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|
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.
According to The News & Observer: "The national Modern Whig Party, as it calls itself, was started in the most unlikely of locations—the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan by U.S. troops." 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 is 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.
The grassroots movement of the Whigs has a national headquarters in Washington, D.C. and an executive committee. 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 (Belcher cited difficulty with third parties qualifying to appear on ballots in the state and affirmed his Modern Whig affiliation).[undue weight? ] 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. 14 people attended (including children).
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.
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". An editorial in one newspaper referred to the Modern Whig Party as the "fastest-growing mainstream political movement in the nation." Other opinion columns have been highly favorable toward the party.
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."
There are also self-described "General Principles" of Modern Whig philosophy that are included along with the tenets: "This includes general principles of fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and bold social progression."
- 2012 - T.J. O'Hara
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.
State and territorial affiliates with ballot access
Registered state affiliates
- California Chapter
- Florida Chapter
- New Jersey Chapter (note: Gene Baldassari ran as a Modern Whig)
- Texas Chapter (note: statement from Melinda Nickless of Texas Elections Commissions: The Modern Whig Party has registered with the state as a party but has not done anything thus far to obtain ballot access and in fact, they can not start circulating petitions for ballot access until March 3, 2010)
- Virginia Chapter
- Modern Whig Party of Michigan
- "The Modern Whig Party". Modernwhig.info. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- Albuquerque Journal Article by Sean Olson, "Revived Whigs," published July 30, 2009
- On Lincoln’s 200th birthday the "Modern Whig" Party makes a comeback http://www.richmond-dailynews.com/news.php?id=2674
- Modern Whigs Gain Political Momentum http://www.mvtelegraph.com/index.php/news/1732-Modern-Whigs-Gain-Political-Momentum-in-N.M..html
- "> Archives > Front > UA sophomore leads Whigs in Columbus". The Other Paper. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- Ryan, Jack (2009-01-13). "Washington Missouri - Whig Party Up and Running in State". Emissourian.com. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- [dead link]
- http://election.dos.state.fl.us/cgi-bin/ComHtml.exe?account=45020 Florida Department of State website confirming Florida Whig Party was ballot approved in 2007.
- "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
- WTFK 107.1 FM "Viewpoints with Lockwood Phillips http://www.wtkf107.com/images/002VPWEBCAST%20%20DAILY%20HR%202.mp3
- WKOB Eyewitness News 4 http://web.archive.org/web/20090805151801/http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S1065236.shtml?cat=504
- See Whig register from their site, Wikipedia prevented direct link
- "Ken Belcher website". Kcbelcher.com. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- [dead link]
- "Republicans are Bald, Put on your Whigs" by Kyle Munzenrieder on Nov. 7, 2008 in Miami New Times
- "Top 10 Alternative Political Movements". Time. 2010-03-29.
- [dead link]
- California Modern Whig Party, Who Are Modern Whigs
- The Modern Whig Party blog
- Home (Illinois Modern Whig Party), WHO ARE MODERN WHIGS?
- Here comes Modern Whigs!, YouTube
- Wikinews interviews Mike Lebowitz, Chairman of the Modern Whig Party, Wikinews, the free news source you can write!, Monday, October 13, 2008, third question
- [dead link]
- "Cincy native endorsed for President". cincinnati.com. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Top 10 USA Political Party Logos" by Logo Design Works http://www.logodesignworks.com/blog/top-10-usa-political-party-logos/
- Gene Baldassari ran as a Modern Whig