All four small-party presidential candidates — Green, Justice, Constitution, and Libertarian — came out swinging last night at nonprofit Free and Equal’s alternative presidential debate in Chicago. “The degradation of our democracy,” “police state,” and “climate change” were bandied around with passion.
It was an opportunity for a different conversation, but the conversation sounded rather similar to the one we’re used to: angry, defensive, and not terribly specific when it comes to policy (except for marijuana; they were very specific on marijuana).
Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson yelled about debt. Stein also championed her “Green New Deal” to “jump-start the green economy.”
“We need a foreign policy based on international law and on human rights and on fighting climate change, which should be the war that we are all fighting, not this war for oil,” she said.
Instead of more details on that Green New Deal, we got Gary Johnson going off on how cocaine creates holes in your brain (Larry King: “Please stop.” Gary Johnson: “HOLES. WHITNEY HOUSTON.” Me: …) and Virgil Goode distancing himself from the other candidates with an insistence that he did not want to legalize drugs.
“This has been a very lively evening,” moderator Larry King droned at the end, probably referring to the part about cocaine.
For those disillusioned with the two-party system, sorry — the debate was only a slight tweaking of the conversation, not a real sea change. But it probably seemed way more awesome if you were high.