Time for some substance over the fluff of Obama and Romney. If you listened to thel “extended debates” sponsored Democracy Now! you’ve experienced the breadth and substance our third party candidates will bring to the issues. Since only two of these candidates are on enough votes to be able to win the election, I will primarily focus on Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Many find libertarianism overwhelmingly attractive and straightforward: freedom is basic and our founding fathers expressed this in the phrase: “Don’t Tread on Us.” For others, the New Green Deal is overwhelmingly attractive and emphasizes having a vibrant democracy and jobs. For Greens, the slogan “Don’t Tread on Us” is their rebellion against the 1% that has trod on the 99% so badly that we are suffering significant loses of income, jobs losses, and we no longer even have a voice in our democracy. Corporations run this democracy through the two corporate parties. Rocky Anderson refers to this as a “duopoly” dominated by the Republican/Democrat party, the debate between the candidates Twiddle-dee and Twiddle-dum. Jill Stein agrees wholeheartedly. Her campaign has launched a lawsuit against the duopoly’s control of the debates and of information to the people. Gary Johnson had already launched a lawsuit. None of these suits will be resolved before the election so it’s up to you to decide what kind of government you want: Corporate? Libertarian? New Green Deal?.
Disclosure: every writer should do a bit of “disclosing.” The following issues deeply concern me.
(1) The revival of a real democracy of, by, and for the people. Everything else rests on this. Right now, we have a corporatocracy, plutocrocy, or oligarchy — the names do matter but more important is what is going on. The wealthy control politics at the presidential level. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision allows corporations to act as “persons” and as part of their liberty as “persons” they can contribute as much as they like to their chosen candidates or parties. We finally have what Greg Palast called “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” and it is a democracy of the 1%, by the 1%, and for the 1%.
(2) Our counterproductive war on terrorism drains our economy, destroys people in the military, and degrades our values and principles. I agree with Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Rocky Anderson that it is our own military attacks, including drones, that create the enemies who hate us and make the world more dangerous for Americans. Ron Paul has a very short 3 minute 11 second video that is a “must see”: Armed Chinese Troops in Texas! A related fact: it was our “invasion” of Saudi Arabia and our kneejerk support of Israel that motivated bin Laden’s 1996 “Declaration of War Against America.”
(3) Jobs. We need Americans at work and as quickly as possible. For every three jobs we create, we get two more. That’s the “multiplier” effect. Jobs bring income and so families purchase food, clothing, services, fuel, and there need to people people to provide these things. Shops re-open, restaurants re-open, the economy starts chuggin’ along. If enough jobs are produced—Obama flaked out on this—we could bring this nation out of our Recession. How to do this will be a debate issue.
(4) Healthcare is the final big issue that comes up for me. Obamacare is a corporate insurance money producer. We could provide everyone in America with Medicare for the same about of money since we waste over 30% in paying off insurance companies.
(5) Climate Change: "what will you say to your grandchildren when they ask you, you saw this coming, what did you do?"
Now onto the debate. There shouldn’t be any surprises. Gary Johnson’s positions are clear as are Jill Stein’s.
These two candidates, as well as Rocky Anders [need to check on our constitutional candidate], agree pretty much on
Foreign/military policy: bring the troops home from Afghanistan, stop empire building, reassess our Israel relationship, stop killing people with drones.
Domestic social policy: yes that a woman has a right to what happens to her body, and that includes choices about ending a pregnancy; relationships between people of whatever genders is the choice of the people involved; marijuana should be made legal across the nation.
Gary Johnson and Jill Stein differ radically on Domestic Economic Policy. Here’s where we can expect some fireworks tonight. Since Jill Stein and Gary Johnson already participated in a short 8 minute CNN debate hosted by Don Lemon, we know my above summary is accurate. You can watch this short debate as a warm you up.
Pop the popcorn or grab your notepad but whatever, let’s together pay attention to this debate among the only candidates worthy of being the next president. Larry King moderates this debate and even he’s excited! PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
Opening question: about a ballot option that does nothing to open up our democracy to people who aren't supported by corporations or extremely wealthy groups. That's what all four candidates have said, and looks good to me. We want DEMOCRACY OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE--not OF 1%, BY 1%, and FOR 1%.
One minute responses:
Stein: we all need to stand up for real democracy--with free and open debates.
Anderson: the political Duopoly in this country is tightening up their control over our system--that's why we are the only nation in the industrial West with a crappy system of healthcare instead of healthcare for all--and its all due to big money.
Goode: we need to vote for third parties who will stand up for all of us now.
Johnson: candidates should wear NASCAR jackets--and we need complete transparency.
My comment: In your leisure, check out JFK on secrecy in polics.
