Open the Debates – Guest Editorial

by Kevin Gosztola

At the Democratic National Convention, I marched down to the Pepsi Center with Rage Against the Machine, The Coup and Flobots in support of Iraq Veterans Against the War and their demands for Sen. Barack Obama to support immediate withdrawal from Iraq, reparations for Iraqis and benefits to veterans returning home. Our presence forced Obama to accept a letter from IVAW.

At the Republican National Convention, I witnessed what government at all levels will do to silence people who feel compelled to use their First Amendment rights. On Sept. 4, the city deployed more than 100 police with gas masks to trap about 250 people intent on marching. Bicycles, horses, batons, dump trucks and bulldozers were used in a standoff that ended with police deploying chemical weapons and arresting and detaining press and protesters who had been trapped.

Both showed how Republicans and Democrats will fund the suppression of free speech.

Both gave me the chance to go to Nader Super Rallies to support the opening of the presidential debates.

Closed debates, excluding Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin and Ralph Nader, are scheduled to begin Sept. 27. I’m tired of Coke and Pepsi and was thrilled when Rep. Ron Paul called on people to vote third party weeks ago. The four third-party options being whitewashed by the media in this election united behind four issues are foreign policy, civil liberties, national debt and the Federal Reserve.

After more than seven years of Bush, I refuse to do some mathematical equation to come up with who I have to vote for in order for such and such to not happen and will not vote for a candidate who calls upon the people to compromise with corporatists on the “war on terror,” Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, offshore drilling and, now, solutions to our broken economy.

Do a Google search. Since 2000, Nader has been predicting this Wall Street disaster. Sen. John McCain and Obama have been silent, and worse, they are now allowing Bush to swindle the American people by bailing out the corporations responsible. Do you really want to bail out gamblers who created this mess?

When 81 percent think this country is heading in the wrong direction and 60 percent think the two parties are failing us, that signifies the need for a certain agenda-one which involves the people inventing a new way forward instead of being cynical about the future.

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