Saturday, October 13, 2012

Political dietary supplement

Joe Biden seen here impersonating the debate's audience.
Been watching the presidential and vice-presidential debates? Yes? What's wrong with you? Just kidding, so  have I. And there may be many things wrong with me, but I don't think being curious to see how the people aspiring to rule the country handle themselves when faced with direct and challenging questions is one of them. Unfortunately however, the answer for the most part has been "not well." I'm one of those people who think Biden absolutely trounced Paul Ryan the other night, but I still didn't appreciate what an ass he was being while doing it. And I'm kind of sorry that while discussing domestic issues the topic of the drug war didn't come up, because Biden has a lot to answer for there-- it's just that it's just another topic on which Ryan would contently hold the same position as the incumbents. Generally speaking, the topic of civil liberties has gotten almost no discussion at all, and it's hard to shake the impression that this is because the candidates on both sides are not big fans.

Which is why I won't be voting D or R in November. I'll be voting L again most likely, and am looking forward to seeing the debate for the other presidential candidates; the ones you haven't seen shouting at each other-- yet. The Free and Equal Elections Foundation is hosting a debate for third party candidates coming up:
Free and Equal Elections Foundation announced today that four candidates have confirmed their participation in the 2012 Presidential Debate at the University Club of Chicago on October 23: Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson. 
This debate is the only 2012 Presidential Debate featuring four candidates. The top six candidates were invited to participate. Democratic Party candidate and incumbent Barack Obama and Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney are welcome to participate in this historic debate. The moderator will be announced shortly. 
“The four candidates participating represent a nice balance of right and left leaning candidates,” stated Christina Tobin, chair of Free and Equal. “This debate will cover the real issues facing our country such as foreign policy, the economy, and civil rights, rather than topics that further divide us.” 
Free and Equal’s 2012 Presidential Debate sponsors span the political spectrum of grassroots organizations and media who are uniting to solve our nation’s problems. Current sponsors include The Josh Tolley ShowBallot Access NewsMuslims for LibertyNational Constitution PartyThe Justice PartyBlue RepublicansRestore the RepublicRe-Tea PartyFree the Vote NCWe the PeopleGrassroots for Liberty, and New Progressive Alliance
The debate will be broadcast online at Several additional live feeds will be announced shortly as Free & Equal finalizes its media sponsors.
I will always maintain that even people who fully support the Democratic or Republican candidate for president should want third party candidates to be included in the debates as well, because chances are there is something you think that your candidate just isn't good enough on, and one or more of the third party candidates are better. That or those candidates are in a position to challenge your man or woman to step up to the plate and do more-- make better promises, articulate better plans, do something to justify your continuing to support them rather than defecting to a candidate who better serves your interests. They're not going to get that kind of pressure from the single guy on the other side of the stage, because Mitt Romney sure as hell isn't going to compete with Obama on who can legalize marijuana (for example) faster.

Ideological competition: it does a country good. It makes us healthier to have options. If we can be bothered to pay attention, they're there.


  1. Thanks Gretchen. While I'm unlikely to vote third party (as much as I like Jill Stein, I couldn't live with myself if Romney got into office and I live in a swing state) I am still interested in seeing this debate.

  2. I totally get where you're coming from, Palaverer. I've never lived in a swing state myself so I've always had the luxury of not having to worry about that, but I do understand that it's a luxury. I just hope I presented a somewhat decent case for at least listening to what third party candidates have to say.


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