You and me, but mostly me
Are gonna change the world forever
‘Cause I can do most everything
And I can stand next to you and watch!
Every hero needs a sidekick
Every captain needs a mate
Every dinner needs a side dish
On a slightly smaller plate
And now we’re seeing eye to eye
It’s so great, we can agree
That Heavenly Father has chosen you and me
Just mostly me.You and Me (But Mostly Me) from The Book of Mormon (2011)
This moment is like no other. Our two parties are more divided than ever. Let’s discuss how we can come together to create opportunities for more people. #ReimagineUS http://howardschultz.comHoward Schultz via Twitter on January 27, 2019
My hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future…my work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year.Mark Zuckerberg, in a Facebook post from January 3, 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back.
We know you enjoyed Season 1 of the Billionaire Listening Tour with Mark Zuckerberg, and we think you’ll like Season 2 even more. We’ve got a great host in store for you – the former chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz! What can fans of the series expect? Well, if you liked such classic episodes as Mark Rides a Tractor or Mark Wears a Tie and Sings Hymns in a Black Church, just wait until you feast your eyes on Howard Mails a Student Loan Payment and Howard Waits for His Number to be Called at the DMV. And don’t worry, we got your letters after the heartwarming Zuck Jams Out to DMB with a Heroin Addict segment. If you can hold in the tears after Howie Gently and Not At All Awkwardly Consoles a Single Mother, you have no soul.
I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be cynical. I don’t hate billionaires; in fact, I rather loathe the recently fashionable disdain for those who have created wealth through really productive use of capital and ingenuity, especially in the rare cases where that wealth wasn’t wholly dependent on monopolistic behavior. Starbucks has made a lot of terrible coffee but even more money for its shareholders, which for me works out as a net good. I also can’t bring myself to care about ‘splitting votes.’ I understand that it matters to others more invested in a particular outcome to elections in 2020, but that’s not what gets me about all this.
What gets me is the absolute mendacity that underlies the launch of a presidential publicity campaign around the idea that Howard Schultz has any interest in discussing anything with anyone. Take a look at the website his new Twitter persona links to. Count the pictures of Howard. Read about his journey. Follow along the timeline. Chrissakes, he’s coordinating the launch of a Presidential campaign with the release of his personal memoirs! This is not a man with questions for you and me. This is a man who has The Answer.
We’ve said it before about people I like and respect even more than I do Howard Schultz, and I respect him rather a lot: The political center will not be rescued by an heroic elder statesman. It will not be rescued by a maverick Washington outsider. It will not be rescued by a billionaire with The Answer. The political center will survive by keeping Overton Windows wide, by fostering a community of shared trust and accountability with an expanding group of fellow citizens of good faith, and by rejecting the visceral call of the polarizing memes of the widening gyre.
By process. Not by another person who declares himself The Answer.