Most people who are familiar with US politics have heard of the two major political parties: Democrats and Republicans. Two other minor parties have also become well-known over the last few decades and are referred to as third parties: Libertarians and Green Party. However, several other, lesser-known minor parties also exist in the US. This article takes a look at some of those political parties.
Lesser-Known Political Parties in the US
American Solidarity Party
The American Solidarity Party was founded as the Christian Democratic Party USA in 2011. Its name was changed to the current American Solidarity in 2012. Its party color is maroon and its mascot is a pelican, a traditional symbol of Christian charity.
This political party is socially conservative and believes that the government should regulate some economic activity. It is influenced by Christian Democratic movements throughout Europe and the Americas. The principal ideology of the American Solidarity Party is referred to as the Consistent Life Ethic, which is against capital punishment, assisted suicide, and abortion. Additionally, its members believe in the Just War doctrine, which is concerned with the morality of war.
America’s Party was originally founded in 2008 and America’s Independent Party. Its name changed in 2012 to the current America’s Party. It got its start after Alan Keyes unsuccessfully campaigned for the Republican presidential candidate nomination. After failing to earn the nomination, he again failed to win a nomination from the Constitution Party. This led to the party’s creation.
Its members are strong supporters of tax reform and repealing the 16th amendment, which allows the federal government to collect income taxes. America’s Party also seeks to amend the Constitution with the Federal Marriage Amendment, which defines marriage as an agreement between one woman and one man. Additionally, this party is against abortion.
Citizen’s Party of the United States
The Citizen’s Party of the United States was first founded in 2004 as the New American Independent Party. Its name changed in January of 2011. It is considered a moderate political party that supports economic nationalization. As part of its economic platform, its members would like the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement to be abolished. Additionally, this party is against fracking and hopes for increased investment in renewable resources and natural gas as energy sources. On social issues, the Citizen’s Party of the United States supports same-sex marriage, legalized abortion, and the right to bear arms.
Additional lesser-known political parties can be seen in the chart published below.
Third Party Candidates In The US
Third party candidates in the US have a much smaller influence on politics in the country although many have existed over the years. Members of the lesser-known political parties often critique the electoral system in the US, claiming that it is set up for the benefit of the major parties. Their criticisms include that they are: excluded from political debates, not given attention by the media, and often left off of voting ballots.
Presidential candidates for these parties typically receive only an average of 5.6% of the popular vote. Only 8 third party presidential candidates have ever received more than 10% of the popular vote. These individuals (and their parties) are the following: Ross Perot, Independent (18.9%, 1992); George Wallace, American Independent (13.5%, 1968); Robert Follette, Progressive (16.6%, 1924); Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive (27.4%, 1912); John Bell, Constitutional Union (12.6%, 1860); John Breckinridge, Southern Democrats (18.1%, 1860); Millard Fillmore, American (21.5%, 1856); Martin Van Buren, Free Soil (10.1%, 1848).