Duopoly Distemper: Media and Democrats Attack Schultz For Even Considering A Third Party Run

The exploration of former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz of a possible third party candidacy has been welcomed by many who have long seen our dysfunctional politics as a result of the duopoly of power in the country in the hands to just two parties. People want change and that is highly unlikely to occur in our current system. That is precisely why Schultz has been met with a torrent of criticism by the media and Democrats for even suggesting a third party run. The spin is that he is handing the election to Donald Trump by splitting the anti-Trump ticket. However, this has been the same mantra for every third party candidate in my lifetime. The problem is that he could win and there is no danger that more threatens the establishment in Washington. So we are back to the same refrain — eagerly repeated by the media — that the country simply cannot handle more choice than the two offered by the party elites.

I do not know much about Schultz, though I have put his kids through college with a coffee addiction. He has studied the number of a third party run and thinks that it is possible. He may be right or wrong but it is the response from the political and media establishment that is so telling. The best indicator that he might be right is the outrage over his possible run.

Yet, every election in my lifetime I have heard (and felt) nothing but anger over having to constantly choice between the candidates approved by the Democratic and Republican primaries. Neither party reflects with majority of voters and the number of independents continue to rise.

We are routinely forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. The last election was an utter disgrace. The Democratic establishment wanted Hillary Clinton for its own purposes. It simply did not matter that Clinton was the most unpopular Democrat to run in the general election or that she was carrying a mile long chain of controversies and bad decisions. The same is true with Trump. Trump was elected as an anti-establishment (and non-Hillary) candidate but voters clearly wanted another choice. Yet, we are locked into whoever the two parties select from the extreme poles of our electorate.

I was raised in a staunchly Democratic family in Chicago and here is a suggestion for the Democratic Party. Spend less time trying to deny choices to the American voter and more time trying to selection someone that people will support in their own right. Rather than repeating the same identity politics and “lesser of two evils” strategy, find someone who actually appears to the majority of Americans as opposed to the most fringe elements of your own party. Schultz understands that. He has been selling things in crowded markets for his entire career. He did not do it by trying to convince McDonald’s coffee drinkers that their coffee was garbage or that Starbucks was the better choice of two bad cups of java. He did it by selling his coffee as a really good product and it is.

We have to stop being chumps. The barrage of criticism against Schultz and other third-party candidates is about power — not ours, theirs. Whatever Schultz may prove to be, he is at least a choice.

That is something we have really not had for a long time.

67 thoughts on “Duopoly Distemper: Media and Democrats Attack Schultz For Even Considering A Third Party Run”

  1. Schultz is selling a book, pretending to be a centrist. He is the shining object for the pundit class to go who and ahh. But there is one thing you can be damn sure about, he is a wolf in sheep clothes when it comes to protecting his bottom line and his wealth. When the people find out he is just another ego driven rich person with no policy, they will leave and he will be happy with his profits from the book and go home, or his yacht.

    1. The above isn’t discussion on Schultz. It is an envy driven report by Fishwings that discloses more about him than it does about Schultz.

        1. “In the land of stupid, you are king.”

          That is right Fishbrains. Stupid people need guidance and in that land you fit at the low end of the pole.

  2. For me, the real story behind the potential Schultz candidacy is it demonstrates just how clearly partisan most of the mainstream media has become.

    If you contrast the Harris announcement with the Schultz announcement, you see Harris universally lauded and fawned over across most media platforms while Schultz is being absolutely eviscerated with vitriol typically reserved for all things Trump–and Schultz hasn’t even formally announced anything.

    Make no mistake, the Dems rightly have a lot to fear from a Schultz run for all the reasons that have been more than well documented. However, the point is: why should mainstream media propagate exactly the talking points and blatantly political concerns of just one major party? All candidates deserve fair and balanced media coverage otherwise the media is simply putting its considerable thumb on the democratic scales.

