Monday, November 14, 2011

In Presidential Debates, the Duopoly Reigns Supreme

This blog entry is based upon information which can be found at Reclaim Democracy,, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

When the League of Voters justifiably withdrew in disgust their sponsorship of the presidential debates, the political duopoly (Republicans and Democrats) were only too happy to step in and fill the void. This provide them with the ability to maneuver and manipulate the debates to their collective best interests. Of course, in doing so, they were undermining the principles of democracy by exerting undue influence on the electoral process.

The Commission on Presidential Debates was a join creation of the duopoly intended to serve only the duopoly, and to freeze out any independent or third-party candidates who might pose a problem for them. This is somewhat analogous to having Pepsico and Coca-Cola dictating to the American public that they would have only two brands of soft drinks available to them: Coke And Pepsi – no 7-Up, no Dr. Pepper, no root beer, no other soft drinks whatsoever. .If you wanted to drink anything else, you would have to purchase it on the black market. I am sure the American public wouldn't stand for such behavior. However, they tolerate it, and probably aren't even aware that it exists, in the political arena.

The presidential debates are probably the single most powerful election tool for achieving our country's highest office. However, when it comes to the presidency, we might as well hang out a sign saying “Independent and Third Party Candidates Need Not Apply!” And we are deprived of their voices, their concepts and their proposals. Some of the best legislation in our country has come from independent and third-party sources.
Here are some comments from a multitude of disparate sources”

From the Media

"The debates are part of the unconscionable fraud that our political campaigns have become, a format that defies meaningful discourse. They should be charged with sabotaging the electoral process." – Walter Cronkite

"By deciding yesterday to exclude Ross Perot from this year's debates, the commission proved itself to be a tool of the two dominant parties rather than guardian of the public interest. This commission has no legal standing to monopolize debates, and it is time for some more fair-minded group to get into the business of sponsoring these important events." – New York Times editorial, 1996
"In dictatorships, it's common for political insiders to hinder or even silence non-establishment challengers. To do that in America , which supposedly champions open elections, is outrageous and intolerable. But that is just what the Commission on Presidential Debates has done. – Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel editorial

"The Commission on Presidential Debates is a corrupt stranglehold on our democracy." – Phil Donahue

From Republicans

"I'm for more open debates. I think the very concept of an elite commission deciding for the American people who deserves to be heard is profoundly wrong." – Newt Gingrich

"I want to see my party achieve victory based on what we have to offer this country and our ability to offer it with integrity. I don't want to see us achieve victory based on the fact that we are better at rigging the game than other people." – Alan Keyes

But if broadening participation in the debates increases public participation in our political process, that can only be good for America ." – Oliver North

" We really ought to stop trying to manipulate history before it's happened." – Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune

"The debate commission is a corrupt duopoly." – Steve Forbes

From Democrats

"Where did these people come from to be final arbiters of free speech?" – John Culver, a former US senator and CPD director.

"It's fundamentally undemocratic. It's awfully close to corruption..If this group can arbitrarily rule that a billionaire who gets 20 million votes and qualifies for $30 million in election funds can't participate then God help the rest of us." – Jesse Jackson, after Ross Perot was excluded from the presidential debates in 1996

From Other Sources

  • "The Commission on Presidential Debates must be replaced if we want to have a democracy in this country." – John B. Anderson, former Republican Congressman and independent presidential candidate
Additional sources of information on the subject: Here, for the interested, are some additional sources of information on the Commission on Presidential Debates and its handling of them.
Coming Up:
                     Presidential Debates: Fraud or Farce?

Problems For Third-Party Candidates

Congress Ignores the Will of the People

We Must Drive Big Money Out of Politics!

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