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Modern Whig Party
Chairperson Elaine Stephens
Founded 2008 (2008)
Headquarters 2141 Wisconsin Ave NW, Suite C-2, Washington, DC 20007
Ideology Modern Whig philosophy, centrism, pragmatism, syncretic politics, transpartisanship
Political position Fiscal: Centrist
Social: Centrist
International affiliation None
Official colors Blue and Buff
Seats in the Senate 0
Seats in the House 0
Politics of the United States
Political parties

The Modern Whig Party is a United States political party whose stated intention is to be a "party for the rest of us."[1] It is recognized as a mainstream and non-fringe "middle ground" between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.[2][3]

Founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the party has over 30,000 members nationally, with a sizable proportion affiliated with the American military.[4][5]

The Modern Whig Party has gained mainstream and online media coverage touting the "up and coming" movement as a "political phenomenon" with wide appeal, potential viability, and proven ability to attract disenchanted moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats, according to a Times-Standard editorial.[6][7]

The Party plans to run three candidates for federal office in 2010 and also a small number of state and local candidates in 2009 in order to maintain what it calls a manageable, quality-driven slate of viable candidates rather than offer mere quantity.[8] The general platform of the Modern Whig Party relates to fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, and social progression.[9][10]

An editorial in one newspaper referred to the Modern Whig Party as the "fastest-growing mainstream political movement in the nation."[11] A Sunday op-ed piece by a longtime North Carolina columnist Rob Christensen was highly favorable toward the party: "There is nothing fringe about the Modern Whig platform."[12] Blogger Jess Chapman at The Future American credited the Modern Whig Party for having "a far broader political vision than other third parties."[13]

Although not emphasized by the Modern Whig Party, its headquarters address is the same as the Washington, DC law firm of Greenberg & Lieberman; Party Founder Mike Lebowitz is employed by the firm. Another one of the firm's attorneys is John B. Anderson, who was a 10-term Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives while also garnering 6.6 percent of the general election vote during a 1980 run for President of the United States as an independent.[14]



According to The News & Observer: "The national Modern Whig Party, as it calls itself, was started in the most unlikely of locations—the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan by U.S. troops."[12] The Modern Whig Party was organized as a grassroots movement in the beginning of 2008 as a national successor to the historical Whig Party (the Florida Whig Party was created a year earlier with a similar goal at the state level).[15 ][16] Among the national Modern Whig Party's founding members were military veterans who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq and become dissatisfied with the deep ideological divide between the Republican and Democratic parties.[17] Other media outlets have touted the Modern Whig Party's moderate platform and its viable appeal during a time of ideological fragmentation within the Republican and Democratic parties.[18]

The grassroots movement of the Whigs has a national headquarters in Washington, D.C. and an executive committee.[19] The Modern Whig Party claims about 20,000 members nationally, although that number is known to primarily count those who register on the party's web site.[20] [21] Various Modern Whig chapters, such as in California, also gather and tally members through their state registrations. [22]The current chairwoman of the national Modern Whig Party is Elaine Stephens.

The Modern Whig Party describes itself as a mainstream, middle-of-the-road grassroots movement that caters to those voters who believe in various Republican issues but also believe in various other Democratic issues.[1][23]

The Modern Whig Party announced their first victory on election day when one of its members, Ken Belcher[24] won election as Constable of Lee County, Alabama on the Democratic ticket.[25] In its first authentic electoral test, Gene L. Baldassari sought a seat in the New Jersey Assembly, representing its Fourteenth District, in the November 2, 2009 general election. He received 738 votes, for just over 0.6 percent of the vote.[26]

Immediately after the election of November 4, 2008, a push began to attract moderate/conservative Democrats and members of the Republican Party who felt disenchanted with both the GOP's failings and its perception as moving farther to the right.[27] In fact, those seeking a non-ideological political movement reportedly began joining the Modern Whig Party as soon as the election results came in.[28]

On May 19, 2009 during a national online meeting, the Modern Whig Party grassroots movement and the Florida Whig Party jointly announced the first federal "Whig" candidate for Congress since the 1850s: Paul C. McKain of Florida.[29][30]and on Monday October 19, 2009 the Florida Whig Party announced two additional candidates for congress. Clayton Schock in Florida's 20th congressional district and John Annarumma in Florida's 3rd congressional district.[31] No minor party has yet had as many as three candidates for U.S. House in any election year in the state of Florida. The Libertarian Party had two in 2004, and the Reform Party had two in 2000. The Green Party has not had any in the last ten years. The most the Constitution Party ever had in any one year was one (one in 2002 and one in 2004). The Socialist Workers Party has not had any.[31][32]

On December 12–13, 2009, the Modern Whig Party held the first national leadership council meeting in Washington DC.[20] The party's bylaws and charter were made public shortly after, with the document listing its official name as the Modern Whig Party of the United States of America and being approved by a national council.[33]

Political platform

The MWP follows a six tenet philosophy that the party does not specifically associate with centrism, but has instead been referred to as "Modern Whig philosophy" by the Modern Whigs themselves[34][35][36][37] and also by others as the movement takes stands on issues ranging across the mainstream political spectrum.[38][39]

The six tenets of the Modern Whig philosophy are:[40]

  • Fiscal responsibility – "The Modern Whig philosophy is to empower the states with the resources to handle their unique affairs."
  • Energy independence – "Reduce dependence on foreign oil by developing practical sources of alternative energy. This will have the simultaneous effect of changing the national security dynamic."
  • Education/Scientific advancement – "Increased public and private emphasis on fields such as space, oceanic, medical and nanotechnology. Also, providing common-sense solutions to enhance our educational system from pre-school to university-level studies."
  • States' rights – "Each state can determine its course of action based on local values and unique needs."
  • Social progression – "Government should refrain from legislating morality."
  • Veterans affairs – "Vigilant advocacy relating to the medical, financial, and overall well-being of our military families and veterans."

