Wikinews interviews Bill Hammons, Unity Party of America presidential nominee

Friday, October 23, 2020

Bill Hammons
Image: Bill Hammons.

Wikinews accredited reporter William S. Saturn reached out to Unity Party of America presidential nominee Bill Hammons of Colorado to discuss Hammons's 2020 campaign for President of the United States.

Hammons, a former Newsweek manager and owner of the website "Bill's List", founded the Unity Party in 2004 with supporters of General Wesley Clark's unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. The party, which describes itself as centrist, advocates in its constitution for, among other things, a balanced budget amendment, elimination of the federal income tax, tax deduction for health care costs, a global minimum wage for fair trade, term limits for Congress and judges, lowering the voting age, DC statehood, and expanded space exploration.

Hammons has grown the party with various campaigns for public office.  He ran for US Congress in 2008 and 2010, US Senate in 2014 and 2016, and for Governor of Colorado in 2018.  Last year, Hammons embarked on a presidential campaign and became the Unity Party's first presidential nominee. Engineer Eric Bodenstab, the party's 2018 nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Colorado was picked to be his running mate. Bodenstab spoke to Wikinews last August. The Hammons-Bodenstab ticket has qualified for ballot access in Colorado, Louisiana, and New Jersey.

With Wikinews, Hammons discusses his background, campaign, the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court, and Black Lives Matter, among other issues.

Interview

Background & leadership

 ((WSS )) : Which past U.S. president(s) do you most admire and why?

 
George Washington
Image: Gilbert Stuart.
Hammons: George Washington. Our first President set so many precedents, most important among them not making the Presidency any more powerful than it absolutely needs to be.

 ((WSS )) : How have your past experiences prepared you for the job of President?

Hammons: I am the Founder and Chairman of the 42-State Unity Party of America, as well as a former Manager at Newsweek Magazine (one of the joys of that job was reading both Newsweek and Newsweek International cover-to-cover on a weekly basis, and that reading gave me a firm foundation in knowledge and understanding of national and international affairs). I am also the owner of Bill’s List, a website which has received as many as 17,000 visitors on a single day, and knowledge of how to reach the most Americans possible without relying on the all-too-fickle media is a crucial skill.

 ((WSS )) : How would you describe your style of leadership? How does it compare to the leadership styles of President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama?

Hammons: I am a Centrist, with the attitude that all sides need to be listened to, even if I disagree with them. It’s important to understand where someone else is coming from before you work to meet their needs and persuade them to work with you.

COVID-19 & campaigning

 ((WSS )) : If you were president, how would you have handled the coronavirus pandemic differently than President Trump?

Hammons: Where do I begin. We need to massively ramp up use of the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to produce all the materials we need to fight this Pandemic, a Pandemic which has already killed twice as many Americans as died in Korea and Vietnam combined.  Taiwan, a democratic nation of tens of millions directly across the Taiwan Strait from China, has had exactly seven deaths from Covid, and we can do even better. We need to be testing widely and constantly, and can boost our economy by hiring an army of federal Contact Tracers with the ability to call, text, email, and message via Social Media each and every American who has been exposed to the deadly virus. The CDC can work with Facebook and other Social Media companies to aid Contact Tracing outreach and build confidence (e.g., Contact Tracers can be given Social Media accounts with official badges, explanations of the tracing process and why it’s so important, etc.). Hotels currently lying empty can be rented out for quarantining those who have been exposed and who don’t want to expose their families, and local restaurants can be contracted to provide contact-free room service for those quarantined. Further, Federal unemployment insurance benefits can be offered to all Quarantiners to ease the financial impact of having to remain isolated for weeks at a time.

 ((WSS )) : How has the pandemic affected your campaign and your ability to reach out to voters?

Hammons: Before the Pandemic hit, I was knocking on doors on behalf of other Uniter candidates, and that crucial means of engaging with voters (many of whom still haven’t heard of the Unity Party) is gone until further notice. Since declaring for the Presidency, my own campaign has instead been reaching out to voters with a top-notch text and phone call effort with some modest success.

