[imc-korea] article to publish
uconnharassment at gmail.com
Fri Dec 10 22:19:54 PST 2010
i have an article of international interest to publish
Choices and Options
Few of the people in my country, America, dispute the fact we live in a
nation which savors freedoms and liberties. Often taken for granted, we
have so many choices. We can converse with who we choose and when. We
communicate online with whomever we wish barring few exceptions. We can
send mail to almost anyone. We can hear from any and all political parties
during presidential elections - that is given they're Democrat or
If they're not the chances of Americans hearing from them are well...
unlikely. What could any party not Democrat or Republican have to offer or
say anyway? Democrats and Republicans must cover the gamut of what
Americans hope to hear or surely there would be alternate voices. Two
parties would never be the beginning and end to American political opinion
if they did not represent a desire on the part of the American public to be
boxed and limited.
Surely there must be some wise omnipotent body of scholars who
understand this, and, though we think of ourselves as more of a melting pot,
have decided two was enough - no more, no less, no way. Kind of like when
the big three American auto makers decided they knew what was best for us.
That worked well (rollseyes).
And after all who are we Americans to question it? It's only our hard
earned dollars which fund all military, infrastructure and any other
publicly funded endeavors our governments at all levels seek to undertake
including public campaign financing. All on our behalf of course.
But, maybe not. When we were getting the strange feeling we'd been
duped by the G.W. Bush administration with regards to the case for invading
Iraq perhaps another voice would have helped. After the economy had come
unglued over the past few years perhaps the input of another view or maybe
two to help us balance our decisions could have helped to bring clarity to
the debate. Perhaps a voice other than Republican or Democrat does not have
to be radical,"out there" or necessarily "nutty."
What were our choices and who did we hear from in the last few
elections? As usual it was... "those other guys." If the ones offered
weren't up to snuff or had no alternate counter to round out the arguments
we were stuck. We had to resort to that old cliche - "choosing between the
lesser of two evils."
Every day on mainstream news programming we are handed copious amounts
of opinion and party rhetoric on issues and events - Democrat or Republican
opinion. How are we to know another option for ourselves if one is never
presented. How are we to be able to take any third candidate or their party
seriously without knowing their views?
It is of course up to Americans to vote based on a knowledge of the
candidates out there and our understanding of their stances, but when we are
treated to two out of the many, it would seem our view is being shaped a
bit. As most of us rely on mainstream media, we are placed on a sort of
track towards the elections with blinders on as to what other candidates
have to say about the elections in Iran, the level of unemployment or even
abortion for example. Where are the varying perspectives sought by
Americans on the issues?
When reporting on sports we don't hear about only two teams. Imagine
the NBA Playoffs and networks only showing games, highlights and interviews
of just two teams. Talk about boring! If any major sports leagues were run
by commissions comprised solely of members of two teams how would we really
expect the rules to be shaped regarding fairness towards the other teams?
With the economy the way it is there must be other voices. The
Libertarian Party, second most popular party on the right, surely must have
something to say for example. What would be the harm in hearing it? The
bi-party treadmill seems to be getting so tired. When they both agree
there's never another sentiment voice many may share? The game might be
stacked in our favor if this were to change and those changing it (like the
media) would only find themselves empowered.
In 2004, a year Americans were yearning for that alternate voice as we
were all starting to wonder about the invasion of Iraq, a poll taken by
Zogby showed 57 percent of Americans believed third parties should be
included in the presidential debates that year.
A little digging reveals the debates we watch and listen to in the
mainstream media billed as non-partisan are not that at all. This is not
opinion but historical fact. Let's go back to 1976. The League of Women
Voters, a civic organization which sponsored the debates, was responsible
for and ran the debates as some know. They were truly non partisan being
neither in favor of the Democratic or Republican party and as proof when
there were popular third party candidates they allowed them to debate
regardless of objections.
However, in 1986, Republican National Committee chairman Frank
Fahrenkopf and chairman of the Democratic National Committee Paul Kirk
ratified an agreement between the two parties "for the parties to take over
presidential debates." Thus they stated their deliberate intent to
undermine non partisan debates. This would also serve to effectively
disenfranchise the League of Women Voters as the country's official debate
sponsors with no real public explanation as to why they really wanted to get
rid of them.
A year later the Commission on Presidential Debates whose stated purpose
was among other things "party building" put it's plans into effect. In 1987
the two parties dew up a Memorandum of Understanding which (unlike The
League of Women Voters' doctrines) was secret, agreeing which tough
questions would be ignored and what the rules would be for that year's
debates. The League of Women Voters pulled out of the debates citing the
discovery Republicans and Democrats were colluding to control the debates
and had made it impossible for them to hold debates by repeatedly pulling
How is it in the voters best interest to hear debates put on solely by
two organizations? The League of Women Voters was roundly agreed upon to be
non partisan because tough questions were asked, follow up questions
allowed, third parties participated and they were a non affiliated. They
were not a bi partisan group formed by the chairmen of two parties who are
the only parties we have heard from except one year. (After that year they
changed the rules.)
Choices and options were supposed to be included in the package when
Americans opted for change last November and we expect it. I voted for
President Obama and probably would have done so regardless as I was very
impressed by him. It's too early to say who I would vote for next, but he
has not done anything major to convince me he isn't up to the task.
Although for real change I'd like to see him appoint someone from a third
party camp to his administration and debate third party candidates. That
would signal real change.
This is the land of opportunity for anyone willing to work hard. We are
the nation that hails itself as among other things a melting pot. We are a
land of diverse religious backgrounds, ethnicities and political opinions.
We should be able to have this same variety reflected in our political
parties. Change should be about selecting the best for the country
regardless of political stance and about hearing all opinions.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to
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