By Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
The Commission for Presidential Debates is a private organization. In the coming weeks it will host the candidates nominated by the folks who own, control, and fund it, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. That is what will happen.
The Dems and GOP will pull out their check books and pay for the distribution and air-time, just like any other TV producer. They have excluded other candidates by keeping their debates under their own control. This is precisely what it has done for every election since the Commission was founded in 1993. This is overhead essential for keeping them in power.
There are lessons to be learned from this.
This is their private debate. Instead of whining it is time to have our own debates and now is the time to see the opportunity to achieve the goal for which the LP was founded. Given the present economy and the rise of political dissatisfaction the time is ripe for change powered by individual choice.
Since the day, the Commission for Presidential Debates was incorporated the political reality in America has changed. Today, the Democratic and Republican parties are each a minority party compared to the largest party, those who identify as Independents of one kind or another. As of July 30, to August 12 the 2020 Gallup Poll found 26% of Americans identify as Republican; 31% identify as Democrat; Independents are 41%.
1,152 Americans registered as presidential candidates for the 2020 election with the Federal Election Commission. See the chart below.
One by one, Americans have chosen and spoken in the only way available to them.
Today, there are 53 other parties filed with the FEC. This is an accurate measure of the real popularity of the two ‘major’ parties. This has been an accurate measure of popularity of the major parties for the last several years.
People want political change but do not know how to get it; while they can vote on TV for what teenager dances best (94-million votes cast in 3 hours for Which Teenager Dances the Best) they have little control over who the presidential candidates will be. But they want it.
Foundational principles of the free market include providing choices and transparency.
You might have received this morning’s email from Jo Jorgensen. It said, “It is time to get Jo Jorgensen in the Debates.” Jo wants to hire attorneys to accomplish this, an impossible task, given the time before the Commission debates begin.
This raises multiple questions. First, why now, when this strategy has never worked before, even when the effort started months, years, earlier? The short answer is “This can’t work.”
Curious on this point I put in a call to Richard Fields, who is Coordinator for Media for what media the Jorgensen Campaign has. Richard said he was not in on the decision making, “It was above my pay-grade.” Then, I asked, “But Jo must know this cannot work, right? It has been tried over and over again for years and fails because the Commission is a private organization.” Richard, sounding a touch sad responded, “It was a fundraising option.” That shocked me. “But it is a lie. There is no hope it will work.”
I had thought better of Jo. Of course, she never mentioned the free market until very late in her nomination campaign and still does not seem to understand what a free market is. So life goes in Libertarian Land.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again when you know it will not work. This was defined as insanity by Albert Einstein. But perhaps Jo simply does not know what else to do. And there, we can help her.
The chances are good the Libertarian Party will be on the ballot in all 50 states. So, what would the best strategy be for Jo? To make an impossible demand of the two marginalized major parties – or take the power of individual freedom and the free market directly to the people? Does Jo, now in Alaska, know this fundraising fraud is going forward? The answer is evidently, YES.
Political parties are the traditional means for changing government. The LP is a political party.
All Americans are looking for solutions to the major problems we are facing today. Where are the Libertarian solutions? Jo says nothing to the point.
All Americans need solutions.
90% of Americans are worried about losing their homes to foreclosure or eviction. Tens of thousands are already living on our streets. Health Care is unaffordable; vehicles, even those people are living in as the last gasp before being entirely on the street, are being repossessed. Control of our lives and resources is increasing.
The Question: Why has the Libertarian Party limited itself to non-specific messages which have no relevance to the solutions people want?
You see this clearly with the inability of Libertarian campaigns to use the very tool which has become ubiquitous to success in politics – mass media. This was true when mass media was only traditional TV, but now, when mass media is moving to individual choices for interaction, Libertarians are still stuck in print media, and at their heady best, podcasts and Youtube videos.
Two years ago, 9,000 libertarians watched a response to the State of the Union address by Jeff Hewitt, a Libertarian elected to the office of Supervisor in Riverside County California. That was big news. But the numbers, and the fact the audience was limited to watching made the event a failure. 9,000 is miniscule, even on Youtube.
Although the LP will be on all 50 states, ballot status does not translate to persuading voters they should support Libertarian candidates. LP vote totals are always in the too little to count catagory. It is interacting with both the show and other participants which arrests our interest, moves us to engage, activate, donate, and realize the yearning for freedom within each of us. We proved this in 1992. We offered Interactive 2-Way Mass Audience Participation TV to every Libertarian Presidential Candidate from 1996 – 2020.
At the beginning of this article I posed the question of what we should do with the next two months. The answer is – start debating other candidates as participants engage, ask questions, offer insights and more information, and decide who has the solutions they want and need. No one else is doing this so let us be the first.
Any candidate who offers what voters want will have media precinct captains across the country signing up; and this will happen fast.
Today, we have two more months to explain how the free market can solve the problems Americans face today, providing the solutions Americans want and a way to be part of that solution. The shift in support will be electrifying.
We can build the membership of the LP at the roots, where it should always have been. With media precinct chairs growing in number the lackluster support for either Biden or Trump can be shattered. Americans will have the means to experience their power and impact the outcome of the present election process.
We did this in 1992; we can do it again. The Commission for Presidential Debates exists because in 1992 the most popular president in history, Geo. H. W. Bush, polling at 89% popularity went down to ignominious defeat through the actions of a small group of libertarians. PhoneVoter TV Network was founded January 21, 1992. Read the story https://phonevoter.us/
In 1992 no Libertarian candidate was willing to participate except Lee Wright, who inquired and then decided he was not up to it. Every Libertarian candidate since has received the same offer.
Being a Libertarian was intended to mean being free market, not just rhetorically, but in action. What better time to demonstrate this commitment? Instead of this pointless attempt to force ourselves on to someone else’s stage and use their airtime we can open up the debate to give Americans what they desperately want and need today. And that is Solutions.
For a measly $100,000 Jo could have debated real issues with other candidates who have also been silenced – and she can be live on air in two weeks. The other snippet of idiocy which had been passed on to Richard was that Jo will not sully herself to debate anyone unless either Biden or Trump is included. I am not making this up.
With the constellation of more powerful technologies we have in six weeks we can change the political landscape of America.
This can happen with a constellation of more powerful technologies than drove Ross Perot https://phonevoter.us/get-real-debates from 8% - 39% in weeks, put Pat Buchanan at 19%, almost made Jerry Brown the Democratic nominee, and gave Bill Clinton the presidency. Jerry had at least 21% across all the states in the primaries in just 6 weeks.
In six weeks, Libertarianism will be a major presence in American politics. What is that worth to you? This includes streaming, satellite, and cable, along with a growing number of other distributors. Want to know what the costs are? How to get scheduled? We know; we have TV Industry folks on our board. We can get discount prices and produce a once a day show for 1 to 1 debates, until election day; hour after hour of debate as advertisers sign up to use interactive ads on interactive shows for the first time.
People want to be heard. Americans will listen when you have solutions they need – and there is no better way to introduce the free market than to have Americans experience it themselves. That is what a free market does, give voters a choice. But they have to know you are what they want. This time, why not try?