Helping you to #QuestionMore: RT’s history providing a platform for overlooked US third parties
When then-presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tried to prove that they were a real alternative to one another in the debates of 2012, RT provided a platform for major third-party candidates who were largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Debates between the Democrat and the Republican were said to be a "mockery of a democracy" and "a farce of a debate," as the two candidates' positions on several issues of state importance appeared essentially very similar, if not the same – especially their stance on foreign policy. Some issues were ignored altogether.
It was the third party candidates, especially the Green Party's Jill Stein and the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson, who suggested that America "should not bomb Iran," and should "end the war in Afghanistan." They also pushed for a milder stance on whistleblowers and called for the cessation of legal action against them.
For the voters to be able to watch a broader dialogue featuring alternative candidates, RT broadcast the Third Parties debate in Chicago, where major third-party candidates who were also vying for the White House, shared their takes on US policies.
In cooperation with the debate's organizers, the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, RT offered viewers live coverage of the event, which was moderated by multi award-winning broadcast journalist Larry King.
RT also provided a stage for third-party candidates in our Washington studio. Reminding US voters that they have more than just two choices, Johnson and Stein had a debate on RT.
"We are funding Syrian insurgents. Quarter of the Syrian insurgents are jihadists," Gary Johnson said back in 2012 during the debate, adding that the "unintended consequences of our military interventions [are] always worse than better."
Three weeks prior to that, Stein along with her running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested at the site of an official presidential debate. The women were protesting against the exclusion of all but the two major political parties from the debate.
The two-party domination has not changed in the following years. In November 2014, when Americans went to the polls to cast their votes in midterm elections, the system of "monopoly" run by the leaders of the two main parties was all too evident, former Congressman Ron Paul told RT.
"If a third party person gets anywhere along, they are going to do everything they can to stop that from happening," he said.