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Is the Democratic Party leadership afraid of democracy?

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The Democratic National Committee is pledging to exclude from its presidential debates any candidate who is in a debate outside an absurdly limited schedule of six sanctioned debates. "Any candidate . . . wishing to participate in DNC debates must agree to participate exclusively in the DNC-sanctioned process," the party leadership commanded. "Any violation would result in forfeiture of the ability to participate in the remainder of the debate process."

Demand more debates. A party that calls itself "Democratic" should not be afraid of democratic debate.

Many of us were appalled by the extremism on display at the Republican presidential debate last month, which was viewed by 24 million people. At least 10 more nationally televised GOP debates are set for between now and March – including one on CNN this Wednesday, which will feature questioning by rightwing talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt.

By contrast, the Democratic Party brass has announced that it will be sanctioning no more than six debates, with the first one not scheduled until mid-October. Is this another case of Democratic leaders ceding the political discourse to the far right?

Click here to demand more Democratic primary debates, at least as many as the Republicans.

Without more Democratic debates, the campaign will be dominated for months by Republican extremism, immigrant-bashing, and fear-mongering on topics from war and peace to women's reproductive rights – with major issues not even addressed.

And with few debates, the process will be even more dominated in early voting states by a deluge of big-money ads promoting Republicans or corporate Democrats.

Click here to tell the DNC that you want many more debates.

Mainstream pundits have noticed that issues like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wall Street dominance, income inequality and global warming have been taken off the back burner because of the presence of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race. But Sanders is not the only candidate pressing the DNC to have far more than just six debates, and to start them soon.

Pundits suggest that the DNC's thin debate schedule is an attempt to shield Hillary Clinton, the candidate backed by the Party establishment and big donors. Whatever its motives, the policy must change.

Tell the Democratic National Committee it's time for more debates, and they should start soon.

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-- The RootsAction.org Team

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, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.



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