Many of the most important issues will have been censored at the debate; and they can be expected to be censored from any other debate controlled by the Commission on Presidential Debates. In 1988 the Commission on Presidential Debates negotiated with the two major political parties and the nominees for president at the time to establish new rules for participation in the debates that have been in place since then, more or less. Prior to this League of Women Voters used to sponsor debates but they refused to “help perpetrate a fraud” when the CPD made this decision. Notably absent from the decision making process about who will be allowed to debate or have much if any media coverage from the corporate media that gets preferential access to the airwaves from the government is the vast majority of the American public or any organization that has a reasonable claim to represent them.
As I begin writing this the debates haven’t happened yet; however by the time I post it I will have watched it and may provide an additional comments on whether they meet expectations or lack of them; this will include a major update about the fact that Democracy Now has done an “expand the debate” segment that includes Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson. The traditional corporate media hasn’t covered this but it isn’t being completely suppressed either which is important when it comes to successful propaganda so this could potentially be part of a major game changer. Many commentators have pointed out that both these candidates aren’t inclined to address many of the most important issues and that they hold the same position on a lot of them, especially when it comes to the interests of the corporations that finance the campaigns of both major parties and presidential candidates. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have some things they disagree on, of course; however it does mean that many issues aren’t even up for discussion and by preventing grass roots candidates from having access to the debates the corporations guarantee that this won’t change, at least in the mainstream media.
A small sample of the things that they agree on that aren’t in the best interest of the vast majority of the public include the fact that neither one of them is willing to discuss Single Payer Health Care which would dramatically reduce health care expenses by preventing the insurance companies from spending an enormous amount of the money they collect from premiums on advertising and lobbying and keep even more for profit; stop drone attacks that are killing many innocent people abroad and is increasing opposition to US military actions; stop the “surge” in troops which has had the opposite effect that they expected; protection of the environment that is backed up by actions not just words and many other things. An additional ten issues were reposted by Greg Orr on the Daily KO that initially came from Jill Stein. This; list includes many challenges to corporate power that defend the majority of the public but they don’t get discussed in the corporate media nor are they expected to be discussed at the debate.
Mattea Kramer wrote, Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, A Recipe for American Decline That No One Will Be Debating which outlines many of the things that these two candidates have in common that almost certainly won’t be discussed at the presidential debates controlled by corporations. This was reposted in the Daily KO with an additional important topic added Open thread for night owls: Tough talk you won't hear in the debates. Where's climate change? There are many more articles that have pointed out how much these two have in common and the fact that they’re both under the same influence of corporate power including “Closer Than You Think: Top 15 Things Romney and Obama Agree On” written by the Black Agenda Report with a perspective from the left and Joshua Hedlund’s 218 reasons NOT to vote for Obama with a perspective from the right. In the case of Joshua Hedlund I happen to disagree with a couple of the most important issues that he raises like his position on immigration and I have at time disagreements with those at the Black Agenda or just about everyone else but they both raise many important issues that should stand on their own merits and are worth consideration.
Barack Obama’s own law professor, Roberto Mangabeira Unger, has made it clear that he also believes that Barack Obama isn’t representing the majority of the public and he put out a video explaining his reasons.
There’s no shortage of coverage from many of the most important issues in many area’s that aren’t under the control of the corporate media but the corporate media doesn’t cover much if any of it and many people may have a hard time finding out about it. Fortunately there are an enormous amount of people that are now relying more on alternative media outlets (list of many outlets) but this needs to be turned into additional action and pressure to cover all important issues as it should happen in any sincere democracy.
Neither Mitt Romney or Barack Obama even filled out their Project Vote Smart questionnaires which is the closest thing to a job application that I know of for the presidential election which is essentially a job interview process. If any applicant for a job in any other position refused to fill out an application then that would be the end of the interview process; they wouldn’t even be invited to an interview. Thanks to an enormous amount of corporate propaganda the majority of the public has been led to believe that this shouldn’t have any impact; mainly be declining to discuss this at all. In this corrupt debate process the people that did fill out the job applicants are being banned from the debates and only the two candidates sponsored and financed by the corporations are being allowed. This ensures that the power of the corporations won’t be challenged.
