I was one of the first 1000 dues paying No Labelers – over a decade ago.
The No Labels Problem Solvers played a vital role in bringing consensus to major legislation including the Biden Infrastructure Plan, The Chips Act and Inflation Reduction Act.
Without the Problem Solvers, it is unlikely Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell would have been able to find enough Republican support to pass the 2023 Debt Ceiling legislation.
But I part company with No Labels over it’s plan to offer voters a third (party) option during the 2024 Presidential General Election in the event of a rematch between current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
I agree with 70% of my fellow Americans who have told pollsters they would prefer a different set of choices.
But, if as we fear, the political apparatchiks manipulate the primary process to bring general election voters to this sad choice, history suggests adding a third option could have unintended consequences.
Polls Don’t Determine Election Outcomes Voters Do
If faced with a Biden/Trump rematch, No Labels intends to nominate a Unity Ticket – one Republican and one Democratic – at their April 2024 Convention in Dallas. They claim the goal is to prevent a second Trump presidency.
Democrats are working overtime to prevent No Labels from gaining the required 50 state ballot access needed to put their “strategy” into play.
I agree with the assumptions these warring political organizations are making.:
- A second Trump presidency would have disastrous consequences for all of us.
- But No Labels might siphon off enough disaffected Republican and Independent voters from President Biden to allow Donald Trump to regain the presidency with 40% or less of the popular vote.
No Labels points to a Monmouth Poll released this week concluding their “Unity Ticket” would draw support from both Biden and Trump but leave Biden atop a healthy point spread.
But what they ignore — the poll points to November 2024 election remaining a Biden versus Trump contest despite a “respectable” showing from No Labels.
A national poll may be comforting to No Labels supporters but fails to measure the No Labels “effect” on the Electoral College distribution of votes state by state nor the impact of fourth or fifth party candidates.
In the End, the Electoral College Votes from Each State Will Determine the 2024 Winner.
Bill Clinton won the 1992 Electoral College with 370 votes to George H.W. Bush’s 168 while earning only 43% of the popular vote – after Russ Perot siphoned off 18% of the popular vote from Bush.
The Monmouth Poll projects a No Labels ticket of Joe Manchin and Jon Huntsmen would earn 16% of the vote if the election were held today.
Equally important, the last several election cycles have proved that polls do not accurately forecast actual votes cast.
Polls don’t count. Votes do.
The No Labels E Booklet pretending to be a presidential platform document is a clear demonstration of just how shallow and opportunist their efforts are.
Common Sense is nothing more than a rehash of every issue the last quarter century of Congress’ and four presidents have been unable to tackle.
Just two quick examples prove the point.
First, we all agree that our immigration system is “broken”. While No Labels references ohmage to secure national borders and needed reform of the system — their solution is limited to granting “legal status” to Dreamers. The very same plan George W. Bush, Barack Obama nor Joe Biden have not been able to push through Congress.
Second, we are all alarmed by a $31 Trillion (and growing) National Debt. The debt was a mere $10 Billion in 2008 — when newly elected Barack Obama established the Simpson Bowles Commission to design a path to a balanced budget in 10 years. Despite the historic fact Simpson Bowles never received a single Congressional hearing – let alone an up or down vote –the No Labels solution is creating another blue ribbon commission Congress would similarly ignore.
Forging A New Political Center
It is critically important to re-establish a more centrist, reasoned, minimalist approach to our government – to minimize the extremes on right and left.
But a political divide — decades in the making — cannot be resolved in a matter of months by an unelected body of political consultants.
The presence of New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu at the No Labels Saint Anselm College (NH) “Town Hall” speaks volumes about the solid, center right political electorate in his state and across the country.
Similarly, Joe Manchin’s ability to make everyone in Washington crazy while achieving real results for West Virginia and the nation’s middle class, speaks to the existence of a sensible center left in the American heartland.
2028 Presidential Primary
No Labels can play an important role in 2024 even without the risks inherent in running a third party “Unity Ticket”.
First, establish themselves as a national party by gaining ballot access in all 50 states.
And building a thoughtful platform of practical government reforms focused on sustainable economic growth: the necessary precondition to strengthening our national security and protecting our social safety net. No pandering, no poppycock, no fantasies.
A platform of government reforms and modernization — speaking to the aspirations of the political center rather than pandering to their fears. Achieving such a platform would require political courage.
Bi-partisan thought leaders, including (but not limited to) Sununu, Manchin, former Utah Governor (and Ambassador to both China and Russia) Huntsman, economists, business leaders and academics should be engaged in this process.
Early ideas should become part of the 2024 dialogue between major party candidates even as the work continues toward defining the total reformist platform.
In 202(7)8 No Labels would invite aspirants who support the No Labels platform to engage in an open presidential primary contest where voters pick the “winners”.
The ‘top two” finishers – one Republican, one Democrat – would become the No Labels 2028 General Election “Unity Ticket”.
General election voters are far more likely to support a “Unity Ticket” made up of candidates they have chosen in primaries – rather than one chosen by frustrated “volunteers” and out-of-work political consultants — in the ballroom of a Dallas hotel.
Rather than the “spoiler” in 2024, No Labels should focus their efforts on developing the new majority political party of 2028.
Our democratic republic desperately needs fresh thinking, a less Washington centric government and younger politicians to maintain and improve our nation as it passes 250 years on the way to it’s fourth century of global leadership.