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A conservative powerhouse credited for organizing Ronald Reagan’s huge victory in 1980 and the founding of multiple conservative organizations is calling for challenges to the elected GOP officials who may not be fully in line with the party’s roots.
“If conservatives want to govern American we have to face the same reality Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan did when they heard the Siren song of those advocating the formation of a third party,” wrote Richard Viguerie at his ConservativeHQ.com.
“It’s the primaries stupid!
“To win the elections necessary to govern America according to conservative principles there’s only one way to go: recruit the candidates and do the work necessary for conservatives to win GOP primary elections up and down the ballot,” he said.
“Just as importantly, conservatives must get involved in the Republican Party at the precinct level, run for Republican Party office and take over the GOP at the local, state and national level to confirm it once and for all as the permanent political home of limited government constitutional conservatives.”
He comments came in a blast against the idea of a third political party in the United States. Actually, there are many political parties. For example, on the 2012 presidential ballot, besides the Democratic and Republican parties, candidates represented the American Independent Party, American Third Position Party, Constitution Party, Green Party, Justice Party, Libertarian Party, Objectivist Party, Party of Socialism, Peace & Freedom Party, Prohibition Party, Reform Party, Socialist Party, Socialist Equality Party and Socialist Workers Party.
But none of the additional parties carry significant influence.
The most like scenario for a third party to influence campaigns, candidates and issues would be for conservatives to leave the GOP.
Talk radio host Sean Hannity recently commented on the idea: “Is it a third party we need? I’ve often argued no. I’m not so sure anymore. It may be time for a new conservative party in America. I’m sick of these guys.”
His criticism comes as Republicans in Washington repeatedly give in to Democrat demands to continue borrowing and spending, and to fund questionable social programs and other government activities beyond the authority of the Constitution.
Viguerie said in his commentary that while Hannity has contributed much to the conservative cause, and has been at the “forefront of many of the battles to get the federal government back inside its proper constitutional limits,” he’s wrong about a third party.
Viguerie has been described by PBS as the impetus behind a marriage of direct mail and politics that “enabled grassroots Americans to participate in the political process to a greater degree than every before.”
“Bolting the Republican Party will not add to the number of conservatives in Congress, nor will it advance the cause of electing a conservative president,” he said.
Viguerie said that as a “practical matter, if a conservative third party were formed the Republican Party wouldn’t just disappear; the two conservative parties would split the conservative and liberty minded vote, assuring that Democrats would claim the White House, a majority in Congress and every other legislative body right down to your city council.”
“If that were to occur you may rest assured that Democrats would quickly move to tighten their grip on the political process to make it all but impossible for conservatives to regain power – America’s march toward socialism would become unstoppable,” he said.
Viguerie is credited by PBS for building the conservative movement that elected President Reagan in 1980, which GEORGE magazine called a defining political moment of the 20th century. He was listed among the Washington Times’ 13 “Conservatives of the Century.”
He has formed and built dozens of conservative organizations, think tanks and publications.