Third Party Debate

Davidson College Hosts U.S. Senate Libertarian and Green Candidates

-Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

For those of you who watched Cheri Beasley "debate" Ted Budd, on Friday, October 7, we want you to know, we at the LPNC feel your pain. A series of progressively ridiculous question dodges with empty platitudes and party-line talking points serving as filler, if nothing else this event was standard fare in the farcical world that has become our political discourse. Both sides, of course, claim “victory,” in the most unfortunately accurate reflection of the hollow mess we have made buying into the enmity-driven drivel of our politicians.

Fortunately, there is a rational alternative to team red and team blue, where serious Bray Hoh Kaliner Debatepeople have principle-based solutions to actual problems on which reasonable people can disagree and remain friends. On September 15, Shannon Bray, Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate, sat down with Matthew Hoh, Green Party candidate, for a debate moderated by WRAL radio host Pete Kaliner. The two met on Pete's Charlotte show to continue the discussion the next day.

The first event was hosted at Davidson College. The room, set in old brick with modern finishings, set the perfect backdrop for a discussion of current problems with people who understand the history and importance of the position they seek, with meaningful answers produced on a foundation of research, understanding, and humanity, as opposed to rubber-stamped and fully vetted gobbledygook that the other two regurgitated last Friday.

Bray Hoh Debate 2Kaliner went through seven topics, ranging from the economy and environment to foreign affairs and education, with a series of questions underlying each. After a short break, there was a Q&A session for audience members to raise questions important to them, the citizens and residents of North Carolina. While Kaliner kept the event moving, the structure was loose and the discussion friendly, with a significant focus on areas of agreement between Bray and Hoh, such as decriminalization of cannabis and non-interventionist military policies.

They ended the evening discussing the polarization in the country, commenting on social media and modern politics and what they are doing to drive us further apart. They both expressed hope and optimism for where the country is going, and they proved it by sitting down next to each other, despite each one espousing apolitical philosophy that, at its core, is diametrically opposed to the other's

Bray Hoh Debate 3On his show the next day, Kaliner took both candidates to task much more aggressively, pushing back on answers about abortion, economics, and the electoral college, and not allowing them to get off the hook with incomplete conclusions or baseless assumptions. Nevertheless, the events were both friendly and positive, and proved conclusively that the narrative “we must hate each other” is an utter and dangerous falsehood.

Constantly faced with voting choices billed as the lesser of two evils, with the common refrain from the average voter, "voting third party is a waste of my vote,"; it can certainly seem like the only option is to dig ourselves more deeply into the hole we have created, more bitterness, anger, and polarization as the engine. Instead, I submit that, if you don’t like the way things are, then stop voting for it. The only wasted vote is one for a party-groomed and donor-approved member of team red or team blue.

First, stay tuned, as we will be providing you so much more through this newsletter and all the exciting things the LPNC has planned, and we are confident we can change your mind. And second, if you can’t vote for Shannon, vote for Matthew. Anything is better than a vote for the uniparty duopoly that we pretend is a representative democracy. And check out the debates; both candidates made the case for themselves, and then heartily endorsed the other as a second option.

Dignity and decency in politics isn’t dead, it’s just suffocating under layers of fallout painted red and blue as the two major parties try to turn us against each other to secure your vote. It’s time we chose better.

Bray Hoh 4

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