Notes from the 11/5/12 Presidential Debate between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson

It’s election night eve and FreeandEqual.org hosted a debate between two “third party candidates” former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. The debate was broadcast live on RT.com (Russian Today–a state sponsored Russian TV network).

I like both these candidates as they both seem to sink their teeth in the issues Romney and Obama happily ignore. Below are some rough notes I made. I think either one of these candidates is worthy of a vote.

Things Libertarian Governor Gary Johnson and Green Dr. Jill Stein agreed on:

  • GMO Food Labeling
  • Wikileaks is not a threat. The government needs to be transparent.
  • Climate Change is caused by people.
  • End our wars abroad.
  • End military foreign aid–Stein supported humanitarian foreign aid. Johnson opposed all foreign aid.
  • Current laws limit civil liberties; we’re in a police state. Current powers of the President are frightening in regards to the rights to assassinate U.S. citizens and detain them without trial (NDAA).

Issues Stein and Johnson argued about:

The Environment
Johnson: Private sector can clean up environment because consumers will demand it.
Stein: Government needs to produce a Green New Deal.

The Economy
Johnson: Let companies fail, bailouts lead towards an economic collapse. We can’t spend money we don’t have.
Stein: Government needs to help create green jobs as part of a Green New Deal such as developing a solar sector.

Taxes
Johnson: Abolish IRS as well as corporate taxes. Eliminate income tax, have just one Fair Tax.
Stein: Increase taxes on rich and corporations.

The Internet
Stein: Net Neutrality creates a free and open internet.
Johnson: Net Neutrality is an example of crony capitalism and will limit the internet.
Stein refuted Johnson’s claim that Stein is for the government running the internet.

Interesting quotes
Johnson: “The roots of our police state lie in the War on Drugs. Let’s legalize marijuana.”
Stein: “Treat environmental disasters as attacks on our nation.”

But let’s not forget Candidate McOwskey:

Alex P. Keaton for a Day

I feel a little nervous about what I’m going to admit, but this little ounce of shame has given me a little perspective and empathy for a people I spent most of my life looking down upon. Yesterday, I voted in the California primary as a registered Republican.

Walking into my Hollywood polling place I felt like I had been harmfully exposed as some sort of enemy of the state each time the poll workers loudly announced to each other a Republican had arrived to vote, and the Republican needed a Republican ballot, as well as a Republican voting booth. After I was finished making my selections I had trouble inserting my ballot into the counting machine. When I finally got it, one poll worker told me that the sound the machine was making was my ballot being shredded. Maybe he makes that joke for everyone, but paranoia and shame both swirled around my head, feelings I assumed would be absent from voting. That being said, the poll workers were very courteous and helpful… all 15 of them… being paid by taxpayer dollars… to manage a near empty polling place.. and they probably had a paid day of training too… (oh boy, maybe labels do influence opinions).

Why did I register as a Republican? I wanted to vote for one of the primary candidates because I liked what he had bring to the discussion about our wars and the country’s drug policy. OK, I’ll stop beating around the bush, I registered as a Republican so I could vote for Ron Paul.

Already I feel like apologizing, but let me just say A) what am I really worried about? No one reads this blog and B) I have no love for either party. But now I kind of think of it this way, this November when I vote for some unknown oddball pro-peace, pro-environment, anti-consumerism third party kook the Republicans will be whining about my costing them 1 vote as opposed to the Democrats.

However, I think this shame I feel just because I have given myself a certain (if incorrect) political label is a sad state of affairs. In a democracy, problems should be solved by an open discussion of ideas instead of arguments that start off with a “What the Hell is wrong with you?”  What do we assume of each other when we’ve boiled down a whole country of ideas into two political teams?

Note 1: Mentioning Alex P. Keaton reminds me of this 2008 article by one of the creators of Family Ties, What Would Alex Keaton Do? which ends with this gem:

For what it’s worth Michael J. Fox and I have differing opinions about just where Alex Keaton is today. I believe he does pro bono legal work for the Children’s Defense Fund.

Mike thinks he’s just now getting out of prison.

Note 2: I voted to raise CA cigarrette taxes just to balance everything out.

President Obama, Insult Comic

I saw some of President Obama’s recent roast of the Republican Party and thought he came off as a seasoned Insult Comic.  Here’s my impression.

What I Wanted to Hear in Last Night’s Debate!

What I Wanted to Hear in Last Night's Debates