Is it Time for Conservatives to Form a Third Party? Updated and Stickied!


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I have to admit that over the last several years, I have been torn about whether or not there is a need for Conservatives to leave the Republican party and either form a new third party, or join one of the small, already extant, Conservative parties. I have been on both sides of the fence, so to speak, and have been unable to come to a full decision. A recent comment on another post prompted me  to again consider the issue. I think it’s time we revisit this debate

First up, the “leave the Republicrats” side of the debate:

We are tired, as Conservatives, with the Republicans talking Conservative on election day, and then doing the following

  1. Growing the government
  2. Increasing spending
  3. NOT fighting to shrink government and regulation
  4. Backing down from the liberals on social issues

We believe that every election cycle, we are subjected to platitudes and empty promises, soon to be broken after the the polls close. We also believe that there is no “conservative way” to do big government. The two are mutually exclusive, and the very idea does not represent what a majority of rank and file Republicans believe. Research shows that they are overwhelmingly Conservative, and history shows that they not being served by the Republican Party.

The issue is that the core of the Republican Party is moderate. Moderates sit in positions of power, and either control and/or contribute large sums of money to the party. Consequently, moderates, at least at the national level, have far too much control. They are not likely to relinquish this control and seem to look at Conservatives with contempt. They compromise and cooperate with the Marxists on the left, and leave us betrayed and angry. They have failed us on so many occasions, there are many willing to leave the party altogether.  Still others have “dropped out” entirely, and are waiting for a party that will represent them.

Now, the Republicans in the Congress are poised to engage in “bi-partisanship.”  This, losoely translated, is “capitulate.”  Is this what we want?  Do we want a party of moderates that will capitulate to tax increases?  Do we wnat a party that will state that “ObamaCare is the law of he land?”  Do we want a party of Boehners, and Romney’s, or do we want a party of patriots the embrace freedom?

Then, we need to look at how the establishment Republicans treated the Tea Party, and their candidates.  How many were undermined, or passed over for committees of importance?  How many were not supported by the national party, only to go down in defeat?  Yes, the Tea Party forces were able to “primary” some establishment GOP candidates, but how many more people at the local and state level were defeated by unethical tactics, so the  RINO’s could retain power?

Conservatives do not want to have to chose between Demicans and Republicrats, or socialism, and “socialism lite.” We want a real Conservative choice, a party that will act like Conservatives AFTER the election. We want a party that will REALLY shrink the size and scope of government, and restore it to it’s constitutional limit.


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Now, for the “We must re-take the Republican Party” side:

Breaking away from the Republican Party plays into the hands of the left. With resistance to them split, they can ram whatever socialist legislation they want down our throats. We would not have the power to stop them.  We barely do now.  They will take over health care, regulate talk radio out of existence, regulate the Internet, raise taxes to impossibly high rates, create a debt that will enslave out children, pass environmental regulations that would kill American industry and jobs, and ruin this great nation, perhaps permanently.

The fact is this; we need a well established and funded party hierarchy to achieve our goals. Starting a new party, even if successful, would take years to accomplish-years that we do not have.

Admittedly, The Republican party is not perfect – we have our internal struggles, but there IS a difference between the parties. Would Reagan have attempted to deceive the people with a single payer system that will eventually ration care and kill Americans? Would either Bush have coddled communist dictators, and undermined democracies in Central America? Would any Republican administration have gone overseas to apologize to the dictators of the world, while at the same time throwing Israel under the bus? Would any Republican administration support a Marxist redistribution scheme concocted in the name of “saving the Earth?” I think not.

We have to realize that even with 40% of the population defining themselves as Conservatives, it’s still not enough to win an election out right. Like it or not, we need the moderates. That being said, we need to remind them that we, as Conservatives, are in the majority. They need to realize that if they do not listen to us, we WILL eventually leave. We need to exert our influence over the party and make sure that the promises made in the campaign are translated into action. We also need to weed the RINO’s out of the party. They are worse than moderates, as they have shown a willingness to betray us anytime doing so would enhance their own personal position.   If they leave the party, that’s well and good.

If given the choice, capturing the Republican Party is the most expedient way to forward our agenda. Creating a new party out of thin air will take resources, and more importantly, time. We have neither of those in abundance, especially when confronted with Obama and his socialist agenda. The danger is simply too great.


 That what I have read or heard from others, this covers some of the major points of this issue. This is a worthy debate to have at this time, especially as consequences of the President’s policies become increasingly apparent.  However, he and his allies will spin, lie, deny, and blame all of the negatives away.  At the same time, I believe we have to start looking to the future and how we can best take our ideals and put them into action. I’m still on the fence with this issue. A year ago, I was all for leaving the party. Now, the risk of failure and the possible consequences of said failure, are making me more cautious.  No matter what we do, failure is NOT an option.

Note:  This is a slightly revised post from 2009.  Surprisingly, not a lot needed updating.  The main issues remain.  The question is if we need to explore another option.  Also, with the site outage on Monday, I thought I’d leave this at the top of the page.  Hopefully, we can have a debate here.

