Monday, November 5, 2012

The Presidential Debate that Most Americans Didn’t See, and Why: League of Women Voters and the Full 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate

The 57th United States presidential election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. I’ve been asked numerous times who I would vote for if I was eligible to vote, one of the third party candidates has been my answer. My reasoning, if your only choice is to vote for the lesser of two evils, then in the limit you will only end up with pure evil.

Below you will find two videos; the full 2012 third party presidential debate preceded by an excellent interview by Amy Goodman with George Farah, founder and executive director of Open Debates, where he explains how the presidential debates came to be and how private corporations with the assistance of the Republican and Democratic parties where able to “seize control of the presidential debates from the League of Women Voters in 1987.
GEORGE FARAH: Well, the commission, the Commission on Presidential Debates, sounds like a government agency. It sounds like a nonpartisan entity, which is by design. It’s intended to deceive the American people. But in reality, it’s a private corporation, financed primarily by Anheuser-Busch and other major companies, that was created by the Republican and Democratic parties to seize control of the presidential debates from the League of Women Voters in 1987. And precisely as you said, Amy, every four years, this commission allows the major-party campaigns to meet behind closed doors and draft a secret contract, a memorandum of understanding that dictates many of the terms.

“The reason for the commission’s creation is that the previous sponsor, the League of Women Voters, was a genuine nonpartisan entity, our voice, the voice of the American people, in the negotiation room, and time and time again, the League had the courage to stand up to the Republican and Democratic campaigns to insist on challenging and creative formats, to insist on the inclusion of independent candidates that the vast majority of the American people wanted to see, and most importantly, to insist on transparency, so that any attempts by the Republican and Democratic parties to manipulate the presidential debates would pay—would result in an enormous political price…

AMY GOODMAN: George, you have a lot of—you have a lot of time here, so I really want you to lay out how this happened. Explain the moment when this was taken out of the hands of the League of Women Voters and this commission was formed. How was this justified?

GEORGE FARAH: The best part of the history starts in 1980. In 1980, John B. Anderson, an independent candidate for president, runs against President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. President Jimmy Carter absolutely opposed independent candidate John Anderson’s participation in the presidential debates, and the League had a choice: do they support the independent candidate’s participation and defy the wishes of the president of the United States, or do they capitulate to the demands of President Jimmy Carter? The League did the right thing: it stood up to the president of the United States, invited John B. Anderson. The president refused to show up. The League went forward anyway and had a presidential debate that was watched by 55 million Americans. “You fast-forward four years later, Amy, and the Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan campaigns vetoed 80 of the moderators that the League of Women Voters had proposed for the debates…”

As Obama, Romney Hold First Debate, Behind the Secret GOP-Dem Effort to Shut Out Third Parties

2012 Third Party Presidential Debate | Ora TV

“The entire 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate complete with participants including Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, & Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson.

“The debate was moderated by Larry King & hosted by the Free And Equal Elections Foundation at the Hilton Chicago. Topics discussed include war on drugs, legalization of marijuana, foreign policy, civil liberties, economy, education reform, & domestic policy.”
As for which third party candidate I would vote for, considering my stance on privacy, prohibition, politics, and the environment, the answer should be obvious after watching the debate above.
"The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power in small and large ways. I will invest my energy now solely in acts of resistance, in civil disobedience and in defiance. Those who rebel are our only hope. And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, although I could as easily vote for Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. I will step outside the system. Voting for the “lesser evil”—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy. And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction."
"Why I’m Voting Green" by Chris Hedges

RT Debate - Third-party Candidates on WikiLeaks - Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein

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