With a strong following on social media, former Alaskan Senator Mike Gravel recently hit the threshold of 65,000 donors to qualify for the July Democratic primary. Despite this, the odds of being invited to the debate are slim for Gravel. Gravel needs more support in the polls. However, many of the major polls are not including Gravel, which significantly hurts his chances.
The 2020 election is just over a year away, but there is already a long list of candidates running on the Democratic ballot. In June next year, the DNC will hold their primary debates in Milwaukee with over 20 candidates participating. Those who lean anti-establishment have had their eyes on Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, but it’s easy to forget that they are both polling below 2%. At the top are still Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and at the very top with 27%, Joe Biden.
Francis Folz | United States
The 2016 Presidential election will be remembered in history as a watershed moment for the modern American republic. Despite over three quarters of Americans desiring third party candidates on the debate stage, the old guard of both establishment Republicans and Democrats alike shut out any voices outside of the red and blue camp. Partisanship was put in maximum overdrive and on display in the nation that prides itself on freedom, yet limits its choices for representation to two candidates. It is no surprise that voter turnout reached a 20 year low in the latest contest between the lesser of the two evils. But as a citizenry comprised of sovereign, astute people, when do we collectively abandon evil and start voting for only exemplary candidates deserving our vote? That time is now.
Regardless of political affiliation, it is apparent to the majority of Americans that our Republic is coming apart at the seams. Whether it’s the rise of violence against political opponents or blind support for dishonest politicians, both sides of the aisle are engaged in a heightened sense of devoted loyalty to their political overlords, even at the expense of violating long-held principles and dogmas. For Democrats, their political figures have incited violence to rally their base at the expense of civility and their previously-held beliefs in peace and love. Meanwhile, Republicans have encouraged conformity while a newly embraced and adored leader slowly and subtlety moves his base farther to the left. This how Americans continue to forfeit their freedoms while their political powers maintain control.
This scenario is nothing new to the Democratic and Republican party, which have perfected the art of conning the American public into complaisant support for over a hundred years. After all, FDR and Wendell Willkie conspired to bring the two parties together to create one monolithic, hybrid party in the 1940’s. The two parties have been two different rails of the same track ever since. It should be no surprise that the Republican and Democratic party continue to team up to create large deficits, initiate endless conflicts abroad, and undermine our constitution and civil liberties.
The two parties possess a stranglehold over all of our election outcomes by successfully deceiving the public into thinking their candidates and parties are significantly distinguishable from one another. For example, the Republican party proclaims to be the cabal of the constitution, fiscal conservatism, ‘small’ government, gun rights, and life for the unborn. Yet since 2010, Republicans have trampled our Constitution and Bill of Rights, ballooned the federal deficit, grown the size of government, failed to pass concealed carry reciprocity and pro-life legislation.
The Democratic Party promulgates the narrative that they are the faction for the people, the workers, the 99 percent, civil liberties, and peace. Beginning in 2008, Democrats, led by newly- elected Barack Obama, passed legislation benefiting big banks, imploded the healthcare industry by rigging the rules in favor of corporations at the expense of taxpayers, curtailed our civil liberties by reauthorizing FISA 702, and pursued destructive warfare against seven different nations, three more than President Bush.
If Americans ever intend to recover the freedoms lost at the hands of the establishment duopoly, it will require a third party, as is evident by this years’ midterms. Take the state of Pennsylvania as a case study. Despite 41% of Pennsylvanians approving of the work Bob Casey has done in his second term as senator and only a mere 30% of Pennsylvanians believing the senator deserves a third term, he leads his Republican opponent by double digits in every poll. Lou Barletta shares more in common with his Democratic adversary than Pennsylvania’s conservative Republican base, which begs the question why the Republican party would nominate such a lackluster candidate.
Enter Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate Dale Kerns, Pennsylvania’s only choice for fiscally conservative, socially laissez-faire representation. Mr. Kerns passionately advocates for a sharp reduction to federal spending which has grown exponentially at the hands of both Republicans and Democrats. Also, he plans to take on the Federal Reserve for their role in growing our debt and inflating our currency almost 100 percent in its 100 years of existence.
The War on Drugs is yet another example of government overreach which has wreaked havoc on the American public. Over the last 40 years, the American prison population has exploded to 800% of its former size as a direct result of America’s toughness on victimless crimes. Coupled with mandatory minimums, more Americans are going to jail longer for misbehavior as deemed by society. To combat these victimless criminals, America has divulged into a police state. Dale recognizes these problems and the solutions necessary to fix them. After all, his campaign is centered around the premise that addiction is not a crime and that no one can run your life better than you. This serves as a stark contrast to Bob Casey and Bob Casey-Lite Lou.
