All that it would take for the US to become a four-party rather than two-party state would be for Sanders to ultimately endorse Jill Stein of the Greens over Hillary, and for the anti-Trump Republicans to start an independent party of their own or make a run on one of the minor right-wing parties like the Libertarians or the Constitutionalists.
On Fox News, the station that plays in the background where I work, a somewhat different spirit entered into their studio on Wednesday. In several touching moments, commentators and hosts paused to honor one another for the work they had done together this past year. This seemed a different day; something historic had happened and they were proud to have been part of it and proud of each other.
After the Indiana GOP primary on Tuesday, it seemed the beginning of something. And it turned so quickly when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz left the race in the night. Something had ended, something had begun and Ohio Gov. John Kasich felt it as well by noon the next day, when he announced that he would also leave the race. The race to the Republican nomination was over; tycoon Donald Trump had won. Indeed, an awareness seemed to be setting in that his was a legitimate, new approach — an awakening — to governance in the new millennium; unbeholden to the past, unbeholden to anyone. The glass had been shattered.
But within minutes after the Trump victory, intramural challenges appeared. As The Washington Post reported post-Indiana, some anti-Trump Republicans adopted a new strategy: “I’m with her.” “Are they ready to help elect Clinton?” the Post asked in the headline. Rumors of a third party began to materialize.
In another field, it would seem like throwing the fight, as a third party could take from Trump and give the general election to likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Insurgents beware, because Trump is an accomplished cage fighter. And his major support is from the heartland; places like Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Youngstown, Ohio, factory towns and Appalachian coal towns where people of hand and heart know how to defend themselves if they have been wronged.
As columnist John Feehery writes in The Hill, “We can get all Mencken about the American people (“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard”), but the bottom line is that you either trust the democratic process or you don’t.”