Wikinews interviews Brian Carroll, American Solidarity Party presidential nominee

Friday, October 30, 2020

Brian T. Carroll.
Image: Roy Dressel.

Retired teacher Brian T. Carroll, the presidential nominee of the American Solidarity Party, answered some questions about his campaign from Wikinews accredited reporter William S. Saturn.

Carroll is an Evangelical Christian. During a 44 year career in education, he mainly taught history to middle school children in California. He spent nine years in Colombia teaching children whose missionary parents were stationed there. Carroll joined the Solidarity Party and ran for Congress in 2018 for California's 22nd congressional seat.  He finished the nonpartisan blanket primary in fifth with 1.3 percent of the vote. Carroll received the Solidarity Party's 2020 presidential nomination in September 2019 over two other contenders: candidate Joshua Perkins and past Wikinews interviewee Joe Schriner. Carroll selected fellow teacher Amar Patel as his running mate. Patel spoke to Wikinews in August.

The Solidarity Party was founded in 2011 as the Christian Democratic Party. It is based on Roman Catholic social teachings, advocating for social justice, environmentalism, and "a consistent life ethic" including opposition to abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. The party changed to its current name ahead of the 2016 presidential election, when its first ticket of Mike Maturen for president and Juan Muñoz for vice president appeared on the ballot only in Colorado, receiving reportedly a total of 6,777 votes, largely from write-ins elsewhere. It has grown ahead of the 2020 presidential election, securing ballot access for the Carroll–Patel ticket in a total of eight states, with write-in access in 23 others.

With Wikinews, Carroll discusses his background, COVID-19 and campaigning, presidential nominations, and his views on such issues as climate change, foreign policy, internet speech, and race relations in the United States.

Interview

Background & leadership

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

 
Carroll expresses a newfound appreciation for President Ulysses S. Grant.
Image: Mathew Brady.
Brian Carroll: My two childhood heroes were Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who were interested in almost everything, and followed every interest. I patterned my own educational goals in that direction. As I got older, I could see the underside of Jefferson, and every human being has two sides. I taught history for 40 years to junior high and high school students, and spent extra time on [George] Washington, Jefferson, [Andrew] Jackson and [James K.] Polk (as negatives), [Abraham] Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt as positive in domestic affairs and negative in foreign affairs, [Woodrow] Wilson as negative. I have recently gained an appreciation for [Ulysses S.] Grant. He aggressively took on the KKK [(Ku Klux Klan)], and crushed them for the duration of his era.

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

Brian Carroll: A teacher explains things all day long, just like a politician. My other experiences include specific issues where my role was largely raising community awareness. That's a political role.

 ((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?

Brian Carroll: I'm the unTrump. I'm secure enough in myself that I don’t feel threatened by experts. Like Jefferson, I have multiple interests and a softer personality, though I'm more comfortable speaking in public than was Jefferson. I will hire a very organized staff to help keep me focused.

COVID-19 & the campaign

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

Brian Carroll: I would not have entered office by throwing away the playbook for pandemics that Obama left him. I would have acted earlier to order American industry to produce the equipment we needed.

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

Brian Carroll: It has kept me from traveling, and it made it more difficult to collect signatures in states that required that to get on the ballot. It has given me six months at home with my wife, which has been a blessing over what would have been a very hectic six months. I know lots of people who have been stressed by the situations the virus has put them in, but it has been much easier on me.

 ((WSS )) : In 2016, American Solidarity Party presidential nominee Mike Maturen received 6,777 votes, largely from write-ins. Based on your general feeling on the ground, how many votes do you expect to receive in the 2020 election?

Brian Carroll: We will certainly outdo that by a factor of ten or twenty. I’m hoping for even more.
 
Ballot access for Carroll/Patel

██ On ballot

██ Write-in


Image: w:en:User:Jon698.

Nominations & gridlock

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

Brian Carroll: I'm not going to name individuals that I have never asked. But I would begin by asking my key advisors to submit suggestions, and then I would go to the congressional caucuses that have proven they can work across the aisles, the Climate Solutions Caucus and the Problem Solvers Caucus, and ask for their suggestions. I want a Cabinet that can work with Congress.
 
Members of the Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus, February 2020.
Image: US Congress.

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

Brian Carroll: I think we in the Pro-life movement have been hoodwinked into supporting judges who were loosely Pro-life but strongly Pro-business. I would de-emphasize business, in favor of workers and consumers.

 ((WSS )) : How will you work with Congress to avoid gridlock and pass your agenda?

Brian Carroll: I’ve already mentioned my Cabinet strategy. I will but out the word that the action is going to be in bipartisanship, and if people want to be at the table, that's where they need to be.

Issues

 
Carroll (left) debates past Wikinews interviewee, Joe Schriner (right). 2019.
Image: Tai-Chi Kuo.

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

Brian Carroll: We are at a triage point. We must reduce carbon dependency. I don’t see how we can do that without taking advantage of Thorium nuclear technology. We need to use solar, wind, and thermal where practical, and explore carbon capture, as well.

 ((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?

Brian Carroll: Diplomacy but not military intervention.

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

Brian Carroll: Social media is still too young to graduate from high school. We're learning, and social media is learning, but the teen years are stressful for any person or organization. They need to be dealt with according to patient persistence. We'll get there.

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

Brian Carroll: First, let it be known that we consider it a priority. A document like the recent Contract with Black America has well over a hundred ideas, most of them good. The idea is that it could be accomplished in the first 100 days, which I think is unrealistic, but there needs to be a visible start from day one.

Final plea

 ((WSS )) : Election Day is quickly approaching and early voting has already started in some states. What is your final plea to voters?

Brian Carroll: When many voters—or citizens who have given up on voting—are asked what they want, they describe a party that fits our description. This is their chance. The major parties are campaigning on panic. They want to scare voters with visions of life under the other party. The American Solidarity Party is a party of hope.


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Sources

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