Want to See Gary Johnson and Jill Stein Debate? Here's Why You Won't
Little surprise mass market politicians are touted for their "electability" the same way mass market beers are marketed for their "drinkability."
Clearly, Democrats and Republicans are here to stay. And it's a virtual certainty that "fringe" candidates like Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich will never capture the nomination of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. That's fine. But what is not fine is the exclusion of legitimate third-party candidates from our national presidential debates.
That could mean you.
Let's pretend that you're fed up with the political gridlock in Washington and you decide to run for president. Amazingly, your ideas gain traction thanks to Twitter, Reddit and other marvels of modern communication. So you form your own political party -- the Compromise Party -- and volunteers in all 50 states pledge their support to collect signatures and get you on each state's ballot. Meanwhile, your tech-savvy supporters build you a secure donation website to cover all the necessary costs.
This is where your American dream ends.
The dream ends because most Americans will never see you. That's because, in a de facto sense, media companies choose who gets to participate in the nationally televised presidential debates: the only "free" venue for presidential hopefuls to make their case to all of America.
Of course, there is no such thing as "free" airtime. Under the current system, private sponsors shoulder these costs and, in fairness, it is their legal right to exclude certain candidates.
Here's the deal: