I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of billionaire and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announcing his intent to run for president in 2020 as an independent, and I’m sure you’ve also heard the Democrats’ responses. How did we get to a point where it is somehow “undemocratic” to have more options on a ballot? Have we really fallen so deep into tribalism that only the 2 major parties are allowed to decide who gets to be president?
The biggest threat, of course, to such tribalism is people who check some boxes of one of the major parties, but not all of them. The person who believes in LGBT rights, but not gun control, or the pro-choice who is also concerned about unchecked and reckless federal spending. As both parties race full speed away from the center they need those centrists to be forced to choose one extreme or the other, and of course independent and third party candidates give voters another option. But the establishment parties need to force their extremist agendas on people by attaching them to the policies people want, so naturally when someone comes along without all the far-right or far-left baggage people are intrigued.
Sure I’ve heard the “spoiler” arguments, but I don’t buy it, because that means you have to accept our tribalism as a good thing, that should be preserved. In that case I say spoil away, as the major parties get more and more extreme the “spoiler” candidates will start to have a chance to win, or at the very least force the major parties back toward center