COLUMN: The Forward Party needs to back democrats this time around


Dan Hahn

Dan Hahn is a graduate student studying English and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Dan Hahn , Columnist

The Forward Party is a new political party that supports ballot initiatives for open primaries and ranked choice voting.

I think many will question the strategic viability of a new national third political party in the US, but if Forward truly proclaims to be forward thinking, then they need to start campaigning for Democrats as we approach the November midterm elections.

There are Democratic campaigns that I think would be a good opportunity for the Forward Party to endorse.

 Two such endorsements could be Beto O’Rourke for Texas governor and Tim Ryan for Ohio Senate. Both races are tight and each uniquely symbolic of a struggle democracy must overcome.

In Texas, there is a behemoth media machine suppressing the Beto campaign. He debated current Governor Greg Abbot at the end of September and there was no real mention in the news cycle.

If YouTube comments are any indicator (they shouldn’t be, but hear me out), the consensus was that the debate was poorly hosted and poorly moderated.

Anyone watching would have seen that the debate hall was missing a live audience. This was because the debate was held on the incumbent governor’s terms.

Beto mentions during the debate that families of victims from Uvalde drove to the debate, hundreds of miles in some cases, and were watching from outside.

How disrespectful to those families. Where was the news story and outrage about this?’s popular election forecast predicts that the governor’s race is a long shot for Beto. He is after all a Democrat running in a Republican stronghold.

Hence, this is why an outsider needs to come in. A new, and albeit controversial third party should go campaign for Beto.

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned from the Yang 2020 campaign is that dark horse campaigns can be scrappy, are media savvy, and know how to activate young or right leaning voters. 

I think we would be much better off seeing positive messaging coming from anywhere this election cycle, and this is a great way to deliver much needed positivity and fresh thinking.

The second race I offer as an example is the senate race in Ohio between Tim Ryan and JD Vance. On “Pod Save America,” the Tuesday October 18th podcast panel agreed that there are other senate races more worthy of Democrat resources.

In other words, Ohio is a tough state to win for Democrats, so it’s not logical to expend resources there.

Ryan is compelling and stands up to Democratic party leadership, for example he supports President Biden stepping down after his current term.

He sees the legislative deadlock caused by party leaders as a huge source of the problem and that our government needs to be representative of younger people. 

These are sound progressive ideas spoken by a member of the two-party establishment, and these opinions deserve to be amplified across the media spectrum so that young people turn out and vote.

I know nothing about founding a political party, but what an October surprise this would be. Andrew Yang, his media machine and math-hat-wearing followers descending on Ohio and Texas (or wherever) supporting progressive Democratic candidates.

This would give Forward a veneer of legitimacy, which is what they need if they’re ever going to gain a foothold in the current political duopoly.

In the end, I’ve only seen ad hominem arguments presented against Yang’s brainchild, The Forward Party.

Detractors will explain that the man has two failed political campaigns, and then reinforce the rationale for the current duopoly.

Forward is in a unique position to do something radical and redefine how voters engage with politics.

What better gesture than for the fledgling Forward Party, in the year of their establishment, to back Democrats as a signal to the world that political parties can work together, even during campaign season, and present a positive message of cooperation.

Dan Hahn is an English composition/rhetoric student. He can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.