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Why Trump Rejected a Third Party

There has been a great deal of talk about the possibility of a third party led by former President Trump.  A fringe element of Trump voters – among the most ardent of his supporters – are clamoring for a third party to be led by Trump.

I met a couple of them at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida.  I can only describe them as extremely emotional and hostile to both the Democratic and Republican Parties.  They considered themselves as the most loyal of the Trump supporters – and assumed that he would be announcing his plans to launch a third party – already named as the Patriots Party.

In offering up my unsolicited advice to Trump in terms of his CPAC speech, I advised that he kill off the notion of a third party.  He did that in unmistakable terms.

One can only imagine the disappointment of his rabid fans when Trump used his speech to the conservative audience to strongly reject the idea of a third party.  It was not a vague repudiation of the idea, but a full-throated rejection.

Trump said that such a third-party effort is exactly what Democrats and those on the left would like to see because they know it would divide the Republican Party and assure victory for Democrats all across the country.

The idea for a third-party split in the GOP is not only encouraged by the left.  A number of conservative Republican apostates – who abandoned the entire Republican Party and the conservative movement allegedly over opposition to Trump – have been talking about a third party.  Their motivation is the same as the Democrats – to destroy the Republican Party – not just defeat Trump, as they dishonestly claim.

Trump well understands the problem based on logic and history.  The effort to launch a third party would be a disastrous failure for the GOP.  In this evenly divided nation, it would not take an enormous number of votes to switch to a doomed third party to siphon off enough votes to bring down Republican candidates at virtually every level.

President Teddy Roosevelt was a lot like Trump – a charismatic leader with a large faithful following.  When he was denied the nomination for a second term by the GOP, Teddy launched the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party.  He not only failed, but he handed the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

The most racist element of the Democratic Party broke away to form the Dixiecrat Party with South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond as the standard bearer.  They almost cost President Truman reelection in 1948.  Following their defeat, the racist Dixiecrats returned to the Democratic Party where they successfully defeated Republican civil rights legislation for another 20 years.

It is not just a matter of switching votes.  Major third-party efforts had discouraged voting.  Individuals who are likely to support Republican candidates may not be willing to switch parties – but they may decide to stay home on election day or skip voting for candidates in a serious three-way struggle.

Many political observers believe that is what happened to President George H.W. Bush in 1992.  The millions of votes garnered by Independent candidate Ross Perot would not have been sufficient to give Bush a clear victory, but the lower GOP turn-out added to the Perot vote would have.

Third parties inevitably hurt the party closest to their own ideology.  The presence of left-wing Green Party candidate Ralph Nader cost former Democrat Vice President Al Gore the state of Florida in 2000 – and with it, the presidency.

Whatever Trump’s personal ambitions may be for 2024, he understands that upon logic and history, the idea of a third party is – or at least should be – dead on arrival.

So, there ‘tis.

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.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Although I’m fed up with most of the Republican RINO leaders, I agree with this entirely. It is best to work within the party and support the true conservatives and withhold support from the RINOs. I keep getting surveys from the Party with the same old questions and the same old bottom line, “Send more money.” I quit answering and contribute to those that I agree with.

  2. Not true, that a Tried Party would destroy itself and only let the (D)RATS win. There’s never been a movement like the Trump MAGA-American First Movement. His vote were 75 Million MAGA Voters. 1/3 of Republican say they would Join his Party. 1/3 of Congressman, Trump Loyalist, said they’d join him. Trump could easily combine 4 other Tired Parties to join him: Conservative – Constitutional, Independent and Reform Parties and they being combined, could also provide Candidates to Run as MAGA Candidates.

    The ONLY LOSERS would be the entire (D)RAT Party because “Trumps has the strength to Recruit 1 Candidate for every (D)RAT House and Senate, which is 250 House + 23 Senators and the (D)RATS would have many Retire and the most defeated – they couldn’t remain the Majority Party.

    The Fake GOP has basically only RINO’s. Establishment and Hate Trumpsters and and Trump could also destroy the entire Fake GOP. because the Conservatives would join him and the others would be challenge by Trump Candiates and they be gone with the win. TRUMP COULD GAIN THE MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE – WITH HIS – TRUMP MAGA – AMERICA FIRST (AGENDA) PARTY.

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