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Sean Hannity Is Wrong About A Third Party

Sean Hannity
Recently, Fox News star and radio personality Sean Hannity spoke favorably about the notion that conservatives should abandon the Republican Party to form a new conservative political party.

"Is it a third party we need? I've often argued no, [now] I'm not so sure anymore. It may be time for a new conservative party in America. I'm sick of these guys," Hannity said on his radio show.

Sean Hannity has contributed much to the conservative cause. He’s been at the forefront of many of the battles to get the federal government back inside its proper constitutional limits that we conservatives have been fighting, even though the air time he has given to Al Sharpton and various establishment Republicans confounds and disappoints us from time-to-time.

So when Hannity seems to endorse the idea of forming a conservative third party we think the idea deserves serious consideration – and a serious rebuttal.

This conservative disillusionment with the GOP isn’t new. It goes back at least to the 1950s and early 1960s when a vehement group of libertarian-minded thinkers, such as author Ayn Rand, argued for a separate movement while William F. Buckley, Jr. argued for a conservative takeover of the Republican Party.

Barry Goldwater had to swat-down the idea of a third party, telling conservatives at the 1960 Republican National Convention to grow-up and concentrate on taking over the Republican Party.

In the 1970s, as the New Right emerged and Ronald Reagan rose to prominence as the conservative standard bearer, a group of influential conservative leaders approached him about forming a new conservative political party.

In the aftermath of the 1976 Republican Convention and the way the GOP establishment bought off the last few votes needed to hand the nomination to Ford, conservatives urged Reagan to launch “a full-blown national conservative movement” and run as a third party candidate.

To his great credit Reagan chose not to pursue that path.

Reagan’s answer to those, including some of his good political supporters, who wanted him to head this new conservative party, was to tell them “they were out of their minds.”

Reagan understood that if he was ever going to make progress in accomplishing the things he believed in, it would have to be within the Republican Party. 

As Reagan saw it then (and he was right) the bulk of conservative voters in America are Republicans and they won’t desert the Republican Party for a third party. That is why I continue to operate in the GOP, but am first and foremost a limited government constitutional conservative.

Although dealing with the “dime store Democrat” leadership of the national Republican Party has often been a hard pill for us to swallow, the same has held true for most of us who became associated with the New Right.

And looking back over a career that includes more than 50-years of involvement in conservative politics at the national level I can say that we have made great progress on accomplishing the goals “the Buckley generation” conceived for the conservative movement.

We accomplished the nomination of Barry Goldwater as the first conservative Republican candidate for President; we twice nominated and elected conservative Ronald Reagan as President; we now have a core group of principled limited government constitutional conservatives in Congress, and while they may not be the majority on every vote, they are setting the terms of the national debate.

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. 

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.

Believe me, I was involved in the effort to recruit Ronald Reagan to lead a new third party – all this third party talk is a dead end.

If conservatives want to govern America 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.

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. 

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.

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Third Party

Together with the above, very well expressed ideas, look to the actual members of the Republican establishment. If, in the private sector, you would hire a person to do a job and after being hired that person refused to do that job, you would fire him. We cannot seem to fire the establishment types. Our votes have been rendered basically meaningless. We vote and the establishment places their own anyway by corrupting ours into becoming establishment types. We have no choice but to go third party. Failure to do so and make a quick and effective return to the Constitution will result in the failure of this country. No longer do we have the latitude to ignore the constant attacks on the rule of law, on our sovereignty on the very strengths of our once great Republic.

Third Party Fallacy

"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." This is a true statement. The statist Dems would love to see a third party --they'd be charge forever!

Most who espouse a 3rd party speak of the Repub party as something they have no control over --and they don't IF they do not get in it and help change it.

Look at the voting records of congress --a good place to start is Heritage Action scorecard-- and you'll find ALL of the Repubs are above All of the Dems in the conservative ratings. There IS a difference. And there would be more of difference IF those complainer would get in and help us push our Reps to the right. And, of course, get rid of the likes old bulls who have been in there too long. Term limits on congress would help a lot

Why arguing for a 3rd party makes sense for the Tea Party

Most of America already agrees with Tea Party principles, particularly the ones regarding government being too big, too powerful and too unresponsive to citizens. Both major parties are losing membership because more and more Dems AND Reps are disgruntled with their own party but see nothing in the other party that attracts them. In other words, a large number of us form a "bipartisan" majority that already agrees that the main problem is that we have a one-party system beholden to the same dirty globalist money. Rasmussen polls keep reporting that 91% of Americans don't think Congress is doing is good job. The problem? We don't speak the same language.

