Why Do the Media Ignore Those “Other” Parties?

Where does it say in the United States Constitution that only two political parties may vie for control of the country? Why are the Republicans and Democrats the only parties that get significant press coverage?

Surely, this approach to politics abridges my right as a citizen to choose candidates who best reflect my views.

Why don’t I know what the Green Party’s platform is, or who will be their presidential nominee? I thought that Ralph Nader was their candidate. But I have found out he is running as an Independent.

What about the Constitutional Party?

Or the Prohibition Party?

Or the Socialist Party?

Or the Libertarian Party?

I would not even have known that the Libertarians are holding their national convention this weekend in Denver if I had not stumbled upon their presidential candidates’ debate on C-Span last night.

Apart from the briefest of mentions of former Republican Congressman Bob Barr and the often-comical debate performances by former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel , I had not previously heard a peep from any of the Libertarian candidates. They were effectively gagged by the media.

And I am pretty sure Ron Paul is still in the running for the Republican nomination. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have much more chance of being nominated than Ron Paul does, but she hogs the airwaves and the newspaper columns while he is totally ignored.

Were it not for the media, who would have heard of Barack Obama or the Clintons? Who would know of John McCain’s “sacrifice for his country” (referenced ad nauseam). Without a doubt, the media are the king makers. But who elects the media?

I invite you to check out the Wikipedia site that lists the candidates in the 2008 presidential elections. You will be surprised at how many there are. And you might take the time to see what the parties stand for. Who knows? You might not vote for the Democrats or Republicans after all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_candidates%2C_2008

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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6 Responses

  1. grace says:

    It is also in the “eye of the beholder”. I think they are all quite pleasant to look at. My question is, when women are involved why are looks always the issue? Who cares if they are pretty or look like the backside of a barn? It is there platform, policies and actions that are important. Yet we continue to discuss how they look as if it is an issue. No one is talking about how Biden looks or Reed or that idiot Rand.

  2. Bill Moore says:

    Unfortunately, appearance does matter to many. Someone of above average intelligence told me that she voted for Dubya Bush because he was “easier on the eyes” than Gore. What? But I guess I’m guilty too…I’ve always thought that if Hubert Humphrey hadn’t looked and sounded like Porky Pig, we might have been spared eight years of Nixon (not to say he was anything swell to look at).

  3. sandra says:

    I agree with you, Bill, about Hubert Humphrey. Men, too, are often judged on superficial concerns over intellect. Look at the lovely, honest, brave Dennis Kucinich. If he were a foot taller, had a little of Obama’s or John Kennedy’s looks and charisma, he would be president today.

  4. Faye Graham says:

    It’s not just in America folks, a while back in Canadian politics we lost out on really good candidate for primeminister in the person of Robert Stanfield from Nova Scotia. He wasn’t photogenic and he was slow of speech so the media had a field day. Too bad. They say that you can’t tell a book by it’s cover but the problem is, that most people won’t even open the book if the cover isn’t attractive. What gets me, is that there seems to be no accountablity for the lies that come out of thier mouths, and the wide eyed acceptance by the general public of those lies. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if a candidate gave a platform of what they would do if elected, instead of attacking and slandering their oposition. Billy G.

  5. Liz Ayers says:

    I am really afraid here in Texas as our guy running for governor is the smartest and most accomplished but is not the prettiest and he is up against gov. “good hair” as we call him. On the other hand we did have LBJ once and I guess he was no beauty.
    Intelligence has always looked beautiful to me.

  6. sandra says:

    To me, too, Liz!