Independent American Party

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Independent American Party
FoundedMay 16, 1998; 24 years ago (1998-05-16) (as Utah Independent American Party)
Social conservatism
Pro–Gold standard
Political positionRight-wing
International affiliationNone
Red, Blue, White
Seats in the Senate
0 / 100
Seats in the House
0 / 435
0 / 50
State Upper House Seats
0 / 1,972
State Lower House Seats
0 / 5,411
Other elected offices0

The Independent American Party (IAP) is a conservative political party in the United States. It began as the Utah Independent American Party. The founders claim to have been inspired by a 1968 speech given by Ezra Taft Benson, former United States Secretary of Agriculture and later president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, entitled "The Proper Role of Government". The party's first platform was based on Benson's beliefs. These 15 principles for the proper role of government, taken from his speech, are held as the IAP's foundational principles.[1]

The Independent American Party of Nevada was founded in 1968 (has never been part of the I.A.P. National Party and is a separate organization) was on the ballot for twenty years, and then regained ballot position in 1992. In 2002, the Nevada party fielded 54 candidates for office statewide, which sent some shock waves through the establishment parties in Nevada. After the Independent American Party of Nevada affiliated with the U.S. Constitution Party.


The IAP began in Utah as a conservative party in 1992. It affiliated with the American Party, briefly, in the mid-90s. In 1998, three options were presented to party members:

  1. to remain affiliated with the national American Party (AP),
  2. to affiliate with the National U.S. Taxpayers Party (later named Constitution Party), or
  3. create a national Independent American Party (IAP).

On May 16, 1998, the Utah IAP held a straw vote favoring the formation of a national Independent American Party. A committee of six people was selected to initiate the organization, and by November 7, 1998, the national IAP was recognized by a binding vote of 79%.

In January 1999, the national IAP began holding semi-annual National Conferences. The national chairman attended a number of state and national conventions of other like-minded third parties across the nation to build ties. The IAP website (launched in September 1998) grew and attracted individual members in about forty states.[1]

In 2001, the IAP grew from one state party to three organized state parties – Minnesota, Tennessee, and Utah – and twelve prospective state parties. Area coordinators were assigned to each of four regions of the country. The IAP adopted its first National Platform in August 2002 and ended the year with three organized and 18 prospective state parties. In 2003, the party changed the structure of its officer positions from the traditional chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer, and elected a chair and four vice-chairs. Each vice-chair was to be a leader over a geographical area (Western, Mid-Western, North-Eastern, and South), and were each to lead one of the five standing committees (Rules, Events, Membership, Issues, and Media).[1]

By 2004, the party involvement dwindled, and it did not have ballot status in any states. The party later revitalized and soon gained ballot access in Utah and New Mexico.  In the 2014 election cycle, the IAP supported a total of 31 candidates in local, state, and federal campaigns across nine states.

During the early stages of the Bundy standoff in April 2014, the IAP supported the group's position as a rebellion against injustice. The IAP distanced itself from the group's "anti-government extremism" and invited Cliven Bundy to speak at the IAP summit in August 2014.[2]

Now, during 2020s, the IAP Nationally continues to grow with members in 50 states and the District of Columbia. They look to be on the ballot in 30 states by 2024.

One of the strongest states in the IAP is its state of origin, Utah. Membership in the Utah IAP has grown over 650% in the last six years (from 10,601 registered voters on the state voting rolls [per the Lt. Gov. statistics of active voters by party] to over 69,000 in Jan. 2022), making it the largest third party in the state -larger than the Libertarian, Constitution and United Utah parties combined and doubled (within the State of Utah).


The IAP espouses The Proper Role of Government as expressed by Ezra Taft Benson.[3] According to the IAP: "This talk is the heart, soul and spirit of our Party. If you read (it) you will know who we are!"[3]

The Mission of the IAP is:

To promote: respect for life, liberty, and property; strong traditional families; patriotism; individual, state, national sovereignty - with a strong reliance on the Declaration of Independence and allegiance to the Constitution for the United States of America - by petition to God, by political and educational means.

It calls itself "The Solution Party" and the IAP finds solutions within the pages of the Constitution and other founding documents - which seem to have gone out of vogue with 21st Century politicians of the two major parties.

The PEOPL process[edit]

In 2013, the Independent American Party adopted the acronym PEOPL in describing a grassroots voting process. The PEOPL process, which stands for "People Electing Only Principled Leaders", describes a way to elect representatives without involving "The Spirit of Party." Independent American Party officers cite George Washington's farewell speech, in which he warns " the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party," and insist that the few selecting from the many, and then the many selecting from the few, is not correct principle.[4]

The first step in the PEOPL Process is signing The Independence Pledge.[5] The pledge is two-fold: a commitment to the principles for which the Founders stood, and a commitment to taking action.[5]

Annual summit[edit]

On August 2, 2014, the IAP conducted its fourth annual summit in St. George, Utah. Speakers included Sheriff Richard Mack and rancher Cliven Bundy.[6]


IAP Radio contains a playlist of conservative speeches and books. Book titles include The 5000 Year Leap and The Creature from Jekyll Island.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Principles of Liberty". Independent American Party. 1999-07-17. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  2. Kessler, Mori (July 30, 2014). "Cliven Bundy speaks at Independent American Party summit". St George News. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Proper Role of Government". 1968-01-29. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  4. "The IAP's PEOPL Process « Independent American Party – Official". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Independence Pledge « Independent American Party – Official". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  6. "News". 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  7. "LISTEN to IAP RADIO « Independent American Party – Official". IAP. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-01-29.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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