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Debates

The Politics That Led To The ‘Worst Debate’

The rich man’s media are calling it “the worst debate in modern American history,” but that’s because the truth is often painful to watch. The Biden-Trump confrontation revealed, with crystalline clarity, that the real “genius” of the American electoral process is its total imperviousness to popular demands for a healthier, more just and less economically precarious society and a peaceful, ecologically stable world. Instead, the Democratic alternative to the white supremacist Republican in the White House is — another lifelong racist, mass-incarcerating, corporate-serving, warmongering old white man. 

Popular Movements Are The Invisible Hand Of Social Change

The political consensus in the United States is changing rapidly. While the corporate media is focused on the Democratic Party presidential debates and Trump's tweets in response, the issues that have been advanced by the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice as well as peace are becoming central to the political dialogue. There is no reason to rejoice yet, as we still have work to do to win the transformation that people and planet need, but the consensus is moving in our direction. Before we further elaborate on this, we want to remind you that today is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and the ten-year anniversary of the US-led coup in the Honduras. The Honduran coup has led to severe austerity, violence and repression.

Exclusion Of Candidates Violates Rights Of Voters

Green Party candidates have been excluded from debates and polls across the country by news media and polling criteria that favor Democratic and Republican candidates. Exclusion means Green Party candidates cannot make their case to undecided voters or try to sway decided ones, which is especially crucial in races that determine ballot status. High numbers of undecided voters are a wild card in many races this year and may lead to some “Green” surprises on election day. Constance Gadell-Newton, candidate for Governor of Ohio, was excluded from three Ohio Debate Commission debates cosponsored by the League of Women Voters...

How Faith In Civilized Debate Is Fueling White Supremacy

By Matthew Pratt Guterl for Quartz - The fall semester has kicked off and the annual tide of speakers now washes over our communities. Not surprisingly, colleges and universities are revisiting last year’s unresolved arguments about whether white supremacist speech deserves equal space and protection. Already, in the aftermath of the bloody white supremacist actions in Charlottesville, Texas A & M has cancelled a “White Lives Matter” event scheduled for early September. A “Free Speech Week” was taking shape in Berkeley, but then it all fell apart, a victim of giant egos with little capacity for event planning. A steady drumbeat of op-eds maintains that college minds are closed, that liberalism is a cult presided over by the professoriate, and that civility is endangered. In so many ways, of course, the argument over whether racism is protected speech has already been won. Hate speech legislation is stalled. Newspapers feature deeply conservative voices on their opinion pages. There is a white supremacist in the White House. Universities may strive for balance and inclusion, and tens of thousands of talks sponsored by student groups of all shapes and sizes go off without a hitch every year, but the general mood is grim. There will be a lot of right-wing anguish about the supposedly closed minds of college campuses...

Climate Change Kept Out Of Presidential Debates

By Peter Dykstra for Environmental Health News - On Wednesday evening during the final presidential debate of the campaign, Hell did not freeze over. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, where climate denial plays nothing but home games, passed on the final opportunity to ask Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton about climate change. This presidential campaign has been a catastrophe for American democracy and for American political journalism.

US Hypocrisy: Urges Inclusive Debates Around The World But Not In US

By Lee Fang for The Intercept - When it comes to presidential debates, the United States does not practice what it preaches: When advising debate organizers in foreign countries, government officials advise them to include minor party candidates. USAID, the government agency charged with promoting foreign development, funded a guide for “organizers around the globe seeking to hold candidate debates for elected offices.” The guide, published in 2014, recommends that debates be as inclusive as possible.

Occupy The Debates

By Kevin Zeese for OpEd News. 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.