Or so they think.
As I said there have been an enormous amount of people that have been relying on alternative media outlets to get their news and, as you must know there have also been an enormous amount of protests going on throughout the country over the past year or much longer. However the corporate media hasn’t been covering more than a fraction of these protests and they haven’t been discussing the issues when they do. A relatively small indication of how many people seem to be fed up with the current system is that while preparing this article I googled the excerpt cited from tom Dispatch above and found that as of this writing there were sixteen pages full of excerpts from that article, a total of 160 web pages that presumably reposted it. And they cut off many more because they indicated that they were redundant.
That means that the limited amount of news that the corporate media may not be adequate to assess what to expect during the election. However even if the elections do result in a majority accepting the corruption of the corporate choices there almost certainly will be an enormous amount of support for independent candidates like Jill Stein or Gary Johnson.
If people vote for either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama they will essentially be allowing their vote to be bought by the people that control the propaganda that they use to manipulate votes and the corporations will assume they can continue with business as usual. The truth of the matter seems to be that the Romney campaign is a disaster and there is no way that he can win despite all the propaganda that the corporate media is trying to promote to convince people otherwise. Barack Obama is relying on the threat of something much worse than he is, not on the job he has been doing which is horrible.
A vote for an independent will not be a wasted vote since it will be used to let them know that the corporations won’t be able to continue convincing the majority that they can only choose from the candidates that have been pre-selected by the corporations. Or as Jill Stein put it in the following excerpt, “The only wasted vote is one that goes unused,” or to a candidate that won’t look out for your interest I might add.
Also for those of you who didn’t know if she were allowed to attend the debates it would be a rematch with Mitt Romney and it wouldn’t be the first time that a debate which later became famous had a candidate that lost a statewide election but went on to win the presidential election and establish a new political party. It would only be fitting that the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, for that matter went out the same way the Republican Party went in. Jill Stein previously debated Mitt Romney for governor. Last spring Romney even said, "I'm hoping she'll give me a rematch so that the voters can see that I have some substance too. Really, I do." And Jill Stein accepted Romney invite to debate rematch but he backed down. And now refuses to allow her to have an opportunity to present herself to the majority of the public. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have clearly indicated that they don’t think the majority of the public should have access to the information they need to make their decisions.
Supporters of Jill Stein have been protesting Romney in the lead up to the debate but there has, of course been little or no coverage of this in the corporate media that doesn’t want the public to have the information they need any more than the corporations that finance them and profit from the sale of deceptive ads.
A sample of the issues that she does a much better job addressing includes her recent articles, Stein says report shows urgent need to end drone warfare and even though this meeting has already come and gone she held the following town hall meeting, Join us online this Sunday for a live Q&A on climate change with Jill! Neither Mitt Romney or Barack Obama seems to be interested in a serious discussion about the destruction of the environment; Mitt isn’t even willing to acknowledge it exists and Barack Obama is only willing to give the issue lip service. If their campaign donors were the ones that were have their property destroyed and they were suffering from diseases sue to pollution they would but when their campaign donors are making massive profits by destroying the environment for everyone else they don’t seem to care.
Samuel Jackson has recently said it’s “time to wake the fuck up,” I agree with him on that but if people think they’re “waking the fuck up,” by responding to Samuel Jackson’s ad by blindly accepting everything he says and voting for Obama so that he can do the will of the corporations without any regard for the will of the people they might as well just stay asleep; because their votes will continue to be controlled by demagogues. The same could of course be said for me; I don’t expect anyone to vote for Jill Stein just because I said so; but it is worth considering the issues and if you don’t think that Jill Stein is the best candidate to vote for then I don’t see why you shouldn’t consider one of the other candidates that have been presented on Project Vote Smart’s web page; if there are other candidates that filled out the application and you agree with them then that wouldn’t be a wasted vote but a vote for someone that is guaranteed to sell you out would be!
As I said Democracy now has run an expand the Debate segment which aired on their web site and where ever they are available by cable or satellite including Link TV. They started the evening out with their regular show which was about “As Obama, Romney Hold First Debate, Behind the Secret GOP-Dem Effort to Shut Out Third Parties.” (Transcripts included) This episode covers many of the details about how the Commission of Presidential Debates took control of the debates including some of the details already mentioned and more that I wasn’t previously aware of.
