A 20th Century Third Party History

The Whig Party endorsement of Bob Barr brings to mind the history of third parties in America. Writing at Townhall, David R. Stokes provides an interesting history of America’s party structure in the 20th century. Here’s a sample:

Probably the most famous attempted political end-run in history was made by a former president - that fact itself lending it credibility. When Theodore Roosevelt failed in his attempt to wrest the Republican nomination away from his successor and former friend William Howard Taft in 1912, he bullied his way onto ballots across the nation on the Progressive Party ticket. He lost the election, but finished in second place and ahead of Taft. Of course, he also ensured that the Democrat Woodrow Wilson would receive a plurality and move into the White House.

In 1924, Robert La Follette ran as a progressive, as well. He lost too, and it didn’t make much of a difference to Calvin Coolidge or the country.

The 1948 campaign played out with the kind of drama we are seeing these days as incumbent Harry S. Truman held onto the Democratic nomination in spite of defections from the left and right. Former Vice President Henry Wallace left (far left) the fold to run as a progressive and Strom Thurmond led the segregation-loving Dixiecrats into the fall campaign.

That Truman held on to win a second term is amazing considering the state of his party that year. This should serve as a reminder that party disunity doesn’t necessarily lead to ultimate defeat.

The emphasis of the article was on one particular politician who might have made all the difference in the world if he had run as a third-party candidate, but you’ll have to read the article to find that that person of historical note was.

10 Responses to “A 20th Century Third Party History”

  1. GoNolzOhio Says:

    Big news, people.

    There are rumors floating around the internet that compromising photos of Ruwart with actress Dakota Fanning (Charlotte’s Web, War of the Worlds) have surfaced.

    Word is, the Ruwart people are going to suggest that Dakota did, in fact, consent to the photos in question.

    Ruwart/Michael Jackson 2012!

  2. Kenny Says:

    You Retard Caucus cunts just don’t know when to shut the fuck up!

  3. GoNolzOhio Says:

    Oh, pipe down, Kenny. We moderates are just having a joke at you child-porn loving purists’ expense. Can’t we all just get along?

    Anyway, I hear the Ruwart/Michael Jackson 2012 slogan will be: Think We’re Not Purists? Try Us!

  4. Open Letter From Don Lake Says:

    The Bull Moosers ‘bullied’ Teddy and California Reformer Hiram S. Johnson on to ballots ????????

    It is well reviewed that most politicians are corrupt, criminal, or at least non law abiding [of some of the very ordinances they created

    It is well reviewed that most elected politicians are Dems and GOP!

    It is well reviewed that the Game-Is-Rigged, and specifically AGAINST non Dems and non GOP!

    So more choices is not more democratic???? Hundreds of choices for breakfast on the grocery isle! Only a couple at the voting booth?

  5. disinter Says:

    It is well reviewed that the Game-Is-Rigged, and specifically AGAINST non Dems and non GOP!

    You don’t say?

    In other words, compromising our principles is futile.

  6. Deran Says:

    Ahem, well, you Libs carry on there.

    I think the central weakness of third party and indie presidential candidacies has been their inability to really help develop a consistently growing new political party. There’s been various reasons, but, over the last 100+ years specifically, that does not seem to have been successful?

    I think the proposal tying the national campaign to helping key/viable state/local candidates is a very good idea indeed imho. And I’m not even a libertarian capitalist. But, if the LP can find a way, there could be hope for us all!

  7. Will Vidal Says:

    Disinter 08!

    Change nothing and nothing changes

    sounds like a winner

  8. Kenny Says:

    “We moderates are just having a joke at you child-porn loving purists’ expense. Can’t we all just get along?”

    Not when you are smearing those who are just skeptical about Barr’s u-turns as child-porn lovers. That is not humor, its is libel and slander. I am not a purist, just someone who wants the LP to run a proven libertarian ticket.

  9. End the Empire Says:

    Meanwhile @ RP forums

    Senior Member About:
    Posts: 801

    Investigating Baldwin… Investigating Barr… Both, Neither or ???
    Originally Posted by stevedasbach
    Barr did endorse him. His PAC donated $1000 TO Paul’s campaign. He invited Paul to run for President on the LP ticket. He gave a rousing introduction to Paul at CPAC, which makes it clear that Barr supports Paul and his policies. What more do you want?

    I understand that some people here want Paul supporters to support Chuck Balwin over Bob Barr. There’s nothing wrong with that—from everything I know, Baldwin is a good man. However, that’s no reason to tear down Barr, who has made, and continues to make, enormous sacrifices advancing the cause of liberty. Likewise, there is no reason for any Barr supporter to make disparaging comments about Baldwin.

