The Flaw of a Two-Party System
This is a funny country. When someone announces they want to run for President, the press and social media go crazy. Even though we are more than 600 days from the next presidential election, the political PR machine is already cranked up to full speed.
We have heard announcements from many Democratic hopefuls, but when the former Starbucks’ CEO billionaire said he would run for President as a third-party candidate the screams from the DNC could be heard around the world. Howard Schultz’s announcement is the beginning of a strong debate about how a third-party candidate, having like-minded values of one party, can definitively hurt that party. When such a candidate runs, there’s a true risk that the opposite of the intended result will happen.
We can count the examples, from Ross Perot helping elect Bill Clinton and the likelihood that Ralph Nader helped George W. Bush get elected. And those disgruntled Bernie Sanders fans who voted for Jill Stein probably helped Donald Trump get elected.
Political math based on Electoral College votes can indeed lead to an unintended consequence. When an election is very close in certain states, a third-party can easily disrupt the power of either party. Imagine a far-right, more racist candidate with a billionaires’ bankroll running against Donald Trump. If they ran as a Republican, they might not earn a spot on the ballot in certain states. If they declared themselves an independent, however, they would get on the ballot and could hurt Trump severely. At this point, no one from the far-right has challenged the President, but it’s early in the season.
Whether it’s Howard Schultz or Charles Schulz running in a third-party slot, enough votes can be syphoned leading to a result further away from voters’ values. I remember first-time Gen X voters in 2016 saying they would place a revenge vote against Hillary Clinton because of the DNC email disclosures. I gently warned they could get exactly what they didn’t want by voting for someone having no chance of winning. Sadly, the flaw of our Constitution-based two-party system doesn’t handle more than two parties very well. The math doesn’t support it. If enough third, fourth- or fifth-party candidates run, we could end up with a president having less than 40% of the vote. What kind of mandate would that be?
Knowing he will probably never read my words, this is an open letter to Mr. Schultz. Hey, someone has to speak up. Howard Schultz is a chicken shit, white, rich guy who thinks he will get no respect running in a field of Democrat candidates. He is right. Schultz would never be nominated by the Democrat or Republican party. Let’s investigate why he’s not an electable human being. His is one of those rags to riches stories. He didn’t create Starbucks, he simply observed a successful idea and then bought it. He deserves credit for the expansion and amazing success of selling overpriced coffee to young and old across the world, but we have already experienced a “successful” business person’s presidency bringing nothing but blundering breakdowns to our country.
What does a self-made coffee huckster know about governance and it’s inner working? Most people from business placed into the White House take years to grasp how everything works. This has been proven. General Eisenhower needed a few years to develop a feel for being an effective President, and he was smart.
People who run surely want the job. The driver for these types of folk might be a promise they made when they were younger, a sincere desire to make things better or a ravishing hunger to become the most powerful person in the world. In the third case, it’s all about an overactive ego reaching for the ultimate prize, the attainment of which leads to a sober comprehension of the weight and isolation of a new reality. Can they handle that pressure? What guarantee does a voter have that such a person can responsibility and successfully execute the duties of the office? No guarantee, my friend.
Schultz’s company, Starbucks, has been at the center of some stupid things. The company attempts to project an open and free atmosphere, yet they called the cops when a couple of Black guys sat down in one of their Philly locations. I was never fooled by the faux altruism of “Seattle-type” coffee stores. They are a place of status more than a place “for the people.” To their credit though, they recycle materials, ban straws and work for the environment in ways that that many companies should copy. If we are judging candidate Shultz by the company he built, we can all agree that he has been very successful. I’m not sure why his connections or non-connections to Israel have anything to do with his running for president, but more material facts will surely follow if he gets more serious about campaigning.
I suspect Howard Schultz is unable to separate his ego from his aspiration. If he thinks Donald J. Trump is wrong for America and wants to displace him, he needs to run as a Democrat, not as a third-party candidate. If he’s not smart enough to leave his self-interest at the door and fully understand the nation’s electorate, he shouldn’t run for president. Why vote for someone who would deliver exactly the opposite of what they pledge? We already have a person in the White House who does just that. Of course, Donald Trump isn’t sure what he wants, period.
Stand down Howard Schultz. You are entering a room from which you will not be able to escape. You can waste millions of your own money to get what you don’t want, but that is your right in America. Should you follow your folly you will create Trump Version Two. Howard, enjoy your time with Ralph Nader, Ross Perot and Jill Stein on the wall of big blunders. If you were truly a brave American rather than a wimpy coward, you would run as a Democrat.
BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.