    If Schultz is getting this much pressure publicly, I have no doubt he is being pressured with no holds barred behind the scenes. This will likely result in Schultz not running but is that the way our democracy should operate?

    In the final analysis, it seems clear that our society has taken a significant and unfortunate turn towards the Orwellian and away from the democratic principles that are the foundation of our country.

    1. “However, the point is: why should mainstream media propagate exactly the talking points and blatantly political concerns of just one major party?”‘

      They shouldn’t. Yet it is exactly what they do. Hence the term ‘fake news,’ aka ‘biased news.’

  3. I have to applaud Howard Schultz. In times of need in NYC one can always depend on a bathroom open to all at Starbucks. He gets an A+ as a SJW. The only problem is that when I want a cup of coffee and then need to use the bathroom there is a line of people that normally you wouldn’t want to bump into.

    When one finally gets to the bathroom one has to navigate the filth and potential needles sticking up to give you whatever disease a former user may have left. That is what SJW’s are all about, until they have to send their kids into that bathroom.

    1. There is a SJW side to Mr. Schultz’ business’ public persona, but know that in the end he is a core-businessman.

      His company had in-house store design teams that did the Computer Aided Drafting of floor plans, layouts etc. of new and remodeled stores. Then, they laid off most of the store dev. employees and offshored the work to India.

      1. You got it Darren. I remember when people were applauding Ben and Jerry for passing a rule that management could not be paid more than a multiple of what the worker was paid. They lauded them for keeping their salaries down. However, Ben and Jerry had a lot of stock that went up very quickly and made them very righ.

        It the end man is self serving so that is the characteristic we have to deal with when electing people to rule.

        1. Treat people fairly and reap your just rewards, nothing wrong with B&J or anyone getting rich. The crime is in how did you achieve it? Oh, BTW, they earned it, no one gave them a 100M.

          1. “Treat people fairly and reap your just rewards, nothing wrong with B&J or anyone getting rich. The crime is in how did you achieve it? Oh, BTW, they ear ned it, no one gave them a 100M.”

            I guess YNOT you are too stupid to understand what I said. They were lauded for creating a salary scale which kept the salaries of management down to a set multiple of what the workers were paid. Therefore they were felt to have given up a lot of wealth.

            Stupid people like you think that by giving up high salaries B&J were treating themselves just like they were the ordinary worker. No. They owned stock so every year their wealth increased tremendously. The stupid looked at their salaries which was a meaningless piece of information. It was their equity in the company that counted.

            By the way in some of my adventures I took almost no salary. You would have thought that I had no means, but salary wasn’t my interest. My equity was.

          2. SNOT wrote “The crime is in how did you achieve it? ”

            Yeah, there is that Global Clinton FUNDation pyramid “pay for play” scheme, but lets talk about how poor Bill and Shillary were poor after he raped so many women as Rapist in Chief and now are zillionaires.

            How is Hillary’s suicidal ideations? Not that Bill cares mind you…

            1. Anonymous do you think SNOT sounds more intelligent than YNOT? I think YNOT should do a name change to SNOT as it would make sense.

  4. First, Hillary Clinton DID win the popular vote, so to the extent your piece relies on this concept, it is wrong. Voters, by a 3 million margin, wanted her, not Trump. Secondly, this country could not survive more of the extreme dysfunction of Trump. Since there is no longer any doubt that Turley is pro-Trump, it’s clear that today’s piece is calculated to encourage a third-party candidate who could bleed off Democratic voters. It doesn’t matter who runs against Trump, his base will vote for him, so any non-Democratic vote is functionally a pro-Trump vote.

    Last, what are Schultz’s qualifications? He sells cofveve that Turley likes? Drinking expensive coffee is a Millennial fad. Coming up withthis marketing idea doesn’t qualify someone to be POTUS.

    1. Nuchacha blathers “First, Hillary Clinton DID win the popular vote…”

      Didnt David Brock stop paying his trolls for using that “she failed second” talking point, and moved on to “save the womyn with pink 🙀 hats”?

      just saying

      1. I’m tired of seeing these teams that scored less yardage win football games.
        Often they have far fewer first downs as well, and less time of possession.
        It’s just not fair😩😭, no fair at all!

