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We hear from Obama and Romney Monday night on foreign policy issues. But where do America's third parties stand?
Monday night, Obama and Romney will face off in the third and final presidential debate, which focuses exclusively on foreign policy. But we've already heard inklings of those conversations in recent weeks, with the candidates sparring on everything from their positions on China to the attacks on the US Embassy in Benghazi.
However, lest we forget, there are several presidential candidates who will not be on the floor Monday night. But they will get a show of their own on Tuesday.
Though the third parties won't get their say on primetime, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, the Green Party's Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, and Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode will debate, hosted by Larry King and livestreamed by Ora TV, the Washington Times reported.
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“The previous debates between President Obama and Governor Romney have failed to address the issues that really concern everyday Americans," said Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair of Free & Equal Elections, the non-profit sponsoring the third party debate. "From foreign policy, to the economy, to taboo subjects like our diminishing civil liberties and the drug war, Americans deserve a real debate, real solutions, and real electoral options.”
So, without further ado: your third party candidates' positions on America's foreign policy.
Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party
The Libertarian Party is all about limiting the government's influence on individual lives — their motto, "minimum government, maximum freedom" pretty much says it all. They naturally extend this belief to foreign policy, pushing for an end to foreign intervention, including both military and economic aid to other countries.
"American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world," the Party said in their platform. "We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups."
PolicyMic's Michael Luciano argues that there is "little difference between the foreign policy prescriptions of Obama and Romney," and that Johnson's foreign policy approach is "desperately needed" in their conversation.
Here, presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks about US defense and his opposition to the Iraq War:
Jill Stein, Green Party
The Green Party's extensive foreign policy plan is anchored in demilitarization, sustainable development, and social justice.
"We cannot afford to be the unilateral policemen of the world enforcing our own interests," Green Party candidate Jill Stein said in a 2011 AmericansElect interview questionnaire, according to On The Issues. "We are a member of a very integrated world community and world economy and we need to behave accordingly."
The Greens thusly believe that all foreign trade agreements, including NAFTA, should be reworked to protect the human rights and labor interests of all partner nations "so that the growth of local industry and agriculture has the advantage over foreign corporate domination," according to their platform, and that a greater emphasis should be placed on human rights when making foreign policy decisions.
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"The tragedy in Libya, I think, is a very good case in point that really shows how this 'get tough' international policy has really been extremely unproductive, has really produced the opposite effect of what was intended," Stein said during "Expanding the Debate," an extension of the second presidential debate hosted by Democracy Now. "We need a foreign policy based not on 'tough guy' militarism, but on international law and respect for human rights, not on wars for oil."
Rocky Anderson, Justice Party
The Justice Party is the new kid on the block as third parties go: it was founded in November 2011 by Rocky Anderson, a former Salt Lake City mayor, as he was looking to get a spot on the presidential ballot, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Calling the Democratic Party "irredeemable," Anderson and his party advocate a return of America's power to its people and for substantial campaign and fiance reform. He was a strong critic of George W. Bush's foreign policy, going so far as to lead a demonstration against him when he came to Utah, the Nation reported.
Sometimes compared to the Green Party in terms of policy, the Justice Party pushes for an end to what they call "illegal wars of aggression." They would also opt to "close most overseas bases, reduce the US military budget, and redirect money to the domestic economy," according to their platform.
Virgil Goode, Constitution Party
The Constitution party is founded on exactly what you would think: America's original documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Taking inspiration from the incredibly wise (but perhaps slightly outdated?) founding fathers and early politicians, Virgil Goode is staunchly non-interventionist.
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"We are ... unalterably opposed to entangling alliances — via treaties, or any other form of commitment — which compromise our national sovereignty, or commit us to intervention in foreign wars," the party platform reads. "We are opposed to the negotiation or ratification of any treaty, agreement, or partnership that would deprive United States citizens of their rights protected by the United States Constitution."
This includes any union or treaties between the United States, Mexico, and Canada — so goodbye, NAFTA.
Goode also claimed during the expanded second debate that the Libyan attacks wouldn't have happened on his watch.
"We would not be there [in Benghazi], unless Congress, as provided in the US Constitution, made a declaration of war," Goode said. "If I'd have been president, then the incident would never have happened, and you wouldn't be in an argument of how much the State Department knew and when and whether they provided sufficient security. If they weren't there, they wouldn't have been killed."
That's certainly one way to look at it.
What do you think of the third parties' foreign policies? Will you be tuning in Tuesday night? Let us know in the comments.