Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Debate? What Debate?

This is another reason why our electoral system, from the campaigns to the way the ballots are counted, is a complete fraud. When this election cycle first started, every candidate from each of the two parties were able to participate in each party's debates. But with time, and as primaries started taking place, the media took it on itself to play kingmaker and decide who was going to be invited to the debate and who wasn't.

Last night, in the Nevada debate sponsored by the Democratic Party, Dennis Kucinich (one of the candidates) was shut out of the debate. It was only Obama, Hillary, and Edwards. Kucinich fought this to the Nevada Supreme Court and lost, showing once again that those judges in the black robes who are supposed to be so full of integrity, really just bow down to the powerful.

The same thing happened a few weeks ago, when Fox News froze Ron Paul out of a GOP debate. This was even more alarming, since Paul has polled in higher single-digits and has even broken double digits. He's also done very well in primaries. But Fred Thompson and Rudy Guiliani, who have been doing horribly at the polls since the primaries first begun, and who Paul has beaten soundly, were invited to the debate.

These are examples of how candidates are being blackballed by the media due to their political views and their independence from corporate influence. No matter how well these candidates do with individual voters, they'll never be able to compete due to the blatant media bias in electoral politics. All candidates should get equal time, both at the debates and in media coverage; doing otherwise makes a mockery of our system. To close, Hillary, Obama, and Edwards should be ashamed of themselves for taking part in a debate where a candidate was left out.

AFTERWORD: On further reading of the Times' political blog, the reason why the Nevada Supreme Court found for NBC was that NBC is a private entity, and wasn't obligated to invite Kucinich to the debate. But, to me, that's a slippery slope. On the surface, NBC is a private entity and doesn't have to abide by the First Amendment like the government has to. But in organizing and airing the debate, NBC is serving a quasi-public function. Debates like these are likely the only exposure many voters will have to these candidates. They'll make their decisions in the voting booth, largely based on what they see (and who they see) at the debates. Choosing to not invite certain candidates is limiting the American people's decision-making in terms of choosing someone to lead this nation. So, protecting a corporation's First Amendment right to deny speech to somebody should be rethought when it comes to an important process such as a political debate.

This isn't American Idol. This isn't a game show. This is what we pride our nation on, the right to vote for whoever we wish. There should be higher standards that our judiciary must set.

Another Afterword: This is my 500th blog post. I've had a lot of fun and hope to set many more blogging milestones. I hope you keep reading :) Thank you.

No comments: