Beckerman is the founder of Open the Debates, a cross-partisan group that advocates allowing more third party and independent candidates to participate in campaign debates.
Are you sick of our political discourse yet? I know I am.
Are you tired of being trapped in a two-year vortex of nauseating presidential politics every four years?
For better or worse (okay, definitely worse), presidential campaigns capture the energy and attention of voters and leave us feeling powerless to fix a completely broken political system. Candidates that aim to fix the system — think John Anderson, Ross Perot, Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein — get shut out of the main conversation.
There have been countless efforts to hold the self-proclaimed Commission on Presidential Debates accountable to produce fair and inclusive debates. But it is a private corporation created by the Democratic and Republican parties, and it has the political establishment's blessing to maintain a duopoly on presidential debate participation. The courts, so far, have obliged.
If we are ever going to succeed at opening up the presidential debates to more voices and better choices, we need to do two big things that will take the decision-making out of the hands of some untouchable front-group for the two parties:
Open Debates is a nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring that the presidential debates best serve the public interest. Since 2003, Open Debates has exposed how political parties manipulate the presidential debates to the detriment of voter education, and has worked to prevent political parties from weakening debate formats, excluding popular candidates and limiting the number of debates.