Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Smash the Duopoly

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When Donald Trump called our country’s electoral process a “rigged system,” he was not wrong. The system is a legally secured duopoly.

I’ve discussed a number of the elements of this system previously. But one I may not have explored enough is the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

The League of Women Voters sponsored the first televised presidential debates in 1952, and from 1976 till 1988 ran a “tight ship,” as How Things Work puts it. After the League refused to cooperate with the bullying major parties, the CPD was established by former R and D bigwigs aiming to fully accommodate the major party candidates.

And no one else.

The CPD calls itself “non-partisan,” but that’s a misnomer. It is a bipartisan commission, as everyone who knows its history knows. The commission raised the bar on minor party candidates to polling 15 percent in a number of polls.

Recently, we’ve been hearing that the commission is preparing a third place on stage, for Libertarian candidate Gov. Gary Johnson. But he still hasn’t quite yet hit the prescribed percentage, though he has met the most important qualification: he is the only minor party candidate likely to be on all state ballots.

And now there’s a kicker. According to Brian Doherty, historian extraordinaire of Reason, “The Socially Liberal and Fiscally Conservative PAC (Solifico) [yesterday] morning sent a letter to Janet Brown, executive director of the [CPD], threatening to send the IRS after them over their policy of not allowing all legitimate candidates for president in their debates.”

The case looks solid.

And could secure for Johnson a podium at the debates.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.   

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By: CS Admin


  1. JFB says:

    The free exchange regarding proposed policies and the reasons for candidates differences would appear to the reason for the “debates”, and perhaps was when the League was the organizing entity.
    The CPD does not have that function, it’s function is to support and continue the duopoly which created it, and duplicitous is a reasonable descriptor of its goals.
    Reason’s proposed complaint has great merit and rightfully questions such an organization’s tax status. It may well be efficacious as the only sensitive area of such organization’s nervous systems are in the area of their wallet.

  2. Pat says:

    At this point, what difference does it make? Ours is not a parliamentary system. Even when ‘independents’ win seats in Congress, they still caucus with one of the major parties. The duopoly won’t go away. Republicans were a third party that quickly displaced the Whigs. The two-party system is what works in our republic. If the Libertarians can garner a large number of votes they might displace one of the top two parties but a viable third party can’t survive for long. Its policies and platform will be adopted by one of the two major parties. (How many times has a Libertarian been elected to a seat in Congress?) The third party candidate with the best chance to win was Theodore Roosevelt and not even TR could win enough states to garner a majority in the Electoral College. All he did was split the Republican vote.

    • Michael Foudy says:

      I think it’s a matter of critical mass. For the first time a GOP Congresscritter has endorsed the Libertarian ticket. Two more are allegedly considering it. We aren’t even at Labor Day. If even 20 or 30 members of the House or the Senate were to create a caucus of Free Market, Anti-War, Anti-Drug War, Pro Choice etc. Congresscritters, the political landscape would undergo a huge change.

    • JD says:

      The 2 party system works? You really believe that?!?!

  3. Karen H says:

    Gary Johnson definitely deserves to debate. He’ll seem sane as opposed to the bloody, power made Hillary & blow hard Trump. Johnson’s platform should be heard. He could woo voters who don’t like Hillary but feel never Trump. & bring people out who are Republicans that can’t stand the party’s candidate.

    It is time for a 3rd party. I would just advise Mr. Johnson to get a little styling.

  4. Michael Foudy says:

    PS Paul, could you please have your service create the option to post to Facebook, Twitter etc., etc. on the email delivery so we don’t have to come to this page to achieve that objective? Thanks! Mike

  5. Rocketman says:

    Johnson and Stein should both be allowed on the debates but if there is any way to keep them off the CPD will find a way to do it. And sicking the IRS on the CPD? That’s expecting a government agency to go after another quazi government agency. Never happen.

    And Pat we were going to have a congressman in Texas a while back only the election was stolen from us by the Texas Board of Elections. If the law had been followed correctly back then the only candidate to vote for would have been a Libertarian. The TBE changed the rules to keep us from winning the seat.

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