Potential ‘Occupy Debates’ Movement Threatened

By John Eggerton for Broadcasting & Cable - A former Green Party candidate and Occupy FCC activist is seeking to get third party candidates into the televised presidential debates and has called on the Republican and Democratic candidates to push for inclusion, suggesting there could be an "Occupy Debates" protest targeting media, sponsors and candidates if the criteria for participation are not changed. The first of three presidential debates, organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2016, at Hoffstra University in Hempstead, New York. T

Jill Stein Should Be Part Of A Four-Way Presidential Debate

By John Nichols for The Nation - After the Republicans and Democrats finished their conventions in late July, the Green Party gathered this month to nominate Dr. Jill Stein for the presidency. Stein's campaign -- with her party on ballot lines in the majority of states, and her poll numbers surging ahead of Green numbers from recent presidential elections -- has the potential to be a breakthrough bid for the Greens, and for a more robust democracy.

Newsletter: #NoHoneymoon, A Presidency Of Protest

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The task of the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice is much bigger than the presidential election. Our job is to build people power to ensure that no matter who is the next president, the people’s voices are heard and our demands are part of the political agenda. We urge organizers and advocates across the nation to begin to plan a campaign beginning in early 2017 and carrying on through the inauguration to ensure that right from the beginning the people’s voices are a dominant narrative. The #NoHoneymoon campaign will take various forms in communities across the country. Talk to your networks of activists and plan what would work best in your community. The creativity and energy that comes from diverse leadership has surprised the nation before and can do so again.

How Presidential “Non-Opinion” Polls Drive Down Third Party Numbers

By Sam Husseini for Posthaven - Rice: Mainly, I think it's important to wake people up. They've gone to sleep for 70 years by the intent of the government from the beginning. People weren't consulted in the building or use of these horrific weapons. It was all very secret and very contained. Even during the production of nuclear weapons, one worker didn't know what the other was doing.… What happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not in the textbooks. It was unspeakable to have any discussion of the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Moreover, the decision-makers were in denial.

Include All Qualified Candidates In 2016 Presidential Debates

By Staff of Open The Debates - Run by the Republican and Democratic parties, the CPD has set up rules making it almost impossible for third party candidates to be included in the debates. Americans deserve the ability to hear from everyone who will be on their ballot. As a coalition of individuals and organizations across the political spectrum, we are calling for the CPD to reform their rules. Starting in 2016, candidates who qualify on enough state ballots to possibly win the presidency should be invited to participate in the presidential debates.

Time To End The Two Party Controlled Debate ‘Commission’

By Zaid Jilani for The Intercept - DONALD TRUMP AND Hillary Clinton have theoretically agreed to three debates. But the value of those debates will be dramatically limited because the Commission on Presidential Debates, which runs them, is a private organization controlled by elites from the two major parties whose goal is to protect their standard-bearers. And under the guidance of the commission, presidential debates have become echo chambers for the two major party candidates to repeat familiar talking points and lob rehearsed one-liners, rarely deviating from their scripts.

Act Now To Open The Debates!

By Jeff Cohen for Common Dreams. Debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will not do much to enlighten the political discourse in the United States. The US public deserves more and 2016 is the year for the public to insist on more. The phony "Commission" on Presidential Debates is really a Democratic Party-Republican Party corporation funded by big business. They are not a "Commission" in any sense of the word, they are a corporation using the word commission as a disguise. The two parties and big business should not be deciding who is included in the presidential debates. Below is an article from Jeff Cohen of Roots Action focusing on uring the media to insist on inclusive 4-person debates. It is a useful petition but without much more it will be ineffective. The corporate media makes hundreds of millions in profits from the elections. They will not go against the two establishment parties that buy advertising on their networks. More is needed. The path to inclusion is not going to come from the media which has been consistently complicit in the debate charade. More is needed. The path will come if we can convince one of the two candidates to urge inclusion of all four campaigns -- the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Greens -- in the debates. Stein-Baraka wrote an open letter to Trump and Clinton yesterday calling for four-war debates.

How We Got Here: The ‘Rigged’ Primary Debates

By Pete Tucker for The Huffington Post - Democrats and Republicans seized control of the televised presidential debates nearly thirty years ago. Since then, the general election debates have become increasingly dry, in contrast to the parties' more frequent and freewheeling primary debates. But that began to change this time around. "During this election, the Republican and Democratic parties have asserted unprecedented control over the primary debates," explained George Farah, author of No Debate. "And the results have been disastrous."
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