62 min – Nov 1, 2008 Continue reading
There are a lot of scary things in this world, but one of the scariest is that Halloween and the Presidential election are only five days apart. It’s hard to miss the parallel between tricks-and-treats and the promises-and-panderings of politicians masquerading as the most caring, most vital, most sincere candidate. While standing behind their lapel flag buttons, they are quick to dress their opponents in something less patriotic.
The Republican right wing wants to dress Barack Obama as a socialist terrorist, putting on him a large black beard, a kufi hat and abaya robe. Instead of handing out candy, these wing nuts have Obama handing out dollar bills, which he stole from hard-working conservative millionaires.
The Right Wing doesn’t say much about Joe Biden, knowing he’s sharper than any of the candidates about foreign affairs, but he does occasionally put a foot in his mouth. Maybe they can dress him as a podiatrist.
The Democrats want to glue John McCain to George W. Bush, and parade them door-to-door as conjoined twins. Assuming that isn’t acceptable to McCain—at least now—maybe the Democrats can dress McCain as a Mission: Impossible tape recorder, knowing at some point he’ll self-destruct.
It shouldn’t be too hard to find a costume for Sarah Palin. During the past two months, the Republicans spent $150,000 on clothes for her and her family, plus at least $23,000 for makeup. After figuring out that the nation is in a Recession, that most Americans don’t even earn $170,000 in three years—and that some outraged Americans found out about her shopping spree—Palin spun out and claimed that the clothes really aren’t hers and will be donated after the election, most probably to starving Republican day traders. For Halloween, and for a truly scary appearance, maybe Mooseburger could remove all the makeup and lipstick her handlers put on her to make salivating middle-aged men believe that outward beauty is an acceptable cover-up to inner vacuousness.
While large numbers of wolves, polar bears, and moose have been seen registering to vote, hoping that Palin wins and leaves their state, Palin is busy stalking Dick Cheney’s footprint, hoping to continue her mind-meld with him.
And speaking of Cheney, a nice costume for him might be a repaired heart, assuming he had one. But, since he has again suddenly disappeared from sight, he might be dressed as the Ghost of America Thankfully Past.
Ralph Nader, who has good ideas, hardly any media coverage, and absolutely no chance to be president, could wear a large fluorescent green leaf, and carry an organic sign—“Hey, I’m over here!”
Bob Barr is running for president on the Libertarian ticket. He is an NRA board member and was once a conservative Republican who led the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Lately, he’s been on an extended speaking tour for the ACLU. Perhaps we could dress him as the Statue of Liberty, a rifle in one hand and what’s left of a shredded Constitution fiercely clutched in his other hand.
There are more than 200 other third-party and independent candidates. It would be far too expensive to give them all individual costumes, so why not dress each of them as sheep on steroids, bleating to be free of the pack, and hoping to attract voters who are disgusted with the policies and candidates of the Democratic and Republic parties.
We’re not scared about the voters. They’ll do whatever it is that voters do for whatever reasons they do it. We’re scared about what happens to their votes after they’re crunched by pro-Bush Republican-dominated Diebold, the company that manufactures most electronic voting machines in the country.
Like 300 million other Americans and several billion in other countries, we’re scared about the economy. You know, the one that was spurred by a combination of greed, incompetence, and lack of governmental regulation. Children and their parents are all going to be trick-or-treating this Halloween, hoping there are still some families that have extra food to give to those who may soon become homeless.
Finally, we’re really scared that in a few months we’ll all hear George W. Bush and Dick Cheney tell us, “We’re Baaaack!”
[Rosemary Brasch is a former Red Cross national disaster family services specialist, secretary, union grievance officer, and labor studies instructor. Walter Brasch’s latest book is the second edition of Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available at amazon.com, bn.com and other stores. You may contact Brasch at email@example.com or through his website at: www.walterbrasch.com]
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“debate Thursday night in Washington, D.C., for third-party and other presidential candidates. Free and Equal Elections, the group hosting the debate, said that Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin has also confirmed.”
Corporate media largely ignore other presidential candidates
While the major-party race for the White House has been the subject of broad media attention for more than a year, the corporate media have mostly ignored at least four substantial third-party and independent candidates for the presidency.
Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr are both former congressmembers from the state of Georgia. Their presence in the White House race, along with independent candidate Ralph Nader and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, would seem to present an interesting counterpoint to the major-party race between Barack Obama and John McCain. While the corporate press has apparently decided that the differences between Obama and McCain are more or less the only political opinions worth exploring this election season, the third-party and independent candidates take positions on issues like drug war policy, Israel-Palestine, civil liberties and military intervention that differ markedly from the views of either major-party candidate.
According to a Nexis news database search of the major network newscasts, McKinney’s name has never been mentioned this year on the networks’ news programs, while Barr and Nader’s candidacies have garnered a total of only 31 mentions between them (15 times on ABC, 12 times on NBC and 4 on CBS). Including the Fox network– which airs Fox News Sunday on its broadcast affiliates–yields one passing mention of Nader, and an interview with Barr (6/29/08). PBS‘s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer offered passing mentions of Nader and Barr when they announcements as candidates (2/25/08, 5/12/08); more recently, the show has interviewed each of them one-on-one (10/14/08, 10/20/08).
The context in which Barr and Nader have been covered is worth examining; by FAIR’s count, many of the references to the candidates dealt primarily with the potential effect on the fortunes of the major-party candidates–i.e., whether a third-party candidate would be a “spoiler.” That accounted for 11 mentions of Barr and Nader.
Passing mentions of Nader or Barr accounted for another 13 mentions; four of these were joking or mocking references to Nader. (ABC‘s This Week includes humor clips from late-night talkshows, two of which included Nader as a punch line.)
A March 4 report on ABC‘s Good Morning America discussed the presidential election with a panel of children, one of whom asked, “There’s like another thing, there’s a guy named something Nader…. I think he’s either running for the Green Party or the independents.” ABC correspondent Chris Cuomo misinformed the children by saying “Green Party.”
Actual interviews with the candidates were somewhat rare, but Nader has appeared on NBC‘s Meet the Press (2/24/08) and Nightly News (10/20/08), ABC‘s This Week (6/29/08) and the CBS Early Show (2/25/08). Barr has appeared on ABC‘s This Week (7/16/08).
The main question media tend to pose about third-party candidates is whether or not they will impact the outcome of the election. This is not at all surprising, given corporate media’s preference for focusing on the horserace aspect of politics. The lesser-known candidates’ generally low standing in the polls appears to make it less likely that they will play a decisive role on Election Day, but the media’s refusal to open up the political conversation makes this outcome more or less a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But besides being a process for choosing officials, elections are also an opportunity to discuss ideas. By ignoring independent and third party candidates, the corporate media are also helping keep a range of policy options about key issues that are not espoused by either major party candidate off the table–including single payer healthcare, a full withdrawal from Iraq, ending the war in Afghanistan and ending the death penalty. Democracy Now! (10/16/08) allowed Nader and McKinney an opportunity to respond to the debate questions posed to Obama and McCain– a rare opportunity for such candidates to let voters hear them alongside major-party nominees.
Numerous policies that are now seen as integral to American life were first proposed by third-party candidates; Socialist Eugene Debs, for example, promoted the idea of Social Security in his repeated runs for the presidency in the early 20th century, and Progressive Henry Wallace advocated desegregation in his 1948 race.
It’s possible that the minor-party candidates in the 2008 election are suggesting programs that will one day seem as indispensable as Debs and Wallace’s ideas. If so, you won’t hear about them from the corporate media.
Updated: added videos Aug. 22, 2011 & Sept. 22, 2011
Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney & Ralph Nader on stage together!
66 min – Sep 11, 2008
September 10, 2008 C-SPAN Representative Ron Paul held a news conference support third party presidential candidates and urge his supporters to consider backing independent candidates rather than the Republican or Democratic nominees. He was joined by independent Ralph Nader, the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney and the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin. Representative Paul did not endorse a specific candidate.
By Manila Ryce
Thursday, June 5th, 2008
Colbert Interviews Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr
Stephen is dead on with his characterization of the comically out of touch Libertarian Party, and even goes on to expose why even Libertarian candidate Bob Barr is a shitty libertarian… though from my experience most Libertarians are shitty libertarians. You’ve gotta love the audacity of a man who says people should vote Libertarian because the Republican/Democratic monopoly has ruined this country with bills like the ones he’s voted for. Continue reading