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Not Your Debates

Arthur Thomas's picture
on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:28

When we walk into voting booths we are expressing our wills for what we want for government to represent. The very act of making a choice for ourselves and that no one else should have power over that choice is central to this process. But what is it when people make choices not fully knowing about all the options? How can a voter express themselves if they know about only some of the options they can choose from? As free individuals we like to be informed about all kinds of choices we make in our lives. We even get very upset when those choices or information about them is restricted. Why is voting a special case? Why are we not demanding better?

It has become an annual struggle for Libertarians to be involved in debates. We hear the typical excuses every year. Probably one of the most perpetual ironic ones is how Libertarians are not included in debates because they don't get rank high enough in polls. Ok, a valid point of argument until you find out that the polls never included Libertarians in them at all. Should a news organization, an entity dedicated to research and facts, be so blatantly ignorant in promoting an impossible standard? Or we could look at the Presidential Debate Commission. A commission supposedly created to organize debates for citizens to help them make an informed choice. This commission is run by the Democrat and Republican parties and has a history that clearly shows it does not serve the interest of debate or citizens. This just further proves that government entities and the special interests that work closely with them have completely failed citizens.

Thankfully there are still a few organizations, like the League of Women Voters and PBS, that are still interested in providing meaningful debates. Voters should question news outlets that claim they are dedicated to providing fair and informative broadcasts or articles about politics when they do not include all options. If we believe that the state has setup proper ballot access and that the very state we are voting on provides these options on the ballot then why would others want to hide some of those options? If the government we are voting on has choices avaiable but those choices are not presented by the media, which claims to inform us about our government, then whos interests are they serving? Media often runs stories on election reforms and limiting money and special interest. Is there no bigger special interest than media outlets that refuse to show voters all their options? Is it not hypocrisy when media has stories on dishonest politicians when it is dishonest at worst and incompetent at best at informing the public?

Media will not change on their own. They are just as an entrenched as part of the status quo as a government that refuses to change. People have to become the change they want to see in the world. That starts by raising your voice. Let people know that the status quo is not ok. That its not ok to have candidates shoved onto you or to try to silence and restrict what your options are on the ballot. Being informed is the other side of being a responsible voters. Voting is great but finding out what you are voting for is the most important. Hold media accountable to the claim that they inform citizens. There is a petition to get the Texas Tribune to include all candidates in the debates. Let them know its time to quit playing their own interests and to do their jobs. A news service that does not inform is not a new service. Its an advertising agency. Gary Johnson with Our American Initiative is also suing the Presidential Debate Commission to have fair, honest, and open presidential debates. You can go there and learn more to help in that cause.

We have a government that we vote on. Doesn't it make sense to be informed about the choices we are making?


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