    In the end, every Paul supporter is going to make up his/her own mind about how best to continue the r3VOLution. We should support and encorage each other, not berate fellow Paulites for choosing a different path.

    Steve Dasbach
    maxed out donor to Ron Paul AND Bob Barr

    WRellim to Dasbash

    You seem to be under the impression that everyone came to the equation with some inherent bias for Baldwin and against Barr.

    That may be true of some, but it is not true of me.

    I figured I would just write-in Ron Paul and then continue with the long-term tasks in the GOP {which for the most part is what I will be doing).

    But as people have been pushing one or the other as THE WAY of “continuing” the influence of the movement at large, I decided to do some digging on both of the men (and some additional digging on the Constitution party, as I was less familiar with them than I was with the history of the LP); and see if there was any value to supporting either (or possibly even both) men; or neither.

    So I was NOT even seeking to make a choice, and could have just as easily discarded (or supported) both of these men and their parties.

    Investigating Chuck Baldwin

    My initial mindset was actually to be quite leary of Baldwin… if anything, being a Quaker purist (but sans the hat!) after a long spiritual journey (and being “burned” by many corrupt and unethical clergymen), I have an inherent “built-in bias” against all salaried preacher/pastors. I view them mainly as a parasitic form of life—pulling together congregations of people, pushing them to donate (and worse “tithe”) to THEM rather than to God and charity, and then using the funds to build their own little personal “tax-free” castles and empires… well you get the picture.

    But as I checked into Baldwin, I did NOT find what I was fairly certain that I would see. I found that he was indeed a man who “started” a local congregation and built a big building (that pretty much goes without saying)—but what I did NOT find was a man who was using that as a means of personal “empire building.” The dude is NOT some “political empire” wannabe like Jerry Falwell, or Pat Robertson. Nor is he a “monument/monstrosity builder” like Oral Roberts, Robert Schuller, or Bill Hybels. And he is not a “commercial empire” builder in the Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, or Jim & Tammy Bakker mode (yes, he publishes a few small books and probably makes a modest amount from them—but more in the mode of the way Ron Paul writes and publishes books, to provide resources for people to read and research, NOT simply to make money. Indeed, much of his writing is freely available online).

    Instead, I found a man who seems MUCH like Ron Paul—a man of pretty SOLID character. Who worked his way through schooling years (Bible as well as BS and MS degrees) did a lot of charity work in jails (following after his father—and BTW, other than for Chuck Colson, jail ministry is NOT a way to fame or fortune). Married relatively young, but with his wife, built a sound family life (married for 35 years… to the SAME woman, remind you of someone?), father of 3 grown children (who all have similar good character… no “Huckabee wackos” here), and with several grandchildren as well.

    In addition, Mr. Baldwin—like Ron Paul—seems to strive to LIVE according to the principles he PREACHES (What a concept!) And while he IS a member of the “Christian Right” he is NOT a pandering brown-noser, and is very willing to stand firmly on what he believes to be true, even if he must stand alone in the midst of a hurricane, to wit the following statement regarding said “Christian Right” and George W. Bush (who he did NOT vote for in EITHER 2000 or 2004!):
    Unfortunately, it has been the Christian Right’s blind support for President Bush in particular and the Republican Party in general that has precipitated a glaring and perhaps fatal defect: the Christian Right cannot, or will not, honestly face the real danger confronting these United States. The reason for this blindness is due, in part, to political partisanship or personal aggrandizement. Regardless, the Christian Right is currently devoid of genuine sagacity. On the whole, they fail to understand the issues that are critical to our nation’s—and their own—survival. (cf http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin417.htm)
    In short, I found nothing to indicate that he was all that AMBITIOUS on a personal basis—nor did I find ANY indication that he would desire to “impose” his religious beliefs on other via some “theocratic” form of government—indeed the opposite, he knows that intertwining government and religion is a path to religious PERSECUTION, and his involvement in politics is from a CITIZENSHIP basis rather than as some “religious calling” (i.e. the false apocalyptic BS that GWBush claims).

    Ok, so much for Chuck Baldwin… but what about Bob Barr?

    Investigating Bob Barr

    I actually did NOT come with a mind “set” in any way for or against Barr—I suppose there might have been a slight bias for him based on Ron Paul’s occasional statements. And of course he was a politician of some note to the media circus (though I did not really recall anything of WHY he was “known”).

