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Starting a Party by Running as a Republican for Congress, Then as an Independent for President

A constitutionalist president can break the Progressive parties’ lock on our governments and secure our freedom.

James Anthony
March 25, 2022

Every election we elect supermajorities of Progressives.

Around half of congresspeople are Democrats, all of whom are Progressives. The other half are Republicans, half of whom are Progressives, since they earn Conservative Review Liberty Scores [1] of less than 50% pro-liberty. The Democratic Progressives plus the Republican Progressives make up a 3/4 supermajority. (1/2 + 1/2 * 1/2 = 3/4 [2].)

Progressive candidates are favored by primaries, party slush funds, and media support, all orchestrated by the Progressives in leadership positions in both parties.

The opposite mechanisms would be used by constitutionalists in a good party. Such a party would be strongly supported by voters. First, though, a good party must be started.

Elsewhere I’ve discussed getting a good party started by any of three parallel paths:

  1. Start voter-information meetings [3].
  2. Secede from state governments as constitutionalist county regions [4].
  3. Revamp the Republican Party [5].

Here I’ll discuss getting a good party started by a fourth parallel path: Run as a Republican for Congress and build credibility, then run as an independent for president and limit government, and finally start a good party.

This path’s viability is shown by insights about the careers of Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul, and Donald Trump and insights about the major-party creation by Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren.

This path forward certainly could work, and could work fastest.

Run as a Republican for Congress

As pluses, the Republican Party offers constitutionalists ballot access and built-in networks for getting out the vote, more or less regardless of what candidates do, as long as they call themselves Republican.

As minuses, the Republican Party drags down constitutionalists with primaries that favor known personalities, cronies who fund the most-Progressive opponents, and media who favor the most-Progressive opponents.

These minuses are strong barriers to nomination and to election.

Despite this formidable resistance from the party, some constitutionalists do get nominated and elected as Republicans. The proportion of Republicans who earn Conservative Review Liberty Scores of at least 80% pro-liberty has been running 11%-24% in the Senate and 19%-42% in the House.

The people who constitute the smaller ends of these ranges are people who vote against bills supported by a Republican Progressive president, which makes them reliable constitutionalists. Republican moderate Progressives and constitutionalists both oppose bills supported by Democratic Progressive presidents, but only constitutionalists oppose bills supported by Republican Progressive presidents.

So although the Republican Party keeps the constitutionalists’ numbers low, the Republican Party does enable some constitutionalists to get elected.

For these constitutionalists, the Republican Party gives them a microphone. The constitutionalists earn credibility themselves —by using what powers they can to limit governments, and by explaining why.

Run as an Independent for President

The Libertarian Party doesn’t offer constitutionalists electability.

Ron Paul was elected to the House as a Republican from 1979 to 1985 but ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988. In the general election he was on the ballot in 46 states but he won just 0.5% of the vote.

The Republican primaries select against stronger constitutionalists but have allowed modest exceptions.

Ronald Reagan, a constitutionalist in his talk but mixed in his actions [6], was California governor from 1967 to 1975. In the 1976 primaries he won 47% of delegates. In the 1980 primaries he won 97% of delegates.

Ron Paul was elected to the House as a Republican for a second period from 1997 to 2013 and ran for president as a Republican in 2008 and 2012. In the 2008 primaries he won 3% to 25% of state votes. In the 2012 primaries he won 7% to 27% of state votes.

Ted Cruz has been elected to the Senate since 2013. In the 2016 primaries he won 23% of delegates.

Donald Trump, a Progressive [7] in his general-election talk and at least tepidly Progressive in most of his actions (by enabling big government and judicial supremacy), was nevertheless hoped by enough primary voters to be more constitutionalist in action than Ted Cruz. In the 2016 primaries he won 58% of delegates.

Recapping so far, constitutionalist politicians:

  • Need to win lower offices and gain credibility as Republicans.
  • Won’t win as Libertarians.
  • Won’t win the Republican presidential primaries.
  • Need to run for president more than once.

But since a constitutionalist lost as a Libertarian, why would a constitutionalist win as an independent?

In races for most offices, both the Democratic and Republican nominees are visibly Progressive. In races for president, both parties’ nominal leaders and confederates exert as much control as they know how to do, so both the Democratic and Republican nominees almost always are glaringly Progressive. As a result, the Democratic and Republican nominees’ expansions of governments will contrast sharply with a constitutionalist’s limiting of governments.

The constitutionalist will be perfectly positioned to capture the energy of Tea Party voters, and, really, most voters. Most voters either know full well that both parties’ candidates stink, or at least don’t trust those candidates’ uninformative talk.

A credible constitutionalist will stand out as the only possibly-better way for the increasing numbers of voters who get to know about him.

