by Tom Evslin
No Labels is a non-partisan group whose current goal is to assure that we have choices for president other than just Trump and Biden in 2024. They are working to make sure that they are on the ballot in all 50 states if Republicans and Democrats present us with an unappetizing rematch of 2020. The two traditional parties don’t like each other but they don’t want any opposition to their duopoly either. According to The Washington Post:
“Top Democratic strategists, including current advisers to President Biden and former U.S. senators, met last week with former Republicans who oppose Donald Trump at the offices of a downtown D.C. think tank.“Their mission: to figure out how to best subvert a potential third-party presidential bid by the group No Labels, an effort they all agreed risked undermining Biden’s reelection campaign and reelecting former president Donald Trump to the White House.”
Democrats are doing more than talking. The Arizona Democratic Party is suing to kick No Labels off the ballot. One of its arguments is that No Labels would “harm Democrats’ electoral prospects because [our] candidates will have to compete …” No Labels cofounder and ex-NAACP head Benjamin Chavis, Jr. – hardly a Trump supporter, said:
“I’ve spent my entire life in the Democratic Party, championing civil and voting rights and I’ve always believed our democracy is stronger when there are more voices and choices in our political process. That’s why I was so disturbed to hear that a group of my friends and leaders in the Democratic Party recently convened to try to undermine No Labels’ 2024 presidential insurance project,” Chavis said in a statement. “No Labels will not spoil this election for Trump. What we will do is continue working resolutely to give millions of Americans a choice they so clearly want.”
Back in 2017 No Labels was the convenor of the Problem Solver Caucus in the US House. To his credit, then US Representative Peter Welch from Vermont was a proud member. He said then:
“There’s no illusion that any specific caucus, whether it’s Problem Solvers or any other individual caucus, can essentially overrule leadership and the partisanship that unfortunately really does prevail here. But as individual members getting together, when we present a bipartisan bill, it’s interesting how much force that gets in committee.”
Sometime between 2017 and his successful run for the US Senate in 2022, Welch quietly left Problem Solvers. I hope he speaks up for No Labels right to be on the ballot and for non-partisanship.
I’ve donated to Nikki Haley and will probably donate to Tim Scott and will donate to a credible Democratic primary challenger if one emerges. In 2020 I donated to Amy Klobuchar; in 2016 to Chris Christie and might again. I’ll vote in whichever primary has the best chance of helping to elect someone other than Trump or Biden.
I hesitated before making a second donation to No Labels. I think Trump Redux would be a terrible outcome. I voted for Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020. But Trump-phobia cannot get in the way of wishing better for American than a second term for a visibly aging President with a seemingly inept Vice President. The two traditional parties look like they will not give us a better choice. That forfeits any claim that they deserve their duopoly.
Democrats have a much better way to prevent another term for Trump than suppressing our right to vote for whomever we please. All they have to do is nominate a better candidate – as a majority of their own party want. It’s even easier for Republicans to spare us Trump 2.0; all they have to do is not nominate him.