Want to See Gary Johnson and Jill Stein Debate? Here's Why You Won't
Getting on ballots across the country requires time, organization, support and money. That should be difficult enough to weed out the riff-raff, but if you wanted to make it even harder to get an invite to the debates (but not impossible, which for all intents and purposes, the current system is), why not amend the third criterion to read: 15% of public support --OR-- the candidate is eligible for federal matching funds and has received the nomination of their respective party?
Under this system, the 2012 presidential debates might look like this:
- Barack Obama (Democrat)
- Mitt Romney (Republican)
- Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
- Jill Stein (Green)
Something tells me that this debate would touch on issues more thoughtful than who the real "outsourcer-in-chief" is. And considering that federal tax dollars are, in-part, funding the campaigns of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, it would be nice to hear them talk.
It's been 20 years since a third-party candidate has been invited to debate Republican and Democratic presidential nominees; we all know how political discourse has played out since then. Sometimes, it makes sense to look at the system that is in place and ask ourselves: Is this really the best way to do things? I realize that I'm not the first to say this, but I think we can do better.
-- Written by John DeFeo in New York City
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