There is a lot of talk among former Republican consultants, strategists, former elected officials, and thinkers about forming a new party or developing a principled faction within today’s Republican Party. Speaking for myself only, any new political party must avoid labeling themselves “center-right”. Labels are limiting, and “center-right” has the unfortunate baggage of sounding like it is beholden to frustrated old think-tank conservatives. Whatever the new political party is it must be much broader and more dynamic than “center-right.” In addition to conservatives, it must attract independents, centrists, Democrats, people of color, and especially young people. “Center-right” won’t do that. “Center-right” is old. It’s boring. Instead, think radically-centrist. Think of making moderation cool. Think of a populist message with centrist policy solutions. This sort of messaging has a much broader appeal in today’s politics.
Finally, to launch a 3rd party, it needs to be a bottom-up endeavor. It’s got to be launched as a real grassroots movement. It can’t be top-down. It can’t be a bunch of political insiders “declaring” a new party and then hoping to find a constituency–begin with and energize a constituency first.
It’s time. Time to plant this flag. I don’t think most Americans realize it yet, but the Republican Party, as a national party, is dying. The 166-year-old Republican-Democratic two-party duopoly is coming to an end. This is the perfect time to take this leap. The audience is there for it, the outside money is there for it, and young people would rally around it. “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” So said Basil King, a Canadian clergyman and author over 100 years ago. For those of us who find ourselves in the radical middle in between Trumpists on the right and progressives on the left, now is just such a time to be bold.