Party, etc.  They rarely succeed beyond a few occasional scattered races at the local levels.

Congress has a few “independent” members, but they usually vote with one of the two major parties.  The most notable independent in Congress is self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders – and even he ran for President as a Democrat.

The new party for the 2024 presidential campaign has been dubbed The Forward Party (TFP) It is an amalgam of several organizations of political apostates, outcasts and has-beens — including Renew America and Serve America Movement.  Starting a national political party from a number of organizations virtually no one ever heard of does not sound like a successful strategy.

But there are other somewhat known personalities that are reported to be involved.  Folks like former Republican Floridan congressman … turned independent … turned MSNBC contributor … David Jolly.

One truly big name that has been unofficially tied to TFP is billionaire Elon Musk.  If he does sign up with the TFP, he may wind up with greater buyer’s remorse than he did signing that purchase agreement for Twitter.

Based on both the Democrats and Republicans involved, the new political party will be left of center.  That means they will tend to hurt the Democrat candidate more than the Republican in the 2024 presidential election.

The problem with third parties is that we do not need them – and it violates a long tradition of two-party representation.  Countries with multiple parties tend to be unstable since it is more difficult to secure a public mandate.  Look at Italy and Israel as two examples.

In addition, American election laws make it very difficult for third parties to get on the ballot.  You must remember that a presidential candidate has to follow the specific – and very different – election laws in each state — and non-state protectorates with voting rights.

In the past 66 years, no third-party effort has succeeded – or even come close.  They are always short of money … short of talent … short of political infrastructure … short of unique issue positions.  Their only asset tends to be the fascination of the media, which will give them undo coverage and credibility.

Enjoy The Forward Party while it lasts.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Carlos

    I love it when people are reminded of the racism in the democrats party. They’re still the same type of people but cover up their racism and try to control the people of color. It’s hilarious and sad that democrats want them to believe that they are too stupid to run their own lives. I believe that the rhetoric from the left causes more problems with blacks and indoctrinate them with the idea that whitey is out to get them. They promise hand outs to keep them on the plantation. But I can see that many more people are getting wise to the hidden racism in the democrat party.

  2. Rat Wrangler

    A main reason why Mr. Trump won the presidency is because people were waking up to the idea that neither of the two major Parties had been doing anything for the poorer 90% of American citizens for the last half century. Sadly, too many people continue to vote strictly along Party lines rather than studying the natures and qualifications of the candidates. In the 2020 election, a valid third-party candidate was on the ballots of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., but was denied access to the Presidential Debate, and the mainstream media never had articles about the candidate or the third party. Even today, I encounter people who had no idea that a third candidate was running, much less know her name.

    • tom

      Trump won for two reasons: 1) He was viewed by Independents as the lesser of two evils. Most of us Independents hated Clinton and her baggage. 2) Trump won the electoral college – Clinton was so confident that she did not visit three states which was a downfall of her own doing. Now, the reason there are more Independents now than ever before is not because anyone is waking up, but rather because we are tired of the left and right extremes running both parties and not representing us. We Independents are the largest voting block and in many ways we are already a defacto third party.

      • frank stetson

        don’t have to short change Clinton by saying independents — many democrats too. However good one might find her, she was a lightning rod no doubt. Now Trump is, so good luck with for Republicans with him as party leader. And he is. Still.

