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Following the vast number of 2011-2012 GOP primary debates, there was a tremendous outcry on the part of Republicans to establish some sort of control over the frequency and moderation of said debates. According to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, numerous options are being explored.

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The Chairman explained some of this in an interview with National Review:

GERAGHTY: One of the intriguing points I saw raised in the discussions that this group has had is the recommendation of changes to the presidential-primary schedule. Are you hoping to see changes in how the primaries are set up?

PRIEBUS: One of the major topics that people discuss is the debate issue — controlling the debates and tying the nomination process to the debate calendar is something we’re going to look at. Now, we didn’t have that opportunity two years ago; there is no mechanism to tie the nomination process to the debate calendar. But we have that opportunity now. We can do that with a three-quarters vote of the Republican National Committee. Here’s a hypothetical. The RNC could hypothetically say, “Look, here’s the debate calendar. Here are the moderators. We’re going to have one debate a month starting on this day.” And adherence to the calendar will be a requirement to achieving the nomination to the presidency — either through bonus delegates or penalties of delegates subtracted. There is one major reason that a presidential candidate needs the Republican party: To get on the ballot in November, a presidential candidate must get a majority of delegates at a national convention to vote for him or her. If the presidential candidate can’t make that happen, he or she is not on the ballot. So that is one idea that we will be looking at.

If you have ten presidential candidates, and seven out of ten or eight out of ten will take whatever two-hour slot that is open to them, then you end up with a debate any time some cable network decides to hold one. You can’t control that situation. Our endeavor is to come up with some idea that helps us control that situation.

The frequency of GOP debates was mind-blowing, especially in January of 2012 which saw many debates in the time span of a couple weeks. Debates are great traffic for this website but do too may hurt the process and marginalize the candidates? This will be a question both Democrats and Republicans will have to answer in 2015-2016 when both parties hold nomination contests.

Exit question: How do you “fix” the primary debate process if you’re the party Chairman?

131 COMMENTS

  1. I’m in favor of still more “debates.” Let ’em rant as long and as often as they want to. By 2014, the Repugs may have a whole new field of buffoons. Of course, Sicky Ricky Santorum will still be around.

  2. It sounds to me like the question is, “How do we control the moderator is asking a soft question or structures the question in a way that favors our party platform”?
    Simple, just have Sean Hannity ask the questions. Mr. Hannity wouldn’t know an original thought if it was the talking points he is given, crumpled in a tight paper ball and hit him in the head.

    • You mean the Republican Party wants the moderator at a Republican debate to ask questions that make the Republican Party look good? Shocker! I mean, it’s not like the Democrats would ever do that.

      • It won’t make any difference if Hillary runs as the ‘Food Stamp Union’ will kick any Repubnuts ass, MUCH to my irritation Factor!!

  3. “‘Look, here’s the debate calendar. Here are the moderators. We’re going to have one debate a month starting on this day.’ And adherence to the calendar will be a requirement to achieving the nomination to the presidency — either through bonus delegates or penalties of delegates subtracted.”

    That seems like the best option.

  4. A good candidate benefits from MORE debates–to convince people.

    But if you’re a paper tiger like the recent chicken hawk candidate, you want to say as little as possible as seldom as possible to as few people as possible–and have a scanner at the door of every private meeting. . .

  5. When I was a kid there was a radio series called the Shadow. I think the Shadow was a character named Cranston–anyway, he would say in the most ghoulish tone, “No one knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, but the Shadow knows…” We could use the Shadow again, for he knows the ‘evil’ that lurks in the hearts of the GOP, but ofcourse they don’t try to hide it They name, brand and flaunt their ‘evil’ hearts.

    • Billy: Not really. It’s just the other shoe dropping. At the convention, they spread Agent Orange on the “grass” roots. But that only allows them to pick a stupid candidate. The other half is to make sure no one hears how stupid he is.

  6. What we need is a new Chairman. Our Chairman could not get out the vote. That is why we lost the election.

  7. Why bother with debates-the RNC and Republican party can’t get it’s Sierra congealed ( ie Shit together). I am so turned off by wasting my money on the campaign for Romney/Ryan with the lack of tactics in the RNC. I think that Mr Priebus should resign ASAP!!

  8. What is amazing is that Reince Priebus is still talking freely, when he should be in Jail for breaking Federal Election Law by ILLEGALLY giving GOP’s Funds to Mitt, while Ron Paul was still in the running!

    Any news on the lawsuits filed against this Preince of Darkness?

  9. Barack Hussein Obama is our president…?

    How low has our Nation sunk to have someone, that can’t even put two words together without a teleprompter, usurp the White House residency?!

    This clown is not fit to run the night-shift at a 7-11 store….

    Spread this 1 minute video like Wildfire!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_AAMa_X2dM

  10. What 2016 elections? Haven’t we caught on, yet, that Obama will somehow manage, maybe through “executive order” to cut out future elections and that he has an exact agenda to destroy America as we have known it. As far as Repub. primaries — didn’t we learn from this past — Romney was destroyed both by Santorum and “what’s his name” before he even got into the presidential race. It should have been stopped — Obama just got on the train with the same derogatory remarks .. the RNC never listens to us “poor folks” – if they would, they might win!

