Who Won the Third Party Presidential Debate: Gary Johnson Runs Away with the Crowd


UPDATE: Read my post-debate recap here.

While the dog-and-pony show of "real" presidential politics has come to a close with the last "debate" last night, those interested in real options can watch and appreciate the actual differences in positions held by the members of the third parties. Ideas and opinions that are simply ignored in the big one-party electoral system in the United States.

At 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday night, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Rocky Anderson, and Virgil Goode will be meeting to debate the issues. The debate will be broadcast live on Ora.Tv.

Follow along as I comment on and about the only real debate of the election season. Perhaps you'll appreciate my insight, you may hate me, or you might get a laugh. Either way, you won't have anything to lose!

PolicyMic will be covering the third party debate in its entirety. Check back here for all the latest analysis, polls, gaffes, news, zingers, thrills and spills. Bookmark and refresh this page for the most recent updates.


T- 4:18, we're gearing up for the real electoral event of the election season. We'll be updating based on live feed, twitter feeds, other internet chatter, and individual commentary. Make sure to check early and check often!

T- 1:54, It's getting closer, folks! Make sure to stay close and get that F5 key warmed up to refresh the page! We'll have live reposts of events as they unfold, so stay tuned.

We have just under an hour until the debate begins, but the Livestream has already started! Pull up a computer and go to http://bit.ly/S21Dua to view the Free and Equal Elections Foundation's livestream (may be overloaded), and later go to http://cs.pn/T9q2ti to watch C-SPAN's coverage of the debate.

T- 20 minutes! We're getting warmed up as the Free and Equal Elections Foundation panel discusses the problem of a monopolized electoral system. Watch at http://bit.ly/S21Dua 

T- 15 minutes...the guest now is advocating the eradication of the electoral college, which would demolish a key safeguard of a Republican form of government (which was dealt a serious blow by first the 12th Amendment and eventually the 17th Amendment). Unfortunately, many people are buying the pro-"Democracy" line about populism and what eventually invariably becomes mob rule.

7 minutes to go! Now the panel is discussing Citizens United and its impact on elections.

T- 1 minute, Larry King is talking!

Intro music is wonky...I think someone has his hand on the tape player screwing it up!

King thought she was ridiculous too. Just shut up, Ms. Tobin, and let's get on with the debate! We're here to see Johnson and the others, not you (so sorry).

Surely they could have found a better speaker for this...

Introducing the candidates: Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, and Gary Johnson.

First question has to do with the new election laws taking place in certain Western States, concerning only the top two vote-getters appearing on the ballots ("Top-Two"). It would seem obvious that all four candidates will oppose this idea.

This seems like a "duh" question; why waste valuable time with an obvious question??

Anderson also opposes the Top-Two system - now he's talking about how the GOP and Democratic candidates argued over who was the bigger-spender or the most liberal.

As expected, Goode also opposes Top-Two. He also opposed federal meddling, also good.

Gary Johnson on Obama and Romney: "Tweedledee and Tweedledum."

And, as predicted, all four independent candidates oppose the Top-Two system. As well it should be.

It seems that Gary Johnson is the favorite attendee, though all four speakers are getting applause.

Goode talking all happily about "democracy." I suppose that's how you get popular opinion on your side.

Johnson just repeated the Facebook meme about Congressmen wearing NASCAR-like jackets denoting sponsors. Love it!

They're having issues figuring out their deal here: they never got a chance to make opening statements. Amateurs!

Jill is putting a lot of effort into her leftist viewpoint; unlike Democrats, though, she seems actually concerned about civil liberties. Too bad she's demanding more government involvement and "health care" as a human right. FREE HIGHER EDUCATION??? Wow.

King: "I'm a Jewish guy from Brooklyn, we do what we're told." LOL!

Anderson is talking about poverty and infant deaths (get rid of the mandatory vaccines and you may see that change!). He's complaining about Bush and Obama equally - NICE!

Goode: stop immigration until unemployment is under 5%?? Term limits? Sorry, pal, but that's disastrous!

