No Labels claims that it is a movement working to provide a voice for America’s common-sense majority while restoring American unity. From 30,000 feet, it appears to be a reasonable organization that wants to elect a moderate candidate who is committed to bipartisanship. However, upon closer inspection, No Labels seems dead set on reelecting Donald Trump. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) nailed it when she said, “Let me be clear: No Labels is trying to use a false message of unity to sow division. Their plan to run a third-party ticket in 2024 will pave the path for the most extreme, far-right candidate to win the White House — namely, former President Trump.”
As we know from previous elections, third parties can only play the role of spoiler in presidential elections. Think of Ralph Nader, Jill Stein and Ross Perot.
The founders of No Labels, married couple Mark Penn and Nancy Jacobson, have impeccable credentials. They are politically savvy and astute. They must be aware that any candidate that the organization would run will ensure Trump’s election. Penn claims that he has no connection to No Labels, but many people are skeptical of this assertion. A closer look at Mark Penn indicates his movement toward support for Trump. He provided advice to Trump on how to deal with his impeachment in 2019; he has been a guest on Fox News; and he was the subject of an article (among other articles) in 2019 by Ed Kilgore in the Intelligencer titled “Former Clinton Advisor Mark Penn Arrives at His Inevitable Destination: Trump’s GOP.” One doesn’t have to look very hard to see that his agenda is to elect Trump under the guise of finding a moderate candidate. Polls suggest that such a candidate would siphon off critical votes for Biden in key swing states. No Labels has issued the dubious comment that it will not do anything to elect Trump. However, the organization’s actions speak louder than mere words. No Labels claims that it seeks a moderate, middle-of-the-road candidate — but that middle-of-the-road candidate is already running for president. His name is Joe Biden.
It is no surprise that much of the financial support for No Labels comes from conservative Republicans, including Justice Clarence Thomas’ close friend and backer Harlan Crowe. Ask yourself, why would these wealthy right-wingers give large sums of money to No Labels? The answer is obvious.
Beware, No Labels is a Trojan Horse working to place our democracy into the hands of a would-be dictator. What a shame that it is willing to sacrifice our country for its own opportunistic agenda.
No Labels has a label: elect Donald Trump. ■
Michael Gelman serves on the national board of directors of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA). He is a member of the owners group of Mid-Atlantic Media, which publishes Washington Jewish Week.