Americans want a new political party. A September poll showed 61% of Americans want a new competitive political party. I’ve been on record saying we need a new party for conservatives.
The Federalist Party has stepped up after the November 2016 election. It promises to be a voice for limited government and federalism. For my part, I’ve welcomed the idea of the party. A lot of good, patriotic people are involved, including the Federalist Party’s founder, JD Rucker.
I have shared many of their social media posts. If this party took off, it would be an incredible boon for our country. What I’ve seen over the last year leaves me concerned the party is headed for failure.
Both existing major parties are damaging our country. We need an alternative. We can’t afford to entertain phantoms. Reality has to be faced with what it is. The reality is, so far, the Federalist Party has not offered much that impresses.
Rucker said he would make a call for candidates for the 2018 elections. In 2017, many states held elections for non-partisan state and local offices. Rucker made no effort to run anyone in those races. The Federalist Party criticizes the Libertarian Party for not running in local elections, but last year, the Libertarian Party contested many local elections and won twelve while the Federalist Party remained on the sidelines.
The Federalist Party has had limited success on social media. They have almost 29,000 likes on Facebook. In comparison, the Constitution Party (hardly known for its social media prowess) has 34,000 likes. In a post discussing the party’s growth, Rucker invoked the great UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden about the dangers of hurrying. However, the Federalist Party spent 2017 talking about basketball rather than playing it.
What does the Federalist Party need to do in 2018 to become a refuge for the conservatives fleeing the GOP? For starters, it needs to develop a more significant corporeal presence.
The Federalist Party exists only online and in legal documents. You can’t go down to the county courthouse and change your registration to the Federalist Party. You can’t file as a candidate under their party banner. I’ve never so much as heard the Federalist Party talk about ballot access.
Ballot access is crucial. Even many elections for local offices are partisan races. For a party to exist in a practical sense, it must go collect signatures to get on the ballot in numerous states across the country. They won’t win access to every state ballot on the first try, but they should make a start of it in 2018.
It’s also crucial for them to have meaningful state party organizations. Not all of them will have ballot access at the start. Nonetheless, having a physical presence on the ground is essential. It allows people to meet in person and do the work of building the party at the local level. It’s also at that level where strategies can be formulated by people who know their communities.
It’s also critical the party makes provision for a national meeting and electing its own national leaders. It’s understandable for a party to have unelected organizers while first establishing the party. However, as a long-term state of affairs, it’s not tenable.
The Democrats, Libertarian, Green, and Constitution Parties* all have one thing in common. Their national leadership, platforms, and core values were all chosen by an election process. In this process, voters elect local officers that go up to vote at national conventions and national committees. A new party needs to establish a process where people can join the party and impact what it’s direction and leadership will be.
Conservatives looking for a new home should watch the Federalist Party in 2018. By this time next year, the Federalist Party needs to have:
- Obtained ballot access in a handful of states.
- Formed strong organizations in other states.
- Supported some candidates.
- Scheduled a national meeting to elect leadership and approve a party platform.
The Federalist Party doing these things by 2019 would indicate they could be a legitimate vehicle for disenchanted conservatives. If 2019 finds them having made little progress, it will be time to look elsewhere to organize an active party.
*The RNC is controlled by President Trump, per the tradition of the incumbent President’s party.