CHANGE OF AGENDA: OPENING STATEMENTS!
Stein: we are in crisis, the rich get richer, Climate change is bearing down on us. We are at a breaking point. We need to take back our democracy.
WOW. My kind of candidate! Plus she wants 25 Million jobs! New Green Deal. Plus bailing out the students, not the banks.
Anderson: We are suffering an incredible disparity in wealth. Wall Street goes along making money while we will have 30 Million people without health care in a few years. If you want real change... vote for one of us.
Goode: balanced budget and let's stop bringing in foreigh workers.
Johnson: balance the budget, no corporate taxes
NEW START: question two about drugs.
Anderson: legalize of course. End drug prohibition.
Goode: I'd cut back on the war on drugs but not for legalizing marijuana.
Johnson: let's legalize it, regulate it, tax it
Stein: as a medical doctor in clinical practice for 25 years that marijuana is a substance is dangerous ONLY BECAUSE IT'S ILLEGAL. A woman president could tell her Attorney General to have its status be BASED ON SCIENCE.
Anderson, just wanted to add that we should also legalize industrial hemp and let all marijuana prisoners out of prison if that's all they've done.
Question three: Do you think that an annual military budget of 1 billion is essential to keep us safe. What's the US role in the world?
Goode: we are not the policeman of the world. That will save billions of dollars.
Johnson: we do need a strong defense, not offense and not Empire Building.
Stein: I agree with Gary, not with Virgil. We are less secure for what is happening. We're experiencing blowback. We need to stop the drone war. We need a foreign policy based on international law, human rights, and the war against Climate Change.
Anderson: Eisenhower warned this country about the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Complex. He warned us. The Republicans and Democrats alike are voting for useless weapons. And: NO WARS of aggression. We prosecuted people for this after WWII under the Nuremberg Code.
Rebuts: I would not be in Syria unless Congress makes a declaration of war.
Question Four: A college education costs almost 400, 000--is college even worth it at that point and if so, how do we provide that opportunity to everyone?
Johnson: what's the federal role? And why is college tuition so high? So colleges are immune from pricing. If kids dropped out, then the prices would come down.
Stein: I think it's time to make public higher education free as it should be. We've done this before. After WWII, $7 was returned to the economy for every $1 spent on higher education. In the 20th century we provided a high school education because that was needed... let's stop bailing out the banks, currently at a price tag of 40 billion dollars a month! Let's bail out the students and break up the banks!~
Anderson: we absolutely need to provide a free education for our students who want to go to college. Tuition debt is a huge burden on students--we want to let the students go bankrupt, as they can on their credit cards.
Johnson: we can't afford more Pell grants and more federally funded student loans.
Johnson: free comes with a cost. Spending more money than what you take in. Free has gotten us to a point where we will experience a monatery collapse.
Anderson: I couldn't disagree more with Virgil and Gary. We need to get behind our workers and our young people.
Stein: we cannot afford NOT to educate our students. Every generation the economy needs to be rebooted. Our students are now indentured students. They need to be set free to learn, create, and earn... not indentured.
Question: What do you think about passing the NDAA section that allows the president to imprison American citizens, without trial, and indefinitely.
Stein: the NDAA should never have been passed. We need to reject the Patriot Act... we need to stop the president from believing he has the right to assassinate American citizens at will...
Johnson: there's been no more unAmerican act in our history than the NDAA. We are on the road toward totalitarianism. That's the very definition of tyranny. He wants to forget about torture.
Question: how would you amend the constitution?
Anderson: absolutely no discrimination on the basis of gender or race
Goode: term limits.
Johnson: term limits.
Stein: even with term limits, corporations can still buy want they want and will buy our candidates. My amendment: money is not speech and corporations are not people. We should not be precluded from laws that we need by corporations. We want our constitutional rights back from the corporations that have seized them.
Goode: Thanks to free and equal. No green cards until unemployment low enough. No PACs.
Johnson: I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could do good as the president of the United States. I made a name for myself vetoing legislation. Regarding immigration, let's make it as easy as possible for someone to come in with a work visa.
Stein: a famous saying, the biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with. 90million voters who are not going to come out. They are saying NO to the Democratic and Republican parties. I want to focus on the 36 million students and graduates who are basically indentured... if they come out to vote for ending support of the banksters, free higher education, ending the Oil wars,
Anderson: the plutocracy has brought our government. Military contractors, fossil fuel corporations. We need a change. Thank you both.
Larry King: I've always appreciated supporting voices outside the narrow mainstream... the Illinois Anderson... Ross Perot... I want to thank all of you for coming and thanks to the audience as well.
Christiana: Larry I want to thank you for coming through and all the supporters out there.
So: who won?
The Obvious winner: