BY BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN

THE LIBERTARIAN IDENTITY

Folks, when are you going to start screaming about being deprived?

You scream bloody murder when your NFL game isn’t on TV because of a cable negotiations. You scream bloody murder when ‘The Walking Dead’ is preempted by major national news. You scream bloody murder when the grocery store only has two lanes open.

But you don’t scream bloody murder when you’re starved of the chance to get to know a potential leader. Nobody bats an eyelid about it.

RELATED: Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton qualifies for Oct. 26 debate, awaits official invitation

Governor Gary Johnson and Governor Bill Weld are being left out of the debates based on twisted technicalities, and we all know nobody knew a damned thing about Bernie Sanders before he got into the debates with Hillary Clinton.

stanton-genelectionballotIn Florida, U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton actually met the debate criteria for the Oct. 26 event at Broward College. His debate fate? Eliminated on technicalities just hours before a hurricane hit.

Johnson and Stanton aren’t losing, you are.

Johnson has polled as highly as 13-percent (twice) in national polls and in the double digits 23 times this year. If you use the 2012 presidential vote totals, that translates to no less than 12,750,000 million votes.

Are you telling me a candidate that could get 12 million votes shouldn’t be on the stinking debate stage to make his pitch to the FINALLY tuned in American public? Hey, if Johnson finishes with 8 percent, that’s still nearly 10 million votes. Even 5 percent? Do the math-6 million Americans chose the guy.

How does that kind of support not reserve a spot on the debate stage … especially against these two clowns who in two debates still haven’t actually debated an actual election issue?

With Stanton, it’s the same damned thing-just on a smaller scale. Stanton has polled at 10 percent, 9 percent, 5 percent and today (Oct. 14) polled at 6 percent in the most recent PPP poll.

RELATED: Get to know Florida U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton

Let’s just say he finishes with 5 percent-his worst poll. That’s still 271,000 votes based on the 2010 U.S. Senatorial election numbers in Florida.

So let me repeat myself, Floridians: Pollsters have said Paul Stanton’s the choice of between 5 percent and 10 percent of prospective voters in Florida. That translates to between 271,000 and 542,000 voters.

But nah, let’s just leave Paul Stanton off stage. He’s just a sideshow, the committees seem to think. Again, Paul’s not losing here … you are.

See, here’s what I don’t get. Every frickin’ election season of my life, I’ve listened to people bitch and moan in the 11th hour that they don’t have enough options on the ballot.

“Are these the only two options we have? They both stink.”

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Well yeah, of course they stink. These two parties have both been sitting around for 150-plus years, fermenting.

There are other options right in front of you, but because you don’t do your homework, you don’t hear about them until you get your sample ballot.

You want options? Let me tell you about options. They are in the Libertarian Party and this train is leaving the station. It’s still moving slowly enough (for now) for you to jump on and enjoy the scenery while we make stops along the way.

Man … people say they don’t have faith in the future? That couldn’t be further from the truth. In one of the PPP polls Paul Stanton was included in, he drew 19 percent of the millennial vote. Gov. Johnson polls in the 30s with millennials.

So the good news is, this will all be changing.

All in all, this election season is a big, fat victory no matter how you look at it. Johnson received 1.3 million in the presidential election four years ago. This year, at the very worst, he’ll quindruple that and he may even affect the electoral college–with absolutely zero help from the debate stage or 99-percent of the mainstream ‘pundits’.

Stanton will also likely surpass by leaps and bounds the vote totals that Libertarian candidate Alex Snitker worked extremely hard for in 2010. That groundwork has been laid and advanced, and Stanton took the cause even further when he captured the first Libertarian statewide primary in Florida history. That fact will be celebrated 50 years from now, when the fossil parties are ‘taking cues from the Libertarians’, as LP National Committee chair Nick Sarwark likes to say.

As far as the debates are concerned, it’s a game of coulda, woulda, shoulda, I admit-but if Johnson and Stanton had made the debate stage this year, it may have accelerated the LP’s growth exponentially, both nationally and statewide. But this LP crew is used to baby steps. It has been forced to do it this way for years, and it’ll keep doing it.

All I ask, after this monumental year for Libertarians … quit saying you don’t have options when there’s the massive Golden Torch of Liberty staring back at you, inviting you to take part. And let’s make sure this debate snub crap ends this year. To fix it, it takes a loud response from voters.

You have options, don’t forget that next time.

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