Oct 27 2012

A Glimmer of Hope.

By Will Coley, Director of Muslims4Liberty


On October 23rd 2012 I saw something I had never witnessed in my life; something profound, something uplifting, something that gave me a glimmer of hope for the future of our republic and our freedom.

I saw an actual debate among candidates, with differing opinions as to what was the proper direction for our country. I saw the actual opinions of people I know, discussed in a very open public forum. The best part was in a very small way, I got to be a part of it. This past week Muslims for Liberty sponsored a debate held by a group called ‘Free and Equal’. It was attended by 4 of the top 6 candidates on the ballot running for President of the United States. Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and Virgil Goode (Romney and Obama declined big surprise) all stood on stage in Chicago and discussed the thoughts and ideas expressed by a good portion of Americans. I did not agree with all their ideas, but I was happy to finally see them have the chance to be heard by the people. Not only a chance to be heard, but heard in a public venue, on national television, before a well-known media giant (Larry King) as a moderator.

In my years of political activism I have heard lots of ideas on the proper role of government in the United States. From Tea Party meetings to Occupy Circles, I have heard every political philosophy known to man expressed as the “right way” for our country (or lack thereof) to operate, but there are certain things I have heard over and over. Certain concepts, ideas, and issues that form a core set of beliefs that tie the variant philosophies on the left and right together on their opposite poles. Issues most often ignored, or paid mere lip service to by the approved two party marionettes.

In the staged circuses we have been sold as debates between the single party oligarchs, the Patriot Act, the NDAA, the monetary crisis, corporate personhood, whistle blowers, GMOs, erosions of our civil liberties, climate change, none of these issues were ever mentioned. ALL of these issues were discussed on stage in Chicago last Tuesday. I find it odd that the two “chosen ones” of our duopoly ignored these issues, when in fact, for those on the left and the right, these are THE issues. I know because I hear them discussed at events, I see them debated on social media, some of them are also very important to me, yet none of them were addressed or discussed by Obama or Romney. Issues they no doubt agree on to a great degree and therefore would prefer they not be mentioned in such a public forum. I never heard any of the issues that are heralded by the populist movements of our time. I didn’t agree with Jill Stein’s views on the role of government in healthcare, or education, nor did I agree with her idea of public campaign finance, but I do know members of the occupy movement nationally who do. I didn’t agree with Virgil Goode’s take on immigration, or prohibition, but I have heard his view at more than one tea party event, or social media site. Why is this important? Because our political spectrum in this country consists of far more than the starched and sterilized dog and pony show we are sold by the two party system. Romney does not represent the ideas of a majority of conservatives in this country, but candidates like Johnson and Goode do. Obama also does not represent the values of the more left leaning from among our populace, but candidates like Stein and Anderson do.

Previously I had mentioned that Muslims for Liberty was a sponsor of this event, and I think this is one of the most important details of the story. Not that Muslims for Liberty in particular was a sponsor, but the difference in who sponsored these debates as a whole. The sponsors of the “National Debates” were a motley arrangement of lawyers, corporations, and special interest groups. Anheuser-Busch (a foreign company) took a little time during the debates to do a little lobbying, The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (a liberal special interest group), Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq (a big shot DC tax lawyer and former Dir. of the IRS), Crowell & Moring LLP (an international law firm…more lawyers), The Kovler Fund (a group connected to the Centers for National Policy), The International Bottled Water Assoc, and Southwest Airlines.

Now juxtapose that list with a partial list from the sponsors of the Free and Equal Debates: Link TV, The Josh Tolley Show, Ballot Access News, Come Home America, Owl Creek Gazette, Free Talk Live, Securing Liberty Radio, 1787 Network, Voice of Russia, Freedom’s Phoenix, Muslims for Liberty, National Constitution Party, The Justice Party, Blue Republicans, Restore the Republic, Re-Tea Party, Free the Vote NC, We the People, Grassroots for Liberty, New Progressive Alliance, Libertarian Party of Illinois, Liberty Candidates, Liberty Avengers, Liberty Chat, Cook County Green Party, Marin Libertarian Party, Rockford Tea Party, Dangerous Conversation, Wide Awake News, and Liberty Hour. Talk about your snap shot of a cross section of the American political landscape. The sponsors of this debate were the PEOPLE, of the United States. Not another example of the power of corporate and special interests in our system, but a wide swath of the actual voters. From the most avid socialist in the ‘New Progressive Alliance,’ to the most nationalist protestor in the ‘Rockford Tea Party’, all were represented.

On October 23rd 2012, Free and Equal, with the help of this host of sponsors, made history. We reminded Americans of who they really are, and talked with them about the issues they feel are really important; offered them a choice, to continue down the road of failed policies and venomous partisan politics with the Republicrats, or to cast off the shackles of our corrupted system, and strike out on a new path where the voices of all Americans are heard and represented. My prayer is that our populace chooses freedom and representation over celebrity and theatrics.
This Tuesday October 30th the two top candidates from the last debate will face off again in Washington DC to discuss international policy. I would urge you to watch this debate. See the other options, and ask yourself, are you really represented by the empty suits and empty promises of the two party system?

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