Op-Ed: Howard Schultz, Take Your Shot

Greg Orman & Neal Simon

February 3, 2019

Thirty seconds into Howard Schultz’s first campaign event last Monday in New York City, one attendee yelled “Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical, billionaire a—h—!” He was joined by thousands of vitriolic posts on social media. The mainstream media, which thrives on tribal warfare, added fuel to the fire, urging Mr. Schultz not to run for president.

 

All this happened before anything was known about Mr. Schultz’s positions or vision for the U.S. Instead, Democrats attacked him for potentially “spoiling” the 2020 election. The media responded in kind, focusing on the horse race, not the horse.

 

Mr. Schultz has every right to run, and every right to run outside the two major parties. America’s Founding Fathers wanted a republic without political parties. They feared that one day Americans might put party above country, and their fears have come true.

 

The Democrats attacking Mr. Schultz act as if only Republicans have failed the country. Yet in 2009, Democrats held the presidency, a large House majority and, for a time, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. But Democrats didn’t provide the Dreamers a path to citizenship and did nothing to reduce the debt or control prescription-drug prices.

 

Eighty-one percent are now dissatisfied or angry with Washington. Almost the only political statement on which Americans can agree is that the government, whether in Republican or Democratic hands, is failing.

 

Americans consistently say they want a third option. But in 2016 many felt forced to choose the lesser of two evils. It’s easy to imagine a similar situation in 2020.

 

People want their votes to matter. That’s why independent and third-party presidential candidates usually underperform. But in 2016, 76 million Americans tuned into each of the three general-election debates, on average. If Mr. Schultz is the clear winner on stage in 2020, throw the rule book for independent candidates out the window. With a credible and well-funded campaign, Mr. Schultz just might assure Americans they finally can vote for... Continue Reading.