Watch the 3rd-party debate

Published 9:40 am Monday, October 22, 2012

Is anyone else who watched the presidential debates a little disappointed? Were you perhaps expecting an actual debate, but saw only the two main presidential candidates mouthing their party’s talking points, sniping at each other and avoiding all of the serious, troubling issues that are besetting our nation as a whole? Issues such as the reprehensible and egregious erosion of our civil rights and liberties, or the president being able to indefinitely imprison or even assassinate American citizens without any sort of due process, or that if we wish to assemble and protest our government, it is now illegal to do so except in designated protest areas?

That is because the main presidential debates are completely controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties. They do not allow third-party candidates, and all of the questions are screened and pre-approved by the two candidates. This ensures that what really takes place is less of a debate and more of a theatrical play, an infomercial for the two main parties’ political platforms for the election.

For anyone who wants to see a real presidential debate, wherein the candidates actually debate their opponents, I implore you to watch the third-party presidential debate that will be on YouTube on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Central. The wonderful thing about YouTube is, if like me you’ll be busy at 8 p.m., it will be recorded so you’ll be able to watch it whenever you have the time.

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Voting for a third-party candidate is not “throwing your vote away.” That’s what the two main parties would like you to believe because it takes potential votes away from them. Voting for a third-party candidate is voting for what you actually believe in, and not settling for the lesser of two evils and giving your vote to someone you don’t believe should be president. At the very least, it is the closest thing we have to a vote of “no confidence” in the two main candidates, a way of throwing a wrench in their carefully constructed system. And who knows? If enough people vote for a third party candidate any given Election Day just might upset this artificially constructed, carefully preserved two-party dichotomy entirely.


Philip Maras

Albert Lea