    • Cathy:

      Give ’em 30 million dollars and they’ll listen. Oh, wait. You said “us poor folks.” Nope, yer screwed.

  11. Personally, i think what they should do is have the Republican Presidential primary debates moderated by republicans and broadcast by the media. This way Republicans could decide who they want and the nation would get a fair airing of their message, rather than have the MS democrat operatives control the narrative.

    Democrats ought to do the same thing. The only time the MSM should be involved in moderating is once the final people are decided as candidates. It will ideally give a fair airing for the ideology of each.

      • Billy: The recent candidates couldn’t hit anything out of the park. Even when pitched softballs, the best they could wish is to get a walk.

    • Josh: That won’t work. Where would you find a non-partisan partisan?? If you have a fiscal conservative Republican moderate, he’ll push fiscal restraint in his questions. If you have a social moderate moderate, he’ll push questions on gay and women’s issues. You really need a moderator who is outside of your tribe.

  12. Oh, so Priebus wants to control, more-so, the debates… What else does he want control of? Priebus will control the party right into oblivion.
    Go for it, Reince, you pompus idiot!

    I think I’ll go back to INDY… any Indy party is better than this garbage.

  13. Dear People,
    Below is my view of how the elections were run.
    This past elections was no FAIR. The American people just didn’t have much of an idea of who is running and what they propose. All they really heard was what one candidate did wrong and visa versa. The Presidential Debates didn’t allow the smaller parties into them. I think the most likely reason is because the major parties were afraid that they would lose votes and that maybe the other parties had a BETTER idea of how to fix this country. Gary Johnson was a Libertarian member when he was governor of New Mexico and Jill Stein is a Green Party member. They both were in the presidential race.

    • Everyone knows that there are third-party candidates. The reason these candidates never get anywhere is because they are either too radical or they don’t care about the same things the American people do. For example, I had started watching a debate between the third-party candidates and the first question was about the “two-party system.” This is when I turned it off. This is simply not what Americans are concerned about. If these third parties want more support, they need to stop whining about how nobody can hear them and start making logical arguments concerning relevant issues. Americans can hear them just fine. And this is part of the reason they don’t vote for them.

      • Oh I thought they were very good at addressing the problems of unemployment and the economy. Two different solutions given by Johnson and Dr. Stein.

      • I don’t think it’s about third party candidates having something relevant to say, I think it’s because their participation is determined by percentages. We really weren’t given the chance to hear their views because they, for the most part, didn’t have the numbers to allow them to be involved in the debates.

        • Oh, I don’t know. I think it’s about “them” diluting and bastardizing the democratic process of voting so that our votes count for nothing anymore. It seems to me they hold elections just to make a few (well, more than a few) buck(s). In fact, elections are probably the biggest sham of money-making schemes left in the USA. We may as well be Israel for as much as we count, and if you consider who really runs our federal/national government.
          I think I’m done even trying to fight it as I won’t be getting my hopes up for any true candidate. We will continue to be run and made fools of by the “only democracy??” in the Middle-East, until and unless we have a true revolution.
          And I do not see the sheeple going for that, either.

          • Question / statement: I remember when my Father was alive he would say that about the best run country in the world is New Zealand. Why can’t this country be run like they r? Question: I am not a demo., but I will say that they have got something about the rich (making more than about 250,000 per year paying more in taxes. Also it is TOTALLY wrong 4 buffet to pay LESS than his secretary in taxe. So tell me this: What is the country coming to?

        • Susan:

          The two parties have controlled politics through most of our history. But there have been some upstart parties that have upset things. And I believe that history corrects injustices as it goes along.

          This year, we had an opportunity to change things. Americans Elect was intended to nominate a candidate who truly represented the people (at least the online people). But it didn’t get started early enough, and didn’t have the funding to advertise its existence. So no one was nominated. But if they build a structure, they could be a force in the next election, and even one viable third party would shake up the “yes-no” politics we have developed.

          And, of course, it’s up to us. If we seriously wanted democracy, we’d work on it now. For instance, we’d demand that the debate commission allow ANY candidate onto the stage who is on the ballot in enough states to conceivably win 270 electoral votes–and once on the stage, he or she could gain they type of notice that Ross Perot got. If Perot had not been such a gadfly, he very seriously might have been sworn in as our president in 1993.

          I am an optimist. I believe that we are moving toward freedom and justice.

        • I think 1 major reason is because of the $$ situation. If they had the kind of $$ that Perot had they would have been a lot louder and may even had gotten into the debates. Then the way that the candidates talked might have changed.

          • John:

            Money is the root of all evil in politics.

            But as we discussed here months ago, grassroots support should be able to overcome a money advantage.

            Both Jill Stein and Johnson were on enough state ballots to gain 270 electoral votes. THAT should be the deciding point, not percentage of support. After all, you don’t GET support if you can’t be heard, and you can’t be heard if you’re not in the debates.

