Hometown pride: As the paper billing itself as George W. Bush's hometown daily, The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, TX, endorses John Kerry, my own hometown paper runs an excellent letter on the ruse called the presidential debates. From the Wausau Daily Herald:
As we get our hopes up for anything beyond sound bites in the Presidential Debates, let us remember that since the founding of the private organization called the "Commission on Presidential Debates", the two major parties have colluded in memoranda of understanding under which they agree on the rules, on who will participate, who will ask the questions, and what questions will be asked. They have agreed not to directly question each other and questioners or moderators are not allowed follow up questions.

Prior to 1988, the Presidential debates were conducted under the auspices of the League of Women Voters, and the candidates really engaged in debate. In 1988 the two major parties objected to an actual debate and attempted to take control of the structure and content; at that point, the League withdrew its sponsorship, and they two parties formed the governmental-sounding Commission on Presidential Debates which has allowed their campaign organizations to completely script what George Farah of Open Debates called a "bi-partisan press conference". Further information can be found at Now with Bill Moyers and Open Debates.

Real democracy is subverted and stifled when the press and the public cannot confront presidential canditates in open debate on the curcial issues of our time, and instead we only hear prepared sound bites. The Presidential Debates we will see on Thursday are to meaningful confrontation on issues and ideas as all-star wrestling is to the Olympics. The American people have a right to demand more.

No comments: