Crowd Funding Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2018
CONTACT: Dale Ritchie
Many students of British history are familiar with the political parties, the Whigs and the Tories. The Whigs were the more liberal party, seeking to limit the power of the monarchy. They preferred putting more power in the hands of parliament The Whigs accomplished both of these goals when they gave support to the establishment of a British Bill of Rights in 1689. Many of the provisions of this bill became a part of our Constitution and our own Bill of Rights. This act also gave the American colonists the argument “no taxation without representation” and thus in part gave cause to the American Revolution.
The Whig positions on limited government had broad appeal in the American colonies as well. During the American Revolution, “Whig” became synonymous with “patriot”. It was not a political party yet, but Whig principles became a rallying point against a Monarch whose government had overstepped its authority. Years later, when Andrew Jackson went beyond the stated authority of the President in the Constitution, the old Whig feelings of pushing back against a government out of control resulted in the founding of an American Whig Party. This party existed for only a short time but could boast four Presidents and two of the ten most influential Senators in our history. Its influence continued after its demise through former Whigs that became Republicans, such as Abraham Lincoln. The Whig view of limited government managed to outlive the party in American politics by sixty years.
The twentieth century saw a return of a less limited view of Presidential power and a gradual erosion of Congressional power, however. While it is easier to get things done with one person wielding extraordinary powers, it also becomes very easy for even well-meaning leaders to make decisions that erode our freedoms and sacrifice future prosperity for today’s marginal gain. It becomes easier still for a politician with goals other than to serve the people to do the same.
To those of us living through such times, it can be easy to miss the cumulative negative effects of bad political decisions. To our returning Afghanistan veterans, however, it was painfully obvious that America had changed significantly for the worse while they served us overseas. Civility and compromise in politics were all but forgotten and all loyalty was to party, rather than constitution, country, and citizens. These veterans remembered the gifts of our forefathers and wanted to restore a country where the constitution and our rights were honored. They wanted to restore integrity and service to our citizens to government. They wanted to balance our economic, environmental, and social responsibilities. They wanted a methodology for problem solving involving reason and ideological agnosticism rather than picking between the bad solution on the right and the bad solution on the left. They wanted every citizen to have a voice that was heard and respected by our government. The Whig Party was reborn as the Modern Whig Party with all of these as goals.
In a perfect world, Americans could vote on these goals and they would all pass. Likewise, 71% of Americans do not feel the two major parties represent them and 57% would welcome a third choice. They are tired of choosing between two candidates neither of which represent their beliefs and goals. 45% of Americans consider themselves independents and voting for the candidate on the far right or far left means seeing all the issues dear to them pushed to extremes. They long for a centrist, rational approach to issues but do not have that choice on the ballot. Macron was able to tap into this level of dissatisfaction with both the right and the left in France and lead a centrist revolution. All of these factors support the success of a new centrist party.
The voter has been disappointed before, however. Every so often, a cause, a party, or a politician makes bold promises to fix every wrong and give the people all they had hoped for if they could just have their vote. The response from the voter has become cynicism. As bad as the choices for President were in 2016, Americans could not convince themselves to vote for the unproven hope. Instead they still preferred to vote for the proven, even if it was not what they wanted.
The Modern Whig Party strategy has to address this cynicism. Their 2018 campaign is slanted more toward introducing their brand than hitting a home run politically. By winning local elections, getting the attention of the voters in state and district races, and providing clear plans to make the average citizen’s life better, they hope to earn a little trust in 2018 so they can do greater things with the voter’s support in 2020. If you wish to learn more, their website is at www.modernwhig.org and includes their values, principles, and platform. They have also launched a crowd funding campaign at CrowdPAC.