            Of course, if the rule were changed to allow a third-party candidate due to being on the state ballots, the parties would stifle the grassroots in the states. Here’s proof:

            The GOP got Michigan to refused to allow Ron Paul to be on the November ballot as ANY party’s candidate, since he participated in the Republican primaries. How’s THAT for convoluted and undemocratic?

            And, of course, there were the anti-grassroots rules that were voted down at the recent GOP convention, but were implemented, anyway.

            • Yes, both of the other candidate could have gotten enough votes in that 270 ??, but I think that the people who voted weren’t going to vote for them because for one reason they were not reb or dem. And yes, MONEY is a creater of many of the evils things in the world.

        • We were given the chance to hear their views. They had two or three presidential debates that did not include Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. These debates were streamed live on several websites. They also had their own campaign websites. They had speeches, which can be looked up on YouTube. You have to admit that the vast majority of Americans know there are third-party candidates. If anyone really got fed up with both the Democrats and Republicans, finding out about alternatives is just a few internet searches away. And besides, when it comes to making your choice for president, it’s more than just debates. Maybe someone who is bad at debating could make a good president.

          Face it. These third-parties hardly get any support because no one likes their views.

          • They both had good views on how to bring this country out of it hole. One thing is that NOT everybody has a computer and NOT everybody likes to use their computer to see what the candidates have to say / propose. (Propose, now that is something i always wanted to hear, but about all i got was 1 candidate saying what the other candidate did wrong. That is NO way to run an election.)

            • Some people weren’t as touched by the economic crisis of the past few years as others. Some people were able to keep their computers as well as their internet accounts while others were trying to find ways to save their homes and feed their children.

            • But for the vast majority things were not all that bad. Change was thus the last thing they wanted. Certainly the food stamp people didn’t want a change and those that still had a job and a house didn’t want change.

            • Sure is, success is hard to argue against. I for one want to know why the guy is unfit for the job and I don’t think the guy running is going to tell me.

          • Eric:

            Point taken: we were given the CHANCE to hear their views–IF we already knew about them, and were willing to work to find them. But, again, they would have to have already gotten their word out in order to get their word out.

            By comparison, it was impossible to AVOID the two major candidates. They each spent a BILLION dollars on getting THEIR word out, over and over, in every possible medium, so that you could not go online, answer your phone, or even walk down the street without getting SICK of hearing about them. So is it fair or reasonable to give them, and ONLY them, the debate platform, as well?

            Yes, there was the hastily-thrown-together two debates, (a) online-only, (b) just a few days before the election, but they (c) did not include the major candidates, anyway.

            Considering that the two major “tribes” have all the advantages of money and special iterests, we really should give the “unpurchased” candidates a break.

            • “IF we already knew about them”
              Unless you’re one of those almost-careless voters who only watches the big debates and makes a decision based solely upon those, you knew there were third-party options. Whenever a news channel shows polling results, you will often see the Democrat, Republican, and “third-party candidate” results. Same goes for Rasmussen and Gallup, among others. The minor candidates have indeed found themselves on the ballot in many states, so it’s kind of hard not to hear about them, assuming you even bother to vote. Even some of the most ignorant voters would at least hear about them.
              “willing to work to find them”
              If a voter isn’t willing to search the internet to find third-party views, that’s a problem with the voter being lazy. It isn’t difficult to spend 1-2 hours watching YouTube videos and looking at candidate websites (which you can Google) over a period of three or four weeks leading up to an election.
              “By comparison, it was impossible to AVOID the two major candidates. They each spent a BILLION dollars on getting THEIR word out, over and over, in every possible medium, so that you could not go online, answer your phone, or even walk down the street without getting SICK of hearing about them. So is it fair or reasonable to give them, and ONLY them, the debate platform, as well?”
              I agree, listening to the two top candidates is extremely annoying. However, it is perfectly fair to only give them the debate platform, since they are the two candidates that the vast majority of Americans are concerned with.
              “hastily-thrown-together”
              Was that the Republicans’ and Democrats’ fault?
              “(a) online-only”
              Again, searching the internet isn’t that difficult. Also, most Americans are only concerned with the top two candidates because they have views that most Americans agree with. This is why major television channels weren’t interested. Low ratings.
              “(b) just a few days before the election”
              Was that the Republicans’ and Democrats’ fault?
              “(c) did not include the major candidates, anyway.”
              The major candidates did not want to waste their time. They knew Americans simply did not agree with the third parties.
              “the natural reaction to being bombarded non-stop by obnoxious political propaganda is to tune it out, not to look for some tiny voice of reason”
              If a voter wants to completely ignore what the major candidates are saying, fine. But it is the voter’s responsibility to look for a candidate that he/she likes. And that’s not as hard as it used to be. I cannot stress enough how Google solves these problems.

            • Eric:

              You’re assuming that (a) most people are civic minded, (b) that they even CONSIDER voting for someone outside of their party, and (c) are not influenced by the barrage of political campaigning.

              It is probably true that a lot of people knew there WAS a third party candidate, but my guess is that if there were a poll, you’d find that MOST people couldn’t name the candidate, couldn’t name the party, and certainly couldn’t describe their stands on issues.

