Presidential debates are a duopoly. Yes that’s right a duopoly. A monopoly run by two owners, not one. Of course I’m speaking of Democrats and Republicans. Since 1992, when Ross Perot ran as an Independent and participated in the presidential debates, the official Commission on Presidential Debates created a new rule to limit the competition. Now, to be allowed into the debate, a candidate must:
- Have their name on enough ballots to theoretically be able to win the election. This requires each candidate to hold enough ballots to have 270 electoral votes, the minimum needed to win the presidency.
- Each candidate must be polling at least 15% in the polls leading up to the election.
Obviously, this really does not affect the Democrats or Republicans. They will surely always be on the ballots and the day enough loyalists turn on their party is the day our nation begins its evolution. So who does it affect?
Gary Johnson. Two-time governor of New Mexico, Mr. Johnson represents the libertarian party. They have succeeded in obtaining ballots adding up to well over the 270 electoral votes needed, but Johnson is only polling at 8%. So as it stands he will be passed by this October as the debates continue in what we can only guess will be a completely bipartisan debate of what is good for the people.
Does this seem fair? Surely a big reason Governor Johnson is polling so low is simply because people do not know who he is. Hell, a week ago neither did I. But I tell you this: he won’t be gaining any attention if he isn’t in these October battles of words.
I won’t tell you how interesting his platform is compared to the eye-watering partisan platforms we see today, and I won’t tell you to vote for him. But I will tell you this: poll for Governor Johnson. Including a third-party in the debate will surely curb some of the partisanship we’ve come to know so well, and perhaps he might even say something you like.