From Op Ed News (scroll down for links to video clips from another source)
by Kevin Zeese
Polls Indicate Non-Duopoly Candidates Could Determine Outcome of the Election
Ron Paul held what he described as a “very important” press conference on September 10th in Washington, DC. The event brought four third party and independent candidates “together in unity” around a statement of principles. The event came as polls showed the presidential race tightening and third party/independent candidates getting combined votes of over 10% in swing states.The four candidates – Independent Ralph Nader, the Green nominee Cynthia McKinney, the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin and the Libertarian Party’s Bob Barr along with Ron Paul agreed on the following four key principles:
Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.
Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.
The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.
The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions.
The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.
Further, they agree that the process of U.S. presidential elections is as Rep. Paul said a “charade, collusion of the two parties and the media” where they “pretend great differences where there is none” and where neither party really “addresses subjects that are majority positions,” referring to the points in the statement of principles quoted above.
The press conference participants, which did not include Rep. Barr even though he was invited, repeatedly pointed out that the majority of Americans, some 60%, are unhappy with their choices. As a result half of Americans do not bother to vote, many for the intellectual decision that a false choice is provided and where half of those that do vote decide to vote for the lesser of two evils rather than on the direction they want the country to move. All the participants described American democracy as failing.
Ron Paul announced that he received a telephone call the day before the press conference from the McCain-Palin campaign seeking his endorsement. Paul reported that the campaign made the argument, not that McCain is a great leader who will move the U.S. in the right direction, but that he isn’t as bad as Obama and would do less harm to the country. Paul described the call as “a little strange” and that he declined to endorse. He said that instead he is urging voters to support the four candidates who signed the statement of principles and that he would probably not endorse any candidate.
A great deal of focus was placed on the manipulated presidential debates. Rep. Paul reported that during the Bush-Dukakis campaign they had an agreement to dictate the terms of the presidential debates to the League of Women Voters. The League refused to go along and withdrew its sponsorship saying:
“The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates…because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”
That fraud continues to this day with a complicit media working with a corporation created by the two parties, the National Commission on Presidential Debates, that prevents third party and independent candidates from participating and allows the campaigns to dictate the terms of the debates. Ron Paul concluded that keeping the competition out of the debates is undemocratic and that it is a serious problem that “a majority of the people are outside the establishment – this is not very democratic.” He described voting as more the pretense of democracy than a real democracy.
Paul argued the “majority deserves to be in the debate” and the way to determine who is allowed to participate is if they are on enough ballots to theoretically get 270 Electoral College votes. Paul described the ballot access issue as an arduous test.
Therefore, Rep. Paul said he is making a “strong suggestion today” on what people can do and that is to vote for what they believe in and not be fooled by the two party charade. He described the two parties as a manipulation quoting Carroll Quigley from “Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in our Time:”
“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.”
Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney described the four pillars of the Green Party – peace, social justice, ecological wisdom and grass roots democracy. She described the situation we face today as akin to 160 years ago when a few hundred people got together to work for the right of woman to vote. They achieved their end and so can we by “declaring our independence” and pointed out how she declared her independence one year ago in front of the Pentagon. She no longer wanted to be complicit in illegal wars, detentions without trial, torture and environmental destruction. Voters need to declare their independence from “conformity and control” by voting their values. “It would be a very different country if Americans voted their values,” McKinney concluded.
Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party described how he was a Republicans who worked for President Reagan’s election and worked with Jerry Falwell becoming the executive director of the Moral Majority. But, in the 1990s he found that the Republican Party had lost its way and he concluded the Republican Party was not fixable. He argued that the “parties have a stranglehold over the political process and are choking the lifeblood out of our country.” He sees the debate as between globalists like McCain and Obama and constitutionalists.
VotersForPeace.US and TrueVoteMD.org
Kevin Zeese is Executive Director of VotersForPeace.US. and TrueVoteMD.org.
Q & A Session part 1 and 2