Kuro5hin discussion on 3rd party media blackout

There’s a discussion going on over at K5 — Americans Denied a True Presidential Debate — that delved deeply into exactly what’s wrong with our system. This comment succintly summed it up:

The problem is, you’re not going to solve this, or even move towards solving it, by examining minutia.

The system is diseased: You can’t vote for president – the electoral college does that – you can’t make or unmake laws – legislators do that – you can’t enforce laws, or make exceptions to law enforcement – laws themselves are made in an atmosphere of trading for support and financial leverage, rather than for the people’s benefit or even according to the legislator’s conscience – laws are made based on superstition and pompous presumption (gawd, “Christian morality”, imposing our system upon countries outside our borders) and explicitly against the majority’s intent and common practice (sexuality and speed limits being excellent examples of this… many here would also argue that copyrights and patents are in this class of abuses) – taxes are levied in a hugely uneven and manifestly unfair manner, I would even go as far as to say in an imperial manner.

In order to ensure the continuation of all this, the “two-party” system presents only approved, military-industrial complex selected and financially backed candidates that are certain to perpetrate the status quo.

It seems to me that under the heading of politics, if you’re not talking about revolution, you’re not talking about anything worthwhile. And almost no one is talking about revolution. Talking isn’t really what needs to be done at this point anyway.

So of course minority candidates can’t be elected. The fact that they can even exist is only a sop to the dissafected. It gives them something to do rather than burn down the the establishment. In short, we have the system we deserve. We let them do this to us.

[emphasis added]

Considering we’re approaching Orwellian levels with the amount of non-coverage by network media, he might be on to something valid here.

As an aside, I’m not sure how the myth started that the Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation that can do what it pleases, but they are in fact a non-profit which can take in tax-deductable donations (and do). In fact, another 3rd party candidate tried to sue them in 1992 and lost, but only on a technicality:

On September 13, federal judge Shirley Kram ruled that Lenora Fulani cannot get any relief in court over being excluded from the general election 1992 presidential debates, because of a technicality. Fulani v Bentsen, 92cv-7182, Sou. Dist. of New York.

The issue is whether the IRS must revoke the tax-exempt status of the Commission on Presidential Debates, since the IRS code requires that tax-exempt organizations must be non-partisan. The Commission helps the Democratic and Republican Parties and injures all other parties, yet the IRS refuses to disturb the Commission’s tax-exempt status (the Commission excludes presidential candidates unless they have a “realistic chance of winning”).

Litigation in 1988 produced a disagreement as to whether an excluded candidate has standing to bring a lawsuit against the IRS. The 2nd circuit, in New York, ruled that such a candidate does have standing. The D.C. circuit ruled that she does not.

The CPD is a non-profit 501(c )(3) corporation, which means it is “free from paying taxes on all income from activities related to its nonprofit purpose, but people and organizations that donate to the nonprofit can take a tax deduction for their contributions”. This essentially means public money was indeed use for all the debates, and not just on a local level as the AZ suit claims, but a federal level, through the power of the IRS giving tax deductions to contributors. This means all of the debates are open to lawsuit from the Libertarian Party, and they would be wise to expand it to cover all their bases.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.