Guest Commentary

Dear Democrats, don’t worry about Howard Schultz

Writer David Rundle at home. (April 12, 2016)
Writer David Rundle at home. (April 12, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

Howard Schultz was born July 19, 1953, exactly five years before me. One of us is running for president. Guess who?

If you said me, you may need professional help. If you told me you’d vote for me, I’d get a restraining order against you faster than a Husker fan can complain about an obvious off-sides call.

Schultz is a billionaire who I never heard of till recently, when word got out that he was running as an independent. He ran Starbucks and is a social liberal but fiscal conservatives. (“I got rich selling coffee! I can bring Mideast peace!”) He also owned a couple sports franchises. That seals the deal for me.

I heard Schultz on NPR. He was worried about the national debt and vague on everything else. He was as inspiring as a dictionary page.

But Democrats are dumb and got nervous.

They said he’d take votes from them. But he opposes everything they are running on: Medical for all, higher taxes on the rich and debt-free college. How this appeals to the addled progressive base of the Democratic party escapes me.

I do think debt-free college could work easily by making the NCAA pay taxes on its football and basketball programs. You could craft a tax that affects only the bigger and wealthier schools and the Bowl Playoffs and March Madness and related TV revenue, but that might not fully fund debt-free college.

Debt-free college may not be possible, but reducing its cost is necessary if we want more young people to have greater economic opportunities. Otherwise, we’ll end up with a UK-style class system.

There will be 30 thousand Democrats running by mid-March, though I may be underestimating. They shouldn’t worry about Schultz. His sole recommendation is his bank statement. Saying a businessman will run government better than a politician is like saying a plumber can remove your gall bladder better a surgeon.

To depose the Emperor and restore the Republic, Democrats should hit economic issues, our common humanity and decency.

Schultz can’t win and shouldn’t run. I can’t win either — but I would consider an ambassadorship.

David P. Rundle is a Wichita freelance journalist