No Labels: The Promise of a Mixed Presidential Nomination


Look for the unifiers in divisiveness.


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For months, the Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, had considered a third-party Presidential bid as an independent. There have been many such third-party runs over recent elections. What could have made this run different is that he floated the idea of running on a bipartisan ticket. That meant running with a Republican, such as Mitt Romney, on a united ticket led by the group, No Labels. However, Romney quickly nixed the idea. A day after that, Manchin announced he will not run for president.1 Two reasons were provided: he will be unlikely to win and does not want to cost President Joe Biden the election.

Whatever I may think about Senator Manchin, and our field’s Goldwater Rule advocates that I say nothing about him personally, this idea of a bipartisan nomination may be “just what the doctor ordered,” as the saying goes. Harmful divisiveness—political, religious, cultural, gangs—is everywhere, including amongst psychiatrists. From my collegial connections, interfaith coalitions among psychiatrists have been breaking down, especially when Jewish and Muslim psychiatrists are involved.

The Super Bowl and our national sports have modeled this other unifying way. Conflict is resolved in a game and the players move on, often changing teams sometime during their career. Not so long ago, though, changing teams was a rarity. All Star games put players of opposing teams together, as just happened at the men’s National Basketball League All Star Game weekend.

Yes, the Super Bowl was tarnished at the end of a rally in Kansas City. At the very least, that reflected our divisiveness about gun ownership and safety.

There is a common saying: look for the helpers in a disaster. A corollary might be: Look for the unifiers in divisiveness. Manchin was one, at least for a day!

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry and is now in retirement and retirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.


1. Wise L. Joe Manchin says he won’t run for president. Wall Street Journal. Updated February 16, 2024. Accessed February 20, 2024.

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