              Just having some vague notion that there may or may not be an alternative is not a reasonable option to the deluge of major party propaganda. And my guess is also that in a poll, MOST people would say they just wish it would all go away. Even partisans were saying that by the end.

              The fact that the minor party candidates had the grassroots to get on state ballots means they have a following, but those are just the people trying to get their word OUT, not enough people who have heard it.

              Likewise, if you polled people about the MAJOR party stands, you’d be shocked to find that a lot of people couldn’t name issues. We are a country with two TRIBES, and most of us “belong” to one or the other, and vote that way, regardless of who’s running.

              And, YES, it IS the “fault” of the major parties that they are the only ones who are heard. The Debate Commission is run by representatives of the two parties. Originally, the League of Women Voters was involved, but it became such an effort to stifle other voices, that they pulled out. Now it’s just Democrats and Republicans on the Commission (equally), and THEY were the ones who raised the threshold limiting who could be invited.

              And, again, IF someone cares enough to look, they could have found something about third party candidates, but we, as a people, should not be forced to LOOK for alternatives–when we have the debate forum available. The current rule is that you have to have 15% polling in order to be included. Now, as someone said, if you’re rich, like Ross Perot, you could PAY for attention–but that’s going the opposite way from what we want.

              Simply changing the rule to being on the ballot in enough states to conceivably win 270 electoral votes is a reasonable requirement, which could not be met by most groups, and would leave us with a manageable number of debate participants. That’s all I’m recommending.

              It would have the added value of bringing real issues to the debates, and not be like the last one, in which Romney agreed with everything Obama said. “I would have done the same as he did, only sooner” is not a choice.

            • Hey the people had the chance to vote for Perot. I didn’t like his stand on drugs. I read where he had a lot of influence in getting Texas to pass really tough laws back in the 60’s. The intent was to send the dealers elsewhere. It didn’t work as all it did will fill the jails at great expense to the taxpayers. Kind of a hawk too but with 20/20 hindsight he would have been a good choice for jobs and the economy.

            • Billy: Yeah, Perot could have won, if he hadn’t pulled out of the race in the middle of the campaign. But that’s only because he had enough money to buy into the game.

            • Billy:

              Ross Perot was becoming incredibly popular. I remember at the time thinking that he pulled out of the race because he just wanted to make a point, he didn’t really want to BE president (just like Palin didn’t really want to BE governor).

            • The majors would have been fools to join in. Hey I think Hillary would be Prez today if she would have bowed out of the debate dance. Who would have voted for a black politician from Chicago? She gave him a name and a voice.

            • Billy: That is exactly my point. We do not know what we are missing until we see it, and we won’t even see alternatives, because the system is set up to give too much attention to the two, so that we are too exhausted to bother to look for anyone else.

              If candidates have the grassroots support to get on the ballot of states with at least 270 electoral votes, THAT is a viable candidate, and should be heard.

            • It’s a lot cheaper for the big boys to invest in just two than invest in many. Kind of like a horse race with only two horses running and the odds are 1000 to 1.

          • Eric: Also, the natural reaction to being bombarded non-stop by obnoxious political propaganda is to tune it out, not to look for some tiny voice of reason–whom you know has no chance of being elected, since they have no mass venue of communication.

            • “IF someone cares enough to look”
              Exactly. If a voter does not agree with the Republicans or Democrats, all they have to do is SEARCH GOOGLE. If they don’t care enough to look, that’s unfortunate, but that’s democracy. A responsible voter shouldn’t have to be spoon-fed information, which is extremely easy to find thanks to the internet.
              The reason a candidate needs a certain percentage of polling is because he/she may be on the ballot in many states, but if only 3% of Americans support him/her, there’s no way he/she is going to win anyway. The reason it’s at 15% is because the debates should focus on people who actually have a chance. Gary Johnson was on the ballot in 48 states. Look how far he got in this election. And you have to admit, a lot of people knew about him before they were staring at a ballot. He was the Governor of New Mexico for 8 years.
              The way things are now is fine. If/when the third parties have views that many Americans actually agree with, they’ll get their 15%.

            • “IF someone cares enough to look.”

              My point is that if the major candidates did not have a billion dollars of propaganda pounding our heads in, nobody would have done a GOOGLE SEARCH to look for them, either.

              Instead, we are not “spoon fed information” by the major parties, we are shoveled the um, “information” to the point where we really do NOT want to hear any more about politics.

              It is a vicious cycle: Nobody knows about you, so we won’t let anyone know about you.

              Yes, Gary Johnson was on 48 state ballots, but he didn’t have a billion dollars to get his word out, and he was not allowed to be on the same stage with the anointed candidates.

              But there’s also the tribal issue. The major parties say a third party cannot win SO your vote would be wasted. THAT is the reason Gary didn’t get many votes: “You can’t win, so we won’t let you win.”

              YET, we saw that Ross Perot WAS taken seriously, and a lot of people voted for him INSTEAD of the major candidates BECAUSE they saw him on the stage, and were able to hear from him. Considering that he pulled out of the race and was erratic when he started campaigning again, it’s amazing that he got as many votes as he did, yet he DID.