Once the constitutionalist presidential candidate is well-enough known—say, on his second presidential candidacy—the race will come down to a three-way contest between the constitutionalist, the Democratic Progressive, and the Republican Progressive. The constitutionalist will be well-positioned to win pluralities in most jurisdictions.

In his first election win, the keys will be to gain some interest from a few Democratic-leaning voters, close the sale to enough Republican-leaning voters, and maximize the turnout of supporters. In each case it will significantly help that the constitutionalist will be genuinely different. It will also help that voters will have learned from the candidacies of Reagan, Ron Paul, and Trump.

So for a constitutionalist the optimum path will be to run as a Republican in a lower office, build credibility, run for president as an independent, and build name recognition by running more than once.

(Or to be a well-regarded businessman like Elon Musk.)

Start a Good Party

Once a constitutionalist is president, he will change the whole political landscape dramatically.

While a president has no constitutional power to defy the Constitution, a president has awesome constitutional power [8] to protect the Constitution [9]. Slashing the execution of unconstitutional government departments and agencies will be wildly popular with majorities of voters.

Even more important than the initial popularity with majorities of voters, though, will be the rapid results [10]. There’s no stimulus like keeping your own earnings and spending or saving them on whatever products best satisfy your own needs and wants [11].

Once voters experience in real time how the Constitution and freedom work, it will be simple to create a good party and ensure that constitutionalist candidates are available across the board on general-election ballots.

Every new party that rose to power rose by increasing freedom [12].

Thomas Jefferson’s Republican party increased freedom for most people and rapidly became dominant [13]. Martin Van Buren’s Democratic Party also increased freedom for most people and also rapidly became dominant [14]. A constitutionalist president’s good party will increase freedom always and will remain dominant.

By design, the party will have a party constitution which will keep the grassroots in charge. The party will reverse every practice used by the current parties to favor Progressives. And the party will require that incumbents seeking future election must have earned Conservative Review Liberty Scores of at least 80% pro-liberty.

The party won’t need candidates for offices where the Republican candidate is a constitutionalist, because these candidates will be the party’s natural allies. In every other race, the good party’s candidates will be positioned to win pluralities the same way the president won pluralities.

Voters will see that the new party is genuinely different from prior parties, its candidates credibly can win power, and its elected representatives will use their constitutional powers to limit our governments. These qualities will be enough to persuade enough voters to give the new party’s candidates a try. And those votes will be all it takes.

The way to break the current party system’s lock on our governments is to create a better party design. When one part of a system changes, this changes each relationship, which changes the whole system.

One good party will change everything [15].


  1. “Liberty Score.” Conservative Review, libertyscore.conservativereview.com/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  2. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018, pp. 4-5.
  3. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018, pp. 88-94.
  4. Anthony, James. “rSecession: County-Region Secessions to Form Small-r republican State Governments.” rConstitution.us, 9 Jul. 2021, rconstitution.us/rsecession-county-region-secessions-to-form-small-r-republican-state-governments/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  5. Anthony, James. “Take Over the Republican Party, or Start a New Party? All of the Above.” rConstitution.us, 17 Dec. 2021, rconstitution.us/take-over-the-republican-party-or-start-a-new-party-all-of-the-above/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  6. Heclo, Hugh. “The Mixed Legacies of Ronald Reagan.” Presidential Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Dec. 2008, pp. 555-74.
  7. Anthony, James. “Republicans: The Key Progressives.” rConstitution.us, 21 Aug. 2020, rconstitution.us/republicans-the-key-progressives/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  8. Anthony, James. “The First 1,461 Days of a Constitutionalist President.” rConstitution.us, 8 Jan. 2021, rconstitution.us/the-first-1461-days-of-a-constitutionalist-president/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  9. Anthony, James. “On the Reading of Old Constitutions.” rConstitution.us, 9 Oct. 2020, rconstitution.us/on-the-reading-of-old-constitutions/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  10. Anthony, James. “Changing Government by Stepping, Phasing, or Doing.” rConstitution.us, 23 Apr. 2021, rconstitution.us/changing-government-by-stepping-phasing-or-doing/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  11. Blumen, Robert. “Why Stimulus Does Not Stimulate.” Mises Wire, 15 June 2021, mises.org/wire/why-stimulus-does-not-stimulate. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  12. Anthony, James. “A New Major Party Is Forming Right before Our Eyes.” American Greatness, 5 Apr. 2021, amgreatness.com/2021/04/05/a-new-major-party-is-forming-right-before-our-eyes/. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  13. “Party Divisions of the United States Congresses.” Wikipedia, 19 Jan. 2022, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_divisions_of_United_States_Congresses. Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.
  14. Rothbard, Murray Newton. A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II. Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002, pp. 90-104.
  15. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, has written in The Federalist, American Thinker, Foundation for Economic Education, and American Greatness, and publishes rConstitution.us. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.


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