        1. ya know youd think Shillary knew from her first presidential failed run that the goal was winning the most electoral college votes.

          Someone put a pink puzzie hat on her 🤡

          1. Hillary actually got more total votes in the all of the 2008 primaries combined than Obama did.
            ( But don’t tell Natacha; I’m sure if she knew this, she’d go on a tear about Obama not legitimately winning the nomination).😒.

  5. There were also incidents of dems demanding a boycott of Starbucks due to Mr. Schultz’ consideration of running for elected office. Yes, try to destroy a man’s career or business just because he talks about exercising his civil right to hold office.

    1. Yes, try to destroy a man’s career or business just because he talks about exercising his civil right to hold office.

      Unfortunately this is the model that is tolerated by the Left; if you can’t beat ’em on principle, then just destroy ’em on character. Facts be damned. And the left-leaning media will help you do just that.

      1. Can you imagine millennials giving up their Starbucks ? Thats like Pelosi giving up on Botox

        “The first thing to note is that while boycotts can be effective (Greenpeace’s boycott of Shell in 1995 reduced sales in Germany by up to 40%.) most fail to have any noticeable impact.”


        I thought Dims were all about pro-choice. 👎🏽

        1. Estovir,
          I owned a bit of Starbucks stock ( SBUX) that I purchased about 15 years ago.
          After the 2008 crash and near-meltdown of our financial system, I waited for it to rebound, and sold it at a small profit.
          My reasoning was that given a severe recession, high unemployment, etc., a completely non-essential, discretionary frill like paying $5 bucks for a latte would be one of the very first things that many consumers would be likely to cut back on, on eliminate.
          But the 2008-2009 plunge barely seemed to put a dent in their business. On a “micro” level, I’d watch the same large numbers of people ordering the same “luxury”, hi-priced coffee in different cities.
          I think some of the patrons would rather see their cars repossessed than give up the $$tarbuck$$ pricey drinks.
          I would have been better off holding on to the stock; my reasons for selling may have seemed solid, but things sure didn’t play out the way that I thought they would for the company’s prospects.

          1. Im a Dunkin Donuts kind of coffee drinker….darker, stronger, cheaper. On rare occasions I will get a refill at SB for $1.47

            Boycotts worked decades ago when America had a soul.

  6. There is a big time need for a viable third party for those who the socialist left left behind in their stampede to left field. Thus the ICD movement becomes not just useful and moral but essential from an objectivist slash Constitutional Centrist stand tall point.

    Colin Lamb is looking for the opportunity to bolt and start an Independent Constitutional Movement which should in a few months or less attract enough to bring Pelosi’s left wing extremist anti constitutional time as Speaker to a halt. The ICDs the become a vote magnet and party member magnet for those who are not happy in a neo foreign ideology party.whose only platform is porn and now it seems pandering to the underage sex traffickers and drug trade.

    Whatever, wherever they are so far left they have become the dash between Marx and Engels. If Lamb and others like him are true former Marines and not ex Marines that move is inevitable and completely a more than possible but practical way of replacing DNC with IDC or whatever name they choose.

    Do they need seven factions when just one the Latinos are turning against the left and they are going to be the largest ethnic group by 2030 to 2050.

    In the Center our activities as Indpendent unaffiliated self governing citizens and supporters took 40% of the valid vote in 2016 and with the Constitutional Republicans (GOP minus RINOs) elected an outsider to expose and destroy the left. 55% to 45% legal and valid votes from President Trumps minor base in the Party and Major Base in the Constitutional Center also turned the Blue Wave into a bunch of singing the blues losers

    We’re done with the out of date stuff and the phony definitions.

    Constitutionalism versus Socialism of whatever variety.