In order for their control of the debates to be successful, like any other successful propaganda, they have to prevent the opposition from being successfully heard. This hasn’t been entirely successful now that Amy Goodman has run this segment and hopefully will follow up with at least two more segments for the other Presidential Debates and one for the Vice Presidential Debates.
When I first started following Jill Stein and the alternative party movement as well as the Occupy Wall Street movements I began to think that this could be when they finally use their grass roots organization to provide a major challenge to the corporate media and possibly even win. It was never a sure thing and still isn’t; there is still a lot that needs to be done regardless of who wins this election but this could potentially be part of a major game changer. That doesn’t mean that any one event will be responsible for a total turn around, as they often make it seem in the corporate media; but if this is combined with a major effort to let people know about the debate and that the Commission of Presidential Debates has been rigging the debates then it could lead to a major increase in the votes for independent, possibly even a victory. Even if they don’t win a major increase in independent votes will put them on notice, informing them that if they continue to ignore the will of the people and give them nothing but propaganda many more people will start voting for independent that actually address the issues.
I’m not going to go into too much detail reviewing the issues they covered; you can see them just as well for yourself at Democracy Now! or if you’re interested in my responses to other details that I have reviewed in the past a couple of the best are A closer look at Jill Stein and Jill Stein supports Constitution unlike Romney and Obama!! these were both written without rushing and so was a lot of the material that Jill Stein provided on her web site. For that matter so was the material that Rocky Anderson provided in his Vote Smart questionnaire and on his web site. Either of these candidates would be far better than the candidates sponsored by the corporations; but, for what it’s is worth I think that it would be better to put the majority of the support behind one of them to defeat the entrenched candidates that have been corrupting the system; and my preference is, as you know Jill Stein, partly because I am more familiar with her and partly because she has much more ballot access and presumably support therefore a greater chance to win. However I don’t think this should lead to bickering among the alternative candidates and neither do they seem to; so it would be more important for people to make their own choices based on their own decision; which is the way democracy is supposed to work. In the long run we should have instant run-off election so that we won’t have to worry about unifying behind one candidate to avoid the lesser of evils.
They both did a far better job calling for Single Payer insurance and holding Wall Street accountable and ending wars based on lies as well as many other issues during the debate and on their web sites and elsewhere than either of the two major candidates sponsored by corporations. Mitt Romney has made it clear that he isn’t going to stand up to Wall Street and Barack Obama has a record to run on which includes breaking most if not all of his promises. This includes his promise to stand up to lobbyists; which he broke as soon as he started appointing many of them in his administration and his refusal to hold political allies like Jon Corzine accountable. He also broke promises about war and the environment and many other issues. One exception is the ending of the Iraq war and bringing the troops home but even that was misleading; he initially made it clear that he didn’t intend to do so then reversed himself only after Iraq refused to give troops immunity then he pretended he was bringing them home as part of his promise all along; and he still left a large presence behind in the embassy and private military contractors so it wasn’t even a complete withdrawal.
During the debate I thought that the alternative candidates were far better and that Mitt Romney was especially bad when he kept interrupting the moderator so this could be a game changer; when I watched the morning coverage of it I found that while I was coming to the conclusion that this might be a game changer for Jill Stein the corporate media was attempting to portray Mitt Romney as the big winner of the debate because of the interruptions that I thought were especially un-presidential!
While Democracy Now! Was holding debates in a mostly civil manner at least for the alternative candidates the corporate media was presenting it, as usual, for the most part, as a sporting event, not a discussion on the issues that are designed to educate the majority of the public in the most effective manner possible. The majority of the corporate pundits indicated that they thought that Mitt Romney was doing well at the debates and his behavior is an acceptable and even desirable way of debating; even Chris Wallace who has been critical of Romney has indicated that he thought Romney was winning the debate and was disappointed in Barack Obama for not being more aggressive. If he were to do so it wouldn’t have done much if anything to inform the public about the issues which seems to be what they have in mind. Instead this would continue past practices of turning the debates and campaigns into a circus that is all about hype. I suspect that the next debate might result in a more combative Obama that does even less to cover issues which will only increase the reliance on attack tactics in their propaganda ads and their speeches. Many people may realize that many of the attacks they’re launching against each other are true and that neither one of them are any good and might smarten up if they realize there is an alternative, which there is!