I don't mean that we don't all speak English. I am referring to the problem of bad habits. Disgruntled former Dems continue to think and talk like Dems. Same with disgruntled former Reps who keep thinking and talking like Reps. You would think that with 91% of Americans agreeing on a very important point that when those two groups, the people who are actually doing something about it by re-registering get together, they could have a constructive conversation about joining forces to fight that one-party system they all hate. They don't. Why? They continue to think and talk in a language that annoys and offends the other group.

Another very, very big problem is that the Tea Party is rightly seen as a subset of the GOP. And so long as we continue to BE a subset of the GOP, we will have that barrier preventing us from uniting into the already existing majority we say we are trying to gather.

Look at it another way. If the only difference was that the Tea Party was a subset of the Democratic Party, how many disgruntled former Republicans would even consider joining up? Zero. What makes anyone think it is any different with former Democrats? As a disgruntled former Republican myself, I further assure you that I no longer have any interest in ever being a member of either party. Many of us former Reps feel exactly the same way. So we need to remove that self-destructive GOP barrier if we hope to be attracting our disgruntled Democrat soul mates into the cause.

We the Tea Party need to develop our own unique narrative that clearly articulates our few specific core principles while targeting a larger purpose than to be respected by the GOP mucky-mucks. Taking over the GOP? Forget about it! It will never EVER happen! We will always be shuffled off to the back of the tent by the dumpster.

Let's first stop talking and thinking like Republicans. The best way to do that is to cut loose from the GOP altogether. Let's move on to bigger things and start doing it our own way, using our own language and pushing our own unique narrative, a narrative that captures the spirit of that 91%.

It's not about turning to or establishing a 3rd party. It's about abandoning the GOP to allow it to collapse under its own weight. Afterwards, we can fill the resulting vacuum with something. It's a new 2nd party strategy more than a 3rd party strategy. But we have to face the truth about the futility of trying to take over the GOP. It will NEVER happen.

Forming 3rd political party

Hannity has approached this idea of a 3rd party with caution , not haste. We can use some old arguments as to why we shouldn't form a 3rd party . But let's examine why Sean has now begun to consider changing his stance on this? We have seen how establishment GOP have made devastatingly harmful choices that have not only lost very important elections, but have worked to undermine the solvency of this nation! These are NOT normal times but very CRITICAL in America even surviving the massive unsustainable DEBT & serious threat of a criminal Communist president in the process of the purposeful destruction of our country into a Dictatorial wasteland ! If Republican leaders had united with Tea Party Conservatives the 2012 election would have been won ... Instead , they have abjectly thrown away all opportunity for victory & the bleeding country has paid an unacceptable price !! GOP leaders just completely gave in , giving this rigidly uncompromising president another BLANK CREDIT DEBT CARD without limits of any kind ! That could lead us into final economic collapse, just what Obama is waiting for ! We have several strong Conservative Congressmen who have demonstrated unwavering strength , courage , abilities & perseverance ( Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Trey Gowdy, Louie Ghomert ) & others . They have accomplished amazing victories thought impossible . Establishment GOP has done everything in its power to smash & vilify these valuable conservative Republicans , their own colleagues ! The results are devastating GOP failure , and a dying country under criminal Democratic control ! We have reached the crossroads of impasse , which is why Hannity reconsidered a 3rd party . The GOP has nullified itself of all value it ever held . . Conservatives are the only threads left ! I believe just as the Republican Party was a break off from the Whig Party that replaced it , the same principal applies now with the circumstances we now find ourselves in..... I believe a new Conservative Party is not only needed to replace the failed GOP but would accomplish amazing membership success beyond expectation with Ted Cruz as its humble leader . The dire threats we face as a nation to survive require cautious but decisive ACTION . As our Founders came to an unacceptable impasse with King George III , decisions had to be made , and action taken ! The results were a remarkable victory & country !

