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Reblogged:Schultz Rekonsideris

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Translation from the Esperanto: Schultz Reconsidered

An analysis of the possible independent Howard Schultz run for the presidency (which I discounted a couple of days ago) is making the rounds, and it's by one of the first pundits to predict that Donald Trump could win. In "Howard Schultz Could Actually Win the Presidency," Roger Simon argues in part (as excerpted at Power Line):
ontheotherhand.jpg
Image via Pixabay.
Elections are often a reaction to the previous one. America will be searching for a calm, level-headed voice. That, we know, is not Trump, nor is it the hard-left candidate that could well, in fact likely will, win the Democratic nomination.

Current frontrunner Kamala Harris is far from reassuring. She's a shrill (see the Kavanaugh hearings) quasi-socialist promising pie in the sky -- Medicare-for-all, debt-free college, guaranteed pre-K, minimum basic income, confiscatory taxes -- and she's just getting started. Bernie and others will soon be following suit. Fauxcahontas already has, competing in a game of socialist one-upmanship. Even supposedly centrist Biden is playing along...

The cost of all this, the actual numbers, if they ever even publish any, will be stratospheric. The national debt will reach the moon and beyond...

And Howard Schultz knows it. That is why ... he has isolated the escalating national debt as his main issue and pilloried Trump for doing nothing about it. (He has a point there.) At first, he will seem stodgy to "idealistic" millennials, but after a while, they too will wise up. It's their futures too, after all. The outrageous costs of the Democratic platform will be made known to them and then some. The election, already started, is long. The hard left's proposals will not wear well.

Schultz's policies would end up being much closer to Trump's than to the Democratic opposition
. He would want to increase taxes, but only a smidge, so as not to disrupt the economy. He opposes Medicare for all as far too expensive. He would be for a strong defense, at least relatively. He would be middle-of-the-road on immigration, where many Americans are. He would be Trump-lite, a palatable Donald that many of the media could swallow because he wouldn't insult them for being liars (even though they are) or say outrageous (though often accurate) things for them to deliberately misinterpret.

And, of course, he has plenty of money to run -- in every county, as he says. [bold added]
Simon adds a few other things that generally make Schultz more electable than other recent independent/third-party candidates.

I think this is a strong case, focusing as it does on Schultz's electability.

In my previous post on Schultz, I realize now, I misapplied both Ayn Rand's caution about elections as "debates" and the historical lesson about third-party politics -- by implicitly assuming in my haste that Schultz actually stands for a principle (or at least one distinct from what is common in the electorate), which I don't think he does. Schultz is not billing himself as a principled free marketer -- else he'd argue we need to work towards dismantling the welfare/entitlement state, as opposed to merely looking for a way to reduce the national debt. In other words, in terms of where the electorate already is (and is likely to be in 2020), Schultz may plausibly win, especially against his likely opposition. This is because he is not really offering anything substantially different than what most people want. And for the same reason, since his goal isn't to change minds, it doesn't matter in that respect how he chooses to run. In another respect -- what would either party nominate (a preening thief or a brain-dead strong man) -- it makes all the difference in the world.

So, no, I don't think Schultz running for office is Quixotic. But a Schultz presidency will not make a substantial difference in the direction our country is heading, either. Given the current state of the two parties, though, it might be the best outcome. The Democrats would be held at bay for another few years, and perhaps a loss would shake the hold of the brainless Trump coalition on the Republicans.

-- CAV

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