              Remember that Abraham Lincoln was a third-party candidate. And Teddy Rooselt’s Bull Moose Party came in SECOND in 1912–and supported Taft until a year before the election.

              If the grassroots get a candidate on enough state ballots to win, they should be on the stage.

            • If all it takes is a lot of propaganda to win over voters, this entire discussion is pointless because America is doomed anyway. But we’re not, because TV ads just don’t have that much of an effect on people’s opinions.
              Say what you want about Perot, but propaganda was not what got him his support. He said things that many Americans agreed with. You’re putting too much stock in money. It’s more than that.
              You are partly right that some people voted for a Republican or Democrat because they didn’t want their vote wasted. They were compromising with other Americans. It’s not as if a third of American voters wanted Johnson to win but didn’t know how much support he had so they voted for someone else. In addition, it’s the duty of the voter to vote for his/her candidate rather than sit at home because it’s hopeless. It’s also the duty of the voter to investigate other candidates, which really isn’t that difficult. If people really don’t like what the Republicans or Democrats are doing, they will search for alternatives.
              Has it ever occurred to you that some candidates have a lot of money because a lot of people agree with them?

            • The only problem I have with Perot is that he had the support of a LOT of people, and he betrayed them by pulling out. Then he came back in, but not with the same enthusiasm or focus. Yet, with all that, he still got half as much as the other candidates. If he had stayed in he really could have won, since in a three-way race, you only need about 35%.

              As for money, it doesn’t help you to spend a billion dollars if your opponent spends a billion dollars, but it does matter if the third party has almost nothing–and that’s the point.

              Romney won the primaries by outspending the rest by as much as 17:1. And candidates pulled out BECAUSE they ran out of money–they didn’t run out of arguments. And here’s who kept Romney running (nearly half his total by five donors):

              Goldman Sachs $1,028,204
              Bank of America $ 1,008,403
              Morgan Stanley $908,805
              JPMorgan Chase $833,096
              Wells Fargo $670,578

              With that kind of money in a war chest, do you really ALSO need to keep people off the stage of the debates? Probably not, but you can be sure that more substantive issues would be brought up in the debates with at least three viewpoints, and that would be the greatest benefit.

            • Yes, Romney outspent the others. But my point is, that doesn’t matter. Very few people watch a campaign ad and think, “Oh. Well in that case, I’ll vote for him.”
              Either way, the Debate Commission isn’t a government agency. They’re free to invite whoever they please to the debates.
              If you have views that most Americans like better than those of the Republicans or Democrats, it shouldn’t be that difficult to get the support of 15% of voters.

            • Eric:

              I think the recent election proved my point. No, people didn’t see an ad and say, “Oh. Well in that case, I’ll vote for him.” But more than enough said, “Oh. Well in that case, I WON’T vote for him.”

              And while the Debate Commission is, actually, an unholy alliance between Democrats and Republicans. They PRETEND to be non-partisan, and so, if people demanded a change, they could hardly deny them.

              And, no, it SHOULDN’T be difficult to get the support of 15%, except that most people are sheep. AND they belong to one flock or the other. They are really NOT going to look up information, but if they do hear a better idea (assuming a forum, like the debates), AND they think they’re not just wasting their votes (when a campaign starts getting mass attention), then, they would not just stampede with the rest. OR, maybe they’d stampede to the new idea.

              Your premise is that people like the two party system, and the last poll I saw said that only 40% of the people think the two-party system is a good idea.

            • “I think the recent election proved my point. No, people didn’t see an ad and say, “Oh. Well in that case, I’ll vote for him.” But more than enough said, ‘Oh. Well in that case, I WON’T vote for him.’”
              That’s simply not true. Campaign ads alone do not sway votes, for the most part.
              When I brought up the fact that the Debate Commission isn’t a government agency, I meant that it would be wrong to pass a law forcing them to let third-party candidates into debates. I didn’t mean they couldn’t be made to change their minds. If enough people wanted them to let in third-party candidates, I wouldn’t mind them doing so, because this meant enough people were interested in what these candidates would say.
              People in some ways are like sheep, but when they get angry at their two options, they will leave the flock and look for alternatives. The reason the Democrats and Republicans are on top is because most Americans like the message of one of those parties, for the most part. But regardless of how people act, it is still the duty of the voter to spend the minuscule amount of time needed to Google other candidates.
              All I’m saying is there should be no law mandating that the Debate Commission allow other candidates to participate in debates. And when they are under significant public pressure to allow third-party candidates to participate, I will support that movement, as long as it is a movement not for a law, but for the commission to voluntarily let them in (even though I don’t like any of the third parties). But right now most Americans are content with the Republicans or Democrats, and they have easy access to the ideas of third-party candidates. If the thought never occurs to them to even look them up, they’re probably content with what we have now.

            • Eric: Who said anything about a law? Did I say anything about a law? I didn’t say anything about remedies.

              Look this thread started because you said everyone knows that there are third party candidates, and they suck.

