The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

Since it’s debate season, we should all step back and realize who controls the debates to begin with. It should not be surprising that a debate between the two major parties, orchestrated by the two major parties, doesn’t cover all the issues that matter.

And, understandably, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama aren’t going to touch any subject that could indict them or challenge the thinking of the American people. For me, that’s no fun.

There were a few things that were missing from last week’s debate.

1. The Federal Reserve: I’m not really sure what this is, but I think it has something to do with the economy. Controlling the money supply is a very powerful responsibility in the hands of a small, elite group.

Without the Fed, the perpetual growth of government and bailouts of big banks and corporations would be much more difficult. I don’t think either man running intends to remove the perks associated with that.

2. The War on Drugs: Both guys are terribly wrong here. It’s always good to be “tough on crime,” but politicians shouldn’t invent crimes just to be tough.

3. Civil Liberties: I think it says somewhere in the Constitution something about indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. This might come up in the foreign policy debate, but since I doubt it will, I think this is worth mentioning.

Obama’s signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act allows the indefinite detention of American citizens: not particularly popular. Romney supports the legislation: still not popular (or constitutional). Obama’s renewal of the Patriot Act, too, is not cool. Romney supports him: still not cool.

4. The Military-Industrial Complex: Unfortunately, most mainstream politicians haven’t drawn the connection between our debt crisis and a military that’s doubled in size since the Soviet Union’s collapse. We already have the strongest and best-trained military in the world. Is every defense dollar really sacred? I think this has something to do with being tough, too.

5. Medicare and Social Security: I’m 21, maybe you are too. My guess is that we’re probably not going to receive Medicare and Social Security benefits unless something’s done. It’s a tough problem, but it’d be good if, instead of talking to those “at or near retirement,” the candidates talked to those who are “at or near entering the work force.”

At the end of the day, at least a debate between two guys who both want to avoid the tough questions, who will both trample on our civil liberties and who will both grow the size of government is still entertaining.

What bothers me most about the whole thing is that it helps enforce the duopoly that the two parties have in the U.S. It’d be more entertaining, and more enlightening, if third-party candidates were given a platform to go head-to-head with the Republicrats.

Thanks, Romney.

Thanks, Obama.

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