No Johnson/Weld in the first round of debates! Bummer!

After I put up my last post, I was kicking myself for omitting something from my list of deplorable things about this presidential election cycle:  the extent to which the national mainstream media is ignoring the Johnson/Weld ticket.

And now I have to add another:  Johnson will not be allowed on the first debate stage, as announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates due to the commission’s assessment of polling data.

But not all media is ignoring the ticket. Johnson and Weld have picked up three newspaper endorsements, which may help keep hopes alive for an appearance in a future debate. Personally I think if either major party candidate had any real confidence in themselves or the American voters, both Clinton and Trump would be insisting that at least Johnson, if not also Jill Stein be included.

What are Clinton and Trump so afraid of?

Are they afraid to insist that they debate someone the editorial team at the Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia) found to be:

knowledgeable but unscripted, reasonable and good-humored, self-assured but free from arrogance, willing and able to address every question, consistent in his beliefs without being dogmatic, even-tempered, curious — and in all respects optimistically, realistically presidential.

Editorial, Richmond Times Dispatch

Their full interview is available as a part of the editorial — click here.

Johnson must have charmed the team at the New Hampshire Union Leader, as well, who also made their interview available with their endorsement — click here.

The publisher of the Union Leader wrote a separate endorsement editorial, which is tough on Clinton and Trump, but well worth the read — click here.  Joseph W. McQuaid opened with a joke:

A joke on the Internet: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are together in a lifeboat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. No land in sight. No ships in sight.

Question: Who survives?

Answer: The American people.

From an editorial by Joseph W. McQuaid, New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher

I’m hoping more media outlets start to see the appeal and take the ticket seriously. Of course, the interet was was alive with clips, criticisms and commentaries when Johnson slipped up on an answer regarding Aleppo on MSNBC on a recent morning.

Far fewer are the clips, criticisms and commentaries acknowledging that the current ceasefire in Syria, including the city of Aleppo, is the result of Secretary of State John Kerry doing exactly what Johnson has been advocating throughout his campaign. Even in that very “What’s Aleppo?” interview, Johnson insisted that we need to negotiate with Russia.

I’m also hoping traditional Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins take the time to talk to these two former governors and watch some of their interviews.  Collins has expressed that she would have preferred Weld at the head of the ticket. However, more than once, I’ve heard both Johnson and Weld assert that they plan work as equals with one staff.

Johnson speaks of Weld with almost a reverence, saying Weld as a running mate was something “beyond his wildest expectation” and that the former Massachusetts governor has long been “a political role model” for him.

(The discussion about being equal partners starts right at the beginning somewhere around 2:50.  The segment closes with the CNN moderator observing that Johnson and Weld set a positive tone in their discourse in sharp contrast to much of what is happening with the other two candidates.)

I’ve written it before, but it’s worth repeating. I don’t agree with exactly every position held by these gentlemen, but I don’t expect to either. I don’t know that any voter should have that expectation.

I do find Johnson and Weld to be reasonable, and I’ve heard them say that they are not running for king or dictator and are open to working with both sides of the aisle in Congress.  Not much can happen if they don’t.

And we’ll never know just what these two reasonable gentlemen might achieve from the Oval Office unless the Commission on Presidential Debates and the national mainstream media quit blocking the American people from getting to know them better and their policies more thoroughly.

Given the approval ratings of the two major party candidates, not giving better voice to a reasonable alternative is deplorable.

Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.