Talk:Wikinews interviews Mike Lebowitz, chairman of the U.S. Modern Whig Party

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Here is a complete email transcript of the interview:


Below are my responses to your questions. Please feel free to get back with me if you require any clarification, etc.


Mike From: Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 1:47 AM To: Subject: SPAM-MED: RE: Wikinews follow-up interview

Chairman Lebowitz, here are the questions:

Q: In a nutshell, what does the Modern Whig Party stand for?

Founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the Modern Whig Party represents a movement toward common sense, rational solutions ahead of partisan bickering and ideology.

Q: Is the MWP on the left or right end of the political spectrum?

The general principles of the Modern Whig Party relate to fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and bold social progression. Looking a bit deeper into our detailed vision, the organization takes pragmatic, realistic, and mainstream approaches to areas such as energy independence and tax disbursement that take into account the needs of corporate America along with everybody else. To this end, our membership is comprised of people from all parts of the mainstream political spectrum. This tells us that we may be on the right track for developing that elusive formula where voters of all political stripes can find common ground with one political movement.

Q: How old is your party? Who founded it and why?

The historic Whig Party was a dominant political force that included such luminaries as Abraham Lincoln. So in that regard, the Whigs are one of the oldest political movements in the nation. The modern revival was conceived by American soldiers serving in Iraq, who in turn communicated via the Internet such ideas with fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. In Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers have a lot of time to reflect. We watched how common sense rationality was being abandoned in favor of partisan bickering and decisions based solely on ideology. We noticed how the partisan fighting and ideological focus trumped common sense on not just military issues, but most other issues as well. This included traffic, education, trade, scientific development, fiscal soundness, energy independence, etc. Upon our return in 2006, we initially revived the Whig Party as a military advocacy organization on behalf of soldiers, veterans and military families. By 2008, we had attracted a group of military and non-military supporters to the point where we became a mainstream political organization. The historic Whigs represented a moderate, common sense movement focused on improving US infrastructure and education. In this regard, we found the Whigs to be an excellent fit in our modern context.

Q: Over the past few months, the Modern Whig Party has been steadily increasing in membership. Around this time last year, the MWP had under 5,000 members. Today, that number has grown to nearly 30,000. In your opinion, what is the reason for the MWP's sudden and rapid increase and popularity? Do you expect it to continue growing at this pace?

As the word continues to get out about our organization, we do expect the Modern Whig Party to maintain its steady growth. A number of print and broadcast media outlets have even gone so far as to proclaim that the Modern Whig Party is "potentially viable," and "makes sense." Another outlet stated that this organization is the "fastest growing political movement in the nation." Perhaps the main reason we continue to gain traction is that these media outlets are recognizing that the Modern Whig Party is attractive to moderate Democrats, independents and disenchanted Republicans. At the same time, we are building this organization realistically, methodically and gradually in an effort to get this right.

Q: How exactly does the Modern Whig Party differ from America's two largest political parties; the Republican and Democratic?

One important difference between the Modern Whig Party and the other two parties is that we look beyond partisan rivalry and will absolutely support a candidate or elected official from a different party if that person subscribes to a doctrine of common sense and rational solutions rather than ideology. We realize that most people are not limited to one distinct ideology and instead pick and choose based on specific issues.

Q: Is your party running any candidates for federal or statewide office in the 2010 midterm elections?

Our strategy is to refrain from trotting out as many candidates as possible just to lose. Instead, we are diverting our resources and focus to a relatively small group of initial candidates who bring quality and viability to the table. We are continuing the vetting process for our potential candidates. So far, we have two announced candidates running for office. A well-qualified candidate named Gene Baldassari is running for the New Jersey State Assembly in the 14th District. That election is November 2009. In addition, Paul McKain is running for Congress in Florida's 2nd Congressional District. Paul McKain is a prominent entrepreneur, retired firefighter and recognized child-safety advocate who brings a wealth of down-to-earth experience and qualifications.

Q: Currently, are there any elected officials in the United States that are members of the Modern Whig Party?

We have some prominent members who have signed onto this organization to include military generals, former GOP county/state officials and current/former elected officials on the local level. However, we do not have any elected officials on the Whig ticket as we still are a newly constituted political organization. In fact, many of our members remain on the GOP and Democratic rolls, which again, is something that we have no problems with as we continue to build.

Q: While the Modern Whig Party's moderate standings are similar to those of many Americans, the majority of voters are wary of joining or supporting third parties. This is largely due to the massive - and often spectacular - failures of the Libertarian, Green, Constitution and Reform parties. None of these were ever able to gain mainstream notoriety and/or longevity. How do you plan to prevent the MWP from following the same path to destruction that these parties did?

The Modern Whig Party is essentially rewriting the book on building a viable, rational and realistic political movement. Third parties are actually similar to the GOP and Democrats in that they follow their own ideologies and remain unabashedly antagonistic toward opposing political organizations. In contrast, the Modern Whig Party will continue to focus on common sense, rational solutions ahead of such partisan bickering and ideology. At the same time, we are realistic as to the tough road ahead and understand that we are not entitled to members. This approach, along with our roots among our veterans, has proven to offer voters of all political stripes a viable, rational and non-fringe political home.

Q: By the time of the next presidential election, do you expect the Modern Whig Party to be a major player in the American political arena?

You never know how events are going to develop. But nothing ever came out of doing nothing and we will continue to build and grow.