  3. ac

    Interesting history report for political party buffs who like their history told with an anti Democratic Party spin. But, that’s to be expected in this space. America has unique freedoms surrounding speech with wide latitude in rights to legally express an opinion. Where the outside boundary is and the proverbial bridge to far comes into play is subject to libel laws. Again, in this country tradition holds that virtually any words are fair in war and politics. Especially, when political tensions run hot and high between the Parties.
    Our nation’s social climate is rancorous and tribal. Division appearing based on personal politics, race, ethnicity, religion, and gender identification. All these are protected in law by constitutional provisions across several amendments. The entire document’s spirit floats on freedom and equality for all.
    However grand is the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are it is nothing more than aspirational skywriting given its real world day to day application between individuals, by their government entities, political rivals, and opinion commentators’ content.
    Again, the freedom to speak one’s mind seems paramount and constraint guard rails are low and few. Rhetoric based on an opinion and formed by the speaker’s perspective bias do mot certify as grounded in true facts. Information received from any source should be questioned. As it’s said, “consider the source “ being the first question. Then. weigh the speaker/writer’s comment content for its truths in facts proven or subjective calculations. Factual truth related with comments added is reporting laced with judgements. Judgement can be either positive or negative. Much of the speaker’s use of a judgement call comes from intent and purpose for reporting a particular happening at all. Facts become a springboard for one injecting commentary. A commentator has a choice between giving actual true historical context for facts reported, or relate one’s own personal bias driven opinion. Either decision made should be prefaced with naming the following content. The full context surrounding people and events commentary determines what consequences may result from the story’s telling.
    PBP’s home page gives its statement of purpose. The wording in it leads the reader into thinking PBP aims at telling both sides of the stories happening in our world. But, truth be told in discovery. My findings indicate PBP’s articles are from writers (authors?) definitely politically Republican right and unabashedly so. Which has its own downside if others replying from a different perspective receive civil treatment. That is equal consideration in replies others submit with overly negative remarks for and contrary to the article writer’s comments.
    PBP’s intent, in my assessment, is multi pointed focused on informational output.
    Their format is open and accepting to reader’s who wish to reply, essentially a positive gesture.
    What PBP is not structured for is a debate forum. Although, those persons submitting replies seem to prefer commenting on others’ reply content rather than the article’s subject.
    Those participating with their reply to others’ comments vehemently debate the other’s person right to differ.
    That is not what real debate accomplishes. A writer, Larry, or any other contributor must be a willing participant in a genuine debate with others having different perspectives. Substantive debates normally include referees for orderly conduct.
    My deduction from experience reading and submitting replies is that the writers currently contributing to PBP are not likely willing to enter a debate on their opinion material. Larry’s sign-off signature speaks to intent. Other contributors’ Joe included, have a non conciliatory attitude and approach. Joe, particularly, is defensive and jumps into Larry’s reply section to rebuke some reply comment. Those are intrusions on Joe’s part in Larry’s space. Larry has mo need of any defense.
    These words are, admittedly, my own comments made from my opinion’s perspective. My freedoms and righty of expression are no more or less than any other American. Privilege being as it is this country unevenly distributed . Those with authority having a pulpit for speaking. Those with sufficient affluence command attention and influence. The elected to office have a stage and a spotlight,. All others of us settle for silence. We, who are without something that yields the privilege reserved for speakers of some opinion thought to have general merit.
    Therefore, the wise understand that privilege is conditional, having certain responsibilities attached . For to whom much is allotted of them much is expected in return. Privilege granted to someone , personally, is society’s investment put in trust and an expectation of a good return on investment. The privilege comes measured in degree and amount entrusted for a time. Time and amount together with expected value added accruals determine society’s ROI.
    Think about it. It all about the net. What is one’s on going net return due society for privileges lent?
    Basic rule: Privilege is a gift. A person is born with no choice about a certain skin color, eye color gender, health conditions, mental aptitude, parentage, social status, nationality.. Later, privilege is doled out: nutrition, parenting, social status opportunity, education. are a few usual factors determining privilege beginning. Value added comes with personal effort leveraging privilege’s assets.
    People think and believe they are self made success or les. If it’s to be it’s up to me is the drill. That is self ambition for those thinking they made something of themselves. Every one is who they are because of being under society’s umbrella.
    Society values launch and support people in privileged situations. On the other hand, society also constrains and holds others back in. It’s denying privilege. This situation puts a gulf between the two cases. Those having their life of privilege benefit appreciate to improved status are responsible to those in the lowest rung of status privilege.
    No distinction, political party identification (red, blue, or in between) may release responsibility from paying society back for its investment.


    • BEn

      One things for sure, the pro-choice party cuts across all parties. And also brings voters out in huge numbers. That’s even when the schmucks try to sneak it in during a primary vote.

      Yea Kansas. Congrats sisters on restoring personal freedoms enjoyed for over 50 years of correct scotus decisionssss.. Now let this third party do it nationally and we’ll codify it and close by saying: “suck it politicized scotus!”

      • Perry

        You suck it you nazi prick.

        • Ben

          Perry rants getting frenzied, he’s losin it. Gotta bring the third reich racists in while focusing on his favorite member, his right hand’s best friend. Must be from the Alex Jones school of truth.

          Thanks. Really funny.

  4. Herman

    The democrats are worse than nazis

    • Ben

      And yet to most Americans, they are still preferred to Republicans.

      • Larry kuhn

        Of course. The American people are mostly stupid. But the democrats will never rule me.America is going to fall. That’s why we preppers are prepping

        • Ben

          “you’re not the boss of me.”

          Why do you stay? You certainly aren’t a citizen.

          • Larry kuhn

            Why stay? To be a pain in the ass for liberals. And your kind will never succeed. You will eventually fall apart. And us patriots will pick up the pieces. It’s already happening

          • Ben

            Shit, we’re putting more of you away every day.

            Trump patriot got seven years, more coming. Cheney just called out Trump. Alex Jones lost 4m, more to come. Kansas rules and midterms like good as the only target you bozo’s can shoot is your own foot. Trimp got a general, Biden got Bin Laden’s mastermind and al Qaeda leader.

            Yeah, masters of the universe. Sure. Patriot? Nbl.

  5. ac

    Independent voter block is an influential group. We are the unknown variable to make or break elections. Both both parties court our votes.
    Our thinking isn’t stupid. We do not need party affiliation’s baggage for personal identification. Nor, are we in need of silly particular stupid labels like conservative, liberal, progressive, or other convenient political pigeon holes.
    Living where I have for nearly five decades among a majority made up of the Republican Party’s ultra conservative, 1st and 2nd amendment, anti- women’s rights, and vocal Trump loyalists territory. My zip code alone wrongly seems justification for others assumptions along party lines.
    What I like to say to those persons who ask political questions is an old comedy line. “GET TO KNOW ME!” What and who you don’t know but assume you know. You are too content in your own knowledge tent.

    • Frank stetson

      Er, yeah, what???

      While what you say is true, and the Indy party is just Jones with me; frankly, we’re pretty sure how they’ll vote too.

      Bottom line is this splinter group will reduce votes for Democratic candidates. And they don’t have enough pull for Dem candidates to cater to. Not good, not bad, but every little bit matters. Progressives are already on the ropes in many cases.

      Off to work, daddy needs new shoes.