October 9th, 2004

Rant

Brief Political Rant

I love the mainstream news. Oh, wait. No I don't.

I don't often get political here, but indulge me for a moment. Bush and Kerry had their second debate last night. It's the front page story on all of the major news sites. The activities and interactions of two presidential candidates should be in the news. For example, in this world of White House intern scandals and candidates indulging in a bit of primal scream therapy in public, if two candidates got arrested during a debate it'd be major news, right?

Well, no. It did happen, last night. Good luck finding any mention on CNN.

I'm gonna back up a bit, here. The presidential debates used to be run and managed by the League of Women Voters. Back in `88, the Democratic and Republican parties presented the League with their joint list of rules and restrictions for the debates. The League publicly pronounced that the rules utterly destroyed any semblance of open debate, reducing the debates to content-less free publicity for the two primary candidates. Undaunted, the two parties formed the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) and proceeded with their own version of open debate (funded, at least in part, by you and me). Since then, the only third party candidate who has been permitted to participate was Ross Perot, whom both the Dems and Reps believed would help their own sides.

So last night Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik and Green party candidate David Cobb showed up at the debate, with Badnarik carrying an Order to Show Cause, which he intended to deliver to the CPD. Both were arrested.

I'm a Libertarian, and I plan on voting for Badnarik despite the obvious fact that he will not win the election (I could go on for volumes about why I'm voting as I am, but that's not the point I'm getting at here). The Dems and Reps also know that he's not going to win, so why go to such effort to prevent third-party candidates from fully participating in the process? Why delegitimize third-party candidates in the minds of Americans?

Access to information regarding Badnarik's platform is practically nonexistent in mainstream media. In fact, the only sources that I've been able to find are the Libertarian Party's site, Badnarik's own site, and a wonderful Q&A that Slashdot did with him not long ago. I highly recommend the last one to anyone interested in learning a bit about his vision, policies, and why he runs in the face of overwhelming opposition.

I'll get off the soap box for now.
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