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The Same-Old “Outsiders”

Retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Leroy A. Petry, Medal of Honor Recipient, presents Mr. Howard Schultz, Executive Chairman of Starbucks Corporation, with the Distinguished Business Leadership Award, during the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Leadership Awards dinner in Washington, D.C., May 10, 2018. The awards also recognized former U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Army Gen. U.S. Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; and Ms. Gloria Estefan, Grammy Award-Winning Singer; for embodying the pillars of the transatlantic relationship for their achievement in the fields of politics, military, business, humanitarian, and artistic leadership. (DoD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann)
Retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Leroy A. Petry, Medal of Honor Recipient, presents Mr. Howard Schultz, Executive Chairman of Starbucks Corporation, with the Distinguished Business Leadership Award, during the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Leadership Awards dinner in Washington, D.C., May 10, 2018. The awards also recognized former U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Army Gen. U.S. Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; and Ms. Gloria Estefan, Grammy Award-Winning Singer; for embodying the pillars of the transatlantic relationship for their achievement in the fields of politics, military, business, humanitarian, and artistic leadership. (DoD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann)

By: Roberto Ruiz, Opinion Reporter

Every election cycle, some moderate pulls up into the frame claiming to be what America wants. They usually say basic things anyone, even if begrudgingly, can come to support: lower taxes and  liberal positions on social issues. The media applauds these people as some sort of revolutionary force, a force to be reckoned with. However, to believe this is to fool yourself. These positions are no more radical than, say, the more moderate Democrats or the more moderate Republicans. They are centrists with hackneyed platitudes on how to fix the world.

This election cycle, that radical centrist is showing itself to be Howard Schultz. Schultz is the rich, middle aged former CEO of Starbucks. He has come as, surprisingly, an unexpected force, who is running on the same platform we have already seen. And yet, despite the very apparent chance of defeat and the message that is growing unpopular with everyone except the most milquetoast and least worried part of the populace, his message is garnering support, even if some have alleged that the support has been bought off. And, he hasn’t even officially announced his campaign.

This man is not the solution, but a hindrance. We’ve seen this before, and in our current political climate, the effect these candidates have is profound: votes taken from both parties. Normally, I welcome an outlying force. But the very apparent conclusion of Schultz succeeding is that he will take votes from whoever the Democrats are. I rarely engage in the concept of a lesser evil, but even I have to give up my moral hand-wringing here.

Even besides this, Schultz’s positions are hardly admirable. If you want to remove a force as corrupting as business is to politics, you don’t elect a businessman, as we just did 3 years ago. Tax breaks and laissez-faire farces are to the benefit of no one, except perhaps to someone who looks like Schultz himself: an old businessman. Besides, his social positions are found in basically every party now. Finding Republicans or Democrats who support gay rights or anti-racism is hardly the same challenge it was two or three decades ago.

Who would be the ideal outsider candidate, then? Well, if we’re to be completely honest, they’d support moderate, or maybe even Conservative, social policies, and pro-worker programs. Do you know who’s really underrepresented in politics? The working class. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are the closest we’ve gotten to such an odd dream team. I can envision some Iowa dairy farmer, a Kentucky coal miner, a Hispanic from the suburbs, or any other sort of person supporting someone who argues for free healthcare as much as they do against abortion. If you asked that Iowa dairy farmer about non-binary rights, he would look at you as if you had gone insane. If you asked that Kentucky miner about free healthcare with the right spin, he might just agree.

Howard Schultz is going back in time. Politics has entered a new era distinct to the 20th century, and it’s best everyone catch up.

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