To the Editor:
Debates are an integral part of our democracy. They have formed the very foundation of how people choose their leaders. Look back at the Lincoln/Douglas debates. How different would America be if Lincoln had not shown himself through those debates? What would the country look like? Would there be two separate America’s? A north and south, a USA and a CSA split at the Mason Dixon line?
Look at the Kennedy/Nixon debates? If Kennedy did not have the debates surely Nixon would have won. Would we have placed a man on the moon in 1969 without Kennedy?
Debates make a big difference.
So When Governor Raimondo and Mayor Fung chose not to debate in the primaries, well it disappointed a lot of Rhode Islanders. But what is worse was when a television station decides who can debate.
Moderate candidate Bill Gilbert has been kept out of the Sept 27 debate on Channel 12. Now the Moderate party went to a lot of trouble to meet the requirements in Rhode Island to be recognized as a party. Yet Channel 12 has decided that Joe Trillo should be in the debate but not Mr. Gilbert. Now personally I think as many people as possible should be allowed to debate, I have no problem with Joe Trillo, but these days you don’t hear Joe Trillo’s name in a sentence except when it is followed by the word spoiler. There is nothing wrong with being a spoiler, but why is an independent put above a certified party candidate, whose party twice met the requirement set forth by RI of getting 5%? Could it be that Joe Trillo was Donald Trump’s chairman?
I contacted channel 12 and I was told that a broad criteria set forth by their parent company determined who would debate. The company is Nexstar in Texas.
Why are people in Texas deciding who debates in Rhode Island? Should we leave it up to Ted Cruz? He was one of 16 Republicans on stage in 2016. If Vladimir Putin buys a TV station in Rhode Island will his organization choose who debates in Rhode Island? Why should RI politics be subservient to Texas sensibilities, perhaps more inclined to pick a Trump supporter?
Will the Moderate party win? Probably not, but Joe Trillo probably won’t win either. And Bob Healey made the last election much more interesting and he got 21% of the vote without running an ad that called anyone any names that would embarrass your children and resembled bullying more than ideas. Bill has interesting ideas, as does Joe Trillo and Bill has followed Rhode Island’s criteria to make a party, not Texas ideas and Bill deserves to be heard.
But if Channel 12 insists on placing Texas policies over Rhode Island’s criteria, then perhaps Rhode Islanders should boycott channel 12. And write the station an email. And drop one also to the huge conglomerate in Texas. Tell Nexstar to stay the hell out of our politics!
Moderate Candidate for Lt. Governor