By Staff Writer Timothy Howard.
The 2020 presidential race continues to heat up as Howard Schultz recently announced that he is “seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.” Yes, the CEO of Starbucks wants to throw his hat into one of the most consequential presidential races in American history. Why does this matter? Well let me explain.
In 2000, many viewed Ralph Nader, the Green party candidate for president, as the spoiler which cost Al Gore New Hampshire.
Due to the loss of this crucial state, Al Gore famously lost the presidency to George W. Bush.
Following that striking defeat, the idea of the spoiler candidate was brought into common terminology. A spoiler candidate is someone whose mere presence on a ballot sways voters from one candidate and helps elect another.
Other popular examples of this kind of candidate would be Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, and Teddy Roosevelt and his “Bull Moose Party” in the election 1912.
All of the aforementioned instances resulted in the defeat of the candidate from the major political party most ideologically aligned with that of the spoiler candidate.
Take a guess who Howard Schultz is ideologically aligned with?
Yep. Trump might just be our president until 2024 if Howard Schultz becomes a serious contender.
Depending on your party affiliation, that may be a good or bad thing, but one cannot say that such a move would be cataclysmic in the political sphere.
If Howard Schultz manages to muster a campaign as broad and impactful as the one he envisions, then we may very well be looking at the end of the two party system as we presently know it.
Our present understanding of politics today is that of populism and “extreme” ideas rapidly becoming mainstream.
The ideological divide between Americans is one of the largest in our national history. If Howard Schultz is successful and becomes President, we could see a resurgence of centrism as an ideology and the centrist politics that dominated the 1990s. That said… who are we kidding!
Howard Schultz lacks the charisma needed to formulate such a masterful political move. While he has funding (thanks to all those Starbucks Frappuccinos), he lacks the grassroots needed to mount a campaign that could subvert the unlimited funding and massive voter base of the two major political parties.
He doesn’t have the mental footing to outwit Trump’s brand of politics, and entirely lacks the credentials to pull from Democratic voters.
Additionally, it’s very rare that independent candidates get serious attention from the media and the national voting base. Most independents flame out come debate time, as too many people strongly identify with one side or the other.
Unlike someone like Ralph Nader, Schultz doesn’t have a main home-state that he can steal.
He needs to accept the fact that if he cares about his country enough to want to be the commander-in-chief, then he needs to learn when to step aside and let the real players duke it out.