Will History Repeat Itself?


With an election year looming over of us, it is has become increasingly apparent that this is the year of limited choices. On the left, Democrats must choose between an aging socialist, who appears to have never sat through an economics class, and a liar who seems hell bent on continuing the legacy of Barrack Obama for eight more years; terrifying, I know.

But on the right, we have a more fear-inducing issue at hand: the potential of a third-party candidate. While Donald Trump steam rolled his adversaries in the primary election (Cruz-Fiorina dropping out weeks ago), many moderate and establishment conservatives within the GOP are searching for a last-minute candidate with enough sway (per a miracle) to win against the Democratic nominee. But history has taught us the contention of such a decision, so why are the “Big Whigs” on the right still perusing this?

The greatest example in U.S. history regarding a failed third party bid is that of Theodore Roosevelt under his Progressive Bull Moose Party in 1912. After two successful terms as president (1901-1909), Roosevelt stepped down and allowed William Taft to run for, and win, the presidency.

After one term, Taft and his policies had angered Roosevelt enough that he sought re-election for a third term. The Republican Party did not nominate him, but instead sided with Taft, forcing Roosevelt to form the Bull Moose Party. In the end, it was a devastating loss for both candidates, and the democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, gained the presidency. Though both elections are separated by more than one hundred years and the political climate is completely different today, they are similar in one aspect; they are both rooted in egotism and pride.

The key reason behind an attempted third-party bid is not what it seems. Many in the GOP establishment would have you believe that it is in the best interest of the country, or that as conservatives, we need a more modern and moderate candidate. Although these two reasons may hold some truth, the fact is that Donald Trump cannot be controlled by any one woman, man or organization, but instead would be held accountable to the tax payers; the voters.

The Washington elite want a candidate that will not cause a political upheaval, but one that will maintain the status quo of the last fifty years. Due to fear of losing control, and the fact of Trumps abrasiveness, the egos of D.C. would rather split votes and send a strong message to Trump than win over the support of their constituents and win in November against the democratic contender.

Recently in the media, there have been several names thrown around as possible third party contenders. These rumors started earlier in the spring with Speaker Paul Ryan, who respectfully declined, Gov. Gary Johnson (a Libertarian), business mogul Mark Cuban and General James “Mad Dog” Mattis.

Although most of these candidates have declined, they were all legitimately approached by conservatives in Congress and pushed towards announcing a third party bid. Although the identity of those who have sought out and vetted these candidates remain unknown, they have offered real council, real assistance and even cold hard campaign cash.

The key to victory in November is to stand strong in our conservative principles. Pride and childish games must be put aside for this upcoming election, as stubbornness at this critical point in history could lead us down a never ending slippery slope.

We are not being faced with traditional politics this year, and because of this we must abandon the mantra “politics as usual” and adopt the mentality of rebuilding our great nation.

About Dominic DeLuca

Dominic DeLuca is currently a Junior in the Environmental Science program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. He serves as Chairman of the University of Maine at Fort Kent College Republicans, and as Treasurer of the Maine Federation of College Republicans.

Recommended for you