October 6, 2004

Getting to Know The Other Guys

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For those who think that President George W. Bush is trying to run a campaign of traditional family values, a trip to Wednesday’s third party debate might be in order.

According to Michael Peroutka, the Constitution Party presidential candidate, the three tenets of his campaign are “God. Family. Republic.” Peroutka believes that the focus of government ought to be to instill those rights.

“The Constitution Party encourages faithful fathers and mothers to train their children to love God and serve others according to their own conscience and without the interference of unconstitutional federal programs,” Peroutka explained.

When asked why, in his opinion, he was not allowed to participate in the nationally televised debates between President Bush and Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Peroutka explained that he, as well as other third party candidates, were excluded because they would likely address issues that the media did not want discussed. Peroutka charged that the mainstream press is controlled financially by the two major political parties.

“I really don’t think it was anything personal. The reason we’re [third party candidates] are kept out of the debates is [because] the issues we would discuss are off the table: abortion, immigration. Issues of protecting our borders are not what Kerry and Bush are discussing,” Peroutka complained.

Peroutka believes that abortion is the most pressing issue of the time, and that both Bush and Kerry “think it’s okay to kill babies; [it is] just a matter of how much we want to spend on doing it.”

Peroutka has described himself as “so pro-life that, if elected, I promise that abortion will end my first day in office.”

But even if Peroutka doesn’t win the election, he told The Sun that “everyday is a win.”

Quoting John Quincy Adams when he was trying to end slavery, Peroutka said that “duty is ours and consequences are God’s and if we look at it that way, our victory is everyday.”

Though equally zealous, Walter F. Brown, the Socialist Party presidential candidate, differs from Peroutka in that he believes that Socialist feminism is a cornerstone of democracy.

Brown “[supports] the rights of all women to birth control information and supplies and to all reproductive health services [including abortion].”

More broadly, Brown believes that “people across the world need to cast off the systems which oppress them, and build a new world fit for all humanity.”

Some of the major components of a Socialist society are freedom and equality; full employment for those who want to work; worker and community control as opposed to bureaucracy; and ecological harmony.

Brown describes himself as a “hardcore environmentalist.” He is a life member of the Sierra Club and owns a 185-acre tree farm.

All that not withstanding, he is still the candidate of traditional values — in a technological sense. He has never visited his campaign’s website, eschews e-mail, and is more comfortable using a wired phone than a cell.

As for the war on terror, Brown told The Sun that “war is the last, last, last resort; anything war can do, peace can do better.”

Echoing Brown’s cry for harmony, David Cobb, the Green Party candidate for president, said that “we need to wean ourselves off the addiction to oil that got us into the war on Iraq, in the first place.”

Cobb has described the war in Iraq as both “illegal” and “immoral” and Cobb has called for “an immediate withdrawl of U.S. military from Iraq.”

He referred to the televised debate between Bush and Kerry as a “staged infomercial,” with the Democratic and Republican National Committees controlling everything from format to lighting to placement.

“It’s shameful that the American people are not allowed to hear our [the third party candidate’s] voices.”

The priorities of Cobb’s campaign include health care for all, energy independence, living wage and support for small business, gay rights, sustainable incomes, the delaying of global warming, and healthy forests. Cobb predicted that the Patriot Act would have an “enormously negative impact upon American civil liberties and democracy in general,” and — much to his chagrin — “time has proven him justified.”

Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, reiterated Cobb’s stance, designating the Patriot Act, “the most unconstitutional piece of legislation ever to leave Congress since the Alien and Sedition Act.”

Badnarik decried the current state of politics, complaining that we have “all kinds of free speech zones.” Along the lines of free speech, Badnarik also complained that the Democratic and Republican Parties have total control over the media, which is what prohibited him from participating in the televised debate.

“Republicans and Democrats are terrified to debate me. If I were to debate, I would win the debate and change the course of politics,” he said.

Tonight, Badnarik, Cobb, Peroutka, and Brown will be given the forum to convert followers during a debate in Schwartz Auditorium. While tickets are no longer available, people can show up at the door at 7:45 p.m. The debate is sponsored by Mock Election 2004 and The Sun.

Archived article by Erica Fink
Sun Senior Writer