Modern Whig Party
|Modern Whig Party|
|Headquarters||2020 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 616, Washington, DC 20006|
|Ideology||Modern Whig philosophy: Pragmaticism
|Political position||Fiscal: Centrist to Center-right
Social: Centrist to Center-left
|Colors||Blue and Red|
|Seats in the Senate|
|Seats in the House|
|Seats in State Upper Houses|
|Seats in State Lower Houses|
|Politics of the United States
The Modern Whig Party is a United States political party whose stated intention is to be a "party for the rest of us". The Modern Whig Party, founded by U.S. military veterans, describes itself as a mainstream, middle-of-the-road grassroots movement that caters to those voters who believe in various Republican causes but also believe in various other Democratic causes.
Founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the party claims 25,000 to 30,000 supporters, many of them affiliated with the American military. The general platform of the Modern Whig Party relates to fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, and social progression.
According to The News & Observer, the Modern Whig Party was founded by U.S. troops while they were in "the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan". The Modern Whig Party was organized as a grassroots movement in the beginning of 2008. The Florida Whig Party was created two years earlier with a similar goal at the state level but was not affiliated in any way. Among the national Modern Whig Party's founding members were military veterans who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq and become dissatisfied with the deep ideological divide between the Republican and Democratic parties. Other media outlets have touted the Modern Whig Party's moderate platform and its viable appeal during a time of ideological fragmentation within the Republican and Democratic parties.
In the spring of 2010, Time magazine rated the Modern Whig Party, the U.S. Marijuana Party, the Pirate Party, the Tea Party movement, and the American Secessionists as among the "top 10 most popular alternative political movements worldwide". Opinion columns in The News & Observer have been favorable toward the party.
Name and logo
The political philosophy of Whiggism began in 17th-century England. With its central principle of placing limits on supreme executive power (originally, the King), the Whig Party was one of the two dominant parties in England through the 19th century. In the United States, the Whig Party arose in the 1830s and was one of the two dominant parties through the 1850s. Though not directly affiliated with the British Whigs, the American Whig Party took its name from the shared principle of opposition to centralizing power; in the American case, this meant opposition to President Andrew Jackson, whose tactics many Whigs saw as tyrannical. The 19th-century American Whigs tended to favor economic growth and personal liberty, and were in opposition to Jackson's Democratic Party. The Whig Party broke up over the issue of slavery, and had effectively ceased to exist by 1860; it was eventually replaced in the U.S. two-party system by Abraham Lincoln's Republican Party.
The leaders of the Modern Whig Party state a desire to connect with the historical Whig values of "freedom against tyranny" and for a government that represents and is responsive to the people, with specific opposition to the two-party system.
For its logo, the Modern Whig Party uses an owl, the symbol of the original Whig Party. As with the logos for the Democrats and the Republicans, a red, white, and blue color scheme is used, but with different meaning. Reportedly, the blue represents Democrats and the red, Republicans; the two colors are divided by a white band and four white stars. The party believes that the United States' future lies in "meeting in the middle", thus the placement of the stars in the middle of the owl.
The Modern Whig Party follows a six-tenet philosophy that the party does not specifically associate with centrism. It is instead denoted as "Modern Whig philosophy" and "Methodology over Ideology" by the Modern Whigs themselves and also by others, as the movement takes stands on issues across the political spectrum.
The six tenets of the Modern Whig philosophy are:
- Fiscal responsibility – "The Modern Whig philosophy is to empower the states with the resources to handle their unique affairs."
- Energy independence – "Reduce dependence on foreign oil by developing practical sources of alternative energy. This will have the simultaneous effect of changing the national security dynamic."
- Education/Scientific advancement – "Increased public and private emphasis on fields such as space, oceanic, medical and nanotechnology. Also, providing common-sense solutions to enhance our educational system from pre-school to university-level studies."
- States' rights – "Each state can determine its course of action based on local values and unique needs."
- Social progression – "Government should refrain from legislating morality."
- Veterans' affairs – "Vigilant advocacy relating to the medical, financial, and overall well-being of our military families and veterans."
"The Modern Whigs are a pragmatic, common sense, centrist-oriented party where rational solutions trump ideology and integrity trumps impunity."
The grassroots movement of the Whigs has a national headquarters and an executive committee based in Washington, D.C. The Modern Whig Party claims about 20,000 members nationally, although that number is known to primarily count those who register on the party's web site. Various Modern Whig chapters, such as in California, also gather and tally members through their state registrations. The party currently has a national executive committee composed of individuals in Texas, Missouri, New York, and Georgia.
