Editor’s note: Joe Lieberman, independent, former U.S. Senator who represented Connecticut from 1989 to 2013. He was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in the 2000 presidential election. The views expressed in this review are his own. See more opinions on CNN.
When Ralph Nader ran for President in 2000, he made a simple campaign case that would ultimately help “sabotage” the Democratic election, and I had the honor of running with Al Gore. In Nader’s view, there is no ideological difference between the two parties.
That argument is baseless. The George W. Bush-Dick Cheney vote — which ultimately won, thanks in part to Nader — differed significantly from ours on policy. For Nader, this is not the “bipartisan duopoly” he created. It’s about his desire to push Gore and the Democrats to the left.
Of course, no one today can reasonably argue that the two parties are ideologically indistinguishable. The core problem in DC is that they are too divided to get much done.
While most Americans yearn for an era when Republicans and Democrats will work together to find bipartisan solutions to big problems, many members of Congress refuse to cooperate on immigration, the debt ceiling, and other issues of national importance, even though both parties Cooperation is the most important. The way to restore our shared prosperity and security. In fact, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate today, bipartisanship is the only way to pass any legislation.
While unraveling the divisions that plague our political system will not be easy, there is one step that can be taken—starting with giving voters a real choice in the 2024 presidential election.
Most of the time, when Americans vote for president and vice president, their ballot has only two viable votes: one to be nominated by the Democrats and one by the Republicans. But what happens if they have a viable third option?
The process of adding a viable third option is not only arduous and time-consuming, but also varies by state and District of Columbia.
Today, No Labels, a nonprofit I co-chair, is laying the groundwork for such an event in 2024. Since early 2022, our teams have been working hard across the country to gain access to potential No Labels ballots, typically by collecting a certain number of petition signatures from voters in each state.
If we succeed, a unity ticket consisting of one Democrat and one Republican could be presented to voters alongside the Republican and Democratic candidates.
We see this as an insurance policy of the nation — an option that will be deployed if and only if both major party candidates fail to offer voters a choice or a way out of the candidate they would like to vote for. Partisan divisions dominate the national capital. We will continually monitor American sentiment through our own research and polls, as well as public opinion polls, to inform our decisions.
In this and several other ways, No Labels’ efforts are a far cry from the “spoiler” campaign Nader attempted 20 years ago.
First, if No Labels lends its votes to the President, the presidential candidate will be a Democrat and the vice presidential candidate will be a Republican, and vice versa. So it draws in some voters who might otherwise vote Democrat, and others who might vote Republican. And it will attract other voters who wouldn’t vote for either.
These nominees will be selected by the diverse and distinguished group of citizens who serve on the committee and will be approved by delegates attending an unlabeled national convention scheduled for April 2024. The convention will hold the “Super Tuesday” primary about six weeks after March 5, a day that has historically clarified who the major party nominees are.
Second, No Labels’ 2024 effort isn’t designed to push Democratic candidates to the left or Republican candidates to the right. Instead, it aims to force one or both parties to pander to America’s growing common-sense majority. If they don’t, our voting banks create the opportunity for a unified vote.
According to a recent CNN poll, the number of self-identified independents is growing and now accounts for 41% of voters — compared with just 28% who said they were Democrats and 31% who said they were Democrats. Himself a Republican. These numbers are more evidence that the 2024 independent ballot is likely to win.
But if there doesn’t seem to be such a path in the coming months, No Labels will step back and focus instead on the work we’ve done over the past decade to elect and organize members of the House and Senate who have shown the courage to cross the aisle – Includes members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus.
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The Biden administration appears to have begun to recognize the need to attract a commonsense majority. President Joe Biden recently signed a Republican measure to crack down on a crime bill in Washington, D.C., reducing penalties for violent offenders, and he announced stricter border controls.
We hope that Republicans vying for the party’s nomination will similarly see the need to look beyond their bases and not resort to divisive policies and politics.
Finally, No Labels hopes no Our votes must be given to an independent unified ballot. We hope that all parties can wake up. But judging by the outraged and apocalyptic reactions of strategists on both sides to no-label insurance policies, it’s clear that party leaders now know that ignoring the common-sense majority may pay a political price. That’s reason to want a better future for our government and our country.