Third Parties, Outsiders, and Renegades analyzes 10 third-party, outsider, or renegade presidential candidates and explores each one's impact on the political process. The list of modern outsider candidates who have attracted the public’s attention is fairly long, but most of the time the candidates never garner enough support to become elected or they self-destruct somewhere along the way. A few, however, have taken votes away from more mainstream candidates and changed the course of political parties or election outcomes. This book provides readers with an analysis of how their rhetoric, political tactics, and issues have challenged the political status quo and impacted later campaigns. The future viability of outsider candidates is discussed in light of current political polarization and the legacy of Donald J. Trump, the first elected outsider president, and considers how outsider candidates might be able to compete in upcoming elections given the current political divisions within the nation. Scholars and students of communication, political science, and rhetoric will find this book particularly interesting.
Melissa M. Smith is a professor of communication and holds the Gibbons Chair of Journalism at Mississippi University for Women.
Table of Contents
1Outsiders and Their Origins
2The Roots of Populism in American Politics
Outsider Presidential Candidates
3Shirley Chisolm: Blazing a Trail for Female and Minority Candidates
4Jesse Jackson: Empathetic Outsider Struggling to Break the Color Barrier
5Ron Paul: Outsider with Libertarian Sensibilities Defending the Constitution
6Donald J. Trump: The First Political Outsider President
Third Party Candidates
7Ross Perot: ‘Crazy’ Outsider Takes Message Directly to Americans
8Ralph Nader: Crusader and Possible Democratic Spoiler
9Jill Stein: Green Party Candidate, Democratic Scapegoat
10George C. Wallace: Disruptive, Disorderly, and Discordant Renegade Candidate
11Patrick Buchanan: Far-Right Outsider with D.C. Credentials
12Newt Gingrich: Political Language, Hardball Tactics Transform Republican Politics
Implications For Outsiders
13Trump and the 2020 Presidential Election: Populism, Pandemic, and Post-Election Violence
14The Future of Outsider Presidential Candidates
"Melissa Smith has done a remarkable job of reviewing and summarizing the role of outsiders in modern American presidential elections. Her rhetorical history technique looks at how these candidates, who were often on the fringes of establishment politics, gradually pushed for changes that altered how the public viewed political candidates and their issues. She gradually builds this rhetorical history into a comprehensive explanation for the success of Donald Trump and his outsider campaign. At first glance, some readers may be surprised at how such disparate candidates as Shirley Chisolm and Ross Perot contribute to this legacy, but Smith makes the connection well. It’s an impressive book that is well written and supported by in-depth research. The result is a remarkable study that every presidential scholar should examine."
"Dr. Smith’s timely book reminds scholars that as attractive as the two major parties are, there is much to learn from outsider candidates. From the early populists to the modern Tea Party and beyond, this meticulously researched book shows the commonalities that make political outsiders both compelling and confusing. Dr. Smith tackles complex subjects of history and theory clearly and concisely, making this book useful to scholars and students alike. Given the current trends in political discourse, scholars would be wise to consider the ways in which these candidates carve out rhetorical space, and this book is an excellent primer on those emerging trends."
"Dr. Smith helps us understand an important part of the American political process—how outsiders challenge the two party system. Her case study method helps students and scholars understand challengers in great depth, and the concluding section helps bring it all together. Particularly salient is Chapter 13 on President Trump and the aftermath of the 2020 election. Americans from across the political divide need to understand the particular phenomenon of those who feel like outsiders even when their candidate controls the White House."