Howard Schultz: The man America deserves.
- Politics is not meant as a game
- The lunatic fringe, or bases of the Republican and Democratic Parties do not, and should not control policy
- We are currently trapped in a cycle that has marginalized the Independent Voter despite being the majority
How did this happen? It happened because the loudest people in the room are acting as if they are in control, therefore, the voice of the people. This is not the reality. They are minorities on both sides of aisle. They have imprisoned Independent Voters in a jail cell composed of two polarizing, completely opposite choices about every issue facing our country.
The media helped fuel the rise, and the political parties, via their primaries and midterm elections permitted it to happen. The lunatic fringe or base of each party is nothing more than the loud, whiny, petulant fools who relentlessly believe their own ignorance is gospel, and nothing more. They have captured the political system and are holding it hostage. The only way this trend can break is if we collectively stand up and say no more.
Howard Schultz is the man who can say no more. When asked Monday night at his book signing in New York City his thoughts on the political environment, he astutely explained to the crowd that nothing will change if a far-left Democrat assumes the Presidency in 2020. The division, and do-nothing government will continue to plague our daily life. The reason is we will remain divided around the 49/51 mark, and no party will assume enough power to break the stalemate. They’ll continue to act as if this is a game, while they pander to their bases and chalk up points for their inaction.
The Democratic leadership has expressed a great disdain and waged an immediate assault against Schultz’s wish to run as a self-proclaimed Independent Centrist. They claim that his run will bury any chance for the Democrats in 2020. Is that the case? Let’s look at the landscape.
First, there are over 600 days until Election Day. How are we to believe Mr. Schultz will be the only formidable candidate running as an Independent? There are countless Republicans that have flirted with the idea of challenging Trump in the primaries, plus the likelihood of over twenty candidates running on the Democratic side of the aisle. We’re to believe every one of these candidates will get in line and bow to the party leadership. As if.
Second, according to Mr. Schultz America has been the losers for the past forty years. We have collectively had to choose between two viable candidates at almost every election, yet over 40% of the country registers as an Independent, showing both parties that a large group of Americans in fact do not want to blindly pledge allegiance to a party regardless of candidate. Schultz doubled down on this statement and eloquently laid out a path to success. The Trump base comprises around 35-million voters, and the loyal Democrats likely have a similar number. This means there are technically more voters who would consider an Independent under the right circumstances.
Third, Schultz explained, and somewhat slipped, that he would be able to get his name on the ballot in all fifty states. Again, elections in America have largely been decided by ten or so states in recent decades. This has never given a voice to opposition voters in Red and Blue States. Schultz wants to put all fifty states in play. Imagine a legitimate opponent on the ballot in these states who can drive up turnout where they once typically stayed home. This is a tremendously huge wildcard, and a competitive advantage that has not been exploited in years.
In short, the run is not the long shot our media, and political leaders tell us. They’re simply afraid of a disruption. Sound familiar?
America is in the mood for compromise. Time and time again polls overwhelmingly show a disdain for politics, Congress, and our President. Almost no relevant politician today has favorability above 50%. In fact, it is difficult to find anyone with 40%. This only furthers Schultz’s argument that America has an appetite for something new.
Let’s switch the topic to other carrots from last night. How about who he is and what he would stand for.
Howard quickly ripped apart the far-left agenda from popular Democrats like Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez. He explained, with factual numbers, that programs like Medicare For All and Free College Tuition cost over $40-trillion. This is simply unachievable and puts us on the path to insolvency as a government, especially when we are already $21.5-trillion in debt. Mr. Schultz described this to the crowd, and explained this is why he won’t run as a Democrat. He told the audience he does not want to lie to the voters about unattainable promises to advance himself in a primary.
Schultz took this another step further when he used the real example of California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom advancing Medicare For All. He told the crowd the current budget of the state is $150-billion, but it is expected to balloon to over $400-billion with the upcoming legislation.
Finally, Schultz responded to Junior Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about her disagreement with capitalism. The self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist explained that billionaires like Schultz are what’s wrong with our capitalistic system. Mr. Schultz, a Brooklynite from the projects who was never given a trust fund explained to the crowd jokingly, “she’s from Queens or something,” before politely disagreeing with the statement, by saying he [Shultz] is what is beautiful about capitalism. Shultz is proof of the American Dream. He is an example of what every child should aspire for, which was a line he told the crowd. He used this explanation to express why he wants to run.
