Thursday, October 25, 2012

Could alternative debates be a game changer?

Several of the alternative candidates participated in at least seven alternative debates and they received much more attention in the alternative media than any previous debate for alternative candidates have received in the past. This has also been accompanied by a fair amount of coverage about how the Commission on Presidential Debates have hijacked the debates and excluded alternative party candidates that aren’t acceptable to the corporate contributors to the duopoly.

The corporate media has, of course, done as much as they can to ignore it and on the few occasions where they acknowledge the existence of alternative party candidates they treat them as if they don’t have a chance. When they do polls they rarely even include them in the polls. Typical polls seem to indicate that the vast majority of those that answer intend to vote for one of the candidates considered “viable” by the corporate media.

In the past the alternative candidates that have run have never received much of the vote with the exception of when Ross Perot ran and the corporate media made an exception and gave him an enormous amount of coverage. However alternative media outlets have been growing fast so their ability to contribute to change may be much greater than many people realize. There have also been an enormous amount of discussion groups and meetings across the country that haven’t received much attention although some of them have been reported on the internet on low profile web pages and even on satellite TV like Link TV which has shown dozens of discussions across the country about how the system hasn’t been paying attention to the will of the people before receptive audiences. Most of these audiences haven’t been exceptionally large but there are a few exceptions where they have had much larger audiences and they have been addressing a much larger audience either through Link TV or on the internet. Furthermore, the candidates that they’ve been presenting have been getting steadily worse and there have been an enormous amount of protests and discussion groups going on; so is it possible that this could make a much bigger difference than anyone has expected?

It doesn’t seem likely.

Or at least it doesn’t to most people and they may be right but I’m not completely ruling out the possibility that this could create a much bigger difference even if it doesn’t lead to an alternative party candidate winning this election, which I’m not completely ruling out although to be honest even I have to agree this doesn’t seem likely.

This won’t be a game changer on its own though; in order for this to make a difference it will be necessary to follow up on it and let the establishment know that they can’t continue to ignore the will of the people and it will be necessary to get more people to “wake the fuck up” as Samuel would say although following the rest of Samuel’s advice would be foolish. On Occupy Wall Street’s web site recently the question, Has OWS failed? has come up recently and at first glance to some people it may seem as if it has; however a closer look at some of the things that continue to happen on a lower profile may indicate otherwise. Reform doesn’t happen overnight although at times there may be some leaps and bounds. What we need is much more effort to educate the public and get them to pay to the issues more and get elected officials in office that actually represent the public.

If we do manage to elect an alternative candidate to the presidency then it will be much easier of course so the more votes they get the greater chance of that and then we can do much more to educate the public with the help of a sincere president that is willing to help lead the debate or make sure that a more diverse amount of voices are allowed to be heard; a new independent president shouldn’t be allowed to totally dominate the discussion. Even if we can’t get a an independent candidate then the more votes for independent parties the better since it will let them know that they’re not going to be able to rely on the complacency of the public as they have in the past when they run their scams.

Also it will be important to elect as many alternative party candidates to other offices as well starting at the local level and working up to the top. The Green Party has provided a list of dozens if not hundreds of candidates for office nation wide and although I haven’t found a similar list for the Libertarian Party I’m sure they have a lot as well. This has a lot of hope because as Tip used to say “all politics is local” and in some cases if people get organized at the local level and ex[pose the lies that are being promoted by the corporate propaganda machine they have a much better chance of making progress.

I have done enough commenting on other blogs about how the two leading candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree, a lot; and Jill Stein supports Constitution unlike Romney and Obama and many other commentators have also made these points as well so I won’t discuss that too much more but they really do agree a lot especially when it comes to the issues that the financiers of their campaigns have an agenda which contradicts the best interest of the majority of the public.

I have also written about Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority” experiments and Phillip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment which by his own admission was related to the obedience to authority experiments although he tends to deny or downplay other aspects about them being used to develop boot camp techniques and interrogation techniques. In these experiments they have studies how willing people were to implement shocks to a victim for a reason that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny if scrutiny is applied. These experiments have indicated that many people were willing to do what they’re told by authority figures even when it means electrocuting an innocent person especially if someone else takes the responsibility. They also show that people are more likely to do so if there is more distance between the person being shocked and it would be reasonable to believe that if they could rely on complex institutions to maintain plausible deniability they would be even more likely to obey.

Would you vote to bomb this child if an authority figure told you to, and that you had to accept the premise for the election that the authority figure is giving to you?

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This isn’t exactly the situation that people are being faced with but it is way to damn close. Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have indicated that they fully intend to continue to use drones even though there is an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that they’re killing a lot of innocent people. The use of drones to contribute to what they refer to “collateral damage” might be relatively new and it might be getting much more attention than other methods but other methods are still doing much more damage and this isn’t up for debate with the official establishment.

