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It’s time to retire the ‘third’ party conceit

David Gergen: All the talk about a third party ignores that we already have a lot of political parties. He says in the states that report voter registration by party, 1 out of every 42 voters is already registered with a party. Gergen says there are 44 Anarchist Party voters in Pennsylvania, 44 in the state with more than 7 million third-party voters in general. There’s a whole other set of parties that have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission but may not have registered voters anywhere, Gergen writes. There are also several more “unity” parties, including United Change, the Global Unification Party and Messiah United.

A group of former politicians and elected officials announced a new “third” party — Forward! — last week. It's not a call for a third party; it’s a call to end to a system dominated by only two parties. The Forward Party one century ago failed to establish a new national political party of any significance.