The road to Hell is paved with good intentions

“Hell”, in this case, is the re-election of Donald Trump in 2024. The road could be the No Labels Party’s

by A. Altieri D’Angelo

“Hell”, in this case, is the re-election of Donald Trump in 2024. The “road” is the No Labels Party’s (NLP) plan to run as a third political party in the November 2024 election. The ultimate result of such a political campaign may cause centrists, who seek change, to vote for the NLP and not Biden; such defections will lead to Trump winning the 2024 election.

U.S. history has shown that third-party candidates fail to win presidential elections, but they do reduce the incumbent candidate’s voter turnout. Jill Stein (the Green & Libertarian Parties candidate) gained 7.8 million votes and may have cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election. Ralph Nader (the Green Party) received 97,000 votes in Florida in his 2000 run. Al Gore would have won Florida if Nader had not run. The NLP is likely to do the same to Joe Biden. (The Real Clear average of polls has Trump and Biden in a tie. While early in the polling cycle, Real Clear polling shows that Biden cannot afford to lose any votes to the NLP).

The NLP, a party formed in 2010, has, until recently, kept a low profile and worked to emphasize compromise and the adoption of moderate policies. The NLP has announced it seeks to raise $70 million to launch a third-party campaign. The potential NLP candidate is a Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin.

The NLP has not registered as a political party under U.S. election law. It has created a separate entity to act as a political party. This approach allows the leading NLP group to refrain from publicizing its donors. However, a review of various records indicates that much of the funding comes from conservative donors. Many of the leaders of the NLP are ex-Republicans who allegedly no longer follow Donald Trump. (The lack of transparency regarding funding and the dominance of Republicans is causing great concern among Democrats).

The NLP intends to build a political base of moderate (centrist) Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. It seeks enough political power to achieve compromise and create a more effective government. They have issued a 40-point manifesto, Common Sense, which outlines their plans.

Unfortunately, Common Sense is sorely lacking in solutions. It is a document that does not offer a bold, innovative approach. It is just another political statement to energize voters, but it is useless. Many centrists may find Common Sense and the NLP appealing, but they are naive to think the NLP will have more influence than other parties in government. If anything, governing will become more chaotic with three political parties involved.

Nothing is wrong with a third party seeking to shake up U.S. politics. Usually, an NLP candidate would make the race more competitive by offering voters another choice for the presidency. But the U.S. is in a different situation. The 2024 election will be decisive; the future direction of the U.S. as a democratic country will be determined by who wins the 2024 election.

Donald Trump has already shown that he wants to be king, but the U.S. Constitution has stopped him from achieving his goal. If elected, Trump will seek to accumulate more power by purging the government of people who are not loyalists, centralizing power in the executive branch, and weakening the Constitution. His impact on international policy would be horrific; he will terminate support for Ukraine within days of being sworn in and substantially undermine NATO. Given the potential damage to U.S. democracy and international policy, the emergence of an NLP political campaign is a strategic threat to the U.S.

The NLP rejects the idea that their campaign will hurt Biden. But many still need to be convinced of NLP’s true intentions.

No Labels is wrong when it says its campaign will not affect Biden; the NLP has no way of knowing the outcome. A third-party election effort could have two potential adverse consequences. The first is that the party shifts enough votes from Biden to the NLP candidate, allowing Trump to win the popular and Electoral College vote.

The second is that the NLP wins enough votes in a few states and prevents Trump or Biden from winning the 270 Electoral votes needed to gain the presidency. The House of Representatives (where the GOP is in control) would then decide the race. Biden loses in both cases.

President Biden must hold on to loyal Democratic voters, win over moderate independents and Republicans who would not vote for Trump to beat the former President.

Several “experts” believe the concern over the NLP is overblown. They point out that such concern arises every time a presidential election occurs. And they could be correct, but the stakes are too high to take a chance.

Trump has shown himself to be dishonest and a wannabe dictator. There can be only one strategic priority for 2024-prevent Trump winning the election. The NLP, therefore, should not enter the 2024 race.

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