Hindsight is always twenty/twenty but it is important to state other platform stances Mr. Schultz mentioned last night.
On the topic of immigration, he chuckled and said, “I must be stupid, because I feel this is the easiest to solve.” He perfectly described that failures of Bush and Obama to pass reform are simply because opposition was unwilling to compromise. He explained the wall is not needed, and alluded to portions of the wall constructed during the Bush years as ineffective. He ripped the idea of far-left Democrats as foolish with regards to ‘Abolish ICE.’ He explained the policy of children separation is immoral, and the border problem is a humanity issue. Border security is imperative, as is the need to afford DACA recipients citizenship, and create a path to citizenship for the 11-million illegals living here. He explained they’d need to be vetted, examined, and either pay fees or catch up on taxes. All reasonable solutions. Again, this is an issue he believes is easy to fix.
The subject of national security came up with two questions. First, the troop withdrawal from Syria, and second, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He explained the withdrawal of troops was foolish, especially considering ‘he [Trump] went against his four-star general’ and didn’t tell our allies. It also opens the door for Russia to impede, along with Iran. Finally, it puts allies like the Kurds and Israel at risk. With regard to Khashoggi, he explained that the Saudis were wrong and sanctions would be immediately applied had he been in power.
The topic of healthcare was a hotly contested one throughout the evening, especially considering multiple people heckled him on the issue. ‘Healthcare is a right’ was a popular phrase heard from folks in the back of the room. He mentioned the lobbying power of pharmaceutical companies in D.C. are most to blame for inefficiencies in the industry. The lobbyists are preventing reform. He explained how he made it possible for all Starbucks employees to have access to healthcare, and expressed a need to fix problems within Obamacare. Here, we saw a wonderful display of the self-proclaimed Independent Centrist.
Finally, the issue of China came up. Now, Schultz expressed there are three ways to look at China. Threat, adversary, or enemy. He explained they are an economic threat, and mentioned that it is imperative for America to withstand the pressure from China trying to overtake our economic dominance. ‘We must stay number one’ was a quote he used. He was quick to decry nationalism and explained that we must work along with the Chinese, but command respect. Finally, he said, ‘we need China to help us with climate change, as well as cooperation with North Korea.’
Your humble writer feels he was a tad soft on China, but I will trust judgement considering few American CEOs have conducted more business with the Chinese than Howard Schultz at Starbucks. It is important to highlight he did not mention a China as a cyber security threat. He did make the point that many economists made once Trump withdrew from TPP by stating that it was a foolish move because it opened the door for China to control trade in the Asian Pacific market.
Let’s end this piece with a few observations.
First, he is running. There is no doubt having seen him in person last night that this man will carry out the aspirations.
Second, his persona and demeanor will resonate with many pragmatic, independent voters. He doesn’t come off as a smug billionaire. He is humble, yet assertive. He is poignant, yet not too polished. Educated, but not elitist.
Third, he will command the media’s attention. He is one of America’s most accomplished CEOs, who ran one of our country’s most well-respected companies. He will be doing something that few people have ever done, and no one has ever succeeded with – a successful, Independent run as a President.
Four, his story is incredible. He is truly a self-made billionaire, who has tremendous recognition once you discover his story. He doesn’t have instant name recognition, but anyone can do a quick search and rapidly understand the man is one of a kind. This can actually work as an advantage over the next year.
Five, the timing is ideal, and the moment is ripe for the taking. The past few decades have never presented an Independent candidate with more of a realistic chance then 2020.
Schultz is an optimistic man. He is visionary. He can solve problems. Americans prefer to vote for something, and they often vote for a positive message. Expect his practical, positive, creative, uniformity message to stick.
Howard Schultz is a name almost everyone in this country will know 365-days from now. His story will be well received, and his plan will be perfectly executed. Anyone who can successfully do what he did with Starbucks can undoubtedly lay the groundwork for a successful run for President. The time is now. He is the man we deserve. He is the man American will elect President in 2020.