By William R. Toler | Independent Register
It isn’t just on the national stage that third-parties find themselves being excluded.
A recent debate held at East Carolina University featured speakers representing several student political groups…except the ECU Greens. I was made aware of the situation by a post on the Facebook page for Free the Vote North Carolina.
According to Andrew Gorman, president of the Greens, the ECU Democrats and ECU Republicans voted to exclude his group from the debate. The ECU Libertarians, standing in solidarity with their third-party compatriots, were the “sole organizational vote against” the Greens being left out.
Gorman later clarified, with a statement from a member of the ECU Dems:
“We were the swing vote between College Republicans that flat out said no, and College Libertarians that said yes. College Democrats has taken three days, proposed numerous solutions, and has been trying to find a compromise for the numerous parties involved. Thus before anyone gets an idea that the entirety of ECUCD was not advoating for the Greens best interest, that is false.”
“This exclusion is a contempt for democratic participation by all,” Gorman said. “If this exclusion is considered acceptable because the majority agreed, then following the same reasoning, the era of Jim Crow was justified because a majority were elected. In both instances were a group of people marginalized and excluded.”
Gorman attended the debate wearing his Green Party shirt and participated by submitting questions. The Republicans, who refused to let the Greens participate, were a no-show.
In addition to the exclusion, Gorman said he had issues with the format of the debate. “The Libertarians had one representative, whereas the Democrats switched between multiple people, with two up against one,” he said. “I think that if this is to occur again in the future, we should not only invite all interested parties, but have only one representative for fairness’ sake.”
No other club representatives responded to the request for information on the forum before posting.
And so it goes, even in the marketplace of ideas, those that aren’t in the mainstram mode of thought are shut down and shut out. This seems as good a place as any to insert a cheap plug for a new book by Greg Lukianoff, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. Lukianoff is president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.