At this point, most people interject and concede that although Dale Kerns may be the best candidate ideologically, he doesn’t stand a chance to win. It’s worth noting Donald Trump had a 1% chance of winning the presidency one day before the election, yet became the first Republican in almost 30 years to carry Pennsylvania on his way to the oval office. It is possible to elect any candidate despite all the preconceived odds stacked against the individual. However, people continue to choose the obsolete red and blue teams instead of principled alternatives. How come?
The answer lies in an unfounded notion that the establishment parties have ingrained in the American public. We are routinely fed the lie that third party candidates can’t win an election for no other reason than they are running outside of the two party duopoly. That lie is reinforced by minuscule media coverage of outsider candidates and inhibiting them from participating in televised debates. And then whenever five or seven percent of people decide to vote their conscience or against this unjust system, third party candidates are disparaged and delegitimized as, despite the countless flaws and missteps of the establishment nominees.
It is time for a second American revolution, only this struggle must be fought with dogmas and ideas, forged by a new political party. The old guards of American politics have enthroned themselves as our de-facto leaders, dictating everything from our economy to our health care to our behavior. Unfortunately, it’s abundantly evident that reform is impossible within our current, century-old two party system. It is time Americans embrace the freedom our Founding Fathers intended for us to enjoy, and it starts by embracing and electing third party candidates.
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By Francis Folz | United States
38 percent. That is the percentage of the Missouri electorate Hillary Clinton garnered in her failed bid for president in 2016. You would think the Missouri GOP would be smart enough not to use a page from Ms. Clinton’s shoddy playbook, especially since Mr. Donald Trump defeated Ms. Clinton by 19 points in the Show Me State. However, this is not the case.
The Missouri GOP voted on July 3, 2018, to suspend a rule that prohibits the National Republican Party (the establishment) to spend money on a particular candidate in a contested primary. Instead of leaving the race between the candidates and the voters, the Missouri GOP thought it would be a fantastic idea to act like there is not a primary by concerting with the national party to elect Josh Hawley. Sound familiar?
Ms. Clinton colluded with the DNC to rig her primary election against Bernie Sanders only two years ago. And to add insult to injury, the DNC decided to further isolate the Sanders wing of the party by barring his supporters from the party’s convention the same year. Common sense would suggest not to repeat the same mistake of snubbing the grassroots, especially in such a close race. Polls show Mr. Hawley either trailing Claire McCaskill or narrowly leading her within the margin of error.
However, the grassroots’ liberty candidate in the race, Austin Petersen, is determined to fire Claire in November. In a matchup between Mr. Petersen and Ms. McCaskill, Austin bests Claire 56% to 40%. In light of that recent poll, it should be common knowledge not to interfere in a heated race between a weak, establishment candidate and an electrifying grassroots firebrand.
But to make matters worse, in an out-of-touch move, President Trump and Vice-President Pence have weighed in for Mitch McConnell’s Josh Hawley. This shows disdain for the vast amount of Missouri voters reluctant to support Mr. Hawley. After all, it was Mr. Hawley who aired campaign ads not even two years ago that promised not to use the Attorney General’s office to climb the political ladder. Such promises have long since vanished.
However, attempts to shut out the grassroots have not weathered Austin’s spirits, and why should they? Mr. Hawley has modeled his entire campaign after Ms. Clinton up to this point. For example, Mr. Hawley decided meeting with voters and debating his primary opponents is beneath him. So, Josh skipped the vast majority of Lincoln Days hosted by local Republicans. He was also missing the night Congresswoman Ann Wagner flew from D.C. to St. Louis to host the Republican senatorial debate. To make up for his blunders, Josh thought he could score a few political points by throwing former-governor Eric Greitens under the bus. Publicly alluding to impeachment before even filling charges, he effectively denied Mr. Greitens due process.
Furthermore, Mr. Hawley has been spotted lifting weights at the gym and buying wine during business hours (you know, while he’s supposed to be performing the duties of Attorney General). This is all part of a pattern.
Back in March, while Mr. Petersen and other primary candidates were out shaking hands with voters, Mr. Hawley chose to stay home and talk about his NCAA bracket on Twitter. And just when you thought Mr. Hawley couldn’t be more distant to voters? His official senatorial website doesn’t even have an “issues” section to let Missourians know how the Attorney General feels about crucial topics. To this day, Mr. Hawley refuses to rule out voting for Mitch McConnell for Majority/Minority Leader.
Mr. Hawley has even admitted in one of his few interviews that he was not interested in running for senator at first. Comparatively, Austin Petersen, Mr. Hawley’s most formidable primary opponent, has been attending countless local events and speaking with a myriad of voters on the campaign trail. It appears that the West/East Coast educated Attorney General believes the GOP establishment’s blessing will be able to carry him across the finish line in August. Judging by the Missouri GOP’s recent, unconventional actions, however, it may be harder than Mr. Hawley and company imagined.
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