Restoring political stability in the US depends on defeating individual Republicans at the ballot box in states. As long as Trump remains at large and the Republican Party remains his instrument, the rest of us who care about the survival of self-government must join together to defeat candidates still loyal to the so-called Republican brand.
The so-called Republican Party, though extensive, is more or less a walking corpse. Its dominant figure is a traitor who will eventually be indicted for numerous crimes. Thousands of former Republicans have renounced the party in disgust. They and millions of other citizens are desperate for the kind of honorable, constructive leadership that once made this nation strong. Sitting Republican officials, knowing they’re in trouble, are trying desperately to retain parity at the ballot box by procedural means.
Whereas Democrats are poorly positioned to increase their hold in Republican territory, a third party geared to draw off votes from the beleaguered Republicans (while avoiding direct competition with the Democrats) would have a much easier time. Given the right mix of ideas, a new third party could appeal to unaligned voters, thrive where Democrats aren’t competitive, and attract scads of anti-Trump Republicans now exiled to a political no-mans-land.
If the effort sounds daunting, note that just a handful of third-party victories would consign Republicans to a minority status on the national stage. Americans must stop whining about how hard it is to start a new party and get busy. One of our major parties is bankrupt. The nation urgently needs an alternative. Even a small wedge party could upend the bipartisan stalemate that perennially grips Congress. A third party, by introducing new ideas, would produce ideological innovation in the other parties, too.
The map above, a corollary to my map from July (“States That Went For Trump in 2020“) shows where the challenge to Republicans should be concentrated. Forget about the blue states: the pink areas represent all the states (except Florida) that Trump won, along with seven that Biden won most narrowly. (Their electoral votes total 279.) Candidates with a fresh take on national issues could transform political allegiances in this domain. Disillusionment with Trump, coupled with an aversion to Democratic offerings: where this combination exists, a new party could make significant gains.
Trump’s lopsided victories in many central and southern states represent regions where Democratic orthodoxy is unpalatable. The remaining swing states (which are only so under a two-party duopoly) are attractive fields for third-party candidates, because large numbers of Republican voters in these states will be looking for a new home when their old party fails.
The ideological zone to the left of Trump but considerably to the right of the Democratic party is wide. Republicans betrayed the nation by allowing their party to be used as a vehicle of passion and personal ambition, without regard to the people’s interests, their human needs. Who will supersede them? Leaders pragmatic enough to tailor an ideology to what states and citizens need.
THE PINK ZONE
Key: State (EV) VOTES CAST FOR TRUMP 2020 / His margin of victory or defeat
- Wyoming (3) 193,559 / 43.3 %
- West Virginia (5) 545,382 / 38.9 %
- North Dakota (3) 235,595 / 33.3 %
- Oklahoma (7) 1,020,280 / 33.1 %
- Idaho (4) 554,119 / 30.8 %
- Arkansas (6) 760,647 / 27.6 %
- South Dakota (3) 261,043 / 26.2 %
- Kentucky (8) 1,326,646 / 25.9 %
- Alabama (9) 1,441,170 / 25.4 %
- Tennessee (11) 1,852,475 / 23.2 %
- Utah (6) 865,140 / 20.5 %
- Nebraska (4/5) 556,846 / 19.1 %
- Louisiana (8) 1,255,776 / 18.6 %
- Mississippi (6) 756,764 / 16.5 %
- Montana (3) 343,602 / 16.4 %
- Indiana (11) 1,729,516 / 16 %
- Missouri (10) 1,718,736 / 15.4 %
- Kansas (6) 771,406 / 14.6 %
- South Carolina (9) 1,385,103 / 11.7 %
- Alaska (3) 189,951 / 10 %
- Iowa (6) 897,672 / 8.2 %
- Ohio (18) 3,154,834 / 8.1 %
- Texas (38) 5,890,347 / 5.6 %
- North Carolina (15) 2,758,775 / 1.3 %
- Maine (1/4) 360,737 / -9.1 % *
- Georgia (16) 2,461,837 / -0.2 %
- Arizona (11) 1,661,686 / -0.6 %
- Wisconsin (10) 1,610,184 / -0.6 %
- Pennsylvania (20) 3,377,674 / -0.7 %
- Michigan (16) 2,649,852 / -2.6 %
- Nevada (6) 669,890 / -2.7 %
- Minnesota (10) 1,484,065 / -7.1 %
*Votes Trump garnered in Maine gave him 1 electoral vote out of a possible four.
Note EVs on map differ from those in table because the 2020 census impacts the EVs for 2024.
Vote totals from https://www.archives.gov/electoral-college/2020
Margins from https://cookpolitical.com/2020-national-popular-vote-tracker
Downloadable blank outline map from JFK Library
MAP © SUSAN BARSY 2022