August 10, 2022

New political movement seeks members from left, right and center to find solutions


The Republican Party originated in the mid-1800s, a coalition of Northern Democrats and other anti-slavery factions dedicated to equality and unity.

Over time, Republican adherence to these ambitious values ​​waned, and party leaders adopted the “southern strategy”. It was a plan designed to win over the remaining racists in the South without alienating mainstream Republicans.

The strategy weakened Republican commitment to core American ideals in the name of political expediency, leaving the party vulnerable to populist demagogues.

In 2016, this vulnerability was exploited by Donald Trump and the republic is now in danger. Loyalty to core American values ​​requires a political realignment, a new coalition of steadfast patriots determined to put country before party.

Some argue that the best way to do this is for Republicans who oppose their party’s leadership to simply become Democrats, but the country faces a broader and more systemic danger than even the decadence and radicalization of the GOP. , as dangerous and disappointing as it is.

According to shocking data from Pew Research, the Republican and Democratic parties, which shared significant ideological common ground as recently as 2004, have suddenly drifted apart and to ideological extremes ever since.

While anti-Trump Republicans have resisted the makeover, Democrats like Sen. Chris Coons are now warning the Democratic Party against its own slide to the margins.
The severe ideological division of parties destabilizes our nation by turning us against each other, hampering our ability to govern ourselves and leaving the country vulnerable to hostile foreign powers.

Fortunately, many Americans have resisted the gravitational pull of parties to the margins; they must now unite to reverse these pernicious tendencies, to reclaim the parties and the nation.

About a third of Democrats and Republicans still share significant ideological overlap. They affirm the democracy and free enterprise that have made us vibrant and prosperous, and they have more and more in common with like-minded members of the other party than with the fringe voices of their own.

Additionally, more than 100 million adults now consider themselves independent, although they tend to dislike one part more than another.

These Americans often tell us that they wish they could join a new national party that better reflects their values. However, legal hurdles and the current lack of political infrastructure to support such a party make this option unlikely to succeed.

The conditions now call for organizing a portion of these Republicans, Democrats, and Independents into a powerful cross-partisan coalition to fortify our democracy, advance evidence-based solutions, and defeat ideological extremism.

If we fail, Trump may not be the last American demagogue, nor the most dangerous.

A new US coalition of former rivals is already forming and impacting elections and national political debate. We’ve seen it in our work as Stand Up Republic members from left, right and center have united in defense of democracy and built bonds of trust and found unexpected common ground with former opponents.

This new coalition, which we call Patriots United, has already helped defeat Roy Moore, end Trump’s cruel separation of immigrant families, and protect the Mueller Inquiry and the rule of law.

Yet Patriots United will have its greatest impact when its members, who can retain their partisan affiliations, cross partisan lines to vote together and elect the candidates who most reflect their values, regardless of a candidate’s political affiliation.

In presidential elections, the coalition will help parties nominate candidates who are committed to core American values, democracy, and policymaking based on facts and reason. In 2020, it will also be about voting decisively to elect an alternative to President Trump.

It is only constrained by new competitive pressures that the parties will be able to resist and reform their fringes.

Those of us who have the capacity must now organize this coalition in Iowa and nationwideby building political support mechanisms composed of civic organizations to inform, train and mobilize activists and voters.

Patriots United must be able to compete with divergent party ecosystems to elect the Democratic, Republican and other candidates it supports.

We cannot leave our dangerous disunity to its destructive fate; hard work and leadership are required. We pledge to build this new coalition and invite all to the cause of American renewal with the abiding hope that it will inspire a stronger and more perfect union.

Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn are the co-founders of Stand Up Republic.