    Citizens vs PerSONs

    Our home grown Representative Constitutional Res Publica of , by, and for the citizens


    a failed foreign ideology dedicated to one party, and one leader under State Economics

    No wonder the left is running scared…They are a DINOsaur-ocracy.

  7. I was beginning to have my doubts about JT’s jugdment before he revealed that he praises Starbucks coffee. Don’t you East Coasters have any Equator brand coffee outlets? Or better yet, Blue Bottle? Peet’s will do in a pinch, but Starbucks? Weak as water!

  8. For 2020, ask yourself a simple question:
    Where would I rather live – Russia, Venezuela or Starbucks?

  9. We need a choice not an echo. We got a Trump the last time and not a hecko like Hillary. Obama was better than Clinton or Carter. The two Bush men were better than Trump. Reagun was better than Trump. Ike was better than Trump. Trump is better than Nixon. Ford? Not sure. Truman was the best we have had since Lincoln.

  10. And there is this….Howard Schultz is the story of immigrants coming to America and had nothing…..until their offspring became examples of the American Dream

    Run Howard Run!!!


    “I was born in 1953, in Brooklyn, New York, to Fred and Elaine Schultz.
    Like so many Americans, our ancestors were immigrants. My paternal great grandfather, Max, arrived in the United States from Eastern Europe in 1892 with $10 in his pocket. He spoke no English and made his living as a tailor. My maternal great grandfather, Morris, came to America in the early 1890s. He was a barrel maker.”

    “I was three years old when my family moved us into a small apartment in one of Brooklyn’s public housing projects in Canarsie, which really was the last stop on the “L” train from New York City. I grew up in those projects, the oldest of three kids, and with a best friend who lived next door.

    Neither of my parents finished high school, and after my father returned from World War II, he spent his life working low paid jobs as a laborer. He and I had a complicated relationship, and the best memory I have of my dad is sitting with him at Yankee Stadium, watching our hero Mickey Mantle play baseball.”

    “In high school I played football, and I saw the sport as a potential path out of the projects. In 1971, I arrived at Northern Michigan University—a world away from Canarsie—with the hope of getting a football scholarship, but it never materialized. I stayed at NMU and paid my way through school with student loans and part-time jobs. I even sold my blood for cash when things got really tough.
    In 1975, I became the first in my family to graduate college. Unfortunately, my parents could not afford to attend the graduation ceremony, but I knew my mother was proud.”

    1. “Run, Howard, Run!!!”
      Shouldn’t that be “Race Together with Howard!!!”?😉

  11. “We have to stop being chumps.”

    Au contraire mon ami, Amercianos love being chumps.

    Two-thirds of Americans have a Body Mass Index > 25 and yet relish chastising the medical system for charging them their fat arm and their humongous leg for their health care. Talk about fat heads Americans would rather be enormous in girth (and no mirth) and take half a dozen prescription drugs instead of showing self discipline, think about how their daily decisions make them (and our health care system) sick, all the while crow that they deserve better

    Trump and Hillary mirror all too well how chumpy Americans are.
    In the next election cycle Trump and Hillary will be rivaled in their idiocy by Americans going along with the DNC and RNC

    Bring back the dinosaurs to make everyone run.

  12. Fascinating coincidence to see this article here this morning. I just finished listening to a Freakonomics Radio podcast “America’s Hidden Duopoly”, which explores how the two parties have colluded to keep all the power and spoils to themselves; doing everything they can to prevent new competition, and not giving two you-know-whats about solving the citizen’s problems or making things better for us. The podcast describes the political complex as an industry, where we are the very poorly-served customers.

  13. Other questions to consider…What will be the size of Howard Schultz’s impact on the race? Will it be grande? Or venti? Will it be more or less annoying that those names for drink sizes at Starbucks?

