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Here's a trivia question for you...
Who is Jill Stein ? Do you know ?
If you don't, here's another question...
Who is Gary Johnson ? Heard of him ? Anyone ?
Why are Jill Stein and Gary Johnson important ?
They are important because they are both running for President in 2012, and they are both on the ballot in enough states to potentially get 270 electoral college votes and become the next President of the United States. Dr. Jill Stein is the presidential candidate for the Green Party, and Gary Johnson is the presidential candidate for the Libertarian party.
You won't see Stein or Johnson in any presidential debates, and you probably don't know anything about them. Many voters will enter the voting booth on election day and ask themselves, "I wonder who all these other presidential candidates are ?". It will be the first time many voters hear of Stein, Johnson, or any candidate on the ballot other than Obama and Romney.
You won't see Stein or Johnson mentioned in the presidential polls.
You won't hear about Stein or Johnson from the teevee talking heads.
You won't read about Stein or Johnson in the newspapers.
You will only hear about the Democrat Obama and the Republican Romney.
The kicker is, after the media blackout on Stein and Johnson effectively prevents them from becoming known to the public, the people running the presidential debates say Stein and Johnson can't participate in the debates BECAUSE THEY DON'T POLL HIGH ENOUGH. What remains unexplained is exactly how someone the public is unaware of is supposed to poll favorably. This closes the presidential candidate circle, and it's why we have so few third party candidates with a snowball's chance in hell. Unless the candidate is a billionaire like Ross Perot who can self-finance to become known, they have no chance.
We think we are a great democracy, but how much of a choice do we really have ? The world's worst dictatorships get to choose from one candidate and one political party. We get to choose between two. Wow. How very democratic we are. We get one more choice than North Korea. Oh, wait. North Korea has four different political parties with representation in it's Supreme Assembly. America, the great democracy, gets to choose between the Democrat we don't like, or the Republican we don't like, with the odd Independent thrown into Congress every once in a while (and the Independent is usually a Democrat or Republican who couldn't win his party's nomination). By further comparison, the United Kingdom has three major political parties, and there are eleven different political parties represented in the UK's House of Commons.
This subject is a pet peeve of mine, because, truth be told, I haven't voted for a presidential candidate I wanted since 1996. Instead, I keep voting AGAINST the guy I like the least. That's what I will do in this election also. If I was voting for my candidate of choice, that would be Gary Johnson, but I won't be voting for him. Instead, I'll vote for Romney, because I don't want Obama to win. I wonder how many other people are voting against someone rather than for someone. We might be able to change this if our election process was more inclusive, if non-Democrat/non-Republicans weren't shut out of the process, we might find candidates we actually like. Imagine that. And just maybe things would change a bit.
Speaking of the Libertarian Johnson, he is polling at 5.3% nationwide (even though he's excluded from most polls), and that could be enough to take five battleground states and 74 electoral votes away from Romney and hand them to Obama. Johnson takes votes that would otherwise go to Romney, because few Libertarians are going to vote for Obama. Here's how the Libertarian Party website describes it:
"Zogby, Rasmussen, Gallup, CNN/Opinion Research, New York Times, Washington Post, LATimes, ABC, and CBS Polling Organizations all KNOW that 3% or 6% or 9% of the vote for Libertarian Presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson in these states could easily cost Romney 74 Electoral Votes – and the 2012 Presidential election.
Starting now, these organizations need to include 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson in all state Presidential polls – especially in these 5 “Romney Must Win” battleground states.
Gary Johnson was a 2-Term Republican Governor of New Mexico (1995-2003). During his 8 years in office, he vetoed over 750 bills – more than all other governors combined. He was repeatedly recognized and honored as the “most fiscally conservative Governor in America.”
Zogby, Rasmussen, Gallup, CNN/Opinion Research, New York Times, Washington Post, LATimes, ABC, and CBS Polling: Include Libertarian Presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson in all national and state Presidential polls. Show us the full picture."
The full picture ? In America ? Don't be silly. If they did that, our citizens might actually become informed, a definite danger to the status quo.
Gary Johnson has filed an anti-trust lawsuit to get included in the presidential debates.
On Septermber 20th, a judge ruled that Ralph Nader's 2009 lawsuit against the Democratic party must go to trial. Nader was the 2008 Green Party candidate, and he alleges that "Democrats orchestrated a concerted, nationwide effort to interfere with the campaign of Nader and his running mate, the late Peter Miguel Camejo, by filing 29 complaints in 19 states, including Maine, and that many of the complaints included groundless and demonstrably false allegations of fraud.
According to defendant Toby Moffett, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist who helped recruit an estimated 95 lawyers from 53 law firms to join the effort, the purpose of the Democrats’ complaints was to “drain,” “distract” and “neutralize” the Nader-Camejo campaign, by “forcing [them] to spend money and resources defending these things.”
In addition to Moffett, the lawsuit names as defendants the Maine Democratic Party, its former Chair Dorothy Melanson, the Democratic National Committee, its former Chair Terry McAuliffe, the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign and a Section 527 political organizations Moffett headed called The Ballot Project."
Nader added, “Former Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and former Congressman Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party are now facing what the Nader-Camejo campaign confronted in 2004, Both the Democratic and the Republican parties treat the electoral process and the voters as if they own them, and they will continue to do so until Americans of all political persuasions put a stop to it by demanding a broader choice of candidates on the ballot in each election cycle.”
Does this sound like democracy in America to you ? It sounds more like a duopoly to me.
Correction 10/01/12 - I stated above that Ralph Nader was the Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. One of our wise commenters pointed out my error. Nader ran as an independent presidential candidate in 2008. The Green Party candidate in 2008 was Cynthia McKinney. My apologies.