A Pew poll released Tuesday suggests voters might be inclined to follow suit. The political topography survey shows significant fractures within both major parties, and sorts the sentiments into eight different constituencies. The largest groups are described as Core Conservatives and Solid Liberals, and they together make up about a third of the electorate. These two groups are the most politically engaged, the survey found, which underscores the polarization of the electorate. But the remaining 70 percent of voters in the other categories are of interest to people like Reed Galen, a former Republican operative who left the GOP last year and is now the political chairman of the Serve America Movement, which aims to build a new political party.
“We are seeing as much chaos in the American political system as we’ve seen since the Whigs broke up,” Galen told RCP.
Establishing a new party is a lofty goal, Galen recognizes, particularly since the two dominant ones have monopolies on politics and governance. Financing and ballot access are monumental climbs. Moreover, voter dissatisfaction with the current political parties is not monolithic.
Continue reading: Can Non-Trump Republicans Spark a Multi-Party System?
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: The obstacles to a viable third party alluded to in the article are both tangible and intangible. The most obvious, and perhaps the most difficult to overcome, are the myriad election rules setup in all 50 states which institutionalize America’s de facto two-party system. Still, the frustration with this system is palpable, and the unexpected electoral victory of a megalomaniac like Donald Trump has only exacerbated that sentiment.
A pair of Republican senators sounded an alarm Tuesday about President Trump’s fitness for office and warned that his actions were degrading and dangerous to the country — an extraordinary breach that threatens his legislative agenda and further escalates the civil war tearing apart the Republican Party.
Delivering an emotional speech on the Senate floor announcing that he will not seek reelection next year, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Trump’s behavior is “dangerous to our democracy” and summoned fellow Republicans to denounce the president’s conduct.
“It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end,” Flake said. He added, “Politics can make us silent when we should speak, and silence can equal complicity.”
The charged remarks from Flake — a totem of traditional conservatism who has repeatedly spoken out about his isolation in Trump’s GOP — came hours after Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) questioned the president’s stability and competence, reigniting a deeply personal feud with the president.
Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who also will not run for reelection in 2018, told reporters in assessing Trump’s nine-month tenure: “I’ve seen no evolution in an upward way. As a matter of fact, it seems to me it’s almost devolving.”
With their distress calls, Flake and Corker joined a chorus of mainstream political leaders newly emboldened to excoriate Trump. Last week, former presidents George W. Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat, both indirectly rebuked Trump’s deportment and warned of peril for the nation under his watch, as did Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who thundered about the rise of what he called “half-baked, spurious nationalism.”