Can the Presidential Debates Be Saved?
Both President Obama and Mitt Romney intentionally ignore the deep problems and corruption facing our government out of deference to the financial elites who keep them in power. Because our electoral system is rigged to favor a two party system, wherein both parties remain silent on issues unfavorable to their donors, the concerns of average Americans continue to be ignored and worsen with time.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Historically, third-party candidates have forced those who can win to address issues of critical importance to the electorate when they would rather avoid them. It’s time for the presidential candidates to start addressing the concerns of the American people directly or make space for those with the courage to do so.
Please tell the Commission on Presidential Debates and the Citizens’ Debate Commission to allow third party candidates in the upcoming presidential debates.
The refusal to address the concerns of the public in favor of campaigning to their wealthy donors has reduced the 2012 presidential election discourse to mind-numbing stupidity.
With little to lose, third party candidates become the voices for passionate, disparate and often enormous segments of the population who feel disenfranchised in the great battle for the hearts and minds of the financial elites. As Kevin Gosztola wrote:
Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney do not touch issues that are third rail and should be discussed. Typically off-limits in discussions are Wall Street fraud, widespread government surveillance, war crimes, state secrets privilege, indefinite detention, the PATRIOT Act, Guantanamo Bay prison, significantly reducing fossil fuel consumption, the military industrial-complex, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, “free” trade agreements, restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, breaking up too-big-to-fail banks, single-payer healthcare, capital punishment, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, empire-building, etc.
We won’t always agree with everything that third party candidates have to say. But their participation in the presidential debates guarantees that both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will be forced to address questions and issues from many sides of the political spectrum that they will otherwise easily skirt in a mutual deterrence pact.