 ((WSS )) : Based on your general feeling on the ground, about how many votes do you expect to receive in the 2020 election?

Hammons: My vote count has been on a hockey stick graph trajectory for several years now, and I have no doubt that trend will continue through the 2020 election, along with Unity Party voter registrations which have gone vertical this Fall.

Nominations & gridlock

 ((WSS )) : What would a Hammons administration look like? Which specific individuals would you ask to be in your cabinet?

 
Abraham Lincoln and his "Team of Rivals."
Image: U.S. Senate Collection.
Hammons: My model will be [Abraham] Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals” (it just so happens that Lincoln was another Dark Horse candidate who came out of nowhere from the heart of the country, literally and symbolically, to win the Presidency). I’ll bring on the Best and the Brightest, preferably individuals driven less by ideology than by a sincere desire to see a country run smoothly with a minimum of drama. I’ll look for a mix of dedicated Civil Servants with the brass tacks experience of how government works along with turnaround types from backgrounds outside government who know how to get the impossible things done.

 ((WSS )) : Who would you nominate to the Supreme Court? Would you apply any litmus tests? Should the number of justices remain at nine?

Hammons: The only litmus test will be a nominee’s Common Sense desire to reach legal conclusions in keeping with both a strict Originalist interpretation of the Constitution and the best interests of the country. The number of Justices should be set at 13 with a Constitutional Amendment to prevent future Court Packing, and the four new Justices should be smart non-ideologues who have been ignored for their lack of ideology.

 ((WSS )) : As president, how would you work with Congress to avoid gridlock and pass your agenda?

Hammons: The election of the first Unity Party President will be an earthquake certain to set off tectonic shifts across the American political landscape. As a Uniter, I’ll use my freedom in the Center to force both sides to compromise or be tossed into the Dust Bin of History.

Policies

 ((WSS )) : What should be done, from the government's perspective, to combat global climate change?

Hammons: We need to take a look at what no less than Bill Gates and scientists from Harvard have been working on recently, and explore sending cooling dust (on a limited and experimental basis) into the atmosphere to lessen temperatures and thus buy the planet time for a long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to have its own impact.

 ((WSS )) : What are your views on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan? What would you do as president to help resolve the conflict and how does that comport with your overarching philosophy on foreign affairs?

Hammons: The United States could go a long way towards regaining the international stature it has lost with its inept Covid response by negotiating a resolution to yet another conflict with its roots in the ineptitude of the Soviet Union (the old Russian Empire in everything but name). The US could offer to impose peacekeepers, and warn both sides they will experience severe sanctions if any peacekeepers are harmed in any way.

 ((WSS )) : Are you concerned about deplatforming and the censorship of certain views on social media? How would you address this issue as president?

Hammons: I sincerely believe Facebook and other social media companies are doing the best they can to balance freedom of expression with protecting the democracy which has given us that same freedom of expression. We could learn a lot from Germany, a distant mirror of a nation which was rebuilt from scratch by the US and others after World War II: German admirers of Adolph Hitler and Nazism have many of their freedoms restricted, and, partly due to those restrictions, Germany has been a thriving democracy for decades.

 ((WSS )) : What can you do, as president, to improve race relations in the United States?

 
Otto von Bismarck: "Politics is the art of the possible."
Image: AD.BRAUN & Cie Dornach.
Hammons: I can help the Black Lives Matter movement principles get a Bismarckian translation into reality (Bismarck was the one who observed that “Politics is the Art of the Possible”). “Black Lives Matter Too” would be a title that would put a dent in the “All Lives Matter” counterargument. “Defund the Police” should be retitled “Refund the Police” (along with “Refund ICE,” for that matter) and we as a nation can take a sober look at how we can be a more harmonious nation going forward where all sides are respected and heard.


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Sources

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.