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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Don't Fear Independents Like Howard Schultz! Politics Should Be More Like a Starbucks Menu: New at Reason

By Nick Gillespie - February 07, 2019 at 03:00PM

Nearly a dozen Democrats are already running for president. The highlights so far include an interview about immigration livestreamed from a dental chair, a former Harvard professor popping a beer like jes' plain folks on New Year's Eve, and a draconian former prosecutor pledging her allegiance to Wakanda. Democrats are tripping over each other to pitch Medicare for All, Free College for All, Guaranteed Jobs for All, and laying taxes on wealth as well as income.

And then there's Howard Schultz.

The former CEO of Starbucks is considering a run for president as a "centrist independent." He says that the national debt threatens economic growth, that we shouldn't demonize successful entrepreneurs, and that the government can't be all things to all people.

That brought public hate, contempt, and character assassination from every conceivable angle.

It's not just anti-globalist lefties on the attack. The New York Times' op-ed page says he's narcissistic, delusional, and fanatical. His potential run, his critics claim, would be nothing short of "reckless idiocy."

But Schultz's belief that neither major party represents America is widely shared. A plurality of Americans don't identify with either party. And nearly three-quarters of us think the country is headed in the wrong direction, which helps to explain why neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump won a majority of the popular vote in 2016.

The two-party duopoly and its supporters in the media understand how widely disliked they are, which is why they want to kneecap anyone who isn't on Team Red or Team Blue.

You don't have to agree with Schultz to understand that having more voices and ideas on the table at this point in the election cycle is a good thing—especially when you consider the alternatives.

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