Saturday, July 06, 2024

So Who Won The Debate? Certainly Not the American Voter Polls Show

So what did you think of the debate between former President Donald Trump and the current President, Joe Biden? The overwhelming majority of potential voters of both corporate owned parties thought "The Donald" came out on top. It wasn't so much as Trump winning the so-called "debate" as it was Biden losing it.  

A USA/Suffolk Political Research Center poll said that Trump won by a margin of 5 to 1 or to rephrase it, Trump won with 50% of the those who tuned in compared to just 11% who thought Biden won. The survey also indicated that 41% of Democrats think that the 81 year old candidate needs to be replaced. 24% said they were more likely to support Biden this November (I don't know what debate they were watching!).

Face it, Biden was slow, stiff, mumbling, and seemed to repeatedly lose his train of thought with words like "incoherent" often used to describe his performance.  He had that very peculiar grin and often appeared to stare off into...what? There wasn't anyone there! No audience. Nothing.  Even when the debate was over, Biden had to be slowly helped down the three steps on stage by his wife, Jill Biden. In truth, it seemed a little sad. You almost felt sorry for the guy.  

As for Trump,  he was in typical form with the usual hyperbole of whatever he was proclaiming being the "great ever" or the "largest in history" "we've seen nothing like it", which I felt was getting a little tedious.  Trump also threw out some questionable "facts', which at least, did contain a kernel of truth to them.

That still added up to 84% of Republicans saying they'll back the presumptive Republican nominee. 59% of Republicans said they were more likely than before to support Trump. As an aside, when asked if they were "happy" with their party's choice of candidates overall, 54% of Democrats would like to see Biden replaced. 51% of Republicans said they'd like to see someone other than "The Donald" as their nominee.

As for America's largest voting bloc, Independents, 64% said Biden needed to be replaced on the ballot while 63% said Trump should be "fired" and replaced. As for their opinion of the debate, of those Independents surveyed, 26% said they were more likely to vote for Trump in November.

Just 9% indicated they'd support the current President, Joe Biden. However, a strong minority of 17% said they are more likely than before to vote for a third party candidate (which presumably means Robert F. Kennedy Jr).  On a side note, 8% said they'd had enough and probably wouldn't vote at all in November.

In a related poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris, 79% of respondents wanted to see a Trump vs. Biden debate, a overwhelming majority of 71% wanted to see the Independent candidate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. included in the debate. Naturally, that didn't happen. The Commission on Presidential Debates have made it all but impossible for any candidate other than the corporate owned Democrat and Republican candidates to debate together.

Previously, the debates were handled by the League of Women Voters (LVW) who allowed any viable candidate to participate, which would certainly include Kennedy. The debates were taken out of their hands in 1988, with the rules being changed following the butt kicking Ross Perot gave George Bush and Bill Clinton in the 1992 Presidential Debate. 

Both parties had placed pressure on the LWV to change the rules to virtually exclude third party and Independent candidates by requiring higher polling percentages, which is sketchy at best. In addition, without corporate backing, it takes Independents and third party campaigns a little longer to build up their base and campaign coffers which obviously skews the polling numbers.   

Bear in mind again that Independents are the largest voting demographic in America with 42% of registered voters. The Democrats and Republicans are both minority parties. Talk about the U.S. being a duopoly! According to a Gallup Poll, just 34% of Americans think either party is doing a good job running the question.

When they refused, the debates were taken over by the Commission on Presidential Election, who rewrite the rules.  Interestingly, the Commission also decides on the number of debates, their location, what network will host the debate(s), the length of the debate, the topics to be covered, audience or not, and even who the moderators will be.  Allegedly, they also can indirectly "punish" networks who give too much coverage to Independent or third party candidates. Damn, sounds fair to me (not!).

Not surprisingly,  75% of Independents would like to see a third party/Independent on the ballot (the lowest this has even been polled was been 70%). However, what is surprising is that 58% of Republicans and conservatives would also like to a third party or Independent as well. That's up from 43% just less than a year ago. Again, somewhat surprising is that 46% of Democrats agree and would also like to see a third party or Independent.

Speaking of "fair" elections, did you know that 98% of all incumbents are reelected despite approval rating which sometimes reach single digits? Even the old Soviet Politburo and the current Chinese Communist Party's Politburo has better numbers than that! How's that possible? Easy. Money. It's the mother's milk of politics.

Since both parties are corporate owned and controlled, and with the "Citizens United" ruling by the Supreme Court, corporations are free to "buy" what or who they want. After all, the Supreme Court said that money is "free speech" except that while we're muted they can "speak" as loudly as they want.

Another reason is partisan gerrymandering which allows parties to choose their voters rather than the other way around. Voting districts are often divided up based on voter registration in order to keep the party's incumbent in office. Fair and honest? No, but this is politics by Oligarchy.

Because of these and other factors (like the absence of term limits, taxpayer paid partisan primaries, and voter referendums), it's virtually impossible to oust an incumbent these days. In the current Congressional races, half of all races have already been decided. Why? Because they're running unopposed. Challengers are unlikely to come up with the millions they need to win, so most wait until the incumbent retires or is indicted.

I believe it's CNN which is promoted the debate with the quote "democracy at risk" or something similar. Well, truth be told, that fight was already been lost. It was a no contest. When your opponent makes all the rules,  control all the fight promoters, the referee, and the judges, you don't stand much more than a puncher's chance.

But, it's not all bleak. There is a silver(ish) lining. In Arizona, one of the few progressive states which allows voter initiatives on the ballot, there is an initiative calling for the two corporate parties to either allow open primaries or pay for their own primaries (as in every other state, the taxpayers pay for the primaries regardless of whether they are eligible to vote or not in either party's primary).

In Colorado, there is an ballot initiative calling for a independent Judicial Discipline Adjudication Board and also a voter driven initiative to exempt veterans from paying property tax and another to cap the Property Tax rate as does Virginia.  Georgian voters are calling for a local homestead exemption option. In Florida, there's one to establish a constitutional amendment to allow anyone to hunt or fish without a permit. If it passes, it'll be a plus for individual liberty proponents.  

Iowan citizens want a vote in November whether to allow U.S. citizenship only to vote in elections and to allow 17 year olds the right to vote. Oklahoma has a similar initiative as does several other states. Nevada has an citizen referendum on whether to allow rank choice voting in general elections along with Oregon, which also has a ballot initiative calling for an independent Public Service  Compensation Commission to help those sneaky legislators from slipping a pay raise through in the middle of the night. Rhode Island voters want to decide on a state constitutional convention measure.

So, not all is hopeless, Citizens throughout the U.S. are taking matters into their own hands just as the Founding Fathers had intended. If your state doesn't allow for voter referendums/initiatives, perhaps it's time to get to work on one, especially if you're a third party or Independent. It would give you a issue to make you stand out.

Other important issues are ending partisan gerrymandering, imposing term limits, and leveling the playing field for Independents and third party candidates. America was founded for, by, and for its citizens, not political parties and certainly not for corporations or their lobbyists. Whatcha say?

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