No Labels, the supposedly moderate, “get things done,” political organization, is gearing up to run a third-party candidate in the 2024 Presidential Election. They are currently fundraising, and are doing so by trying to convince people that not only can they win, but if they do, all of our current problems with political division and gridlock will magically disappear, ushering in a new era of cooperation and tri-partisanship. That’s nonsense. There’s no way any of that is going to happen.
I recently received the following fundraising email from Johnny Kunza, Vice-President at No Labels. I trust that he means well*, but it is horribly and dangerously naïve to think that a third-party candidate for president can get on the ballot in all 50 states, has any chance of winning, and if by some miracle they do win, that enough members of Congress will cooperate with them to make a difference. I hope that Johnny and his cohort at No Labels comes to their senses before they do serious damage, not only to the 2024 Presidential Election, but to the future of our country.
Here is the email I received from No Labels followed by my response:
I think we both know that it’s time for a new choice for America, but it’s looking more and more like 2024 is going to be a replay of 2020.
Meanwhile, our economy is rife with inflation, there is a crisis at our border, and our education system is failing our kids. This is why our efforts to get on the ballot in every state is SO important.
Just imagine, for the first time in well over a hundred years, a true third option. Imagine electing a unity government that could achieve bold bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems and actually fix things like our broken immigration system and secure Social Security for our children and grandchildren. Imagine that we could even find a middle ground in the culture wars that threaten to tear us apart.
This is a unique moment in American history in which dissatisfaction with the parties, the politicians, and the state of the country is so high that a middle of the road alternative is a REAL possibility. We know it’s a real possibility because of the fearful reaction coming from the two major parties. They know we’re onto something. And if we want to keep this momentum going, I need you to do two things:
- Join our Citizen Action Center to help spread the word about our efforts
- Pitch in $10, $25, or $50 today to No Labels 2024
Warring factions in our broken politics will keep trying to stop us as they continue to tear our country apart in a no-holds barred battle for political power. But we are reimagining a different future where our leaders come together to solve our problems. With your help we can restore our government to one of the people again and not of the parties.
Thanks for all your support, Friend!
Your plan to run a third-party candidate in the 2024 Presidential Election is a pipe dream. In the current environment, not only can a third-party candidate not win, running a third-party candidate will ultimately lead to the election of an authoritarian leader. I trust that No Labels’ intentions are pure*, but you have to know that this is a horrible idea.
Assuming you can get on the ballot in all 50 states–an incredibly ambitious and unlikely possibility–you don’t stand a chance of winning in any of those states. You must know that third-party candidates never do well in presidential elections, and that is especially true at a time like now when the base of the Republican Party is so radicalized and so locked-in to supporting their candidate (most likely, Donald Trump), that the only votes a third-party candidate is likely to get will come from voters that otherwise would be voting for the Democratic candidate.
Let’s play a “what if” game. What if a third-party candidate were to win the presidency? Who in the House or Senate would cooperate with that president? Neither Republicans nor Democrats support the president of the opposing party now. What makes you think they would support a third-party president? Trust me, they wouldn’t.
If you are serious about starting a third-party in the United States, don’t take the easy way out. Start with local elections. Elect local officials and state legislators. Start in one state (or a handful) and build a true party, not a one-off candidacy that is sure to fail. Political parties need members if they are to be sustainable. Don’t start with a presidential candidate and hope that members of other parties vote for them. Create your own members. Start small and build momentum. That’s how political parties are formed, not by running a Hail Mary presidential candidate.
Please don’t disrupt the 2024 Presidential Election. You can’t win, but your efforts could lead to the end of democracy in the United States.
* I initially gave Johnny Kunza and the folks at No Labels the benefit of the doubt in their efforts to run a third-party presidential candidate. That was, until I learned that Republican mega-donors (including Clarence Thomas’ pal, Harlan Crow) are funding No Labels’ efforts, and Republican political strategists are running their campaign efforts. These people are extreme right-wing ideologues, not middle-of-the-road moderates. They don’t want a presidential candidate that will unify our elected officials. Their stated goal has been to rig the system so their favored MAGA Republican candidates can’t lose. Or, at least, will have an easier time winning. Look where else these mega-doors are investing their money. They’re doing everything they can to suppress voting rights, confirm extreme right-wing judges, and institutionalize gerrymandering. These are not the actions of democracy-loving patriots who just want everyone to get along for the good of the country. They are radicals trying to tear down our democracy and elect a more authoritarian government. So, don’t fall for their lies or unrealistic utopian political fever dreams. No Labels is trying to rig the election, not bring our country together.