NoLabels is not going away

NoLabels is a nonprofit political organization, founded in 2010 with one initial overriding goal: to get Congress working together across party lines to address America’s most pressing issues. Out of their efforts, the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House was created and now boasts over 60 members split evenly between the two major parties.

Yet the partisan warfare between the “Big Two” parties has continually grown to a point of stalemate, even tossing out the Speaker of the House for willing to compromise. Personally, I think it would have been better to toss out those who are unwilling to compromise.

Two years ago, NoLabels recognized early on that America was likely to be subjected to a presidential rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, something that a large percentage of Americans didn’t and still don’t want, yet the Big Two, staying well entrenched in their political bunkers, stayed true to form and that is exactly what they gave us, a Trump/Biden rematch. NoLabels said, no way, and began creating an infrastructure to give Americans another choice.

NoLabels would gain access to ballots in all 50 states and present that access to a historic presidential, vice-presidential Unity Ticket, with one Democrat and one Republican. As I believe the largest issue we have is division in Washington, I was all over this and joined NoLabels, eventually becoming a delegate to their national nominating convention.

We had well over a hundred names of potential candidates that must meet the requirements NoLabels set forth. They must have a record of working across party lines, have a robust vision for America, be able to communicate that message to the voters, be brave enough to take on the Big Two, and must have the ability to win the election. We would not be spoilers and we were in it to win it.

The search for two candidates began and immediately, as Nancy Jacobson, CEO and Founder of NoLabels said, “We came face to face with the problems we were seeking to solve. We saw how swiftly and brutally the two-party system works to crush challengers. We were merely creating the opening for the third choice that 62% of voters were demanding. For this sin, they threatened our staffers, intimidated our voters and funders, filed frivolous lawsuits and declared publicly that those involved with our organization should have their ‘lives ruined.’”

The first week in April, NoLabels sadly had to announce they were withdrawing their Unity Ticket plans because we could not find two, just two leaders willing to go up against the two parties overwhelming power, and that folks is not only sad, but openly reveals the power of the two parties and their quest to retain that power which now has become greater than the people’s desire for a government that works for them instead of party. I am reminded of the Lee Iacocca book title, “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”

NoLables National Convention Chair, Mike Rawlings said it best after reflecting on what we have learned, “We learned that the demand for another option is enormous. Most Americans detest the way the two parties pit neighbor against neighbor and family against family. It’s not who we are, and it’s not what we want. And yet, by being forced to make a binary choice between two divisive options, we are dragged as unwilling participants into this carnival of grievance and discord.”

Rawlings went on, “This insurance policy (A Unity Ticket) effort confirmed for us a number of truths about our political system. For one, we learned that both major parties do not take kindly to outside competitors. The parties are massive machines concerned with electoral victory, self-preservation, and the fundraising that comes with it. They will bring their full weight to bear on anyone who challenges them.”

So, that’s where we are in today’s chaotic political climate, one that can crush any challenges, and if it continues, so will our nation’s biggest challenges. But, NoLabels will not quit, nor will we slide off the pages of political history, but will instead refocus and continue on our mission, “to find and elevate extraordinary leaders who put country over party.”

We owe that to the 50% of Americans in the middle of the political spectrum who have no political home, who have no option other than to hold their noses when voting for a candidate that will do the least amount of harm, from a list of choices the Big Two forced upon us. And that folks, stinks.

So, NoLabels isn’t going anywhere but forward with lessons learned and with renewed vigor. Again, as Mike Rawlings said about the heavy handedness of the two major parties, “That’s not who we are. That’s not what we want.”

But the Big Two parties said that’s too bad, that’s what you get, and I say, that’s not good enough!

I ask you, “Why are the Two Big parties afraid of a little competition?” Let me know at Gregawtry@awtry.com

 

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