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Hedges Moderates Third-Party Presidential Debate Between Nader and Baldwin

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Posted on Oct 25, 2008
Nader and Baldwin

Independent candidate Ralph Nader, left, and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin debate in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night.

Judging by the coverage of this election season, you’d think there were only two people in the running to be president. Narrowing the pool of presidential candidates to just two “front-runners,” a process significantly aided by the media as well as by donors and major players from both the Democratic and Republican parties, constitutes a serious threat to the American democratic ideal for myriad reasons—not the least of which is that the potentially transformative ideas coming from the so-called outsiders are cut out of national political discourse.

In these clips, award-winning journalist and Truthdig contributor Chris Hedges does his part to give independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin a (televised) forum to debate each other and to describe what they stand for and what they believe would constitute “change” for the country. The debate took place Thursday night at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., and was broadcast live on C-SPAN 2.

C-SPAN via YouTube:


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By silly_article, October 26, 2008 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

It’s interesting how Nader and Baldwin don’t stick up for the party that is closest to them. Nader points out Obama’s major flaws, and Baldwin says voting for McCain is a wasted vote…its wonderful. It makes me so mad that they don’t let third party candidates participate in the Business party(two major party) debates. It would be really informative for the masses. Ron Paul totally slammed the neo-cons in the primary debates for example. He is kind of a third party guy that just kind of snuck in to the Republican Party. My wife voted the other day and it was freakin insulting, the guy helping people vote was like: “there’s gonna be a buncha people on here you’ve never heard of”. I’m like, “more like you’ve never heard of douch-bag. ”

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By Outraged, October 26, 2008 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

An excellent debate.  I would encourage Nader Haters to watch.  What’ve you got to lose…..well…aside from your argument, your arrogance and your viciousness….. LOL

Nader is spot on.  Baldwin makes some very good points too, although personally I disagree with his stance on several issues.

Nader’s comment, “the people of this country don’t look at the debates simply as an antedote to insomnia”(paraphrased)  I gotta say, I’m not so sure when one looks at what the Commission of Presidential Debates FED US under the guise of “a presidential debate”. (This would certainly be an entertaining poll question…LOL)  I’ll bet the makers of Nytol have some serious concerns….maybe they’d be on “our” side… hmmmm

We need to OPEN THE DEBATES.  It is extremely important to our democracy.  The far ranging effects are incredible.  To sit back and simply contemplate that fact… even for 10 minutes, lineates a snowball effect of unparalleled change for the American People and the world.

The website mentioned in the video, is not quite finished, but it is an important one.  I thought I’d post the link, for future reference.

I would be nice to see this thread stay on the homepage for a bit longer than the usual.  Many points were raised which have an impact well beyond the current election.  Also, this video is somewhat lengthier and more difficult to simply sit down and “catch” quickly.

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By KDelphi, October 26, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

I saw the debate—btw—it was an actual DEBATE!! Hedges asked good, probing questions, I thought.

I like Nader—but it is extremeley strange to see him with “strange bedfellows” like Ron Paul and Barr and Baldwin. If he had a chance—Id vote for him, anyway, though! Ohio is just too close. Besides, I promised someone..

I find it troubling, though, when people put all these requirements (especially those of “working through the two parties”)that must be met before we can have a “Third Party”—we should have alot more parties than that! Every civilized country does! The Green Party has been around for alot longer than four years. But it has gained no significance, in THIS country, largely, I feel, becasuse the two party system has a stranglehold on funds. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. (cant win-cant waste money on-cant waste vote on—cant win)

Until we get TRUE campaign finanace reform (not the kind where donors are putting fois gras on a stick and callng it “not a gift/bribe if they dont have to sit down”)), we wil have what we have now.

If the Dems gain a 3 way majority—they will have no excuses. I look to them for the change they speak so well of. Walk the walk, folks. The ball in in your court. That is what we PAY your for.

