Greg Orman ran for U.S. Senate of Kansas in 2014 as an independent candidate against a 16-year incumbent, Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. Despite the obstacles in running for U.S. Senate without the benefit of a political institution to help fund, promote, and otherwise support his campaign, he gave Roberts a serious run for his money.
Now, he has joined independent leaders across the country in an ambitious project to open the presidential debates to more voices. He argues that at the core of the democratic process is a competition of ideas. And if we want to have elections that are conducted for the benefit of the People, we can't have two private political parties controlling the entire process and precluding participation by those who don't fit into the two-sided narrative.
Here is a snippet from an article published today in the Concord Monitor:
This duopoly, facilitated by the [Commission on Presidential Debates, ("CPD")], is distorting the marketplace of ideas in our political system, and perpetuating status quo by protecting the major parties from real, unfettered competition. Americans don’t like the product we’re getting, but thanks to rules like this, we’re stuck with it. That’s why I’ve joined 47 other political, military, business and academic leaders to call on the CPD to change this rule and create a free and fair process that would give Americans the debate stage that they so clearly want. These debate rules are just one of the many ways our system is rigged against success for independents and other parties, but they’re an important one. Competition drives innovation and serves consumers. The lack of it in our politics has led to stagnation, and the lack of it on the national stage of our debates has too often limited us to picking the lesser of two evils. It’s time for us to #changetherule, fix this broken system and begin to improve our democracy by making it truly competitive again.