In 1987 the Republican and Democratic Parties took over the presidential debates from the League of Women Voters, excluding all other candidates and many topics of discussion. The two parties' debate commission is corporate-sponsored and the moderators' questions corporate-friendly.
Click here to email and call the two parties to tell them to open the debates.
For each election, the two candidates make agreements to manage the so-called debates. In 2004, the deal between Bush and Kerry barred them from asking each other questions, and barred members of the audience from asking anything that had not been pre-approved. "The audience member's microphone shall be turned off after he or she completes asking the question," the agreement promised. Obama and Romney's agreement will not be public, but there is no doubt that it excludes all other candidates from the debates.
Here are a few popular, super-majority positions that won't be taken up by either Obama or Romney:
--shifting hundreds of billions of dollars from war preparation to education, infrastructure, green energy
--drastically raising taxes on the super wealthy and corporations
--prosecuting U.S. war crimes
--ending warrantless spying
--ending drone wars and assassinations
--breaking up media monopolies
--undoing corporate trade agreements
--expanding Medicare to everyone
Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) would greatly broaden the bounds of discussion.
Click here to tell the two big parties you're fed up with their narrow debates, and to tell the television networks that you want your airwaves opened up to all candidates who are on enough state ballots to total a majority of the country's electoral votes.
Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.
-- The RootsAction.org team
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P.P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and many others.
John Nichols: Open the Presidential Debates
Jeff Cohen and Seth Ackerman: The Compromised Commission On Presidential Debates