In America, when you think of political parties, the names that usually come to mind are likely Republican and Democrat. Though there are other choices – the Libertarian, Green and Constitution Parties – they don’t get much attention and never fare well in most elections.
That hasn’t stopped the newly formed Federalist Party from taking a shot, though. And, unlike most third parties, it may just hit its target.
The Federalist Party was founded in 2017 by J.D. Rucker, the President of Dealer Authority and a writer at The New Americana, Business Insider and The Federalist. Rucker, a former lifelong Republican, also happens to be an extremely successful entrepreneur. He’s sold a total of two companies and is currently, according to him, looking to build up a third. What Rucker brings to the table for his Party other than, of course, his boundless enthusiasm, is the ability to properly break down and distribute a message. “Anyone can read the Constitution, follow the news, read the pundits, and come up with an opinion,” Rucker said in an exclusive interview with Refined Right; “Getting that perspective to the masses is what I’ve been doing for over a decade. That’s one of the key components that’s missing from every other third party in America today.”
The moment that this dedicated Republican decided to officially leave the GOP was “during the [Republican National] Convention itself.” Rucker went on to state that “I was researching many parties prior to that. Once it became clear that Trump was going to win the nomination, we started looking into the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party, we even looked into some of the smaller parties like America’s Party.”
Alas, those searches didn’t pan out, as Rucker noticed a monumental flaw with each party he looked into; “they were awful from the strategic [and] organizational perspective.”
The problem Rucker believes third parties have is that they always attempt to win/exclusively focus on the presidency, no matter how slim their chances are. Thus, these parties have failed to establish themselves on a local level and form a strong voting base. The Federalist Party’s answers to this are simple, yet effective. They will start local, they will only run in elections they can win, and they won’t, to quote The Federalist Party’s website, “play the role of spoiler.”
“There will be many instances when we either support a candidate in another party or exclude our party from a particular election altogether,” the website reads. “We will not waste resources on losing efforts nor will we cause harm by stealing votes from an acceptable candidate from another party.”
Rucker was hopeful, energetic and optimistic throughout our entire interview, but he doesn’t seem to be the only one within the Federalist Party to hold these sentiments.
Bobby Johns, a special projects director at the Federalist Party, also espoused joviality over what the party could do and what it meant for the future of American politics; “I’m confident the Federalist Party will succeed because it will be the only party to advocate a governing philosophy as opposed to an ideology,” Johns enthusiastically stated. Johns continued by saying; “And while it is obvious our beginnings are with disenfranchised conservatives and libertarians; the philosophy, does not preclude collectivism on a local level and therefore can appeal to a wider audience.”
Joel Kurtinitis, the Director of Operations of the Federalist Party, also shared this enthusiasm. “We’ve got phones in our pockets with a million different options on them,” he said. “We’ve got a million different options on everything we want in this world at the touch of a button, but we’ve only got two political parties, and that’s all we’ve ever had our whole lives. I don’t think that can last. The resentment toward that system is boiling over at this point.”
The Federalist Party, Rucker, and all of those involved want to “make an impact.” When asked if this was a symbolic formation, Rucker bluntly stated, “There is one hundred percent, zero symbolism involved. We’re not here to make a statement. We’re not trying to put out a message or derail anybody.” Rucker went on to say, “There has never been a time in the last one hundred and fifty years where America was more prime for an alternative to the two-party system.”
Though they are serious about winning, the Federalist Party does not have any candidates set in place but rest assured, they’re working on it. “We don’t have any candidates in place,” Rucker told Refined Right, “In this early stage, we are still looking for groundswells.” What are groundswells? Quite simply put, they are areas with a rising conservative or Federalist sentiment. Places that this young, new party has a shot in, which goes with the party’s plan of ‘participating to win’ quite well.
“We don’t want to be a perpetual protest vote. We don’t want to be the three percent party. We’re not going to go grab sacrificial candidates and throw them out into the fire and watch them get burned up for five minutes of tv time.” Kurtinitis elaborated; “We would rather spend more time preparing, building the party, building the war chest and then go in and get into races that we know we can win and just blow them away.”
Preparation and winning are key for the Federalist Party, and unlike many other splinter groups within the conservative community (such as Evan McMullin), it seems as if the Federalist Party is taking on their uphill challenge of prominence with the most severity and preparation.
The Federalist Party’s platform centers around three guiding principles; limiting government, defending freedoms and protecting life.
“If you take those three [principles] and make those the true foundation of the party from the platform perspective, everything else falls in line,” Rucker said.
Since this is clearly an attempt at a conservative separation from the GOP, Refined Right asked Rucker what he could offer conservatives, young and old, in exchange for this leap of faith. To sum it all up, Rucker offered accountability among Federalist politicians, an actual practice of conservatism within the party and, most of all, consistency within the party’s ideology as a whole.