  14. Disappointed in this column. No real understanding by Professor Turley about the demands of the electoral system that basically requires a two party system over time. Want more parties, switch the system to multi-member proportional representation. The reason the Democrats reacted as they did is that they view, and probably correctly, that a third party run will siphon more votes from them than the Republicans making it harder to defeat Trump. None of that speaks to whether Schultz will be a credible candidate – we’ve really seen in the last 50 years three instances where third parties received sizable votes – Anderson in 1980, Perot in 1992, Perot in 1996 – although you might be able to argue 2000 it had an impact on the outcome, it probably didn’t matter in the other three.

    1. First-past-the-post promotes two-party systems, but the institutions interact with the culture, and some cultures have more cross cutting cleavages than others. The disputes in our society are highly correlated, so don’t generate or sustain more than two parties. By contrast, see Canada to our north, which has three consequential parties and two minor parties in spite of the use of first-past-the-post. Britain has a minor party and several regional parties. France has at any one time a half-dozen notable factions in spite of its use of first-past-the-post and run-off balloting (as we speak in France, you have the nationalist-populist vote, the conventional right and its satellites, the Macron fan club and its satellites, the Socialists and their satellites, the red haze and its satellites, and small dispensations (greens, the dregs of the old Communist Party, retro-Gaullists, &c) who alternate between free-standing candidacies and attaching themselves to a patron party.

      What you might benefit from in this country would be:

      1. Mechanistic procedures for defining electoral constituencies (which is going to require gelding the judiciary, who have done so much damage with their bad one-man-one-vote jurisprudence).

      2. An end to postal balloting except for certain discrete clientele (e.g servicemen and shut-ins). Also, a requirement that postal ballots be mailed out no later than sixty days prior to an election and a rule that postal ballots arriving after the election day be mailed back to the sender without being tabulated.

      3. The use of ordinal balloting tabulated according to Condorcet methods (in contests with a single victor) and Hare methods (in contests wherein you have multi-members slates running for a conciliar body).

      4. Party competitions in constituencies wherein the ratio of enrolled Democrats to enrolled Republicans (or, in odd places, of enrolled Republicans to enrolled Democrats) does not exceed 2-to-1 and a variant of the ‘jungle primary’ in constituencies where it does so exceed.

      5. Universal four year terms for non-judicial offices. (And terms for judicial office which are whole-number multiples of 4 years).

      6. A standard quadrennial electoral cycle: federal elections in year one, elections for local offices with general remits in year two, elections for governor and state legislature in year three, and elections for offices with specialized remits in year four.

      7. A reduction in the number of elected offices. By default, one might have it that just the legislative body and a general executive would be elected. Voters could institute elections for specialized offices (e.g. state treasurer of town clerk) via petition and referendum. However, since the default setting would be to have no specialized offices, the maintenance of said office would require a referendum at least once every thirty years. Such could be held automatically if there hadn’t in that time been a petition campaign in re to the office in question.

      8. Holding referenda and elections to the court system in May, and having ballot access in all such elections determined by petition campaigns rather than party offices (or by a pecuniary deposit).

      9. Holding any primary elections precisely 70 days before general elections, always in late August. N.B., the use of ordinal balloting and ‘jungle’ contests would minimize the number of primaries.

      10. Holding all elections over a 15 hour period spread over Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. Tabulation of postal ballots could begin early Saturday afternoon after the last downtown mail delivery, while tabulation of in-person ballots could begin at 6:00 in the evening when the polls close.

  15. I was raised in a staunchly Democratic family in Chicago and here e is a suggestion for the Democratic Party. Spend less time trying to deny choices to the American voter and more time trying to selection someone that people will support in their own right. Rather than repeating the same identity politics and “lesser of two evils” strategy, find someone who actually appears to the majority of Americans as opposed to the most fringe elements of your own party.

    I don’t know of you’ve noticed this, but stoking the discontents of ascribed groups and mobilizing them to vote on the basis of those discontents and resentments is half the Democratic Party’s business model. The other half is tossing bon bons to their client groups. It’s only eccentric old guys like Bernie Sanders and James Webb who have anything better in mind.