They didn’t mention the fact that Democracy Now was doing an “expand the debate” feature that would include other candidates at all; but they had to know that it was happening and that it could have a major impact on the election. Intentionally or not by presenting this as what they called a “game changer” that could put Mitt Romney back in the race they may convince a lot of people that this is a close race and that they have to vote for Obama to stop Romney which is what they do every four years.
I’m not ruling out the possibility that this might have been done in this manner so that they could convince many people that respond to emotional appeals that they can’t risk voting for an alternative party once again.
However on at least one segment by a local ABC affiliate they interviewed some residences that were watching the debate and found that they weren’t interpreting it that way at all; in fact the ones they interviewed didn’t seem to impressed by the debate and said that it wouldn’t change their votes, although they didn’t indicate what their votes would be in this segment.
This is a clear example of the pundits on TV trying to tell the public how they should interpret the debate. On Current TV Al Gore wondered whether they would discuss Global Warming but he declined to mention the “expand the debate coverage” and his advocacy for environmentalism has always been limited and applied only when it suits his political purposes; when running for president or acting as vice president he was taking money from Occidental Petroleum and his position for environmentalism was limited to rhetoric but when he is out of power then he speaks out for it in a manner that generally doesn’t have an impact but he seems to expect this to present himself as the defender of the environment the same way he presents himself as the inventor of the internet. Many of the other so-called alternative media outlets declined to cover it as well but many others did. A small sample of the coverage from other outlets include The Huffington Post, Truthdig, Kevin Gosztola at My Fire Dog Lake, Crooks and Liars, Link TV who also broadcast it on satellite to a large audience, Free Speech.org, and many of the web sites run by Occupy Wall Streets and their related organization as well as many other alternative media outlets, I’m sure.
In addition to indicating support for the president this debate could indicate how much the public continues to trust the mainstream media which continues to refuse to cover many of the most important issues. With all these media outlets covering the alternative candidates and explaining how the debates have been hijacked it will be much more difficult for them to convince the public that they’re presenting credible coverage. If there is an enormous support for these candidates that comes from the grass roots despite the virtual blackout that the corporate media is implementing then it will be much more obvious that the corporate media isn’t doing an adequate job covering the news or anything else, as if it wasn’t already obvious.
The claim that the corporate media is trying to make about this putting Mitt Romney back in the game isn’t going to change the fact that he has been making one blunder after another and it is just a matter of time before he makes another. Even if he doesn’t his support isn’t because people like him or his policies; it seems to be because they don’t like Obama and Mitt Romney is the one that is being presented to them by the corporate media and the people that take the polls.
He isn’t even expected to win in Massachusetts or most of his other “home states!” None of these poll round ups put Massachusetts, Michigan, or California in favor of Mitt Romney; and most polls don’t put New Hampshire in favor of him either and this is one of the places where Gary Johnson is supposed to have the most support. The only one of his home states that favor him seems to be Utah, which is dominated by Mormons, and right or wrong, the fact that he is a Mormon is going to be a major part of the reason why he almost certainly won’t be able to keep the right wing base unified behind him. It is virtually guaranteed that a significant amount of people abandon him for Gary Johnson especially if it doesn’t appear as if he is going to win anyway; but many of these people have already made it clear that they won’t support him anyway, which means that it almost certainly will be a blow out although the corporate media will almost certainly try to present it as being close.
On the left there are just as many people fed up with the fact that Obama has betrayed just about every promise that he has made. Furthermore with all these protests that have been going on over the past year or so what do people expect all these protestors to do, give up and say “I tried but now I have to get in line behind Obama.”
I don’t think so; to do that would indicate that all these protests were for nothing. There are too many important issues to give in to the corporate propaganda and let them narrow down our choices to two candidates that both defend corporations over the best interest of the majority whenever people aren’t paying attention, or even when they are.
To allow them to buy the election would be to act like a bunch of zombies blindly believeing everything we’re told by the corporate media!