third party

This would make sense if the republican party leadership was not CFR. Karl Rove is as much of a problem as Obama. The Tea Party won the Delaware primary with Christy O'Donnell and Karl Rove sabotaged her campaign to make sure the Democrat won. The GOP refused to back the conservative campaign in Missouri during the last election because of a prolife statement of the candidate. Ronald Reagan was forced to choose George HW Bush as his Vice President( a CFR, Skull and Bones, Bildeberger) instead of Principled Conservative. Thus bringing about Bill Clinton because he went back on his "No new Taxes" statement. Then eight years of liberal politics under George W Bush with runaway spending and social programs that gave us Barrack Hussein Obama! If W had been a principled conservative and run the government that way Obama could not have won! And the Republican party gave us McCain as a weak liberal candidate instead of Huckabee who could have won, then follow that up with Romney, of RomneyCare fame. We needed to run a campaign against Obamacare to win and the party gives us a candidate that was proud of the state equivelant of Obamacare. We could have run Pat Buchanan against Clinton on his second term and had one heck of an election and maybe won, but the party gave us Bob Dole who ran a good primary and they didn't even try to win the general election. How can you say that this is the party that will save America when they are just as much a part of the problem as the Democrats. We really have one party with two different names. That is by design and we don't have the clout or the money to change that. If we start a third party we have to be diligent to prevent it from being taken over by the CFR and company (previously call Rockefeller Republican).

Hannity's revelations

I agree with Hannity. For Conservatives to hang around the GOP candy store all term just to be sent to bed without any supper at Convention time, has been a huge waste of effort and a false investment in a very hollow progressive organization. I say to he11 with the GOP, even if it takes 12 - 16 years to get a third party (the real Conservative Party)into real contention. Why hang around for unrealizable promises of having a real say in the GOP? Why waste Conservative effort at the GOP when we can work just as hard and much more effectively toward building a solid & contending Conservative Party? The GOP will still be getting nothing and after another 10 years America will have had it's fill of dreamy progressives all...GOP and Dems!

Supporting or dealing with the progressively established GOP is a waste of your life...a murdering of one's own soul.

Viguerie Wrong About Hannity

Richard Viguerie is the one who is wrong in this case. The average Republican voter is fed up with the Republican Party establishment, especially RINOs like McCain, McConnell, Cantor, Rubio, Peter King, and a slew of others too long to mention. They don't give a hoot about the average citizen and just want to pad their own wallets, enjoy their perks, and sit back and relax on a cushy retirement that they didn't earn because they didn't vote the wishes of their constituents. Most of us think a third party is indeed in order to remedy this situation. In fact, it may be the only remedy since most of us think we should vote every single member of Congress out and start from scratch. At least then the newly elected members of Congress would have a fresh memory of what happens to those who get elected and don't follow the wishes of their constituents.


Maybe I confused Richard for freedom watch guy who is pro amnesty but my main premise is true! This country is ready for a third party and I believe will attract many conservative Democrats who are being screwed by O and Co. There are too many Rino''s (spell corrected) in both houses of government and worse yet in leadership positions! TED Cruz would be a great first candidate!

You are correct, Richard

Due to disillusionment and outright anger at the big government republicrats that have been running the Republican party for a long time now, I left and joined the Constitution Party for many years. But I finally came to realize the truth of what you say. A third party will only split the vote disastrously and guarantee a Democrat win. We must continue to support true conservative, limited government candidates within the Republican party as the only way to achieve our goals and return America to sanity. Thank goodness for the Tea Party movement.

Hannity might be right

The freedom of the American people is hanging by a thread. If we've been at this strategy of working within the Republican Party all these years and yet the result has been to put us where we are at today, isn't it time to start questioning some of these assumptions, rather than just repeating them over and over?

There are many reasons why a new party could work. I'd like to challenge Mr. Viguerie to start brainstorming on what some of those reasons would be. And at the very least it should be mandatory for anyone continuing with the old arguments to put some kind of a stop loss clause into their positions. Certainly it would be rational to agree that there should be some point where our desire to save the country would be worth accepting that what we've been doing isn't working. Citing events of the past, which have led to where we are today, as reasons to continue the same approach going forward, is curious logic.

Your wrong

Too many Rhino's in GOP to fix this. Also your pro immigration policy will assure that Republicans will never own a majority in any branch of Government!