  • I honestly don’t know which side of this issue I will come down on. One thing is sure, I’m tired of seeing the leadership of the Republican Party cave on every issue of importance. I think it’s time they should go, but I’m not sure if we can make that happen.

  • I am in the same boat as you on this Matt, I have also flipped back and forth about what the proper course of action is. I vowed not to vote for McCain or Romney at different times only to come back around a toe the Republican line. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know we have a long road ahead of us if we hope to turn this around.

  • Don

    In my way of thinking, what we need is really neither of the choices listed, with all due respect Matt; and rest assured, that respect is immense sir. Let me explain.

    What Reagan did was priceless, his skill was amazing and his charisma, devastating to the opposition. Reagan did not favor a new party and one might posit, he didn’t really change the GOP. What he did was to re-frame the debate. Reagan has done this better than any politician in my lifetime.

    Two other names pop into my head that have had success on this front; Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush. Newt is very Reaganesque in not allowing the left to get away with slanting issues to their side; but his weakness lies in his past problems with his personal life and his confrontational style. Of course one might argue that his head-on style pushed Clinton back from the left and right smack into the middle, maybe even over to the right just a tad.

    George W. Bush had Reagan’s ability to be friendly with the opposition just enough to get them swayed to his side. Think back to pre-9/11, Bush sat down with Democratic leaders and wooed their votes, much like Reagan did. Before Bush’s spending wore out his welcome and before America became war-weary, Bush was able to get many items of his agenda implemented. To say that his agenda was less than conservative is, I believe, a discussion best left for another time, but the fact remains, he in large part did not let the opposition frame the debate. If anything, especially towards the end of his time in office, Bush was too silent towards the left when they viciously attacked him, again and again. He thought it demeaned the office of the President to respond, and to a certain extent he was right. However, I think it would have better served our cause had he fought back at least a bit.

    When you begin to fight on the other guy’s terms, you lose the battle before it begins. That is what the GOP excels at; fighting the battle on the Democrats’ terms. Boehner would be well served to sit down and watch as much CSPAN video on Reagan that he can get his hands on. John Boehner is I’m sure, a very good, well intentioned man. He just seemingly has no ability to unravel the left’s talking points. When confronted with a baited question from the MSM, Boehner simply takes it at face value and answers it as is. Ronald Reagan never did that. Case in point; Reagan said, “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.”

    He understood how to reach the American people in such a way that he was able to oppose the left without demonizing them. John Boehner rarely, if ever does this. When asked about Obamacare recently in light of the election results that saw Obama be re-elected to a second term, he said that it was “the law of the land.” Why would he answer this in this way? Would Reagan have done that?

    Here is a video of a press conference late in Reagan’s second term. Skip to the 5:50 mark. He fields a question about raising taxes and his promise not to during his debate with Mondale.

    That was masterful. He didn’t take the bait that the reporter laid out for him, he stopped, re-framed the question and then turned it around on the opposition without blaming them for any impasse on the issue of deficits.

    So in conclusion, what we need is the right candidate. Romney wasn’t it. McCain wasn’t it. The GOP needs to work hand-in-hand with the Tea Party to field candidates that can deconstruct what the left tries to do without demonizing them.

  • Excellent post Matt and I’m glad you’re back online. I tried a number of times to read this article yesterday and kept getting your site was down. My feelings on the matter might tic off some people but here it is. I will vote for the candidate who stands for liberty no mater what party they claim. If you are a candidate wearing the Republican label and you are not conservative and you do not stand for liberty I will not vote for you. If this means losing elections then so be it. I’m tired of voting for the lessor of two evils. I’m tired of the entire election process. We never end up with the best candidate because the establishment steers us in the direction they want us to go. The best way to weed out the phony conservatives is to not vote for them even if it means losing the seat. Eventually the Republican Party will have to acknowledge that maybe they need to put forth candidates who appeal to the conservative base. That my two cents for what it’s worth.

    • Don

      John, I completely understand what you are saying. If just 20% of Conservatives did what you propose, then maybe the GOP would take notice. Hell even if it were only 10%, it would probably work.

      My only concern is this. That is exactly the message that the political powerbrokers within the Republican Party ought to have taken away from Romney’s loss. However, it would seem that now there is a movement, I pray not a big one, for the GOP leadership to have the party platform become more moderate.

      THAT is the entire reason that you, and folks like you John, did not vote for Romney!! Yet when we try to send them a message, it is as if the left says, “What’s that? A message from your base? Having trouble reading it? Here, look at it through OUR glasses. See? They want you to be more like us, just not as much…”


  • I’m relieved! This time you really were off-line.

    With the exception of the Reagan era, in modern times one would be hard pressed to verbalize wht is the GOP stands for. Because of the conservative uprising in the form of the Tea party movemnet, the GOP kicked butt in the 2010 mid-terms. In 2012 the GOP forgot that!
    Because of the looming debt crisis, I’m not sure there is time to turn this country around with any party. Sorry to be such a downer.

  • Adam

    I have another suggestion. Instead of picking one or the other why not do both. Quit trying to be for a party and be for values. If a GOP is running that does not fit the conservatives run someone against him for a third party and endorse him heavily. It is time for Conservatives to unhinge and seek both options and just let the best one follow to its conclusion automatically.