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By skulz fontaine, October 26, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

The “two-party” strangling of Amerikan democracy MUST end! Open the process up to and for everyone! That’s what democracy is about. Like it or not. Amerika at present is different than the ‘old’ Soviet Union in what manner? The Politburo lives and breaths using a singularly different name. Name is of course, the U.S. Congress. REVOLUTION! And about high damn time.
Mr. Hedges was brilliant and the debate was informative. Gosh, the “presidential debates” between frik and frak was nothing more than propaganda sound bites.

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By Louise, October 26, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Nader has a well deserved history of doing great things. He’s smart, informed and sincere. So is my neighbor, but he’s the first to admit he’s not presidential material. I watched the debate, and spoke to others who had. The consenses was Nader is a good man, but he is not presidential. Whatever that means.

The belief that electing an activist for president will suddenly solve all our problems reflects a basic lack of understanding. A president, any president is and should be the person sitting in the oval office who works with the Congress to govern the nation. But key here is the Congress. We are now in the unhappy position of suffering the results of a Congress who happily abandoned their Constitutional responsibilities and handed their power to one single man.

Unless and until we elect people to Congress who understand the requirements of their office and follow through, who sits in the oval office will make little difference.

The president needs to be a Constitutional expert, with a proven history of both community activism and the ability to work with all sides on every issue, within the confines and demands of the Constitution. Otherwise, a weak man will use congressional indifference to propel himself into absolute control, but wont have the wherewith-all to use that control wisely. He will, just like Bush, rely on those around him to guide his decisions. Which effectively puts the power in the hands of people we didn’t vote for, don’t know and cant see. That is the promise of the kind of president McCain would be.

Nader moved from working to identify and remove wrong and became a tool of those who want the power.

We need strong Constitutional scholars and activists in government, but they would serve us better in Congress. The pity here is Nader isn’t running for a congressional seat. His voice in Congress, working with other like-minded individuals could do far more to restoring our system of checks and balance than his voice in the White House. That is the real tragedy. That no-one seems to understand the real power in Congress and encourage strong activists like Nader to become part of that team.

The president has to be someone who has a proven track record of recognizing the strings, who pulls them and why. It’s not enough to simply know what’s wrong. That’s the easy part. That person also needs to know where that string comes from and where it ends, and how to cut it! But before that can be identified and done, that person needs to be able to walk into the middle of the maze without push-back. Able to clearly identify who’s who and converse with them. Has to be able to recognize and stroke the right nerve on the way to severing it. That cant happen until access to the inside of the body is granted.

Do we need a third party? Yes! But it will never happen until those who want it get it right.

Starting at the top ... “We have a presidential candidate now lets create a party around him/her,” will NEVER work, because that’s doing it backwards.

The party and it’s platform has to happen FIRST! Has to resonate with a large part of society, has to attract people willing to give time and money to make it viable and attractive. And that has to be a dedicated, minimum four-year-long effort. Then, and ONLY then, the new party goes looking for presidential candidates! Candidates, in the plural, offering those who have worked to make a third party happen, the chance to choose the candidate they believe best reflects their position. And has the best chance of actually attracting a mojority of voters.

Instead, every cycle we see a repeat of a party more or less created for a candidate. Which by it’s very definition narrows the field of support! So maybe it’s time to launch a Nader for Congress campaign. We’ve got four years to do it!

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By mikeschoch, October 26, 2008 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s all come down to the need to win: two teams, one must win. But who would watch a sports league made up of only two teams? Boor-ring. And thus has our political discourse become a boring set of mantras, when the reality is that we face all kinds of unresolved issues as we are catapulted into the future by time. America can lead by example, good or bad. Winning isn’t the only thing.

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By jack, October 26, 2008 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mandated vote: every time the DNC sends me an email trumpeting their successes and begging for money, I tell them this: If you want my vote, dump Brzezinski and his Trilateralist, CFR and Bilderberg handlers, otherwise I vote for Nader or McKinney. I urge everyone who gets their emails to do the same.

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