The Presidential Candidates We Don’t Get to See

There’s something weird about the way America’s president is chosen.  The media screen the candidates and decide which ones we get to see and hear.

Who gave the media that right? I don’t see anything authorizing it in the Constitution.

And I’m not the only one who objects to the process. Buddy Roemer, a former governor of Louisiana and from all accounts a fairly rational person, is so mad at being shut out of the Republican debates that he is running as a third-party candidate. His party? Americans Elect.

I’ve never heard of Americans Elect, have you? But apparently there is such a party.

And that’s not the only party I’ve never heard of.

There are at least half a dozen parties trying to elect a U.S. president next November.

Click here for a list of presidential candidates and their parties.

And just one party, the Republicans, have about two dozen candidates – not including Herman Cain, who is history. But we have only seen a handful at those interminable debates (see cartoon above).

As for the Democrats, you might think Barack Obama is unopposed, but you would be wrong. He has a pro-life and anti-gay opponent. The opponent is Randall Terry, and the guy is planning to spend $3 million on a Super Bowl ad to get your attention. What’s up with Terry? According to a web site listing the 2012 presidential candidates, he has some popular support because “an estimated 30-40% of Democrats actually shares the 52-year old Terry’s views.”

Is this a strange country or what?

Look, I know a lot of crackpots run for office. I know the media are busy. But if they can waste time on Herman Cain, who obviously entered the race as a stunt to promote his book, why ignore Buddy Roemer, who really wants to be president and has a valid case against big money in politics?

Indeed, why ignore anyone? If the best the Republicans can do is Newt Gingrich, why snub Gary Johnson? He might be unacceptable to the Tea Party and Religious Right because he is pro-immigration, against the war on drugs and for legalizing marijuana. But he is definitely for small-government and he was governor of New Mexico for eight years, during which time he blocked all attempts to raise taxes.

Buddy Roemer is right to be mad. The media are messing with the democratic process.

But what’s new about that?