              I noted that third parties have succeeded in the past, such as the Republican Party wiping out the Whigs. The Bull Moose Party came in second, and could have won if Teddy had started earlier. And Ross Perot might have won if he had stayed in the race. Third parties do have a place in American politics, and we’d be better off if we had at least a third voice. But the two parties have made that more difficult since Perot.

              Anyway, I said the rule should be changed, since third parties don’t have the funding to get the attention AND support of 15% of the electorate.

              You came back, claiming that we were given a chance to hear their views–and nobody likes them, anyway. I noted that a “chance” to hear them is not enough. When the major candidates are dominating the airwaves–and numbing us by it–third parties won’t have a chance if they are not allowed into the debates.

              You noted that voters SHOULD make the effort to find out about candidate views. OF COURSE, we “should,” but we don’t. Sadly, elections are not decided by thoughtful, active voters. They’re decided by tribal forces, negative advertising, and whim.

              And on and on, and you finally ended with there should be no law mandating that third parties be in the debates–which no one had suggested, anyway.

              And finally, you claim that “most people are content with the Republicans or Democrats,” which is not true, since a recent poll showed that 57% of the public WANT permanent third party involvement.

              And then you said we have “easy access” to the ideas of third-party candidates, and that’s simply not true, when compared to the major candidates. You also have “easy access” to your geneology, but that doesn’t mean you’ve looked it up, right?

              Just because the public is apathetic doesn’t mean they are satisfied. After all, totalitarian elections rack up almost 100% approval!

            • If elections are decided by “tribal forces, negative advertising, and whim,” then none of this even matters, does it?
              I brought up the law because I wasn’t sure how you would like to get the Debate Commission to let in third-party candidates. I apologize if I’ve offended you by suggesting you’d be in favor of such a law. I wanted to make clear that if the Debate Commission lets in minor candidates, it should be done because of public pressure. I now know that we agree that that’s how it should be done. We disagree on whether or not it should be done at all.
              I know not all third parties have sucked in the past. What I’m saying is the major third parties of today do. The Green Party is too far left for many Americans. Gary Johnson pushed heavily for the legalization of marijuana, which many Americans don’t care that much about. The Constitution Party is too far right for many Americans (and besides, if I’m wrong and a lot of Americans go way left and a lot of Americans go way right, the Reps and Dems can be looked upon as a compromise).
              If Americans don’t bother looking for alternatives, and are hurt by it, that’s their own fault. Although it doesn’t really matter what Americans think because apparently elections are decided by negative advertising and whim.
              Where did you see that poll? And again, if they want third parties, it’s their responsibility to search for them on the internet. They shouldn’t rely on the Debate Commission for third party views. They shouldn’t rely on any one organization, for that matter.
              The two top candidates throw their views in our faces. So yes, it is more difficult to find the views of third-party candidates. But that’s not saying much. Their views are a few internet searches away. And my geneology is considerably less important then who will be the most powerful man in the world. But I’ve looked it up anyway.
              If the public isn’t satisfied, it is the public’s responsibility to be concerned. If they are not capable of this, then America is doomed anyway.

            • The bottom line is that you said that people are satisfied with the two parties. And my argument is that they system is just hermetically sealed, with third parties on the outside.

              http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71718.html

              Sixty-eight percent of voters said they would “definitely vote for” or “consider voting for” a third-party candidate whom they agreed with on most issues, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll Friday.

              –BUT the parties have convinced that voting one’s values would just give the election to the other tribe:

              http://www.king5.com/news/politics/Poll-43-pct-third-party-candidate-vote-is-a-waste-176666351.html

              Forty-five percent said they would not vote for a third party candidate because they prefer either Obama or Romney, but 43 percent said they felt voting for a candidate besides those two would be a “waste of my vote.”

              –And the public DOES want a new rival party:

              http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/12/poll-46-percent-of-americans-want-a-third-party/

              Should American politics have a third major political party? A recent Gallup poll shows that 46 percent of Americans today believe the answer is yes.

              –And Republicans, in particular, think a third party is needed:

              http://www.newsmax.com/US/Gallup-Republicans-Democrats-thirdparty/2011/05/10/id/395857#ixzz2FJWiTOFh

              Gallup Poll: 52% of Republicans Want Third Party

            • GOP wants a 3rd ? ? ? Maybe the members do but not their leaders. I think they want it just the way it is. Like they raised just as much money as the democrats did. I would think they might put so restrictions on who can represent their party though like being in the top 10% of whatever. We all know where Romney was as governor and even with his dismal record he got a lot of votes. The flip side is when a guy with a near perfect record and in the top 5% goes up against a guy at the bottom the voters go with the guy on the bottom.

            • Billy, Billy, Billy. You try too hard to find a way to disagree. The post said that “Republicans” want a third party. Nowhere does it say party leaders want a third party.

            • I think they stand via their vote. Like how many voted for any of the 3rd party people running. How many even knew anything about them.

            • Billy: What that means is that even though they don’t know anything about a third party, all they know is it must be better than their own.

