This year, an anti-Washington mood is opening doors to novice candidates from right and left who speak to the ire coursing through the electorate. The Modern Whigs, a start-up party with a venerable name, are trying to tap an even more elusive force: the angry moderate. . . .
The Modern Whig Party was the brainchild of soldiers tired of the bickering that filled chow-hall TV screens on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of them, Capt. Mike Lebowitz, a Washington lawyer then serving with the 101st Airborne Division, emailed his buddies and began talking up the idea of a party that would be fiscally conservative, socially liberal and generally mild-mannered. . . .
The Modern Whigs got a boost in June when they absorbed the American Centrist Party, founded in 2004 as a reaction to the government’s alleged swing toward “an ultra right-wing Christian fundamentalist autocracy,” according to its website. The American Centrists come with a 16,000-address email list, although they have never elected a candidate to federal office, either.