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Joe Cunningham’s ‘No Labels’ Campaign

“My name is …”

A decade ago, I penned a column urging the “de-labeling” of American politics – arguing such self-adhesives were “based on expediency as opposed to ideology.” They still are. That column also took the mainstream media – a.k.a. “the undisputed king of label-making in America” – to task for perpetuating these false dichotomies.

“Labeling may make for dramatic television and bold headlines, but it ignores the real issues – the dollars and cents consequences of unsustainable government growth on tens of millions of American taxpayers (and their children and grandchildren),” I noted at the time.

Yeah … the national debt when I wrote that column was around $16.7 trillion. As of this writing, it has nearly doubled to $31.8 trillion. And to this jarring lack of fiscal sustainability we can now add the increasingly appalling absence of societal sustainability … as the incessant corporate, governmental and media indoctrination of our youth (particularly in the woke trans arena) is destroying lives and decaying our nation.

I’ve written on this in the past, but I plan on addressing these matters in even greater specificity in the weeks to come … laying down some moral demarcation lines in the hopes of helping arresting the leftward lurch of the Overton window on this front.

It’s ironic, though, isn’t it? Meaningless political labels are zealously preserved by the mainstream press for the purpose of perpetuating an “echo, not a choice” on key fiscal, monetary and regulatory policy. Meanwhile, the same media apparatus inculcates the absurd notion that you are “assigned” a gender at birth – but can decide you want to change it as a kindergartener.

Unlike the mainstream press, my news outlet believes in deconstructing labels. So, apparently, does erstwhile Democratic politician Joe Cunningham. Well, he believes in deconstructing some labels. Like “Democrat.”

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Joe Cunningham (Travis Bell Photography)

For those of you unfamiliar with this fratastic former U.S. congressman, he recently launched a political/ governmental consulting firm from the ashes of his spectacularly failed bid for governor of South Carolina last fall. For those readers who don’t recall, Cunningham got his ass absolutely handed to him by an uninspiring “Republican” incumbent last November – one who was dealing with a seriously divided base and saddled with an insipidly status quo legacy.

Is Cunningham a legitimate political/ governmental strategist? Eh … probably no more than he was an “ocean engineer.” Or a viable gubernatorial candidate.

Last week, Cunningham took to the pages of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier to tout his leadership of No Labels – a purportedly “national movement of commonsense Americans pushing our leaders together to solve our country’s biggest problems.”

According to Cunningham, U.S. president Joe Biden‘s flagging poll numbers are “opening a path to victory” for former U.S. president Donald Trump – who, in his words, “threatens the foundations of our democracy.”

Hmmmm. Somebody clearly hasn’t read that Durham report (.pdf) …

Nonetheless, Cunningham apparently believes he is the candidate best tap into growing Democratic frustration with Biden.

“Since Democrats are unable or unwilling to offer an alternative, I’m supporting an effort to secure a better choice for president in 2024,” Cunningham wrote. “The effort … will secure a place on the presidential ballot in all 50 states for a unity ticket featuring a Democrat and a Republican as running mates.”

Wait … so let’s get this straight. Both major U.S. political parties are full of it … so Cunningham wants to take the worst of both worlds and mash them together? I’m sorry but what part of slapping a crap sandwich and a shit burger together results in you biting into anything but … well … shit.


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Anyway, Cunningham has got it all figured out … positioning himself as the only one who can save the nation from “an extremist partisan doom loop.”

“Imagine a scenario where Trump chooses Nikki Haley as his running mate, widening his appeal and freshening up his image heading into the general election,” Cunningham continued. “He then runs not only against Joe Biden, but against the woefully unpopular Kamala Harris, who some see as the president-in-waiting in the event of a second Biden term. Democrats should have the humility to see that this will be a difficult choice for even many well-intentioned voters.”

Nikki Haley certainly sees it …

Cunningham did get one thing right: The party that nominated him for governor in 2022 hates his idea.

Days after his column was published, Democratic attorney Chris Kenney – a protégé of legendary Palmetto State trial lawyer and Democratic kingmaker Dick Harpootlian – blasted Cunningham’s “quixotic bid to diversify the political landscape” in his own Post and Courier editorial.

“Cunningham holds his group out as capable of assembling a centrist coalition, but it must demonstrate an ability to put its candidate on the ballot in all fifty states,” Kenny wrote. “Anything less exposes the effort for what it is — a spoiler campaign.”

According to Kenney – who has donated to several of Cunningham’s campaigns – the former congressman is doing nothing but backing a “dark money group’s decision to pursue a path that would all but guarantee Trump a second term.”

Kenney wasn’t alone in rebuking Cunningham’s ‘No Labels’ gambit.

“If he could appeal to independents he wouldn’t have lost South Carolina by 17 percent,” one Democratic lawmaker told me bluntly last week, referring to Cunningham as a “narcissist trying to stay relevant.”

“I’m betting he thinks the nominee for this third party will be him,” the lawmaker added. “Which shows that Cunningham never really cared about the cause. His focus has always been himself.”

“Blaming the Democratic party for his loss is ridiculous,” the lawmaker continued. “It was the same party four years earlier when the margin was over 40 percent better than his. He has no one to blame for that humiliating loss but himself. He’s the one who let the party down, not the other way around.”

Not content with letting Democrats down, Cunningham now seems intent on attempting to drive a stake through the heart of their prospective nominee in 2024. Luckily for those voting blue in the coming election? Cunningham is less adept at “doing” than he is at “saying.”



Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.



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Ralph Hightower Top fan May 19, 2023 at 3:19 pm

As the great philosopher, Pogo, once said “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Both political parties f’ed up in 2016. The Democrats chose Hillary because it was “her turn”, while the Republicans chose a candidate that was unqualified and mercurial, temperamentally unfit for office. As Senator Lindsey Graham (T-SC) once said “The Republican party has gone batshit crazy.” It took the death of Senator McCain (R-AZ) for me to realize that Graham doesn’t have a ethical, moral, or, constitutional compass. I was an independent, but the Republican party is now the Trump party.

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The Colonel Top fan May 19, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Cunningham is the living embodiment of a douchetastic, frat boy (though no frat would have him), never was, narcissistic millennial.

If he went back to South America to build docks or do yoga, the entire State of South Carolina would breath a sigh of relief.

Cunningham is the un-accomplished Democrat version of Andre Bauer.


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