A Christian Democratic Party...In Utah?
On my alternate-history forum, a young fellow (not yet old enough to vote) whose handle is MormonMobster (and whose real name is apparently Ryan Darby) has decided to found a political party.
You can stop laughing now.
MM, being Mormon, is fairly socially conservative, but he's rather left-wing in his views on other topics. He said it seemed contradictory that Mormons could return from church where verses from the Book of Mormon that had very left-wing (in his opinion) messages and then vote Republican.
His ultimate goal was to create something equivalent to the Christian Democratic parties common in Europe, although he didn't want to actually call it a Christian Democratic Party on the grounds it would alienate non-Christians and get confused with the Democratic Party. Another suggestion was the People's Party or Christian People's Party, but in addition to the religious issues, a party with "People" in the name might sound Communist. He ultimately went with the American Revival Party or Revivalist Party, since the goal is national revival and the name invokes the religious-type revivals as well.
Here's the party's Facebook page. Obviously I'm not endorsing the party's political positions (well, most of them--I can support ending the Drug War and wiser use of tax dollars), but here are some reasons I'm promoting it...
1. His strategy is to contest races at the local level and build from there--he seemed to think a party with these views would be competitive in Utah and the Mountain West. With the federal election system working the way it does, third parties tend to weaken the party they're most akin to and strengthen the one most opposed to their views. Witness the Greens costing Gore Florida and the Libertarians costing Bush New Mexico in 2000. One of the sanest things someone from FreeRepublic ever said was that third parties (he was focusing on Libertarians) should start at the local level rather than running in federal races they won't win and tilt the election to the Democrats. This strategy should be encouraged, if anything to encourage more political diversity at the local level and discourage premature state/federal efforts whose biggest effect is to be an electoral spoiler.
2. Pursuant to #1, should the grassroots strategy work, it would provide additional political choices to Americans, especially those whose views don't match up with the existing parties well.
(Someone who thinks religion should be an influence on public life won't fit well with the Democrats most of the time, but someone who thinks religion should be a left-wing influence and not a right-wing influence won't fit well with the Republicans. And one person who was socially conservative but fiscally liberal said he'd be glad to find something that matched that basic rubric that wasn't fascism.)
3. I sometimes feel sorry for the (Christian) Religious Left. There aren't very many of them and they get attacked by both the secularist left (which doesn't like religion in politics) and the Christian Right (who come off as believing the RLs are heretics--see this link that explicitly calls them that). Although many members of the Christian Right claim persecution, despite being local majorities in a whole lot of places, I think the main national response to a Christian environmentalist critique of SUVs, generally summed up as "what would Jesus drive," was laughter. Granted, the American cultural elite doesn't have a high opinion of Christians (or at least certain varieties of Christians) generally, but the "Religious Right" is numerous and influential enough in the places where it's strong that they can blow it off.
4. This party, if it gets off the ground, would draw off both Democrats and Republicans of a Religious-Right orientation. Given my political views are right-wing but secularist, anything factionalizing those two would be in my opinion beneficial.
5. Even if this ultimately fizzles, this would be a good experience for MM--it would help him learn how to organize.
Although MM seems to think Utah and the Mountain West would be the best places for this party to develop, he might find a surprisingly-good reception in the South. Mike Huckabee, after all, carried most Republican primaries in the area and although he was a religious conservative, he was less right-wing on other issues. People on FreeRepublic called him a "Christian socialist" and a "pro-life liberal," frex.
The actual discussion was on the thread Hypothetical Third Parties: Utah. You'll need to get a site membership in order to view the thread, but there is a lot of information on MM's rationale to be had there.
(I'll message him to suggest he put his strategy/rationale on the Facebook page as well, plus some contact information.)