What is the Modern Whig Party and Could It Blossom in Trump Era?

Jake Neher/WDET

Stephen Henderson (left) speaks with Dan Smith of the Modern Whig Party (right)

With primary elections right around the corner we start thinking about whittling down the candidates for the general election. Often times it seems we hear people talk about choosing — in the end — between the lesser of two evils. Voters speak of holding their nose and vote for a candidate they don’t like, but don’t hate as much as the other candidate.

But as both the Republican and Democratic fields are becoming more divided among party members, the question comes up again — what if there was a different way? What if there was a third or fourth viable party alternative?

The United States hasn’t had a third or fourth competitive party, at the national level, in many decades.

But remember — once upon a time, the Republicans were the third party, which was true until Abraham Lincoln won the presidency.

Could it happen again? Could a group of believers in a different party challenge the Democrats and Republicans today?

Dan Smith is the director of advancement for the Modern Whig Party. He joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about the party, it’s ideas, it’s goals, and about the third party movement in America in the Trump era.

All of our founding fathers were Whigs,” says Smith. “The Republicans ascended when the Whigs died. I’m hoping that a similar thing happens now the other way around — the Whigs ascend as I see the GOP as being dead and gone.”

The Republicans no longer believe in free trade. They really no longer believe in fiscal conservatism as they (participate in) ballooning deficits,” he continues. “Our country is more polarized as ever. And we really need something in the center that, as the other parties cater to the extremes and ever-smaller populations, we need something in the center that brings people together instead of divides them.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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