Viguerie Is NOT Pro-Immigration

You wrote "Your pro immigration policy will assure the Republicans will never own a majority..." Pay attention. Viguerie is very much against amnesty for illegal aliens. You can see it all over this site. And it's RINOs, not "Rhino's" (that means 'belonging to a rhinoceros'). RINO stands for "Republican In Name Only."


Maybe I confused Richard for Freedom Watch guy. But my premise still true. To many Rino''s in both houses ( esp leadership) to overcome this mess. Time for a third party led by Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz To Win on the Republican Ticket in 2016

Sean Hannity is a good American patriot who is justifiably disgusted with what had through the past half dozen or so years been the rule of the GOP by moderates who have been getting RINOS nominated, which insured our losses to the detriment of the nation. I understand the need for radical change back to the conservative side and know that if this leftward influence contimues we may ultimately be left with no real choice but to have the conservative base move to something along the lines of the Constitution Party banner to make an effective difference. It is my hope that it is not yet too late to see the needed changes happen from the inside instead. What needs to happen is the essential factor of party UNITY, which has been sorely lacking and that is what leaves us in the dust heap every time. If the House and Senate Republicans had all decided to remain firmly together against the funding of Obama-non-Care in the continuing resolution, I don't think it would have passed as it did so here is hoping that greater unity is attained and effectively utilized in future elections toward giving the party of Lincoln and Reagan the chance to make the direly needed comeback. May God so save America.


Cruz and Palin are my choices too but the corrupt and entrenched GOP establishment machine will again rig the primaries while waging an all-out war against conservatives. It's two-card monty. It's a rigged game. We know it's rigged. But we keep playing anyway. Why? If we want to win, we have to stop playing in rigged games. We don't need the GOP. They DESPERATELY need us. Let's show them how much they desperately need us by washing our hands of them.

See my comment below.

Continue to invest in GOP?

Why should ANY true Conservative want to continue trying to show the GOP how much they need him? This needs to be approached as effective long range politics...not as trying to get in the door at some keg party.
Again, don't waste your time & efforts on schmoozing a bunch of political Johns. Stop prostituting your beliefs.


You are absolutely correct. When the GOP runs an establishment candidate, for President, we lose. Our problem is finding someone with Reagan qualities, maybe younger, who can iterate a coherent message of conservatism, as he did.

Hannity gets too full of himself at times, to the point of getting looney!

History Repeating Itself?

How did the Republican Party come to be? In the 1850s, there grew a groundswell of abolitionism in the country, which for the uninformed, meant people who were religiously, ethically, and morally opposed to enslaving any human beings. At that time, the Democrat Party was fully entrenched and embraced the whole slavery concept and industry (yes, the DEMOCRAT PARTY was ALL IN for SLAVERY).

The Whig Party was so corrupted by power-hungry me-toos, that the movers and shakers were quite reticent to try to change the status-quo, and thus theorized that they could remain in power by only slowing down the slavery movement, and thus would sabotage the upstart abolitionists within its own party.

The abolitionists tried to change the party from within, but the Party elite (who could be called Whigs-In-Name-Only, or WINOs) were too entrenched to change the status quo or give up the profits they were getting on the sly in the slave trade. So, in the 1856 election, the abolitionists left the Whig Party and formed their own party, the REPUBLICAN Party. They made some inroads in the next two elections, and with Abraham Lincoln at the top of the ticket in 1860 (yes, he was a REPUBLICAN, not a DEMOCRAT, like the Democrat Party tries to claim on their website), the Republicans effectively demolished and devastated the Whig Party, never to raise its capitulating, compromising head in politics again.

Now we have an establishment, capitulating, compromising Republican Party that only wants to go along to get along and stay in power by giving in to the Democrats, who now not only want to keep the blacks enslaved (now they are willing slaves (I got me an OBAMAPHONE!)), but to enslave ALL Americans. The RINOs will stop at nothing to keep the Tea Partiers out of power, so they can hold on to the status quo and keep their secret kickbacks from Democrat programs. The Tea Partier's are idealists who want to return to our Founding Fathers goals for this republic and are getting pretty much fed up with the elites in the Republican Party. Gee, where have we heard all this before?

American philosopher George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Well, to think that just because you are doing the same thing that failed in the past, that history won't repeat itself, means that not only are you extremely arrogant, but incredibly stupid. A major paradigm shift is ripe for action; all that is needed is an iconic, personable, ethical leader to rally support.