After the last few days, it seems many of us are casting about trying to find a new party to belong to. As well, during this primary process, there have been many cries for an Independent party candidate to emerge and run. There also seems to be some confusion about the existence of a so-called independent party. Actually, an independent voter and an independent politician are not affiliated with any organized party as we think of a national party, i.e. The Republican Party, The Libertarian Party, The Green Party, etc. There are many, many state parties that are independent, such as the Independent Party of Florida. This made me curious to know what parties are recognized in the United States and the list is pretty amazing.
First, as of April 2015, there were 39 separate parties in the US qualified to be on a ballot – just not every ballot. For instance in Oklahoma, where I reside, we only recognize the Republicans, the Democrats and the Libertarians, plus independent candidates. At the state level, there are 221 parties and some are recognized in more than one state.
The major political parties are parties that have state organizations in a majority of the states. These include The Republican Party (all 50 states + DC), The Democratic Party (all 50 states + DC), The Libertarian Party (48 states + DC), The Green Party (36 states + DC) and the Constitution Party (26 states; formerly known as The US Taxpayers Party).
Next, you have your minor political parties (that do not include independents). These are numerous and I’ll only highlight some here.
Some of the more loathsome parties are The Black Riders Liberation Party who, from what I gather, is kind of an offshoot of admirers of The New Black Panthers and supposedly was formed by Crips and Bloods gang members in 1996. Their chairman is a person who goes by General T.A.C.O. If you want to know what that means, be my guest to look it up. I did not care enough to find out. Okay, okay, I was too scared to look it up. Speaking of The New Black Panther Party, I did not realize they are an actual political party – at least not in the way I normally think of a political party. I’ve always thought of them as more of an in-your-face, social justice/warrior, intimidation group. I certainly never thought about them putting up their own candidates.
Of course, there are your socialist and communist parties: Communist Party USA, Freedom Socialist Party, National Socialist Movement, Socialist Action, Socialist Alternative, Socialist Equality Party, Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party USA. Those are just the ones with Communist or Socialist in the title. Plus, if you lump in the number of organizations that are not political parties so to speak and it’s no wonder Bernie was able to hang on as long as he did and actually win some states outright. Not to mention why the US has so rapidly moved to the left since Obama was elected. Yikes! Oh and not to forget the Party for Socialism and Liberation – an oxymoron in and of itself and whose logo is the well-known picture of that Che guy.
You’ll be glad to know (or maybe not) the Whigs are back and formed the Modern Whig Party in 2007. Because I could not help myself, I took a peek at their platform…and I’m not joining anytime soon. The Humane Party requires all candidates, officers and board members to abstain from using animal products and services. Perhaps they grew out of the now defunct Vegetarian Party that was in existence from 1948 until 1964. Now the Transhumanist Party seems to swing in all manner of directions and philosophies, including extropianism, immortalism, postgenderism, singularitarianism, and technogaianism. So…the only one of those ‘-isms’ I can guess the meaning of is ‘immortalism’ and I could barely spell the rest, much less even try to pronounce them – not sure I’d understand what they mean anyway. Harumph.
The States have individual parties as well. Delaware has The Blue Enigma Party – or had, it appears to be defunct. In 2008, they had candidates on the ballot for Governor, Lt. Governor and 3 state Reps. The link to their party website no longer works and so their platform remains an enigma, which I guess make them blue. Boo hoo hoo. New York has The Rent Is Too Damn High Party. That one’s pretty self-explanatory, dontcha think?
My personal favorite and the one I’m giving some thought to, because my birthday shares the International Talk Like a Pirate Day, is the United States Pirate Party. Arrr…now that the Republican Party is the bilge rat of all parties, I just might do it! Sigh. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll consider the American Shopping Party.