FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Occupy the Debates

A recent USA Today poll found 76% of voters want debates with four candidates including not just the two most hated candidates in history, the Republican and Democratic nominees and their vice presidential running mates, but Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Greens, and Gary Johnson and Bill Weld of the Libertarians.

Any candidate on enough ballots to achieve 270 electoral college votes should be in the debates. The people have a right to see all candidates debating the issues who are on their ballots.

The deceptive debate commission, which is called a debate commission just to hide the truth: it is a corporation of the Democrats and Republicans whose purpose is to limit debates to their two parties, has no legitimacy. It has a major conflict of interest – why should the two establishment parties decide their opponents cannot debate? It is an obvious conflict of interest that the media should be calling out. The media should join the demand of the people – open debate are essential for democracy.

Today, half of US voters do not even consider themselve Democrats or Republicans, both parties are widely disliked and debates should not be limited to two minority parties, who present two hated candidates when there are four candidates on enough ballots to win a majority of the electoral college.

This week we are starting a series of protests in Washington, DC at the offices of the deceptive debate commission. On Wednesday during rush hour beginning at 4:30 people will be holding a disruptive protest at rush hour. We will me meeting at New Hampshire Ave and M St. NW at 4:30.  We are calling for people to “Occupy the Debates.” The anniversary of OWS is September 17th and opening the debates would be a good use of that anniversary. The people need to challenge the DC political elites who keep the debate closed so only big business views are heard.

Please share this announcement widely and urge people to attend if they are near DC  also urge them to share it widely so all activists near DC are aware of it.

We also urge people around the country to self-organize protests at media outlets to urge them to demand open debates and to stop the fraud of the deceptive debate commission. The debates will be shown on all network and cable news outlets.

And, we urge students and others near the venues of the debates to organize protests, write about the deceptive debate commission in local papers (including student papers), and pressure the president and board of trustees for open debates. Debates will be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, Longwood University in Farmville, VA, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and University of Nevada in Las Vegas, NV. Universities in particular should be open to a wide variety of views not just the views of two parties funded by Wall Street and big business interests.

Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton could demand open debates. Donald Trump supported open debates in 2000 and exclaimed how it was amazing that this commission could keep people out of debates. Now, he seems to have joined the DC political elites and is manipulating democracy. In 2008 Hillary Clinton pushed for debates because of the importance of the office of the presidency. She too, is a debate manipulator. These two hated candidates do not want the voters to know there are more options. Instead they prefer to close the debates and shut out the voices of those who challenge them.

The debates impact every issue we care about. Many issues will not be on the agenda for these debates, among them are preventing escalation of wars, relieving students and millennials of the burden of unfair tuition debt, ensuring healthcare for everyone in an improved Medicare for all program, breaking up the big banks, and transforming to a green economy with a major jobs programs. These issues among others will not be debated if we only hear from two Wall Street parties.

It is time for all of us to unite and demand inclusive debate as a step toward creating a real democracy and ending the manipulation of the elites.

More articles by:

Kevin Zeese is an organizer at Popular Resistance.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 17, 2019
Manuel García, Jr.
Ye Cannot Swerve Me: Moby-Dick and Climate Change
Charles Pierson
Sofi’s Choice
Gary Leupp
Epstein, Jane Doe, and Trump
Rebecca Gordon
I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed
Peter Bolton
In the US and Brazil, Two Trends Underline the Creeping Fascism of Both Governments
Michael Kidder
“Go Back Where You Came From:” an Episode From Canada
Steve Early - Rand Wilson
How Big Strike 30 Years Ago Aided Fight for Single Payer
John W. Whitehead
Sexual Predators in the Power Elite
Michael Welton
Teach the Children Well: the Unrealized Vision In Teaching and Learning in the Residential Schools
Khury Petersen-Smith
Iran’s Not the Aggressor, the US Is
Russell Mokhiber
Kip Sullivan and Dr. Matthew Hahn on How Value Based Programs Are Undermining Medicare and Single Payer
George Ochenski
A Fearless and Free Press is Essential to Our Democracy
Lawrence Wittner
Billionaires and American Politics
Dean Baker
Cheap Shots at the Trump Economy
July 16, 2019
Conn Hallinan
The World Needs a Water Treaty
Kenneth Surin
Britain Grovels: the Betrayal of the British Ambassador
Christopher Ketcham
This Land Was Your Land
Gary Leupp
What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Democratic Virtues in Electing a President
Thomas Knapp
Free Speech Just isn’t That Complicated
Binoy Kampmark
The Resigning Ambassador
Howard Lisnoff
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Nicky Reid
Nukes For Peace?
Matt Johnson
The United States of Overreaction
Cesar Chelala
Children’s Trafficking and Exploitation is a Persistent, Dreary Phenomenon
Martin Billheimer
Sylvan Shock Theater
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail