Two independent candidates for president called for a challenge of the mainstream parties and bitterly lashed out at the media in a speech at the Kennedy School of Government last night.
Lenora B. Fulani and Andre Marrou, speaking before a crowd of about 250, accused the Democratic and Republican parties of monopolizing the media and not allowing the independent parties a chance to give the voters their message.
Marrou of the Libertarian party refuted claims that his party is ultra-conservative and pointed to its stand against the Gulf War and in favor of abortion rights, gay rights and freedom of speech.
"We want to empower individuals, not a class of people, not people, we want to empower you and you and you," he said.
Libertarians, he said, support individual liberty at the expense of governmental power.
"You can do anything you want," he said "providing you don't hurt anybody and you don't defraud anybody."
Marrou's ten point platform includes the repeal of the personal in-come tax, the expansion of free enterprise, limitations on congressional terms and privatization of education.
Fulani, of the New Alliance Party, said the nation's economic woes are linked to flaws in this country's democratic process.
Fulani said the distribution of wealth in our country makes economic growth implausible.
She accused the Democrats of "complicity in passing and supporting every anti-poor, pro-rich law" and advocated an alternative definition democracy.
"Democracy gives the ordinary people of America control to make policy decisions that affect our lives," she said.
Her solution to the country's problems--"deregulating democracy"--was less programmatic than Marrou's platform.
Fulani called for the "active inclusion of people in the running of the country," national health care, free television advertisement time and equal opportunity to participate in presidential debates.
During the question and answer session following the speeches, moderator Charles Royer, director of the Institute of Politics, asked the two candidates whether working from within the established parties could be more effective than running as independent candidates.
Both candidates dismissed this possibility.
"Asking me to become a Democrat or a Republican to reform the parties is almost tantamount to asking a Jew to become a Nazi to reform the Nazis," Marrou said.