These non-MAGA conservatives believe their third party can help prevent 'the demise of our democracy'

These non-MAGA conservatives believe their third party can help prevent 'the demise of our democracy'
Christine Todd Whitman in 2002, Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, July 27, a new political alliance was formed in the United States when the Renew America Movement, founded in 2017, merged with the Forward Party (founded by tech entrepreneur and former Democrat Andrew Yang) as the Serve America Movement.

Typically, third parties struggle in the U.S. when it comes to statewide races; members of the progressive Green Party and the right-wing Libertarian Party who win elections usually hold city or county positions rather than becoming governors or U.S. senators. In deep blue Philadelphia, progressive Councilwoman Kendra Brooks is a member of the Working Families Party, closely allying herself with the left wing of the Democratic Party. But in an op-ed published by the Washington Post on July 28, three key players in Serve America —Yang, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Rep. David Jolly — lay out some reasons why they believe their third party can succeed.

While Yang is an ex-Democrat who ran in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Whitman and Jolly held office as Republicans. Whitman and Jolly are fiscally conservative but aren’t far-right culture warriors, and both of them have been scathing critics of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement — which they view as dangerously authoritarian. Whitman endorsed now-President Joe Biden in 2020’s election.

READ MORE:'Political violence' has become much too normalized in America — including MAGA violence: conservative

“Political extremism is ripping our nation apart, and the two major parties have failed to remedy the crisis,” Whitman, Jolly and Yang warn in their op-ed. “Last week, the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack at the Capitol led us to relive one of the darkest days in U.S. history. The chilling culmination of an attempted electoral coup in the United States was the strongest evidence yet that we are facing the potential demise of our democracy. Polarization is fueling a spike in political intimidation. In the past two years, we’ve seen death threats and assassination plots against members of Congress, governors, Supreme Court justices and even the vice president of the United States.”

The Serve America members continue, “If nothing is done, the United States will not reach its 300th birthday this century in recognizable form. That’s why we are coming together — Democrats, Republicans and independents — to build a new, unifying political party for the majority of Americans who want to move past divisiveness and reject extremism.”

Whitman, Jolly and Yang lament that more and more Americans have been embracing political violence, and they believe that a third party is needed to diffuse a dangerous situation.

“Most third parties in U.S. history failed to take off, either because they were ideologically too narrow or the population was uninterested,” the Serve America members observe. “But voters are calling for a new party now more than ever. For the first time in modern history, roughly half of Americans consider themselves ‘independents,’ and two-thirds say a new party is needed, and would vote for it.”

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According to Whitman, Jolly and Yang, Serve America plans to run political candidates as Forward candidates.

“The two major parties have hollowed out the sensible center of our political system — even though that’s where most voters want to see them move,” Whitman, Jolly and Yang argue. “A new party must stake out the space in between. On every issue facing this nation — from the controversial to the mundane — we can find a reasonable approach most Americans agree on. On guns, for instance, most Americans don’t agree with calls from the far left to confiscate all guns and repeal the Second Amendment, but they’re also rightfully worried by the far right’s insistence on eliminating gun laws. On climate change, most Americans don’t agree with calls from the far left to completely upend our economy and way of life, but they also reject the far right’s denial that there is even a problem.”

Whitman, Jolly and Yang conclude their op-ed by arguing that America’s two-party system has led to the political violence and unrest it is suffering.

“America’s founders warned about the dangers of a two-party system,” they write. “Today, we’re living with the dire consequences. Giving Americans more choices is important not just for restoring civility. Our lives, our livelihoods and our way of life depend on it.”

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