Former Politico CEO Jim VandeHei has either written a brilliant manifesto for a third party that can win the White House or, if the Twitter peanut gallery is any guide, has published an unintentional parody in The Wall Street Journal of what a wealthy, elite Beltway journalist thinks the American electorate wants after he steps out of the capital (or "the Washington, D.C., bubble — the heart of Establishment America," as VandeHei puts it in his op-ed) and takes a look around at Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Lincoln, Maine; and other enclaves "in the heart of Normal America."
The key to beating the two-party duopoly, and bringing the right kind of "radical disruption" to Washington, is to steal "a lot of Donald Trump's and Bernie Sanders' tricks," VandeHei writes, ruling out Trump and Sanders as "fringe" candidates exploiting voter anger. "The way to win is to rail against Big — Big Business, Big Media, Big Government, Big Establishment," he adds, which seems odd given his suggested candidates:
Right now, millions of young people are turned on by a 74-old-year socialist scolding Wall Street; millions of others by a reality-TV star with a 1950s view of women. Why not recruit Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg to head a third-party movement? Maybe we can convince Michael Bloomberg to help fund the movement with the billions he planned to spend on his own campaign — and then recruit him to run Treasury and advise the president. [VandeHei, Wall Street Journal]
VandeHei even has a name for his proposed party, "The Innovation Party," because "who is against innovation"? It will win by pulling in "the 40 percent of people who don't vote or big blocks of dissatisfied independents with a call to a higher purpose," in this case, "cleaning up the mess" the two parties have left in Washington. Or, if that's not high enough, voters might be inspired by a candidate or running mate "from the military" who can "exploit the fear factor" on terrorism using "very muscular language — there is no market for nuance in the terror debate." Read the entire op-ed at The Wall Street Journal, and take heart: As VandeHei notes, "voters aren't dopes." Peter Weber