There are also self-described "general principles" of Modern Whig philosophy that are included along with the tenets: "This includes general principles of fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and bold social progression."[41]

Modern Whig Party and the Florida Whig Party Logo

For its logo, the Modern Whig Party uses an owl, the symbol of the original Whig Party. As with the logos for the Democrats and the Republicans, a red, white, and blue color scheme is used, but with different meaning. Reportedly, the blue represents Democrats and the red, Republicans; the two colors are divided by a white band and four white stars. The party believes that the United States' future lies in "meeting in the middle", thus the placement of the stars in the middle of the owl.[42]

State and territorial affiliates with ballot access

  • New Jersey Chapter[43]

State affiliates officially known to be registered with their respective states

State affiliates

The Modern Whig Party currently has official chapters in 28 states:[51]


  1. ^ a b "The Modern Whig Party". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  2. ^ "Modern Whig Party: ‘3,000 members and growing’". Independent Political Report. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  3. ^ See also News & Observer and Times-Standard articles for "mainstream" verbiage
  4. ^ On Lincoln’s 200th birthday the "Modern Whig" Party makes a comeback
  5. ^ Modern Whigs Gain Political Momentum
  6. ^ "Witnessing the resurrection of an old political party: 'Bring us your unhappy masses' - Times-Standard Online". 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  7. ^ "Modern Whigs Gain Political Momentum in N.M". 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "> Archives > Front > UA sophomore leads Whigs in Columbus". The Other Paper. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  10. ^ Ryan, Jack (2009-01-13). "Washington Missouri - Whig Party Up and Running in State". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ a b [3]
  13. ^ Jess Chapman (2009-08-18). "Am I a Modern Whig? « The Future American". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  14. ^
  15. ^ Florida Department of State website confirming Florida Whig Party was ballot approved in 2007.
  16. ^ "Modern Whig Party has Appeal to Some Troops: No Candidates Yet, but with Moderate Stance, it's Starting to Catch On" as published in the Marine Corps Times, Army Times and Air Force Times newspapers in June 2008
  17. ^ WTFK 107.1 FM "Viewpoints with Lockwood Phillips
  18. ^
  19. ^ WKOB Eyewitness News 4
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ See Whig register from their site, Wikipedia prevented direct link
  22. ^
  23. ^ Albuquerque Journal Article by Sean Olson, "Revived Whigs," published July 30, 2009
  24. ^ "Ken Belcher website". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  25. ^ "A new party with an old name elects its first candidate for office". Independent Political Report. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  26. ^ [4]
  27. ^ "Republicans are Bald, Put on your Whigs" by Kyle Munzenrieder on Nov. 7, 2008 in Miami New Times
  28. ^ See Miami New Times article
  29. ^ "Ballot Access News » Blog Archive » Whig Party Name May Again Appear on Ballots". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  30. ^ "Modern Whig Party announces its first candidate for Congress". Independent Political Report. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  31. ^ a b "Whig Party Says it will Have At Least Three U.S. House Candidates on Florida Ballot in 2010" by Richard Winger in Ballot Access News
  32. ^ "Two more Whigs running for Congress in Florida" by Independent Political Report
  33. ^
  34. ^ California Modern Whig Party, Who Are Modern Whigs
  35. ^ The Modern Whig Party blog
  36. ^ Home (Illinois Modern Whig Party), WHO ARE MODERN WHIGS?
  37. ^ Here comes Modern Whigs!, YouTube
  38. ^ Wikinews interviews Mike Lebowitz, Chairman of the Modern Whig Party, Wikinews, the free news source you can write!, Monday, October 13, 2008, third question
  39. ^ Modern Whig Party update, February 11th, 2009, Independent Political Report, third paragraph
  40. ^ [5]
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Top 10 USA Political Party Logos" by Logo Design Works
  43. ^ Gene Baldassari ran as a Modern Whig
  44. ^ "California Whig Party"
  45. ^ See also
  46. ^ See Registered as separate non-profit & political group
  47. ^ See Baldassari campaign, who was registered as Modern Whig
  48. ^ See SoS listing
  49. ^ See SoS listing
  50. ^ See discussion page for confirmation from SoS office
  51. ^
  52. ^ "Modern Whig Party adds two new state chapters". Independent Political Report. 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  53. ^ "Home (Illinois Modern Whig Party)". 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  54. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  55. ^
  56. ^ "Modern Whig Party in Missouri". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  57. ^ Whig Party of New York. "Whig Party of New York". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  58. ^ a b "The Modern Whig Party". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  59. ^ [6]
  60. ^ "Welcome to the website of Modern WHIG PARTY". Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  61. ^ "Modern Whig Party adds Michigan Chapter". Independent Political Report. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  

External links

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