Q: Right now - more than any time in recent history - Americans are disgusted with both the Republican and Democratic parties. Many feel that the GOP went too far in their attempts to legislate morality and that the Democrats are plunging the nation into fiscal crisis. Why should the Modern Whig Party be considered a viable alternative to both of these?

When people take a look at what the Modern Whig Party has to offer, a lightbulb seems to go off. So it is clear that people want a political party that places common sense, realistic, and rational solutions ahead of partisan bickering and ideology. Our job now is to get the word out and show people that it is ok to sign on and support what we are working to build. There is a profound desire for a non-fringe political movement that caters to independent-minded people in a rational manner. Founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, this organization is realistic and continues to catch on based on our recent history and political mentality.

Thanks again for your time.

Original Message --------

Subject: re: Wikinews follow-up interview From: "Mike Lebowitz" <> Date: Fri, July 10, 2009 6:27 am To: <>


Please feel free to provide your questions and I will be happy to respond in a timely and prudent manner.



From: Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 3:45 AM To: Subject: SPAM-MED: Wikinews follow-up interview

Chairman Lebowitz,

Last year I held a brief interview with you regarding the Modern Whig Party. With the 2010 midterm elections approaching, and many of the campaigns for them already beginning, now would seem to be a good time for a follow-up. I would like to ask more in-depth questions regarding the Party's growth and its prospects in the years ahead. If you are interested, please reply within twenty-four hours.

Thanks for your time, Joseph Ford, Accredited Reporter, Wikinews


What's the source for the claims made in the title and introductory paragraph? --SVTCobra 08:47, 16 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Quite. To claim that the public are abandoning the two main parties in significant numbers requires backup. Some survey, or actual stats on voter registration of party affiliation. For the membership numbers for the Modern Whigs it must - I'd guess - be attributed to them. This is to allow readers to judge the credibility of the assertion. It would be more credible coming from an independent political watchdog.
Another point about the 500% increase is that this is meaningless in itself. A 500% increase from 2 members is up to 12. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:54, 16 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Seconded; that needs a source. I'm also concerned about a bit of POV, such as "He went on to say much more - including why you should consider leaving the GOP or the Dems for the MWP - in the interview below". –Juliancolton | Talk 14:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Title is massively long, and mostly advertising. "fastest growing centrist political party"? Where does that come from. POV issues everywhere. The into sections is very promotional sounding. Also I changed all instances on the interview from Joseph Ford to Wikinews in {{WNI response}}, this is a Wikinews interview is it not? --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 15:02, 16 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Title changed, article edited, sources added[edit]

I re-edited the article. Everything should be fine now. --WNewsReporter (talk) 18:13, 16 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The NPR source with the PEW survey doesn't seem to support the claim of millions, perhaps we should have stricter adherence to what PEW actually says and attribute it. Also, the claim that "most American third parties quickly descend into irrelevancy soon after being founded" definitely needs to be sourced. --SVTCobra 22:23, 16 July 2009 (UTC)\[reply]
I made the recommended changes regarding the Pew poll. It appears that the sentence regarding third party irrelevancy has already been edited out. Everything should be fine now. --WNewsReporter (talk) 01:10, 17 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I have made the changes as I saw necessary to comply with WN:NPOV, however, I feel I have now contributed to much to review. --SVTCobra 01:42, 17 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]


I made all of the changes mentioned above. I could find no image. --WNewsReporter (talk) 06:40, 17 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Untrue Claims?[edit]

{{editprotected}} How can Mr. Lebowitz Claim Paul McKain as a candidate of the Modern Whig Party when he is running on the Florida Whig Party ticket? The Florida WHig Party is a recognised political party in the state of Florida that is not affiliated with the Modern Whig Party?

Not done Ask him. We simply reported what he said. Is running? In case you missed it, Obama won. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 22:20, 10 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]
What reasoning is that? So if you ask me now about myself and I claim to be an astronaut who is posting live from the space station does it make it so? And when did i ask about Obama?
Nope. But then, you weren't a decent target for an interview to start with. You didn't ask about Obama, but by the 'is running' comment I assumed you'd missed the election. My *real* point being that maybe things have changed since this went out, but obviously you missed the subtlety on that. You ask me my reasoning; well, what do you actually want me to do? Pretend he said something he didn't? If this man had said he was an astronaut posting from the space station we would have published it and let him deal with the consequences of his words. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:09, 10 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Whats with the personal attack in your first sentence? I think your taking this a little personal don't you? Now that you explained your reasoning for not doing anything about it, I see why your not. Maybe you could have explained it in your first reply instead of making some stupid comment about Obama winning. Maybe I misunderstood Wiki calling this a news site and didn't realize that they would print anything anyone claimed. Do a little research off of Wikinews from real newspapers and see how many of the claims in this article have been challenged. Again, why are you taking it so personal and coming across as a smart a@s? did you write the article or something? If it was such a sore subject you couldn't control your reaction too maybe you should have passed on this one and let some other Mod deal with it.
Erm, how is calling a random IP a poor choice for an interview a personal attack? We repeat facts. The fact is, he said those things, so we report that. I don't exactly go round asking people to interview me, do I? I'm not exactly fascinating either. I responded like that because you didn't specify what wanted done, so I took the assumption you wanted me to change history. Sore subject? I've never more than skimread the interview. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:24, 10 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]