In national politics, there is an overwhelming thirst for something different in Washington, D.C. Cries of “DRAIN THE SWAMP!!” resonate from both sides of the aisle. (Let’s not forget that it was the swampiest of them all, Nancy Pelosi, who first said “drain the swamp” when her party took over Congress — in 2006.
As the cries get louder, though, the changes never seem to come. Even with the 2016 election of Donald Trump who promised to … drum roll please … drain the swamp, the same creatures continually get elected. It brings to mind the often-used definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Wanting something new, or at least presented with something new, is not something that just happened, though. Which brings us to the news — and subsequent Democratic meltdown — when Starbucks founder Howard Schultz said he is mulling a run at president in 2020 as an Independent. Democrats cackled: “If an Independent runs, it will take away votes from us and give the election to the Republicans!”
In 1992, the same cackles were heard when independent H. Ross Perot mounted a serious challenge to the status quo of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Perot garnered almost 19 percent of the vote and Republicans have blamed the Texas billionaire for giving the election to Clinton. Isn’t it funny how history repeats itself?
Trump is not a Republican, and if he could have run as an Independent and won, he likely would have. But we are so stuck in the ways of the two-party system, that would have been impossible. Our two-party system is terribly broken, with the extremes from each side pulling in opposite directions as millions and millions of common-sense thinking Americans are stuck in the middle having to choose sides. It cannot continue if this nation is to continue as a representative republic. Sooner or later, one of two things must happen — either get rid of political parties altogether and have everyone run without a label or find viable third-party candidates who can finally drain the swamp.
Will Schultz be able to mount a serious run? Will the Democrat swamp power brokers cajole him into bowing out so as to keep that half of the swamp in power? Could he be a good fit for America? His story is quite American — born into a poor family in New York City and working his way into a fortune selling expensive coffee. Isn’t that what the dream of America really is? Working hard and making the next generation better off than what you were born into? Maybe he would be a good fit.
If only the voting public would have enough backbone and guts to not be scared away by the swamp monsters who are ruining this country from their royal perches in Washington, D.C.
Before we know it, the presidential election of 2020 will be upon us. The spirit of draining the swamp is still there, but the cajones to do it are still lacking — almost 20 years after Ross Perot.