Are Americans ready for a third party?


Editorial Board

After the 2020 election, it was clear that Americans were unhappy with both sides of the political spectrum and yearned for a new party. It is fair to say that the modern United States has largely been ruled by the Republican and Democratic parties almost to the exclusion of all other parties, leading to a two-party monopoly on power at the national and state levels. In 2021, polling showed that Americans widely supported a third party that offered something beyond the status quo. A third party has rarely taken off in the United States, either because they were ideologically narrow or because the population was uninterested in them. Despite this, voters are calling for a new party now more than ever. We now must ask, in a system torn apart by two increasingly divided extremes, are Americans ready for a third option?

In July, former candidates from both the Democratic and Republican sides announced the new formation of a third political party called the Forward Party. This party was formed by former Democratic presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Christine Todd Witman, and Republican David Jolly, the former representative of Florida. According to the Forward Party’s campaign, their main goal is to reject both sides of political extremism and take action on critical issues for the unrepresented majority of politics. However, when looking at the call to action on the Forward Party’s website, their goals are left vague. These goals include, “work together, not against” and “more listening, less talking.” While these goals may be a starting point for the new political party, in order to run candidates and win elections, you must tell people what they are voting for.

While it may seem promising that there is a potential third party for voters to choose from, it is still crucial for voters to do their own research. It is far too common for voters to vote solely based on which party they identify with rather than the platform of that candidate. After all, we do elect these politicians to represent our opinions, not our party affiliation. A majority of voters from both sides of the political spectrum will say they are in favor of a new third party.  However, if the Forward Party wants to gain supporters, it will need more than just catchy slogans.