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Newsletter: Does America Need A Third Party?

Does America Need a Third Party Debate


Andrew Yang
Founder of the Forward Party;
Former Presidential Candidate


Daniel DiSalvo
Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute; Political Science Professor at City College of New York–CUNY



Here is what we have in store this week:

We explore the role of third parties and how they could change our elections — for better or for worse

Debating the data: Is the two-party system failing America?

Announcing two upcoming debates next week — live in NYC and online

 Your Sunday reading list



In the United States, many people vote either for Democrats or Republicans. While it’s assumed that they have the most power as the major political parties, that’s not always been the case as third parties have often challenged that status quo. While it’s rare for them to get national attention, third-party candidates have won at least five percent of the vote or gained electoral votes twelve times, the latest being Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996.

Do third parties have a chance in upcoming elections? Maybe. A group called No Labels could soon offer an independent presidential ticket or “unity ticket” for the 2024 election. However, some fear that any third-party candidates rising in the polls in future elections will play spoiler and force voters to make unideal choices.

Why would some people want a third party? Those in favor of them argue that the two-party system favored in our elections causes polarization and forces voters to stick to one ideology while having a third party would be more representative of a wide range of viewpoints. Plus, political parties like the Libertarian Party, Green Party, and Constitution Party currently exist and have considerable attention in the public consciousness.

This week, we take on the questionDoes America Need A Third Party? Former presidential candidate in the 2020 election Andrew Yang, who has founded the centrist Forward Party, joins us in arguing “yes” to the question. Arguing “no” is Daniel DiSalvo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a political science professor at the City College of New York whose research focuses on political parties in the United States and elections.

Listen to this episode as a podcast or on your public radio station (check your local schedule), and as always, let us know what you think.



Is the Two-Party System Failing Americans?

















Does America Need A Third Party?



“Some Americans are concerned about creeping authoritarianism or autocracy… Our two-party system is ideally designed to serve us up to an authoritarian regime, because if you have a leader in this system, then everyone’s incentives are to fall in line behind that leader. Then you can wind up with a very authoritarian regime. If you want to make something that’s genuinely resistant to authoritarianism, you would want to amend and modernize the two-party system.”

Andrew Yang



“Third parties at all levels, including the presidential election, really just act as spoilers by draining off votes from one side or the other and then undercutting that existing party.”

Daniel DiSalvo


Join Us For Two Upcoming Debates

Live Virtual Debate: Should Ukraine Get Russia’s Frozen Assets?
When: Tuesday, September 19 at 3:00 PM ET
Where: Virtual livestream

Arguing Yes: Larry Summers, Former Secretary of the Treasury
Arguing No: Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations
Guest Moderator: Gillian Tett, Editorial Board Chair and Editor-at-Large US of the Financial Times and Incoming Provost at King’s College Cambridge


Live In-Person Debate: Is Wokeness Killing Comedy?
When: Wednesday, September 20 at 6 PM (Doors open at 5:30 PM)
Where: The Comedy Cellar’s Village Underground
130 W 3rd St, New York, NY (between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street)

Arguing Yes: Lou Perez, Comedian, Producer, Author of “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”
Arguing No: Michael Ian Black, Actor and Comedian
Guest Moderator: Nick Gillespie, Editor-at-Large of Reason

Featuring stand-up comedian Ginny Hogan at the top.




Why So Many Americans Are So Down on Biden
Bret Stephens | September 5, 2023
The New York Times
Watch Bret’s debate on whether objectivity is essential in journalism



California charts the future of AI
Darrell M. West | September 12, 2023
Brookings Institution
Watch Darrell’s debate on whether AI will do more harm than good



The Texas Bans on Abortion ”Trafficking” Are Even Scarier Than They Sound
Mary Ziegler | September 6, 2023
Watch Mary’s debate on whether it’s right to end Roe v. Wade



Working From Home Has Increased More Modestly Than Many Believe
Scott Winship and Thomas O’Rourke | September 6, 2023
American Enterprise Institute
Watch Scott’s debate on whether Millennials will be left behind




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