Monday, August 18, 2008

Barred from Presidential Debates

As you know, Nader/Gonzalez is being blocked from the Presidential debates.

The corporate controlled, so-called Commission on Presidential Debates will not let any independent candidate in unless they show 15 percent in a series of polls in September.

That’s no surprise.

What is surprising is the failure of other debates to fill the vacuum.

Part of this is due to Senator Obama’s reluctance to engage his opponents.

On May 4, Obama told Tim Russert on Meet the Press that he was willing to debate with “any of my opponents about what this country means, what makes it great.”

But earlier this month, Obama’s campaign manager backed off, saying that Obama would debate only Senator McCain, and only in the three rigged debates sponsored by the two parties and paid for by major corporations.

Senator Obama has also refused to participate in a number of other debates — including the Google debate in New Orleans, the Ft. Hood, Texas debate that is being organized by veterans groups, and the series of ten town hall meetings proposed by Senator McCain.

Senator Obama’s refusal to participate is a mistake and is costing him in the polls.

Just yesterday, the Gallup tracking polls put McCain and Obama tied at 44 percent each.

If Obama doesn’t agree to more debates, he could end up at the end of a sentence that starts with Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.

With only McCain and Obama on the stage, there will be no debate of key issues and re-directions important to the majority of the American people.

Just go down the partial list:

Single payer Medicare for all health care — supported by the majority of the American people, the majority of doctors and nurses, and just recently, unanimously, by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Obama says no. McCain says no.

Reversing U.S. policy in the Middle East — Obama says no. McCain says no.

Cut the bloated, wasteful, redundant military budget — Obama says no, McCain says no. They want a bigger military budget.

Empty the prisons of drug possessors and fill them up with corporate criminals — Obama says no, McCain says no.

Nader/Gonzalez says yes — to each.

The only way to change this systemic exclusion is for millions of Americans to become engaged now.

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions. Read other articles by Ralph.

This article was posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2008 at 6:00 am and is filed under "Third" Party, Democracy, Elections

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