    And as per normal I went digging… starting with his early life and career. Much of this was somewhat difficult to find (much less verify), as it seems a lot of “vandalism” as well as a significant amount of “scrubbing” and “whitewash” has occurred with his various “bios” online. (Which at a minimum indicates he is a controversial character).

    Childhood was spent as a military “brat” (by which I simply mean that like McCain he moved from base to base), became a California college frat boy, had a political “epiphany” and became a “Young Democrat” (?). Graduated BA in 1970, but apparently after significant conflicts and problems, rebellious enough that his parents cut off his college funds (never a good sign… he claims this was because his “political involvement” with the Dem. Party did not sit well with GOP parents, but there is evidence that other problems were the primary cause—what parent disowns their child over politics? Drugs, drinking, arrests, etc. yes… But politics? Hmmm, odd). Apparently some time during his college years he got married and shortly thereafter separated from his first wife (literally NO data on this beyond divorce date).

    He then moved to Washington D.C. and took a job with the CIA, who then apparently paid his salary while he pursued MA and law degrees (!) from the Beltway GW University. Met and began dating the woman (also on CIA payroll) who, immediately following his divorce, became his SECOND wife while going to school and collecting that CIA paycheck. Purportedly left the CIA almost immediately after finishing law school (?!?) and moved to Georgia where he had the second of his political “epiphanies” and joined the Republican Party… with the apparent goal of securing either election or appointment to a public salaried office (his private practice apparently NOT doing very well—poorly enough, in fact that they had no health insurance when his wife became pregnant again in 1983). There are differing he-said, she-said accounts about what happened, but his wife aborted the pregnancy (valid mainly because of the discrepancies of the accounts versus his later positions and claims).

    While running for Congress (unsuccessfully) his wife was undergoing chemotherapy for Breast Cancer—again more he-said, she-said, but regardless he certainly did NOT stop campaigning for her health (he apparently expressed a politically ambitious desire to become both President AND ultimately a Supreme Court Justice—both far more important to him than his family commitments). Shortly thereafter, he left his second wife (and their two small PRE-SCHOOL children) for another woman (later his THIRD wife). Several years later, his second wife would need to file suit to attempt to cover (relatively minor) medical expenses for his two children; notable as a matter of character in his apparent ambivalence (at least) to his parental responsibities.

    His initial attempt at achieving elected office being unsuccessful, he did manage to squeak an appointment as a federal US Attorney, a position he only managed to hold onto for four years. Once again, we run into another he-said, he-said series of accusations—this time of neglect of his duties and abuse of office (though nothing was prosecuted, not unusual for US Attorneys they seldom shoot their own, not good for PR you know.) But notable among the many “accusers” were the comments from various judges, especially regarding Mr. Barr’s “innovation” of being the FIRST US Attorney to send out Press Releases (something unprecedented in 200 plus years).

    A second attempt at elected office—this time seeking the higer position of US Senator—was again unsuccessful (though the vote was apparently close). With his third attempt in 1994 he finally got his foot on the political ladder, being elected Congressman of Georgia’s 7th District in 1994.

    Once in office, Mr. Barr seems to have concentrated on taking “popular” positions that would place him prominently in the public’s eye, and therefore aid his ambition—including expanding and increasing the size and scope of the “Drug War”; by attacking the social sphere with his “Defense of Marriage Act” (ironic from a twice-divorced, 3 time married man who rather obviously and hypocritically placed little value in marriage per se); and placing himself directly in the public’s eye by leading the impeachment of then President Bill Clinton.

    Seen in the light of his grandiose ambitions of becoming BOTH President AND a US Supreme Court Justice (something only achieved by William Howard Taft)—Mr. Barr’s choosing “controversial” issues, legislation, various political “epiphanies” (which parallel changes in political winds) and his recent stands against various Bush administration policies—all take on a slightly different light. These are all the marks of someone who wants to “climb the ladder” and who is becoming increasingly desperate to gain noteriety to that end.

    So additionally, his THIRD political “ephiphany”—and his lateral transfer to the “Libertarian Party”—are also apparently in that same vein. There is little evidence that Mr. Barr has ever actually been “moved” by some empathy for the plight of individuals; nor that any of his political positions have been driven by a solid character-based philosophy.

    There is even more… but to me that is MORE than I need to know regarding this man.

    He most emphatically is NOT similar to Ron Paul in any way shape or form. While he may currently (and temporarily) profess certain similar political viewpoints, it is rather clear that these are held onto in the same way that a Remora attaches itself to a whale.

