Restructuring and Realignment among the Whigs

In other Whig news, Septimus reports on a break between the Florida Whig Party and the Modern Whig Party:

First, a little background. The "Florida Whig Party" pre-dated the Modern Whig Party by over a year. After the formation of the Modern Whigs, they decided to ally themselves with the Modern Whigs on a national level . . .

Although both groups are frustrated and unhappy with the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the two groups had two different base philosophies, and different remedies to issues. The Modern Whigs wanted to reduce partisanship, and adopt reasonable, centrist, and moderate solutions. The "Florida Whigs" were sympathetic with the rhetoric and solutions presented by the far right. After joining, they attempted to moderate some of their rhetoric, but the tension was always there. Recent statements and positions taken by the "Florida Whigs" were criticized by the rest of the Modern Whig membership . . .

So, it is important to note that future statements, actions, and candidates of the "Florida Whigs" are not related to, and have nothing to do with the larger, moderate, national, Modern Whig Party, of which I remain a proud supporter.

It appears that the Florida Whigs were likely caught between their association with the moderate positions of the Modern Whig Party and the conservative orientation of the Tea Party Patriots. For its part, the Florida Whig Party states on its website:

The Florida Whig Party discontinued its voluntary association with the Modern Whig (Party) Club in November of 2009 pending a response to a formal request to the past Chair for an independent financal audit, identification of the Club treasurer, a certification as to the true membership of the Club, a copy of the minutes, resolutions, and votes for all meetings since inception by the Board of Directors, and a complete roster of all independent and appointed state and local Whig leaders, clubs, and organizations. Each member of the FWP Board of Directors has a professional, healthly, ongoing, and open line of communications with the new Chairperson, Elaine Stephens, since the abrupt resignation of the former Chair and will revisit the affiliation issue after Chairperson Stephens is able to obtain full control over the organization.

Septimus alluded to this simmering tension the other day when he warned against the dangers of "ideological and political cul de sacs":

Too often, one can get lulled into a political cul de sac, or an ideological dead end. A mental location where trite answers are taken as profound wisdom, where platitudes substitute for analysis, and blind following takes the place of active engagement. The media contributes to this, as one can now choose between news sources that reinforce what you already believe, and never challenge preconceived biases. In effect, one ends up in a political cul de sac, out of touch with the rest of the community and likely to not know much about the folks who live on the other side of the fences of their blocked-off ideas . . .

However, one of the things that attracted me to the Modern Whigs was their emphasis on not being caught in these ideological dead ends:

Since we have the benefit of essentially starting from scratch, we plan on doing things completely different than that of the established third parties, as well as the kooky fringe groups.

We plan on making our own path and will avoid the temptation of "preaching to the choir" and "believing our own propaganda.” The point is that our membership base of moderate, independent-minded voters -- to include relatively large amounts of service members/veterans -- affords us a credible and compelling mainstream base to work from that most other groups lack.

It will be difficult for a start up political party to turn its back on those trapped in the cul de sac, but the Modern Whig Party was founded to be part of the political mainstream . . . The solution is therefore obvious. Those who insist on "their way or the highway" must be allowed on their way, while the Modern Whigs take the highway to moderation, centrism, grass-roots development, practical ideas, and long-term growth.

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