Guest Post: The Way of the Whigs

by Septimus of The Whig

Much information about the Modern Whigs can already be found online. The Modern Whigs developed out of discussions and email chain letters among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. These veterans, upon returning to the States, decided to form on organization to address some of their concerns and the issues that developed out of their discussions. This eventually evolved into the Modern Whig Party in 2007. I would like to share why I am participating in the Modern Whig Party.

I did not consider my self a third-party type. After a friend and I started our blog, we discovered the Modern Whigs. At the time, they had only three states signed up, 3,000 members, and a very crude website. But we volunteered. So why the Whigs? I was, and remain, acutely aware of the issues, disadvantages, and problems in trying to get a new political party off of the ground. But the Modern Whig party addressed these concerns, and in doing so, changed my attitude about participating in an effort to start a new political party. First, the Modern Whigs did not seem to be a typical third party. Typically, a new party is started on the ideological fringe, and not only has to overcome organizational, financial, and legal obstacles, but also struggles to answer an important question. The question: If you and I find that we are unable to win over our local county major party committees, committees which after all are the basic units from which the major party is built, then on what basis do we hope to win over an entire nation? If we are serious, then do we not feel that it would be rather easier to win over the local committees first? If not, why not?

This time, I found an answer. With Republican party activists veering right, and the Democratic party activists veering left, and the number of independents increasing, there developed a need for a political grouping in the center. Every other effort to start a new political party was on the ideological fringes. But if the two major parties mover farther out to the edges, an opportunity presents itself. The Modern Whigs are in the political center, and are moderates. How many viable attempts are there to start a new party in the ideological middle? The rest are outside of the mainstream, and have failed to convince the general electorate to follow them. The Modern Whigs started where most Americans already are. Contributing to the situation is that both major parties have entrenched and unresponsive leadership, and are compromised by corruption.

Next, the Modern Whigs are marked by a realistic approach. Exclusion from power begins to sap the motivation of even the most ardent of parties. How to avoid this problem and stay motivated? Typically, third parties make a run for President, in an effort to gain publicity. The Modern Whigs, however, planned to run for Congress and state legislatures first. This approach makes more sense. For example, the Libertarians could have taken the money they raised in 2008 and instead of spending it on their presidential run, could have launched a well financed run for Congress. In the right district, they may have had a chance. Finding a sound candidate an running for Congress or the Legislature is difficult enough, but without a real base, higher level office is not realistic.

Finally, the Modern Whigs had no central, controlling figure. I found this reassuring, as I distrust personality-based politics. Often, third parties are based on, and are dependent on, a single individual. The rise and fall of the party is therefore based on the success and failure of one individual. Instead of waiting to hear what one person thinks about an issue, I will be looking forward to internal debates over the direction and platform of the party. The party can grow organically, and develop according to the interests of its membership. I have to admit, the prospect of being able to make a real contribution to a growing organization is attractive.

Only time will tell if the Modern Whigs will continue to grow and develop. But I have hope. Through the Modern Whigs, I have met many decent, concerned, patriotic Americans. So while I may despair about our politics, I am newly reminded that the real strength of our nation is in its people, and not in our feckless major parties.

If you would like to learn more about the Modern Whig Party, go to We are still a young party, so not every organized state has a site up yet. A full list can be found on the main site, buthere are the more developed state sites: Florida, New York, Texas, Missouri, California, and Delaware. We are still organizing states, and the states are organizing locally, so there are plenty of opportunities for those interested in taking part, so contact us. Not content to just debate issues on the internet, we are already taking action, and currently have two viable candidates running as Modern Whigs:

Gene Baldassari – New Jersey 14th District Assembly (Nov 2009)

Paul C. McKain – Florida 2nd Congressional District (Nov 2010)

Your support of our candidates would be greatly appreciated.

I’d like to thank d.eris for inviting me to guest post at Poli-Tea.

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