It may sound funny, but a couple weeks ago when former 2024 Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. officially turned his back on his father’s and uncle’s lifelong party to launch his own independent campaign, I didn’t think about how the announcement would impact the impending candidacies of president senile Joe Biden or former president Donald Trump.
No, I wondered how it would, most likely, mean the end of the sadly misnamed “No Labels” party.
I’ve maintained all along that “No Labels” basically translates to “No Principles” and “No Beliefs” or “No Chance to Win” – basically because most Americans understand what a vote for a Democrat or Republican gets them, whereas if you choose “No Labels”, it could mean nothing – or even worse, something really bad.
Would anyone in their right mind vote for a president they didn’t know anything about? Why not just sign “No Labels” on the nation’s death warrant? But then again, a no-name might very well be superior to what we’re seeing from Biden and the Democrats these days.
No matter, despite Kennedy’s noteworthy departure from the party of (uncle) Teddy Kennedy, the Clintons (Bill n’ Hill), Barack Obama and now “The (anti-Semitic leftist) Squad”, some gullible people still cling to the notion that disgruntled voters want a non-D/non-R alternative. In an opinion piece titled “No Labels Unity Ticket Would Pull From Both Parties Equally”, wishy-washy former senator and John McCain best pal Joe Lieberman wrote at the Wall Street Journal (via Real Clear Politics) recently:
“For any who are skeptical of No Labels’s internal polling, let’s remember that poll after poll shows that two thirds of Americans don’t want a rematch of the 2020 election. A Gallup poll from October found that 63% of voters are open to a third party and that demand for an alternative is higher among Republicans than Democrats, suggesting that Mr. Trump could have more to lose from the entry of a viable third choice.
“Of course, no one can know exactly what effect a third ticket would have, especially if you add a fourth or fifth ticket. While our data don’t indicate that No Labels would hurt Mr. Biden, it’s entirely plausible that Cornel West would, since he is running as a third party from the president’s left. Similarly, reports indicate that the Trump team is preparing attacks against Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after its polling found that his independent run could take votes from Mr. Trump...
“In this environment, doing nothing is the greatest risk of all. No Labels is trying to do something to heal our broken politics. If we offer our ballot line to a presidential ticket in 2024, our purpose won’t be to spoil the election but to enable a unity ticket to win. That would be unprecedented—but what about today’s politics isn’t?”
How about a fifth ticket, or sixth ticket or seventh ticket, etc.? Once we get past the Republicans vs. Democrats split – and even add in the candidacies of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Cornel West or (name your crackpot here), then “No Labels” indeed gets a new label, that being “Also Ran”, or “Irrelevant”, or “No Prayer” and “Waste of Money”! Don’t all the non-R’s and D’s kind of just meld together at that point?
Take a look at the non-Trump candidates in the GOP primary race and you’ll see what I mean.
Whoever thought up the name “No Labels” for their effort must be very frustrated these days, since the independent “label” has taken on a meaning of its own, as does “third-party” and the older, more established non-D or R political entities like the Libertarians, Green-ies and Constitution party adherents.
I didn’t know it prior to reading Lieberman’s opinion that he is the Founding Chairman of the No Labels group. It all makes sense now!
But here’s wondering whether RFK Jr., who some polls suggest is supported in the mid-teens against Biden and Trump, could wage a campaign that could really make a difference – you know, win, instead of just throwing the result to one of the two major contenders. Some say RFK Jr.’s candidacy will tip the balance to the D’s, like Ross Perot’s did in 1992, but to me, the only clear loser here is Joe Lieberman, Senator Joe Manchin (if he were to officially join the “No Labels” movement) and anyone else who believes now is the time to go beyond the two-party conundrum.
RFK Jr.’s third-party (or Independent, same thing) campaign differs from Ross Perot’s in many different ways and shouldn’t be compared, apples to so-called apples, to the Texas billionaire’s 1992 outsider effort. They’re not exactly as different as night and day, but coming more than a generation apart, it’s hard to see Kennedy as a spoiler the way Perot (likely) was for George H.W. Bush after one term.
