Last night's debate was refreshing! The candidates were respectful of one another and stuck to the issues. I learned a lot!
Click here for a good summary and full video of the debate. I've also added the video to the OP.
I find it more than a little ironic that we must turn to foreign media for comprehensive and complete coverage of our own elections because the corporate-controlled mainstream U.S. media is ignoring third parties.
Now to my comments on the debate. I'll just give some thoughts about each of the candidates and some things that stood out to me.
Jill Stein (Green) again impressed me on issues like foreign policy and the War on Drugs, but where she lost me was when she advocated "free" education and "free" healthcare for all. It's not really "free" - somebody has to pay for those services. And how would you collect taxes for those services? Using the force and violence of government. She made some great points about protecting our civil liberties and returning to the Constitution, but there is no provision in the constitution for free education and healthcare for all. Her mannerisms and delivery, at times, led me to believe she was intimidated or lacked some self confidence, but she spoke clearly and had some great things to say. 3rd place.
Rocky Anderson (Justice) was very much the same as Jill Stein on most positions, although ironically he seemed to mention the need to address the "problem" of climate change more than the Green Party candidate! He was also the most vocal advocate of gay rights and anti-discrimination laws - even going so far as to say he would want a constitutional amendment. I think he had the second-best presence of all the candidates on the stage and seemed very presidential. After hearing him, I would think BR would support him even over Jill Stein. 2nd place.
Virgil Goode (Constitution) came across as the least confident and even saying things like "I know most of you aren't going to like me for saying this, but..." and at one point reaffirming his view that we should not end the War on Drugs and telling people to not vote for him if they disagreed. I think his strongest points were advocating term limits for members of Congress and eliminating PACs and Super PACs, which allow large corporations and the wealthy to essentially buy candidates and elections. He came in 4th, from my perspective.
Gary Johnson (Libertarian) "won" the debate. Now I fully admit I might be biased since he was my choice before the debate, but I thought he had the best presence of all the candidates and did the best job of communicating a lot of information in a relatively short amount of time. He stayed on message and seemed confident and enthused. I prefer his solution to runaway education costs - end government-backed student loans and tuition rates will come down dramatically. Some other points he made: end the failed War on Drugs, get out of Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. and bring our troops home, don't bomb/attack Iran, term limits for Congress, get government out of marriage, repeal the Patriot Act and NDAA, and other points. He got the best applause from the audience and, to me, came across as the leader among the 4 candidates.