Tag Archives: Independent Politics

Jim Webb Withdraws from Democratic Primary, is Considering Independent Run

Former U.S. Senator from Virginia Jim Webb announced today at the National Press Club in Washington that he has withdrawn from the Democratic primary for president of the United States. However, he says that he is considering launching an independent bid for the presidency in 2016 instead.

I fully accept that my views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and nominating base of the Democratic Party. That party is filled with millions of dedicated, hard-working Americans, but its hierarchy is not comfortable with many of the policies that I have laid forth, and, frankly, I’m not that comfortable with many of theirs. For this reason, I’m withdrawing from any consideration of being the Democratic Party’s nominee for the presidency,” said Webb in the above-embedded CNN video.

[RELATED: Jim Webb Accuses CNN of Rigging Democratic Debate to Benefit Sanders, Clinton]

Webb added, “This does not reduce in any way my concerns for the challenges facing our country, my belief that I can provide the best leadership in order to meet these challenges, or my intentions to remain fully engaged in the debates that are facing us. How I remain as a voice will depend on what kind of support I am shown in the coming weeks as I meet with people from all sides of America’s political landscape — and I intend to do that.

NPR notes that Webb said, “Poll after poll shows that a strong plurality of Americans is neither Republican nor Democrat. Overwhelmingly they’re independents. Our political candidates are being pulled to the extremes. They are increasingly out of step with the people they are supposed to serve.

Webb, who stated that other people say that he often comes across as a “Republican in a room full of Democrats or a Democrat in a room full of Republicans,” answered a reporter’s question as to whether he still considers himself a Democrat by saying, “We will think about that.

According to CNN, Webb said, “The very nature of our democracy is under siege due to the power structure and the money that finances both political parties.”

He called for “a new Declaration of Independence — not from an outside power but from the paralysis of a federal system that no longer serves the interests of the vast majority of the American people.

Commenting on Webb’s shift from the Democratic primary to a possible independent presidential bid, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told The Boston Herald, “I think he should, I’d love to see him as an independent. He’d be wonderful as an independent. He’d be a lot better as an independent than he would as a Democrat because I watched (the first Democratic primary debate) the other night and he was not registering as a Democrat.

Trump added, “I hope he has a lot of money, because it’s a very expensive process.

Describing a private conversation that he reportedly had with Webb over the weekend in comments to CNN, the former U.S. Senator’s friend and informal adviser Mudcat Saunders said, “We were just b—-ing about the way our party has moved. They have given up on the South, they have given up on the heartland, on rural America. It is a math game and the math is not going to work. It might work once and it might work twice. We just don’t like the Democratic Party’s strategy.

[RELATED: POLL: Do You Think Jim Webb Should Run as an Independent?]

The Truth in Media Project recently released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch in the below-embedded video player.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf26DKntwzM

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Ralph Nader Blasts Huffington Post’s “Censorship” of Trump Political News

In an op-ed for New York Daily News which sought to identify a “bright line beyond which [mass media] censorship takes hold,” Ralph Nader criticized The Huffington Post’s decision to file all news about Donald Trump’s political campaign under its entertainment category rather than covering Trump in its politics section like it does for the rest of the 2016 candidates.

The Huffington Post, which carries my column, announced that it is excluding Trump from its political coverage and instead filing all stories about the man leading the Republican field, according to the most recent polls, under entertainment,” wrote Nader, who called Trump’s rise in the polls a “teachable moment for the mass media” and theorized that “failing to take Trump seriously could set a dangerous precedent for future candidates with fresh ideas, looking to shake up the controlling status quo.

If [The Huffington Post] existed in the 1980s, would they have done this to that B-list actor, Ronald Reagan? … Imagine the stories an outlet would have lost if they’d cut him out of their political coverage.” Nader added, “Moreover, how is HuffPo going to ‘entertain’ its readers when Trump is the only Republican candidate who trashes despotic trade treaties or renews his previous commitment to keep Social Security and Medicare intact, or calls for more military aggression, a giant wall on the Mexican border or more corporate welfare? … Like it or loathe it, it is a political agenda.

Nader also leveled criticism at Fox News for limiting its prime time debate to only 10 candidates and called the network’s choice to include candidates on the basis of their poll numbers “a serious blow to the other candidates, some of whom started later and haven’t been bankrolled by big money.

Nader also blasted the Commission on Presidential Debates’ exclusion of independent candidates from general election presidential debates, calling the organization the Republican and Democratic “duopoly’s lovechild.” The five-time independent candidate for president wrote, “Without independent wealth, third party or independent candidates don’t stand a chance of reaching millions of voters unless this system is changed and they are invited, with equal footing, onto the debate stage.

[RELATED: Commission on Presidential Debates Considers Ditching 15% Rule for Third Party Candidates]

Nader also pointed out how non-viable political candidates have in the past shaped American politics and argued that excluding them from media coverage could prevent anti-establishment political views from taking hold, “Journalists who facilely call it an editorial judgement to exclude such candidates need a history lesson on how pioneering long-shots, who never won national elections, challenged and eventually changed the agendas of the entrenched parties. Have we forgotten the anti-slavery Liberty Party in 1840 or the numerous parties advocating for women’s suffrage, the rights of farmers and workers, and election reforms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

Nader concluded his op-ed with a warning for the mainstream media posed as a question: “It is time to end this political bigotry and engage in some modest discussion about what is newsworthy and what is just ditto-heading the political oligarchy? Or is the press waiting for a third-party run by a jilted Trump to teach them these lessons?

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