Nor is Single Payer health care up for debate; even though it could reduce an enormous percentage of fraud and waste.

Both candidates want to expand Charter Schools that have been proven to be a failure; no further debate welcome on this either.

Although Barack Obama does a slightly better job pretending he is against outsourcing his policies have indicated otherwise and this goes for many other issues including the environment which is going to be destroyed if we rely on the establishment to address it.

If you want to here the debate about these subjects and alternative views you have to rely on alternative media and debate not the establishment which is in the control of the corporations.

As I have indicated previously I think Jill Stein is the best alternative party candidate that I am aware of but the closer I look at Rocky Anderson the more I think he deserves equal consideration although if there is any chance of winning it would be better to unite behind one candidate which has the best chance of winning which is probably Jill Stein who has her name on the ballot in many more states, I think Rocky is strictly a write in candidate, and they can both run as write ins on the states where they aren’t on the ballot. And even though I am much more inclined to agree with these two, personally, it is clear that not everyone agrees and there should be no doubt that Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson should also be eligible to debate as well and perhaps more people should be included.

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In the long run we should have instant run-off elections so that every candidate that is eligible will have an equal opportunity and they can’t use this deceptive “wasting the vote” excuse against anyone that thinks they can challenge the system controlled by the corporations but in the short term it will be best to do what ever can be done to improve things and move in that direction. Roseanne Barr has been complaining about not being invited to the debates. When I have looked at her in the past my impression was that although she was better than the establishment candidates I had a hard time taking her serious as a presidential candidate; however it would be appropriate to consider whether other candidates should have been invited as well. Project Vote Smart has a long list of candidates that are running for president. This almost certainly includes some candidates that have either withdrawn or aren’t serious but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have some opportunity to be heard and perhaps a system could be set up so that they can all have an opportunity to be heard even Santa Claus and then the best contenders could be narrowed down in a system that is open and explained ahead of time.

Yes, that’s right, I said Santa Claus and it wasn’t my idea check the list if you don’t believe he’s running.

If they can they may find a way to use this to distract people from issues since that is what they routinely do but there still needs to be a way to screen these people out. However in the short term it is more important to do what we can to break the duopoly controlled by corporations and set up a system that includes election reform that enables the public to control the debate and the questions that are being asked for candidates. There should be no need for candidates to buy up an enormous amount of air time to lie to the public while they have much less opportunity to fact check and many of the members of the public don’t even keep up with the fact checking. This should also include more opportunities for the members of the public to participate in ballot questions (What is yours?); this could include questions about guaranteeing the public the opportunity to hear from all candidates.

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The following are the alternative party debates and a list of related articles about how the election is being rigged to suppress democracy.

Third-Party Candidates Break the Sound Barrier as Obama-Romney Spar (1st presidential debate)
Expanding the Debate with Third-Party Candidates Jill Stein, Virgil Goode, Rocky Anderson (2nd presidential debate)
Full Expanding the Debate Special on Foreign Policy Featuring Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson (3rd presidential debate)
Third-Party Candidates Challenge Biden & Ryan on War, Economy, Healthcare
Complete 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate 2012 Third Party Debate with Gary Johnson - Libertarian Party Jill Stein - Green Party Rocky Anderson - Justice Party Virgil Goode - Constitution Party
UPDATED VERSION - IVN Presidential Debate with Gov. Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein (includes many additional videos)
The NPR Third-Party Candidate Debate
American Third Parties Presidential Debate 2012: Justice, Green, and Socialist Parties!!

Related material

As Obama, Romney Hold First Debate, Behind the Secret GOP-Dem Effort to Shut Out Third Parties As President Obama and Mitt Romney prepare to square off in Denver, Colorado, tonight, we look at how the Democrats and Republicans manage to shut out all third parties from the presidential debates. The Obama and Romney campaigns have secretly negotiated a detailed contract that dictates many of the terms of the 2012 presidential debates. This includes who gets to participate, as well as the topics raised during the debates. We’re joined by George Farah, founder and executive director of Open Debates, and author of the book, "No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates."
Vote Stalkers: Obama, Romney Campaigns Mine Trove of Voters’ Online Data to Win 2012 Election
Glenn Greenwald: Presidential Debates Highlight "Faux Objectivity" of Mainstream Journalists
Secret Debate Contract Reveals Obama and Romney Campaigns Exclude Third Parties, Control Questions
Green Party Candidates Arrested, Shackled to Chairs For 8 Hours After Trying to Enter Hofstra Debate
Green Party candidate: Police handcuffed me to a chair for eight hours 

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