This post is not an endorsement of Gary Johnson.  It is about the American people’s right to be the deciders.

It is also about a candidates equal opportunity to be heard.  And it is about the absurdity of the entertainment (MSM) industry running our debates and doing a grave disservice to the nation by interjecting their need for profits and placing their goals for providing entertainment above the American people’s need to debate ideas and choose the direction of their country, and their right to select a president.

I’m an Independent, not a Republican.  But with only “The One” corporatist candidate being offered from the Democratic party so far (hint, hint), I’m left to watch the Republican Presidential line up with more than a passing interest.  That is the reality of a two party political system.

The wealth of Republican choices (hint again to the Dems) is to be applauded.  So too is its representational diversity – a woman, an African American, a Mormon, a Texan …

As the media spotlight made the rounds over the last few months highlighting and vetting the declared (Perry, Romney, Bachmann, Paul, Gingrich, Cain, Huntsman, Santorum, McCotter) and undeclared (Christy, Giuliani and Palin) Republican candidates , I watched and waited for them to get around to Gary Johnson former governor of New Mexico (1995-2003).

Johnson was one of the first to declare his 2012 candidacy for President of the United States.  And he has some of the best political ads no one has seen (and yeah, that is him in the ad):

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So what happened?  How come no one is talking about him?

We live in the entertainment age.  We want showmen.  We also live in the profit age.  The debate sponsors and hosts want viewers and ad dollars.  We live in the media age.  The MSM decided it was of greater benefit to them to invest their time, energy and money in the big name (greater reader/viewership) potentials of Perry, Gingrich, Palin and Christie rather than many actual candidates who put themselves on the line to run.

When CNN’s decided to exclude Johnson in their first debate in June, it effectively shut the door on most media coverage for Johnson.  And yet he still managed to tie with Cain and do better than Huntsman in the late August polls.

Here are CNN poll numbers for their fictional “may be running” 2012 GOP national primary line up without Giuliani or Palin for August 24-25. The trend lines () are from August 5-7, the last week before Perry got into the race.  (pdf)

Rick Perry – 32% (+14)
Mitt Romney – 18% (-5)
Michele Bachmann – 12% (+3)
Newt Gingrich – 7% (-1)
Ron Paul – 6% (-8)
Herman Cain – 2% (-3)
Gary Johnson – 2% (+2)
Jon Huntsman – 1% (-4)
Rick Santorum – 1% (-2)
Thaddeus McCotter – 1% (+1)

Okay.  That was then.  What about now?

According to CNN’s Political Ticker the Criteria for the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate on October 18th is as follows:

Participants need to meet the threshold outlined below to receive an invitation to this debate:

A person must receive an average of at least 2.00 percent in at least three national polls released between September 1st and October 16th that were conducted by the following organization: ABC, AP, Bloomberg, CBS News/New York Times, CNN, FOX, Gallup, Los Angeles Times, Marist, McClatchy, NBC, Newsweek, Pew, Quinnipiac, Reuters, USA Today and Time.

Sounds reasonable and fair.  Right?

Now, keep in mind that Palin was never a candidate and yesterday she confirmed that she will not run in 2012 and Thaddus McCotter dropped out last month.

So what did David Weigel in The Gary Johnson Rule: It Lives! find so interesting in last week’s CNN release of its new, post-Fox News debate poll:

Screen shot 2011-09-26 at 2.52.50 PM

Notice any name of those actually running for President in 2012 missing?  Yep.  You got it.  Gary Johnson.  Gee.  Fair much?  The American people deserve better than this.  And we should demand it.  Agree with Johnson or not on the issues, he is a registered candidate and deserves to be a part of our debate — until the American people say otherwise.

You can learn more on Republican/Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson here or with these in-depth articles:

Gary Johnson, Republican Presidential Candidate – Politics: GQ

Gary Johnson 2012: Who Is He, and What Is His Platform? – International Business Times

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