For Lack of A Better Alternative
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Politics and Activism

For Lack of A Better Alternative

Why I'm disappointed in the CDP's decision to not invite Gary Johnson to the presidential debates.

For Lack of A Better Alternative

Let me start of this article with an important disclaimer: I am not a registered member of the libertarian party, and nor do I hold libertarian political beliefs. In fact, one could argue that over the past few months, I have never been more ideologically opposed to libertarianism.

All that said: I’m still disappointed in the fact that Gary Johnson hasn’t been accepted into the debates. For those of you who are unaware, the Commission for Presidential Debates (CDP) has a requirement that candidates have at least 15% support in a group of national polls. Sadly, Gary Johnson (along with all the other third party candidates) have failed to meet this criteria, and won’t be present in the presidential debate on Monday the 26th.

My disappointment in this matter obviously does not stem from the fact that I am a proponent of libertarian ideals. It comes from the fact that we live in a Republic with freedom of speech and the press. The entire selling point of both those things is that it allows the citizens of this country access to the necessary information needed to make informed decisions. This includes the information needed to make strong arguments against certain beliefs. You can’t fight (effectively) against something you don’t understand.

I will be the first person to say that the CDP is well within its legal right to make it’s own rules and prevent candidates with less than 15% support from being in their own debates. However, just because the organization can perform this action doesn’t mean that they ought to do it. The organization cannot possibly be blind to the fact of how many people are dissatisfied with the current choice of nominees of each major political party, and with the two party system.

At the end of the day, I do fall into that latter category. Maybe I’m just an idealist, but I still hold that crazy old fashioned notion that rulers ought to rule for the sake of those they rule over, not for their own personal benefit. I’ll save hit pieces on both Trump and Hillary for another time, but suffice it to say neither of them meet that criteria, and the fact that most people citizens of this country think they need to choose between these options is something less than just.

I’m not saying I want the libertarians to become a major third party or that Gary Johnson is the best third solution. I’m simply think that his presence in the presidential debates could help highlight the major flaws in the two party system as it stands now. Libertarianism makes some very good arguments- I can admit that much, if nothing else- and if the Libertarian party can help pave the way for more third parties- better third parties- in the years to come, I would consider it a net gain.

I’m tired of only having two bad options to choose from. I don’t think I’m the only one. While a lot of third parties exist, most of them either don’t support my beliefs or have any large amount of support.

Who knows? Maybe this election will help change that. I just know that the CDP’s refusal of letting third parties into the debate makes this that much harder.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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