In Washington, DC tonight there was a debate between Green Party Candidate Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian Candidate Gov. Gary Johnson. Organized and hosted by Free and Equal, and organization dedicated to gaining recognition for third party candidates. It was, perhaps, one of the most passionate and honest debates no one will ever see.
Both candidates agreed that we needed to end the drug war, the foreign wars for oil, the Patriot Act, the use of drones at home and abroad, blamed the Republicans and Democrats alike for these problems, and both accused President Obama of committing grievous civil rights violations and running a police state.
On Foreign Aid they Bith agreed it was marred by unintended consequences. Johnson connected our aid to Pakistan, defended by the administration as necessary because they have nukes, to rogue nations like Iran pursuing nukes. Stein pointed to foreign aid as military aid and connected it to terrorist groups getting weapons on the black market. On Iran, she argued for a nuclear free planet, weapons and energy, beginning with the middle east, though she did not say how that would be accomplished.
They also both agreed that current economic polices cause many of our problems, thought on solutions to these problems significant philosophical differences were unveiled.
Dr. Stein, over the course of the evening, argued in support of various aspects of the "Green New Deal". It is the central point if her campaign, that the Green Party appears to be hanging its future arguments on, that this plan can create full employment while resolving our environment crisis, and dealing with the banks and the foreign policy problems, all at once. By cutting our military footprint abroad, and reallocating that money to debt and green projects, including converting the military-industrial complex, increasing taxes, and ending drug war costs while taxing profits, we can build the nation into prosperity. Citing FDR's policies as proof of the value of government investment. She also intends to end all student debt and make college education free, citing the GI bill as proof of education investment value.
Gov. Johnson was a strong advocate for laissez faire economic policies, including a zero corporate and income tax rate, instead favoring the Fair Tax which is a national sales tax with a rebate. He argued for no foreign aid, no regulations, FEMA as a coordinator of state and private resources only. He also argued that gouging would be better than government price fixing limiting sales opportunities in disaster zones, citing the gas lines in post Sandy areas as an example of the negative impact of regulations.
Whenever Dr. Stein argued in favor of some social support idea, Gov. Johnson would become extremely upset, gesticulating widely and vehemently arguing that austerity was the only way out of our economic problems. Dr. Stein would retort in a calm, professorial tone with historical examples of her theory working, and mock austerity and laissez faire theory "…if there's ever been an example of it working, I wish someone would tell me." Johnson pounded away at the theme, suggesting through intonation that it should be common sense, "if you tax something there's less of it." Although he did not answer her historical question, or explain why public investment was not valuable in the absence of private investment.
Neither of these candidates believes they are going to win tomorrow. They are both, clearly, laying the groundwork for long term party plans. Which suggests they see opportunity in the near future. An opportunity that only arises if one of the two current parties begins to crumble. Historically, in the United States, third parties have arisen to prominence as another party died off; the Whigs and the Republicans being two major examples. The only possible way for that to transpire this election is if the Republicans lose.
The Republicans are facing a demographic base that shrinking to such an extent, that after this election they will have to change their approach or risk an ever shrinking share of the political power pie. They also face a Tea Party who was forced to accept Romney on the promise he was the only candidate who could win because he was moderate. So they will be angry, and stepping further away from them, towards Hispanics for example, could cause them to revolt and leave the party. The could end up joining the Libertarians or forming their own party. Either way, the Democrats will be the only major party remaing, which will open the door for a new party on left and right, because Americans love an underog and hate monopolies.