  16. We are routinely forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. The last election was an utter disgrace.

    To some extent it’s a result of suboptimal screening procedures, but to a large extent it reflects the quality of our elites. That’s something you do not want to address. What elections tell you is, in a vague sort of way, what people are willing to tolerate. That’s generally a great deal so long as you don’t raise property taxes and there aren’t toxins in their drinking water. It’s a reasonable wager that the alienation from Trump derives from the notion, common in this country, that controversy is an indicator of wrongdoing. The news media can manufacture controversy out of just about anything.

    Partisan Democrats object to the current incumbent for a mix of ignoble, frivolous, and hypocritcally-stated reasons. They were perfectly happy with the systematic abuse of power during the previous administration because partisan Democrats have no principles in regard to procedural matters. Good procedure is what gets Democrats what they want. Bad procedure is what impedes Democrats.

    The personal conduct of the professional-managerial class is assez gross compared to what it was 70 years ago, and this deficit of personal discipline and a capacity for shame is manifest in the conduct of public business as well. Aside from that, the people occupying the gatekeeper positions among elected officials are commonly mediocrities. The President is a man of considerable accomplishment. The Congressional leadership: Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn, McCarthy, Scalise, McConnell, Cornyn, Schumer, Durbin, Murray have between them one person – John Cornyn – who have a personal history which incorporates accomplishment outside the realm of electoral politics. If you review the biographies of our legislative leadership over the post-war period, banality is modal. (There are exceptions, of course: Bill Frist, Howard Baker, Newt Gingrich, Carl Albert &c).

    You want something better, you need constitutional and statutory changes of a sort insiders like law professors almost never advocate. That still doesn’t get you past the cultural deficit of the bourgeois classes from which our elite actors are drawn. That’s an issue you won’t touch.

  17. Schultz may not be the flaming economic socialist that AOC advocates but he is surely the flaming SJW that would continue to tear this nation apart socially. His ideas are still based on denying the fundamentals of our constitution and the rule of law when it comes to promoting diversity at the cost of equal treatment under the law. And his coffee is terrible but it appeals to people is the same manner as Apple products appeal to many, it is a cult thing.

    1. I agree that his coffee is awful. But can its success be attributed to “a cult thing” – like Jim Jones’ Cool-Aid?

    2. I do not buy or drink Starbucks coffee. Never have. I will always go out of my way to buy local and support local independent coffee shops. Or I’ll buy the McDonald’s coffee. But I do enjoy knowing there is always a Starbucks restroom nearby whenever I need one. No purchase necessary.

      That said, I hope Schultz goes for it. He will make it interesting. Kamala Harris has already changed and softened her extreme position on healthcare a mere one day after her campaign began.

  18. What a dilemma for Hilary and the Dems.
    They cannot offer Schultz the Bernie buyout plan since he probably already has 3 mansions and since the Seth Rich solution has been so overplayed it has been reserved exclusively for big fish, they need to come up with a new plan for this guy.
    Personally I think they’re safe if they just rely on the intellectual abilities of Democrat voters to see things clearly as they really are and take comfort in the words of that Great American philosopher Gomer Pyle:
    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, I’m a Democrat.

  19. Dems would be better off trying to woo the coffee guy to run on their ticket vs.blasting him for daring to challenge the status quo. Although that would also prove to be too disruptive to the party’s left wing lunatics. Dems need to move toward center to have shot in 2020 and lefty front-running candidate like Harris would fall short with center-right U.S. electorate. The country has already elected a half-black president so that guilt card can’t be played again, and HRC proved in 2016 that it is not enough to be elected as first female president without real game (same applies to Harris).

      1. Dawn

        AOC WOULD likely be better than another oligarch. Which of his policies do you feel would make America greater than it already is?

        1. AOC WOULD likely be better than another oligarch.

          Why does it not surprise me that a man who doesn’t know sh!t from apple butter is a booster of a goof from Queens who doesn’t know sh!t from apple butter? Dunning Kruger exemplar loves him another Dunning-Kruger exemplar.

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