SANTA CRUZ, January 28, 2014 — During America’s quadrennial presidential elections, the population finds itself increasingly buried under an expensive avalanche of advertising and promotion by the Democratic and Republican parties. The desired outcome of this dogmatic barrage is to bully the voting public into a desperate choice, one they will likely make out of fear, rather than preference.
While America has at least four viable political parties (and several others on the horizon) which run candidates for President, the desired outcome for the two wealthiest entities is that these other choices remain in the dark, unknown to Americans who might upset the oligarchy by actually voting for them.
When any of these other parties approaches respectability, or even so much as presses for involvement in panels, debates, or televised political advertisements, they are quickly attacked and snuffed out by the corporate attack dogs beholden to the Democrats and Republicans. The rules are rigged, versions of the narrative which differ from the status quo are stamped out, and the televised spectacle of presidential debates becomes little more than paid advertising for the two parties who prop up and protect concentrated wealth and power in America.
When Libertarian or Green Party candidates have attempted to attend these so-called debates, even as ticket holding members of the audience, they have been detained, arrested, and kept out of sight until the events are over. If the mere presence of a different point of view is enough to trigger such a response from the two corporate parties, it is no wonder that America’s presidential elections have become a shell game, played by the wealthy, dressed up and presented to a trusting public as a real civic event.
With the CDP (committee on presidential debates), a bipartisan group which nobody elected and has no charter from the American voters, calling the shots, the moderators, questions, and tenor of the debates are scripted and controlled from start to finish. It has become a mesmerizing, if completely fallacious, television event, bent on fostering a feeling of resignation among its audience. At the end of it all, if the production is a success, most potential voters have decided they do not care for either choice presented to them as their only options, or that, in the areas where they live, their vote will not count. These voices fall silent, their votes never cast. The remaining players dig in to their ideological foxholes and prepare for the mudslinging to follow. What is promised as a debate ends up being little more than savvy political theater, and every four years, fewer people decide to even show up on election day.
Voting is one of the most important things a citizen can do. When so much labor and expense is used to marginalize the majority of potential voters, the important questions are never asked, and those who would seek to lead are never called to account for their prior record or statements on the important issues of the time. It is a joke, an exercise in subjugation, and it never serves the public.
It is time for Americans to realize they are only being shown half of the electoral landscape. It may take decades for the Greens or Libertarians to field campaigns which could land a candidate in the oval office, but the days of censoring them out of the conversation must end. Their presence on any debate stage can only be positive. It will broaden the discussion, and foster real debate on the issues. The Democratic party will no longer have the luxury of assuming that progressives will vote for their candidate, and the same would be true of the Republicans and Libertarians.
Each year, there are candidates on American ballots who are never allowed to speak or participate in the election process on the same stage as the two wealthy parties. Every election cycle, Americans are overwhelmed with doctrine while the real issues are obfuscated.
It happens because we let it and it happens because we live in a culture which values wealth over substance. It is up to us to change it.
Russ Rankin writes about hockey, music & politics. You can find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. He also sings for Good Riddance and Only Crime. Find out what he’s up to by checking out his website.