            • Do campaign ads sway votes?
              Actually, they do.

              Do you know how many people said, “I like Ron Paul, a lot, but not sure about his foreign-policy”? It got so I could finish that sentence for them. And I’d take time to speak to the truth of his foreign policy (which really was what these same people were complaining they wanted!), yet it did fall on deaf-ears, many times.

              Then there were the idiots who believed Ron Paul had dropped out of the race, after his idiotic son came out in support of Romnot, and after the (s)news said he’d stopped campaigning. They said the right words but wrongly.

              And the dolts took it to mean Mittens was unopposed in his own party.
              But, yes; people do follow ads and do (whether they will admit it or not) vote based on what the ads say. Even if doing so unthinkingly (they hear the ad while doing other things), the ads work. Why else would the parties spend so much cash on getting their guys out there and smear the others at the same time? Jeez.
              And this conversation has gone on for what– three days already?

            • Billy: That’s BS.

              Americans do NOT love war. We just love to WIN wars.

              So if you can pick on some sillyass punks, like Panama or Grenada, people love it.

              But if you get stuck in Vietnam or Iraq, and you’ll see how much Americans do NOT love war, itself.

            • Right and it only took 10 short years and 50,000+ American lives to figure it out. But the they gained a lot of knowledge from Korea.

            • Anna:

              Exactly. If Ron Paul had (a) the money and (b) a competent staff, he would have been the candidate, because he was the only one who had a clear, comprehensive program. But all people heard were snippets, because there was not enough ad money to show how it fits together.

            • Oh I think most voters had their minds made up before the debates started. Now if a guy shoots himself in the foot ……….well you only need a few % points in a close election.

            • Billy: That’s mostly true, since most of the two billion bucks was spent by then. But look at the first debate. Obama was way ahead until then. After the first debate, some polls showed Romney ahead.

              Debates can make a difference, especially in the case of a third party candidate.

              Kennedy won because the debates showed that he wasn’t a dumb kid. And Romney almost won because he showed he wasn’t a total idiot. Perot basically took over the debates with his charts, and could have gone on to win.

              The purpose of debates for the challenger is to show that you’re as good as the incumbent. That’s all you have to show.

            • Oh, Billy, you’re so full of crap.

              Obama won because he put together a coalition. Period. And every-every-every politician represents people and finds ways to give them some kind of benefit or advantage.

              The phone plan began with Reagan and it’s not really free, anyway. Likewise, food stamps have been around for decades. And voting levels among the poor is notoriously low, anyway.

              Republicans will continue to lose as long as they pout and see themselves as victims.

            • Maybe not where you live but in Chicago, south side, they are all running around with two or 3 free cell phones with 240 min each on them with a free recharge every month just like their food stamp cards. Now you can buy the phones but the food stamps cards are really hard to purchase and I don’t find them offering to pick up your grocery tab for a fraction of the cost like it was before they went to the card. But believe me these people all voted for Obama many times over if they could.

            • Not doomed as it is just too easy to turn things around. If regulations caused the problems, just roll back the regulations. Every regulation puts people in the private sector out of business and creates jobs for government.

            • So what killed Johnson? He was a far better messenger than Paul and had about the same message. He had a track record to back up everything he said, unlike Romney who had a dismal track record at best. Not saying he could go up against the food stamp people but he sure seemed like a better choice than Romney if jobs and the economy were indeed the issue. So where did he fail? War & drugs. Americans love war and jails. They love freedom so much they have the largest percent of their own people locked up and the love peace so much they jump at every chance they get to go to war.

            • Billy: Johnson’s problem was not his ideas, it was the fact that he could not be taken seriously, since he wasn’t in one of the two tribes. As I noted elsewhere, third party people can’t reach the masses, and one reason is that the masses have been told that if they vote for a third party, the “other tribe” will win. But as Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Perot and others showed, a third party CAN win, if they have the resources and are consistent.

            • Billy: OK, fine, the two parties are wonderful and we don’t need any change, because if a third party candidate is really good, he’ll win without money–through divine intervention. I give up.

          • Or may it’s all about, “What’s in it for me” Food stamps and free cell phones seemed to have done it for one guy.

            • Billy:

              ALL of politics is ALWAYS about “what’s in it for me.” AND that’s exactly the way it should be. It’s called democracy.

              When we elect someone, we should expect them to pass bills we want, that will benefit us, in some way. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous, or at least naive.

              When a government works right, it gives each side a fair amount of bang for the buck,while requiring a level of taxation that is agreeable.

            • And those that give (invest) the most receive the most. So much so that they can invest in both side and still come out way ahead.

            • Well th easiest way for you to get one is visit a local church on skid row and they will fi you right up with one.

            • Thanks, I needed that. I got an old Gateway because my GF took my IBM. She uses it to play those silly games on. You know the ones that drop thing down and you got to do something before they bottom out. Yeah those kind.

            • It’s okay.
              I put it on my “wish list”. I figure I stand as good a chance that way (and it would be “free”, sort-of.)

