20 Nov 2010

Building a Foundation for a Centrist Independent Opposition – Tom Horner in Minnesota

We need a Tom Horner in every state.

We spend an awful lot of time looking at the problems around us and, for those of us who have invested significant amounts of time in political endeavors, it often feels like the problems facing our country are a giant weed that we keep hacking at, but can’t get to the root. It just comes back bigger and nastier two years later.

Tom Horner gave it his best shot in Minnesota, running on the Independence Party line for governor last cycle. Shooting the moon like that works sometimes, but not this time. Unlike most independents though, he isn’t fading back into obscurity. He’s showing us what we need from our leaders… staying power and the willingness to do the thankless unseen work that gets done behind the scenes – that pave the way for people to accomplish great things later on.

Instead of licking his wounds and going back to private life, he’s taken a look around and seen that what really needs to be done is for the organizational deficiencies of his party, in comparison to the two major parties, need to be worked on. One of the major advantages the two major parties have is plain and simple organizational strength. Not only do they have more members, but they also have strength in campaign knowledge, personal connections and access to the resources a campaign needs to succeed.

In most cases, independents have to start from scratch each campaign, or near to it. Its no wonder that independents have had some of the most success in New York and Minnesota over the years, where they have smaller, but thriving, party organizations to back them. If even half of the relatively centrist candidates who run for office and lose every year decided to roll up their sleeves and get to work on building a foundation for the future, instead of just another campaign themselves, or giving up and going back to private life, we might see less progress in the very sort term, but I think its safe to say we’d see geometrically more progress in years to come.

Bravo to Tom Horner and the Minnesota Independence Party. Along with the Independent Party of Oregon, these organizations are the trailblazers other states will have to learn from as the groundswell of moderates and centrist independents begins to organize itself better and works toward evolving into an actual movement across the country.

Author Details
After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
×
After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
.

4 thoughts on “Building a Foundation for a Centrist Independent Opposition – Tom Horner in Minnesota”

  1. Tom Horner is my IDEAL candidate. He's smart as hell, he knows how to market himself, and he's Minnesotan. Jeff, if you want to build a long-term centrist base, you, Horner and others need to form a nationwide caucus of independent politicians, both elected and attempted. I love the Modern Whigs as well as the Independence Party of Minnesota; I'd like to see them and other state-level third parties form that caucus while retaining their own unique brands. No Labels is a great start, but it needs to be a fighting force of Tea Party proportions.

    1. Much of what No Labels has said in the few times they've talked about what they intend to do as an organization, sounds like they are aiming to be that force of moderation… giving politicians who are voices of moderation in elected office the support they need to continue doing so in the face of pressure from groups on the left and right.

  2. I’m one of those centrist candidates planning on running again. At the same time I want to help build a long term centrist base. What did you have in mind specifically? For example, I’m working with the modern whigs.

Leave a Reply