Johnson: Don't bomb Iran, end the war in Afghanistan TOMORROW, Marriage equality is a Constitutionally-protected right??? Legalize marijuana now (leaves out other drugs), Repeal PATRIOT Act, get rid of NDAA...the crowd is loving it. He's a great crowd-pleaser, for sure. Balanced budget in 2013, $1.4 Trillion cut. Nice. Eliminate income, corporate taxes, abolish IRS, install Fair Tax.

Now War on Drugs: Anderson opposes drug war, worked for pardon for a young man sentenced to 15.5 years on first drug offense. 

5% of world population, 25% of world's incarcerated. Anderson calls for an end to the war on drugs.

Goode: He is not for legalizing any drugs, but supports cutting federal spending on the drug war. 

Johnson: "Let's legalize marijuana NOW." Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, 1.8 million arrested a year, highest incarceration rate in the world, and half of law enforcement costs are spent on drugs. It's a family issue, not criminal justice system.

Johnson is scoring big with the crowd.

Stein: Marijuana is dangerous because it is illegal, not illegal because it is dangerous. She wants to legalize marijuana and end the war against marijuana based on scientific studies.

Anderson's rebuttal: presidential pardon for anyone with non-violent drug convictions.

Johnson: That was fragmented - and kinda' confusing.

Goode: don't vote for me if you want drugs legalized. Wow, honesty and principle.

Next question: military funding

Goode: cuts have to happen in DoD as well, no police, actually defend.

Johnson: return to 2003 defense spending levels, reduce footprint worldwide, bring the troops home. 43% reduction in defense spending, end interventions and drone strikes. "Did we not learn anything in Afghanistan where we funded Osama bin Laden?!"

Stein: cut the budget and bring the troops home, get rid of the drones, help ban drones for spying and war worldwide. That's actually a pretty good idea.

Ooohh, she said "blowback." All the neocons are drinking a shot!

Anderson: Ike's Military-Industrial Complex was originally Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex! Money in the government has always been the problem.

Two fundamentals: no wars of aggression, Constitution requires war declaration from Congress.

Fourth Question: Education estimated at $400,000 in 2030; is it worth it, how to provide that?

Johnson: lottery scholarships in New Mexico, but federal role in education, and why is tuition so high? Government-guaranteed student loans inflated the market and jacked up the price.

Stein: free higher education. Yeah, really. GI Bill? Pays for itself?? Wow. She missed class on the day they taught economics.

Anderson: free higher education and tech schools. Where are these people going to get the money to pay for this stuff???

Goode: We can't afford this, nor more Pell Grants. Finally. Thank you (and Johnson).

Johnson's rebuttal: Free is why we're about to collapse. Nice. And a dig at the FED too. He's really playing for Ron Paul folks.

Anderson: We cannot afford not to provide education. I still don't know where he's going to get his money though.

Stein: more of the same stuff like Anderson said. Spend more money we don't have on education we don't need.

Fifth Question: Where do you stand on NDAA section 1021, the ability to detain citizens indefinitely?

Stein: It's an outrage that it was passed to start with. Well, at least she opposes government in THIS area, even while demanding more spending when we're about to hit a brick wall. Lots of applause. She really hates the PATRIOT Act too. Lots and lots of applause.

Anderson: I beleive in the rule of law, which is why I went to law school, but we're seeing both in the Bush years and now with Obama subversive and anti-American acts. We're on the road to totalitarianism. Nice. "That spells tyranny."

Anderson is really, really railing against Obama. Nice.

Goode: I would have vetoed it. Simple.

Johnson: ACLU rated Johnson got 21/24 Liberty Torches rating.

Ron Paul gets lots of applause in absentia.

Sixth and Final Question: If you had the opportunity to write one Constitutional Amendment with a guarantee that it would pass, what would it be?

Goode: Term Limits, displaying again how unconstitutional he actually is. That's sad...I suppose the Constitution Party just runs jokers.

Johnson: Term Limits. Wow. That's sad. The fear of loss of office is the only thing that can keep politicians straight if the electorate keeps them held over the fire.

Stein: Term limits don't work because of corporate money. End corporate personhood.

That's it; now the candidates are wrapping up with their final statements. Stay tuned for a post-debate recap!