              I looked up Obama free cell and only found videos talking the pros and cons…

            • You got to be on some kind of a program that qualifies you for the freebies . I Chicago they has a circuit breaker program that got you a check and 1/2 off on you car registration just for starters. I think it went broke and opened under another name.

            • No, if you have one and paid for it, you paid for theirs too. I know how it works, a big tax credit for every phone they had out along with the write off for all the losses.

      • I disagree,

        True I didn’t really watch much about the candidates on TV and 1 reason 4 that is because all that I heard was 1 candidate saying what was wrong with the other INSTEAD of what they propose. I read about Gary Johnson (Libertarian when gov. of New Mexico) and Jill Stein. What I read about what Ms. Stein proposed I liked better.

        • Okay but Dr Stein pushed for more and a bigger government. “Free” education to all. When I hear “free” I tune it out.

    • Hey, what do you want for 6 billion dollars, some kind of a change in DC. Got to dig a lot deeper than that or things will just RTS. (remain the same)

  14. Dear People,
    I received a message from the 2016 Election Central and they said, “I don’t think it’s about third party candidates having something relevant to say, I think it’s because their participation is determined by percentages. We really weren’t given the chance to hear their views because they, for the most part, didn’t have the numbers to allow them to be involved in the debates.” Well I think that this numbers thing is a bunch of people just trying to let ONLY the major candidates in because they have $$. Perot got in because he had $$, so he could broadcast himself better.
    This past elections was no FAIR. The American people just didn’t have much of an idea of who is running and what they propose. All they really heard was what one candidate did wrong and visa versa. The Presidential Debates didn’t allow the smaller parties into them. I think the most likely reason is because the major parties were afraid that they would lose votes and that maybe the other parties had a BETTER idea of how to fix this country. Gary Johnson was a Libertarian member when he was governor of New Mexico and Jill Stein is a Green Party member. They both were in the presidential race.

  15. by Ron Paul:

    The senseless and horrific killings last week in Newtown, Connecticut reminded us that a determined individual or group of individuals can cause great harm no matter what laws are in place. Connecticut already has restrictive gun laws relative to other states, including restrictions on fully automatic, so-called “assault” rifles and gun-free zones.

    Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control. This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government “do something” to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned. Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented. But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don’t obey laws.

    The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence. If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we’re told, would-be school shooters will be dissuaded or stopped.

    While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings, I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence. Real change can happen only when we commit ourselves to rebuilding civil society in America, meaning a society based on family, religion, civic and social institutions, and peaceful cooperation through markets. We cannot reverse decades of moral and intellectual decline by snapping our fingers and passing laws.

    Let’s not forget that our own government policies often undermine civil society, cheapen life, and encourage immorality. The president and other government officials denounce school violence, yet still advocate for endless undeclared wars abroad and easy abortion at home. U.S. drone strikes kill thousands, but nobody in America holds vigils or devotes much news coverage to those victims, many of which are children, albeit, of a different color.

    Obviously I don’t want to conflate complex issues of foreign policy and war with the Sandy Hook shooting, but it is important to make the broader point that our federal government has zero moral authority to legislate against violence.

    Furthermore, do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches? We see this culture in our airports: witness the shabby spectacle of once proud, happy Americans shuffling through long lines while uniformed TSA agents bark orders. This is the world of government provided “security,” a world far too many Americans now seem to accept or even endorse. School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America.

    Do we really believe government can provide total security? Do we want to involuntarily commit every disaffected, disturbed, or alienated person who fantasizes about violence? Or can we accept that liberty is more important than the illusion of state-provided security? Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. We shouldn’t settle for substituting one type of violence for another. Government role is to protect liberty, not to pursue unobtainable safety.

    Our freedoms as Americans preceded gun control laws, the TSA, or the Department of Homeland Security. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference, not by safety. It is easy to clamor for government security when terrible things happen; but liberty is given true meaning when we support it without exception, and we will be safer for it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qASIrUyi48&feature=player_embedded

    • Hey it took 20 years to turn around the 55 mph speed limit, 10 years to get out of Vietnam , I think we are still in Korea, 12 years for prohibition, etc, etc. No one is even talking about getting the TSA out of the airports. Hop on a Chinese bullet train and be there quicker than you can get through the TSA check points.

  16. First off I will say that I thought that Ron Paul won the Rep. debates. He may have said less, but he said it better.
    This past elections was no FAIR. The American people just didn’t have much of an idea of who is running and what they propose. All they really heard was what one candidate did wrong and visa versa. The Presidential Debates didn’t allow the smaller parties into them. I think the most likely reason is because the major parties were afraid that they would lose votes and that maybe the other parties had a BETTER idea of how to fix this country. Gary Johnson was a Libertarian member when he was governor of New Mexico and Jill Stein is a Green Party member. They both were in the presidential race.
    Do you agree?

    • It’s all about anticipated effort vs proven results. Every candidate who tossed his name in the had had a record to run on or away from. The voters chose the two guys who ran the farthest from their records and as usual chose the anticipated effort over proven results. Although I did like Ron Paul, Only Gary Johnson could say, “been there, did that” when it came down to debt and jobs.

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