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Our Interview with ACP Chair Matthew Unger

Matthew Unger is the chairman and founder of the new American Centrist Party. We had the opportunity to ask Mr. Unger a few questions about his new party and where he hopes to take it in the future.

TPW: Tell us a little bit about the American Centrist Party.

Matthew Unger: Right now the ACP is “web-based” meaning that the website is the central “hub” of the party, however I think that may change soon. Currently the ACP has state committees in California, New England Region, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. So far, Forty-Eight (48) people have signed-up for ACP membership. These people are from across the country. On average, I have been seeing about 2 or 3 new members each week.

TPW: What past and present political figures do you find inspiration in? Why?

Matthew Unger: My personal favorite political figures are of course the Founding Fathers of our nation, to include the Framers of the US Constitution. As a bit of trivia, I am a descendant of Colonel Timothy Matlack, the Penman of the Declaration of Independence (among other titles he held), so his accomplishments are of special note to me. Recent political figures who inspire(d) me are President Ronald Reagan (RIP) because of his unique sense of humor and superb statesmanship, Senator John McCain (before he allied himself with the RNC leadership), Rudy Guiliani (also before he went over to The Dark Side), and G. Gordon Liddy just because he had the guts and loyalty to take the fall for President Nixon and continues to “call ‘em as he sees ‘em.”

TPW: Do you plan to run candidates in 2006? If so, for which offices?

Matthew Unger: As of now, no, unless you count me. I am running for State Senate here in South Florida District 32.

With the recent US Supreme Court ruling on Eminent Domain, we are seeing that political power and the results of it will be manifested in our own localities. Thus I am trying to encourage good “regular Americans” to run for local office. Establishing bases of power in the state and local offices lends itself to a better chance of success in the federal office elections. I would love to see ACP members run and win local elections.

TPW: What about 2008? Does the ACP plan to field a presidential candidate?

Matthew Unger: No. As I previously stated, power must come from the local government level first, then build up through the state governments, and finally the federal level. If the ACP continues to be successful, the Oval Office may be a reality in a few decades. The results of political power sometimes takes a decade or more to bear fruit. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, and takes time to achieve.

TPW: If you had to pick one issue as the most important one facing the nation today, what would you select and how would the ACP address it?

Matthew Unger: I think the one most important issue facing the nation today is the average American’s loss of power in the governmental process. What needs to be done is for moderates, centrists, and those who have been/are shying away from the hardline positions, or lack of leadership of their parties to unite under a common banner to establish a major third party. There are efforts underway to do something like this already. However, most of these efforts are aimed at organizing new third parties which just adds to the fractious nature of our problem. Existing third parties need to join together. A lot of the “experts” among the third parties doubt that this can ever happen, but you never know until you try. Additionally, new ways of uniting have to be thought of and presented. Making up new parties won’t solve the problem. The ACP is an attempt at trying to do this, as we are a party of inclusion, thus many different “flavors” of centrism and moderates are welcome with open arms. We don’t have a template that members have to fit into, nor definitions to live up to. We figure that if you’ve had enough of “business as usual” from career politicians from the local level on up, and want to do something to change it, then the ACP is the place for you.

TPW: Have you approached any other parties to form any kind of united effort?

Matthew Unger: I have been approached by a few organizations wanting to unite third parties. Thus far I have declined due to the organization asking having either lack of control over its own membership and infrastructure, or the fact that creating a brand new party is not really the answer. Allying yourself with a lot of unknown groups doesn’t really help much. It’s more of a placebo to give the appearance of unity when all you really have are a bunch of groups that won’t go anywhere.

BUT… I am working on my own plan for uniting like-minded centrist and moderate groups in order to challenge the major parties. However, the primary goal right now is to grow the membership of the ACP and expand its influence across the country. If unity doesn’t work, then perhaps having real influence across the country via members in local offices might. I will be announcing my unity plan when I have really thought it out and have it down on “paper” (meaning on the website) for all to see.

5 Responses to “Our Interview with ACP Chair Matthew Unger”

  1. Douglas E. Says:

    “the fact that creating a brand new party is not really the answer.” – Did he just say that?

  2. Joe Says:

    Weird. A political party that runs no candidates is a political club, not a political party.

  3. Troy Dudley Says:

    A way to make this idea a real thing platform in my opinion,would be to have some appearances on some talk shows,comic Late Night Talk shows,”Real Time”,this way not only will you stir intrests but also make the robotic types think for themselves for a change.Also another good idea would be to push the envelope to have mock elections, idea being “since you aren’t going to run for this next term” is to shadow box your ideas side by side of the other candidates simutaniously as though you were there.I am certain you are on the right track with a grassroots campaign but please for the love of all that is good,don’t make we the people suffer for 20 years before this breath of fresh air. I remember as a younger guy asking my father how I would know who to vote for,he simply giggled,..and then I said but dad, will I know who is bad or good,..then he just said,you’ll know who is the right guy when the time is right.Then I have heard others say no one can ride the fenceline. I am sure no one considered being a centrist,and I am in so much as I can now pick and choose the right methods and ideas not just the moral vote from one or more Major Pre-purchased party. I don’t want for me,or my young family to grow up in a fine country as we have with the precursor for a vote to be to vote for the politition who will mess up the least. Thanks

  4. Quase Marke Says:

    I think that Mr Unger has a very good understanding of what it takes and how long it may take to develop a viable 3rd party. It is important to solidify a base rather than to do what the Independent party has done in recent years. Pandering to any and all entities in the name of establishing a viable alternative will not work. In my view, the ACP needs to continue to define and refine it’s platform and keep it updated for changes in the landscape of politics and events. I personally am very encouraged and motivated with regards to seeing a true alternative to the 2 party system. This country truly needs positive change in Washington but as Mr Unger stated., it will take time.

  5. aaron Says:

    We shall see how his senate race goes…So far he is -21.85 (that’s negative) as far as collecting donations according to his finance report

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