The shift in politics and media
September 28th, 2016
This election is showing us how the Republicans and Democrats continue to make sure they are the only choices for president as traditional media continues to decline to media on the web. The televised debate on Monday is an example of this.
Third party Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was excluded from the first debate. The Commission on Presidential Debates stated that Johnson had not met the 15% poll requirement to be in the debate. He did meet that 15% in many polls, just not the ones the CPD counts. In fact, Johnson was polling better than Ross Perot when he was allowed to debate in 1992.
The CPD’s job is essentially to get attention for candidates by putting them on TV to the most viewers possible. And they seem to have done that with a reported 84 million viewers tuning in. I wasn’t one of them. I’m more looking forward to seeing this week’s new South Park episode on their presidential election candidates: a giant douche and a turd sandwich. The view of South Park’s creators on presidential elections seems to be that it will always be two candidates we won’t like because those are the only kinds of people that would do anything for the attention. With Trump’s ego and Hillary’s all-means-justify-the-end attitude, it sure sounds like they’re right.
Part of Johnson’s and the Libertarian party’s message is the aspect that we are witnessing the death of the Republican and Democratic parties who are clinging to all they’ve got to stay in power. Having an organization like the CPD seems unnecessary until you realize that it was founded in 1988 by Republicans and Democrats to essentially set rules that keep third parties out. Then you start to understand the real reason for its existence.
TV networks who televised the debates were happy because they got huge viewership for their commercials. But as the news media is shifting to the web, it’s beginning to matter less. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld got nearly 30,000 viewers on a Facebook Live event before the debates began. Imagine if they were able to organize broadcasting in different online sources besides just Facebook. Imagine how many people would watch a debate between two real candidates like Gary Johnson and Bernie Sanders.
Sanders and Johnson and their grass roots efforts have paved the way for a future where people will choose to listen to ideas, not bickering. And we’ll get their message from sources that don’t require a stamp of approval from the CPD. Consider this the last hurrah for a giant douche and a turd sandwich as they struggle to hold on to their practice of giving people a false premise that they are the only choices available.