During the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about the presidential debates. Some people bemoan one candidate or the other. Some bemoan both candidates. A few held drinking contests during the debates. After each debate, the media is full of analysis, pundits, and commentators to dissect the dialog, and to help people figure out what it all meant.
The second presidential debate was especially noteworthy, for something that happened outside the debate hall (and something that many media outlets aren’t reporting).
Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala tried to enter the debate hall, and were blocked by police officers. After being denied entrance, Stein and Honkala sat down in the street, and were subsequently arrested for obstructing traffic.
I’d love to present a long list of citations about this event, but there aren’t many to give. I first heard about it from Twitter, then read articles from the Huffington Post and the student-run Long Island Report.
This is outrageous. Stein and Honkala will be on the ballot in 38 states, and most Americans will have the opportunity to vote for them. People deserve to hear their positions, as well as the positions of other third party candidates, such as Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Constitution Party Candidate Virgil Goode, and Socialist Party USA candidate Stewart Alexander. And these aren’t the only third-party candidates running. Instead of being given options, we are being handed a charade, based on the notion that there are only two choices for president.
We have always talked about our first amendment rights. Perhaps it is time to start talking about our first amendment caveats.
- You have the right to freedom of speech. Unless you’re a third-party candidate.
- You have the right to freedom of religion. Unless you’re a Muslim
- You have the right to freedom of the press. Unless you’re a whistleblower.
Perhaps Stein and Honkala should incorporate. I’m sure they’d get more freedom of speech that way.