Rumors have been swirling of Donald Trump starting a new political party in Washington called “The Patriot Party.” The new party would be a third option for disillusioned former Republican voters and also center-left voters who feel abandoned by the Democratic Party. Some news outlets report that Trump has been building a list of allies… and enemies… for the party to target in upcoming elections. Other news sources say otherwise. But there is a giant red elephant in the room that must be addressed. Is this new political party actually a viable alternative?
To make a long story less long, the answer is no. The Patriot Party as a third party is not a realistic option. The core essence of what the Patriot Party desires to be is, however, realistic. But it is necessary to first outline why the third party, lone-wolf angle wouldn’t work in order to understand what other angle would work.
The United States, for better or for worse, generally operates on the two-party system. Sure, more than two parties exist aside from Democrats, Republicans, and the proposed Patriot Party. There is the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, pure Independents, and more. The obvious question about alternative parties is… have they had any success? On a local level, yes, some third-party candidates have won their elections. But there hasn’t been anything other than a Democrat or Republican in office since at least the early to mid 1800s.
The main reason why third parties do not have success on a national level in the United States is that the Democratic Party and Republican Party are both very established with institutions that are entrenched within each. It is very hard to break that apart, especially in a short period of time. Ross Perot attempted a Presidential run back in 1992 against both Bill Clinton and George HW Bush. The end result was Bill Clinton winning against the incumbent HW Bush due to Perot effectively splitting the Republican vote. That same dynamic would most likely happen with Trump (or anyone else) as the Patriot Party candidate in 2024.
The Patriot Party can have success in elections, but not as an independent third party. What they should do is take a page out of AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and the Justice Democrat’s book. AOC is part of two groups – Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress. They are backed financially by quite a few groups and individual people including Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks. Their purpose is to infiltrate the Democratic Party, as Democrats, to subvert the party all the way far to the left. The Patriot Party could take that exact same game plan from Justice Democrats and apply it to the right with actual conservative principles instead of pay-for-play politics that some on the right engage in.