First and foremost, the political hemisphere is worlds different now than it was in the early nineties. It’s almost quaint to remember back to the time when Ronald Reagan was only a few years removed from his presidency, Patrick J. Buchanan turned people’s heads with his warnings of a “Culture War” and unrestrained illegal immigration and Democrats – at least some of them – weren’t the knee-jerk socialists that they are today.
After Reagan, the Republican establishment took firm control of the party once again, casting Reagan’s personnel – and his laissez faire economics principles – to the side to favor big government Republicanism, including a very un-Reagan-like predilection towards aggressive military engagement in the first Gulf War. For those with failing memories, the nation rallied around Bush during the fighting but cooled considerably after the troops were halted short of Baghdad and cries of “what now?” dominated the mindset.
Together with Bush’s going back on his “Read my lips, no new taxes” pledge and a stuttering economy, conditions were ripe for a fiscal-minded, tough talking leader like Perot to come in and wrestle votes away from the Republican side. I personally recall family members who were lifelong conservatives having had it with Bush’s sellouts, opting to sit out or vote for Perot instead of hoping for the best from the GOP bluebloods.
RFK Jr., on the other hand, won’t be paying for national television “infomercials” where he’ll present the nation’s fiscal challenges on big white cardboard sheets and swear to reverse course. JFK’s attorney general’s oldest son gained most of his notoriety from opposing the federal government’s COVID policies, most notably vaccine and mask mandates that didn’t make any sense. In the process, RFK Jr. made a strong case for individual liberties, the bedrock this country was founded upon.
It was music to the ears of libertarians and “moderate” Republicans who opposed Trump, because finally they might’ve found an outlet to express their dissatisfaction with the current populist direction of the GOP – and possibly a place to put their protest votes. The same goes for Democrats who’re disgusted with the party’s leftward lurch and/or were fed up with senile Joe Biden’s lies.
But it shouldn’t be forgotten that RFK Jr. is indeed a dedicated ideological liberal, primarily on environmental issues and “climate change” – though he’s also made a pitch for free markets as a way to reduce the damage done. He hasn’t clarified how he would address the majority of the issues, and his policy seems like it would be vastly superior to senile Joe Biden’s and the rest of today’s Democrats, but how much?
Time may tell where RFK Jr.’s true views stand, but the same folks who would lend an eye towards “No Labels” are now, most likely, noticing a more legitimate contender in the 2024 race and don’t see a need to devote much attention and money towards Lieberman’s group any longer. For months now, polling outfits have shown a significant slice of the electorate was open to a not-Trump/not-Biden alternative, though the respective primary races, if you can call them races, haven’t indicated a massive, overwhelming drive to rid themselves of the two top guys.
The fact is, 2024 isn’t really shaping up to be a whole lot different than 2016 or 2020 where the Republicans and Democrats both offered flawed and theoretically highly beatable candidates. Don’t forget how Democrats whined and groaned about how anyone – other than Hillary Clinton – would’ve beaten Trump in 2016, and, Republicans likewise surmised that anyone other than Trump would’ve prevailed over basement-dwelling senile liar Joe Biden in 2020.
Both sides are barking up the same tree, or acting insane (namely, doing the same things over and over and expecting different results). The same goes for the “No Labels” (small) crowd and the ones conducting a political flirtation with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. right now.
Why? Because elections are about the future, and the personality contest that the establishment media sensationalizes time and again will only carry so much weight for so long. Assuming that Republicans are motivated to ensure that mail-in balloting is legitimate this time around, Trump will have a pretty good chance to win. RFK Jr. and whomever the “No Labels” people run will draw a percentage of the angriest politics-haters when the moment arrives, but here’s hoping that ideas – and platforms – will sway a majority (or at least a clear plurality).
Trump offers an agenda. So does Biden. RFK Jr. does too, presumably, but who can say what it really is other than a watered-down version of what Democrats are pitching? The “No Labels” party believes in what….? Do the “No Labels” promoters all think the same thing?
No one can say for sure what candidates or issues will determine the outcome of the 2024 election – there are just too many variables to tell right now. What is almost certain, however, is that groups like “No Labels” will end up in the dustbin of history filled with unrealistic losers – they just don’t have the numbers to sustain themselves.
Joe Biden economy
Biden cognitive decline
January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election