I was pleasantly surprised to learn this weekend that former Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schulz is considering running for the office of President of the United States in 2020 – as an independent. The news has sparked concern among Democrats, who fear such a step might divide the progressive/liberal vote and ensure another four year term for President Trump. However, I think that’s a short-sighted perspective.
The problem at present is precisely that the two major political parties have made it almost impossible for any candidate outside their ranks to succeed in becoming President. The entire system is geared to a two-party political process, both of which have ensured (acting together and independently) that there’s little or no room for anything or anyone else. It’s to their advantage to set up the process to suit themselves, and they’ve done so with gusto.
I think the only way to break the Republicans’ and Democrats’ stronghold on the process is to chip away at it from all sides. I’d like to see a dozen independent candidates, not just one, each with a credible message and an attraction to a part of the electorate. If each of those candidates can attract an average of just 2½% of the votes, that’ll take 30% of the votes in a presidential election off the table. The two big political parties simply can’t afford that, so their reaction will have to be one of two things. Either they’ll join forces to block anyone outside their ranks from running at all – which I don’t think the American people will tolerate – or they’ll have to make the process more transparent, more inclusive of views outside their own boundaries. What’s not to like about that?
As for Mr. Schulz, I’m unlikely to vote for him, given what I know about most of his policy positions. However, I’m encouraged to read that he regards the national deficit – currently standing at about $22 trillion – as the biggest single domestic problem confronting this country. I couldn’t agree more! It overhangs any and every other policy option, and will doom them all unless it’s dealt with sooner rather than later. We simply can’t continue deficit spending indefinitely. That’s what got us into this fiscal mess (courtesy of both the Republican and Democratic Parties), and it’s what’s stopping us getting out of it.
If it turns out that Mr. Schulz is the only candidate who understands that, and puts forward credible policy suggestions to deal with it, I think a lot of people might vote for him despite his other positions, because he’ll be the only candidate who “gets it”.
The USA is facing not one, but two existential threats at present.
1. Immigration. Shut it all down. Deport all those who unlawfully or fraudulently entered our country (about 90% over the last 30 years), as well as every last Muslim. (They swore false oaths, by definition.)
2. Federal spending/the national debt. Two sides of the same plutonium coin. What cannot continue indefinitely, must eventually end.
The only problem with your scenario is that it doesn't matter if a dozen independent/minor party candidates pull 30% of the vote in any given state or Congressional district. The Big Establishment party that gets the majority of what's left still gets the Electoral College votes, Senate seat, or Congressional district.
Because 35.1% is more than 34.9%, and both of those are bigger than 2.5%.
You are making a significant assumption in your post. You say the if there are enough 3rd party candidates, the two big parties will join forces to keep them from running. In many parts of the country this happened after John Anderson's run. Ballot access issues make it extraordinarily hard for a third party candidate to get on the ballot. States require people so get a certain number of signatures in each congressional district. And the people verifying those signatures are either Republicans or Democrats. You need a huge organization spread out over large geographic area to have any chance of being presented to the voters. Most people who got on some ballots worked with existing minor parties (like the Greens or the libertarians). But there are very organizations like that.
What George said. I remember the agony of the first Buchanan campaign. Ugh!
Historically third parties get assimilated by one of the two parties.
The us system rewards two parties politically.
Howard Schulz? Had business dealings with him circa 1985. Not a shred of honesty in the man.
Hard core pro-abort, too.
Remember Ross Perot?, His biggie was debt and finance and hr pulled a lot of votes away from President Bush and allowing a Clinton presidency in 1992
No chance on realistic 3rd Party candidates – ballot access is crucial, and far too much "he can't win".
Ross Perot did well — but it was 0 electoral college votes. Which 3rd party DID get electoral college votes last? Hmm, pretty sure it was ex-Dem, always racist George Wallace.
The last time there were four viable candidates for the US Presidency, a civil war followed shortly after the election.
Shultz’s statement suggests that “there is no such thing as an American, and that America is just a collection of anyone who wants to come, rather than a nation with laws and unique culture … He is speaking as if the concept of an American nation is obsolete or never was there to begin with.”
It goes on, but it's more of the same; immigrants uber Americans.
I agree 100% that the debt is a time bomb, and it will blow; it might not start in the US but certainly will impact us. But… I try to not be a single-issue voter but immigration is THE issue for the US long-term. If the "Great Replacement" continues apace, within another decade or so, the Left will get their Cloward-Piven chaos.
Don't you think that a lot of the deficit is the result of the U.S. allowing all the non-citizens who enter this country improperly entitlement to the same benefits and amenities that were initially intended for its own citizens?
Such as: issuing drivers licenses for those here illegally; allowing illegals access to social services, such as food stamps, Medicare/Medicaid, subsidized housing, and the like?
If U.S. citizens were the only ones allowed those benefits (as should be), then the federal budget would have at least a few million $$ extra in its pocket. Even with "free medical care for everyone" as a norm the U.S. budget would still be light years ahead if the country would make proof of citizenship a requirement for entitlement to any of its social services and benefits.
…just a thought …
…just saying …