Last week, when Joel reflected on public dissatisfaction with the current political culture, he responded that “a new party is highly unlikely.”  I agree.

Huh?  Why would I undercut my own effort to launch a moderate third party? Because my goal is to earn the trust of Californians.

Voters are sick of talking points and platitudes. They’re angry at politicians who overpromise and underdeliver.  Because they’re looking for candor and real solutions, it’s not in my interest to overhype this effort.

Previous attempts to bring third parties into the mainstream have failed for myriad reasons, but all of them have not been successful because they’re completely unrealistic about what’s actually feasible.  So let me break down why I think the California Moderate Party could succeed—even if the skeptics believe it’s unlikely.

Reason One:  We’re Taking a Bottom-Up Approach

I left a job that I loved last Summer because I saw an unprecedented open window of opportunity to disrupt the status quo.  I made the mistake of thinking I needed to focus on fundraising to make this happen.  Then I realized that not coming up with the money was probably the best thing that ever happened.  This effort will only work if it’s organic.  No wealthy billionaires like Nicolas Berggruen.  No gimmicky presidential ticket like Americans Elect.  Just a small group with a lot of passion and a splash of moxy is all we need.

Reason Two:  We’re Leveraging Online Voter Registration

Hello Generation Facebook.  Remember the days when you had to register to vote by filling out a really long paper form on someone’s clipboard?  Oh wait, that’s still the case.  But according to Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California’s new online voter registration system should be online by Labor Day. This will dramatically reduce the barriers to changing one’s party affiliation.  We need 103,004 voters registered by the end of 2013, but our goal is 2 million voters—or 10 percent of the electorate—by 2020.

Reason Three:  We’ll Create an Incentive for Lawmakers to Defect

We already have 3.6 million voters who choose not to affiliate with any political party at all—half of whom are self-identified moderates. Yet, there’s no political brand around which they can coalesce.  And, of course, you have frustrated lawmakers who would love to have a political base.  Parties provide that infrastructure.  We think that a growing base of voters affiliated with the Moderate Party brand will reach a tipping point where there’s sufficient incentive for incumbents to defect.  Again, the goal is 10 percent—four Senators and eight Assembly Members. That’s more than enough to shift the balance of power in the Capitol to this bona fide Mod Squad.

I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.  You don’t have to take me seriously at this point and frankly I’d rather slide by under the radar for now.  Just wait a year and judge our results.

But this has nothing to do with me.  It will be up to California voters to make this happen. Will our message of restoring trust in government through a new political culture based on shared responsibility resonate?  That remains to be seen.  One thing’s for sure, however:  if we don’t begin to trust ourselves, we’ll never be able to restore trust in our government.