The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Our third party is not a party of ideas! It is the idea of a party!

Andrew Yang, a leader of the Forward Party. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)
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“Criticizing [the Forward Party] for not having policy solutions is like criticizing Spotify for not releasing their own music. Spotify is the tool to distribute music. We’re the tool to facilitate dialogue and consensus.

Listening to an Oasis CD on repeat? Want more options? Here it is.”

tweet from Will Conway, national organizing director for the new Forward political party

The Forward Party is not a third party in the traditional sense.

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We are not a party of ideas. We are a party of the total absence of ideas. No, rather, our idea is that we will solve problems using good ideas. This is such a good idea we are amazed that nobody has had it before. Do we have any good ideas? No. We are more idea-ideas people than idea people, if you see. Our big idea is to disrupt the party system. Other parties have brought things to the table, but we are disrupting that by bringing nothing to the table. This is sort of a BYO situation, like when you bring stones to make soup and everybody brings everything else.

Division is bad in itself, regardless of what is dividing you, whether it’s a question like, “Do some people, perhaps, not deserve equal protection under law?” What’s bad is the bitterness of the division there, not the fact that some people think there are two sides to the question! And we are here to fix that with our principled dedication to the principle of being dedicated to a principle. Also, we will have the best graphic design of any party if we ever get around to having a slogan, but we probably won’t because that would be polarizing.

Guest Opinion: Most third parties have failed. Here’s why ours won’t.

David Jolly

counterpointMost third parties have failed. Here’s why ours won’t.

Look, we are the Spotify of parties. We are the place people come to listen to music. Why would you expect us to have music here for people to listen to? We’re just a place that has explicitly promised that you will be able to listen to music. That is like expecting a restaurant to serve food, when everyone knows that a restaurant is just a place where people come to be connected with food. A kitchen is what makes food. Most restaurants have kitchens attached, but you shouldn’t presume. Or like arriving at a brand new hospital expecting it to be able to treat your broken leg, even though everyone knows a hospital is just a place for interfacing with the concepts of doctors and nurses. Why would anyone assume that because we have opened and announced our opening we have doctors and nurses?

To anyone who would dare to call this the Fyre Festival of parties — Fyre Festival had those sandwiches. We would not insult you by offering so much. At most, we are the shadow of a sandwich flickering on a cave wall.

People are always saying things like, “I would vote for a generic Democrat,” and then refusing to vote for a specific Democrat. Well, we want to apply the lesson of those polls on a party level: Instead of a specific party, we are just the principle of a party. We are not a party of ideas; we are the idea of a party.

As the House committee on Jan. 6 hearings reveal, we live in a polarized country, and there are people in it who think violence is acceptable and who are working to undermine the legitimacy of our elections. On the other hand, Democrats seem pretty steamed about that. There is only one possible solution that will fix this problem: a third party.

Paul Waldman: Why the third-party talk from Forward goes nowhere

The upcoming elections are going to be absolutely pivotal when it comes to determining which peoples’ rights survive and whether this country continues to function. There are those who say that if you are starting a third party now, it must be galvanized by a very clear, powerful idea — one that makes it worth drawing votes away from both the alternative parties, which are equally falling short. They say that such a party makes sense only if it is buoyed by an idea so undeniable that people will come surging forth from their ideological bunkers to vote for it despite everything else that is going on and all the other things that are at stake.

To those who say that, we say: We will have an idea like that soon! Or at least an idea about that idea! And it’s going to be a doozy!