The Modern Whig Party announced its first electoral victory when one of its members, Ken Belcher, won election as Constable of Lee County, Alabama on the Democratic ticket. In its first authentic electoral test, Gene L. Baldassari sought a seat in the New Jersey Assembly, representing its Fourteenth District, in the November 2, 2009 general election. He received 738 votes, for just over 0.6 percent of the vote.
Immediately after the election of November 4, 2008, a push began to attract moderate/conservative Democrats and members of the Republican Party (GOP) who felt disenchanted with both the GOP's failings and its perception as moving further to the right.
On December 12–13, 2009, the Modern Whig Party held the first national leadership council meeting in Washington, D.C.; a total of fourteen people were in attendance.
In 2010, the Modern Whig Party endorsed Jeffrey Vanke, who ran as an independent in the race for Virginia's 6th electoral district against incumbent Republican Bob Goodlatte, winning just under 13% of the vote.
On November 5, 2013, Robert Bucholz, running on the Modern Whig Party ticket, was elected as Judge of Election for the Fifth Division in Philadelphia's 56th Ward. He beat Democrat Loretta Probasco by 36 votes to 24. He is the first Whig to be elected to office in any state in between 150 and 160 years.
According to the Modern Whigs chairman, Bucholz is the party’s second elected official nationwide after J. Brendan Galligan won a school-board position in Westfield, New Jersey, last year.
- 2012 – T. J. O'Hara
State and territorial affiliates with ballot access
Registered state affiliates
- New Jersey (note: Gene Baldassari ran as a Modern Whig)
- "The Modern Whig Party". Modernwhig.info. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- "Whigs Revived". Albuquerque Journal. July 29, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- "On Lincoln’s 200th birthday the "Modern Whig" Party makes a comeback". Richmond News. February 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- "Modern Whigs Gain Political Momentum in N.M.". Mountain View Telegraph. August 6, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- Christensen, Rob (2009-04-26). "Whigs rise again". Politics. The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC: The McClatchy Company). Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- "Florida Whig Party (PTY) - Committee Information - Division of Elections - Florida Department of State". election.dos.state.fl.us. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of State. Archived from the original on 2008-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-09. Record of Florida Whig Party at Florida Department of State Division of Elections website
- "Modern Whig Party has Appeal to Some Troops: No Candidates Yet, but with Moderate Stance, it's Starting to Catch On" as published in the Marine Corps Times, Army Times and Air Force Times newspapers in June 2008
- Viewpoints with Lockwood Phillips (mp3) (radio program). Atlantic, NC: WTKF / Atlantic Ridge Telecasters. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- "Modern Whig Party moderates' new ally". The Eastern Echo. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- "Top 10 Alternative Political Movements". Time. 2010-03-29.
- "Top 10 USA Political Party Logos" by Logo Design Works http://www.logodesignworks.com/blog/top-10-usa-political-party-logos/
- California Modern Whig Party, Who Are Modern Whigs[dead link]
- Here comes Modern Whigs!, YouTube[dead link]
- [dead link]
- "What We Believe | Modern Whig Party". Modernwhig.org. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- WKOB Eyewitness News 4 http://web.archive.org/web/20090805151801/http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S1065236.shtml?cat=504
- Dubbins, Andrew (2009-12-14). "America says it wants a third party. Why not the Modern Whigs?". Slate.com. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- [dead link]
- "Republicans are Bald, Put on your Whigs" by Kyle Munzenrieder on Nov. 7, 2008 in Miami New Times
- "November 2, 2010 General and Special Elections Official Results". www.voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov. Richmond, VA: Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- Alex Wigglesworth, For Philly.com. "Philly elects first Whig in 157 years". Philly.com. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- "Rare Phila. win - for a Whig!". Philly.com. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- Jacobs, Ben. "First Win For Whigs In 150 Years". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- "First Whig, Robert Bucholz, elected in Philadelphia in nearly 160 years". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- "Cincy native endorsed for President". cincinnati.com. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "America says it wants a third party. Why not the Modern Whigs?". Slate. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "Modern Whig Party of Florida - Committee Tracking system - Florida Division of Elections - Department of State". election.dos.state.fl.us. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of State. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- "Michigan Whigs officially recognized in Michigan, candidates can run as Whigs on the ballot | Modern Whig Party". Modernwhig.org. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- "Committees | Modern Whig Party of Va | Overview". VPAP. Retrieved 2013-09-29.