    Likewise, understanding Mr. Barr’s past (essentially failed) political career, go a long way to explaining why he would be willing to work as a “tool” of Richard Viguerie and Russ Verney in their attempt to takeover and makeover the Libertarian Party (or rather his attempt to use both RV’s as HIS “vehicles” in that regard). Big fish stand out in little ponds—and if nothing else, Mr. Barr like to STAND OUT, so doubtless this was an attractive aspect to (what is obviously otherwise a desperate political career move in) once more changing parties and “colors”.

    Given his past, it is unlikely that this will be Mr. Barr’s last “epiphany” or his last change of parties and colors. And much like his lack of concern for his children’s welfare—doubtless he will be unconcerned about the Libertarian party if it ceases to be of use or interest to him.

    All in all, a disgusting human being. One I would not want to associate with even as a neighbor or coworker, much less the leader and “banner bearer” of a movement or candidate for high office.


    Well, the conclusion is fairly obvious isn’t it.

    To those who say “but it is not about the MAN, it is about the message”


    What attracted YOU to the “message” and convinced you of it’s solidity? Was it not in significant part the STELLAR CHARACTER of the MAN in Dr. Ron Paul?

    It is BOTH the “Man AND the Message”—and the character and sincerity of the message—WILL be judged by the character of the man (or men) bearing it.

    We have had more than enough frauds and ambitious political career office-seekers. The message must NOT be lost in the reprobate character of another such parasite.

    The message must NOT be compromised—neither in the character OF the message, nor the character of the one’s bearing it. THAT is the whole point of the movement—to END the machinations, manipulations of government—to hold elected AND appointed officials to a HIGHER STANDARD —to make them be ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE. And in order to achieve that, we need to NOT select or support men who are merely ambitious and flattering—we need to select and support men who are of a CHARACTER that is inherently ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE.

    Governments, even a government under the Constitution, is still a government of men—it will be as corrupt and ambitious, OR as humble and noble, as the men who are in it.

    So… going forward, it is BALDWIN, and most definitely, positively not Barr!

    I am, and remain, a Man Of Common Sense.

    COMMON SENSE —Get it, Use it, Share It: http://www.manofcommonsense.com

  10. More Reform Party Drama Says:



    As the Public is well aware, the RPUSA has been deadlocked in years of litigation and disputes regarding its leadership and direction.

    The Party that once came very near capturing the White House as a result of the grassroots efforts of every day people obtain ballot access in all 50 States, just 10 years ago, has today devolved into a handful of State Party Organizations divided in to two Camps, just 5 States remain

    have ballot access.

    Recently some State party groups joined the new Independence Party of America, who themselves are attempting to seize the RPUSA Marks and Name, while still building their own separate National 3rd Party, of course this can’t happen.

    Finally, the two sides came together and in the 193rd Judicial District Court of Texas, Judge Carl Ginsburg appointed a Court appointed Receiver for the RPUSA and declared the prior 2005 Yuma Convention of the RPUSA, which had only been attended by a handful of individuals from Arizona and California, to be invalid and ordered a new Convention to be held in accordance with the 2003 RPUSA Constitution. The Judge issues strict Guidelines as to who may participate and enjoined the RPUSA from conducting non routine business not in accordance with the 2003 Constitution and ruled that ALL State parties had to receive Notice for ALL Meetings.

    The Judge’s Orders are posted at WWW.REFORMPARTYUSA.US.

    Chairman Rodney Martin directed the implementation of a interim Reform Party Web Site at the request of Party Members after former RPUSA member refused to publish relevant legal information or even publish a web site or newsletter at all, and when a web site was eventually published, it directed the public to the National Chairman of the Independence Party of America’s personal e-mail and personal web sites.

    With the appointment of the Court Appointed Receiver, Mrs. Kay Crews, by Court Order on April 11, 2008, Mfrs. Crews for all purposes became Trustee for the RPUSA and all former Officers no longer exercised any binding authority. Chairman Martin according respects the decision of the court and directs all RPUSA business to be either deferred until after the July national Convention where new Leadership will be elected under Court Supervision, or direct any inquiries to the Court appointed Receiver, Mrs. Kay Crews. Anyone wishing the RPUSA to forward any inquiry to Mrs. Crews may do so via e-mail.

    The Public is cautioned that regardless of any representation or any official type looking materials produced by former officials of the RPUSA or officials of the Independence Party of America, this includes Messers John Blare and Frank MacKay. These groups of individuals or entities cannot and do not legally speak and cannot take any action on or for the RPUSA. Only the Court Appointed Receiver is empowered until the National Convention in July. The National Convention information is outlined on this site as well and will be updated. The Court Orders may be downloaded below.

Leave a Reply