Wikinews interviews Jon Greenspon, independent candidate for US President

Saturday, March 1, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 United States Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Jon Greenspon, a veteran and small business executive.


Why do you want to be President?

In all honesty, it's about principles. The United States was founded on the principles of a government FOR the people, BY the people, and OF the people. For the last couple of decades, however, it become more and more the government for the corporations, by the hidden agenda, and of the special interest. This needs to stop, and the citizens need to regain control of their house. I am running, not to make a grandiose statement or to become another American potentate, but so that the American people have a government under their control and auspices.

Have you ever run for political office before? Have you ever been a member of a political party? Have you ever campaigned for another political candidate?

Nope. I’ve never run for public office before. During the 1980s, when there was a functioning conservative Republican party, I was a member of the Republicans. I’ve never campaigned for another person before.

What is your current job? What skills or ideas do you bring from this position, or previous positions, that will benefit the Oval Office?

I am a small business executive, and a veteran of the US Military. Unlike our present Democratic candidates, I HAVE worn and walked in the shoes of the grunt in the field; so I have a decidedly marked advantage in that I know what these people fear and respect. I also have the understanding of how to work within a budget, and can effectively deal with problems within an organization.

Obviously, the next American President and his or her administration will face many diverse issues. But if you were to narrow identify the three most important issues, what would they be? How will you address these issues?

I think three of the most important issues that really face the next President aren’t Iraq, Universal Healthcare or Gender issues. We need to focus on core American issues: National Security, the Economy, and Congressional control.
On National Security, America is a sovereign nation and needs to treat itself as one. While globalization is grabbing a foothold around the world, America is loosing its own identity in the mix. We need to deal with this problem in its basest forms. First, we need to bring illegal immigration, foreign worker visas and outsourcing of our jobs to a halt. I applaud Arizona, Oklahoma and Georgia in their efforts to stem the illegal worker situations in their states, and would enjoy seeing other states follow suit. Second, we need to bring a fast stop to the loss of American jobs to corporate greed and the use of semi-skilled, cheap imported labor through a failed H and L series visa program. I'm not saying to abandon it, but it needs to be reviewed and regulations placed making it more important to bring American workers onboard, rather then give free rides to every other countries citizens. Lastly, America needs to look at itself and be more commanding of a made in America, supported by American labor approach to work. Let's get some of the 2+ million jobs we sent overseas in the last ten years back here.
Regarding our Economy, let's just say we’re not so good here. Presently we have three choices in dealing with the mounting oil crisis we're under. 1. We can actively, and emphatically, start to look into alternative fuels, energy sources and conservation techniques to reduce the usage and emissions we are generating; 2. We can temporarily stem the costs incurred in our waste by accessing the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Colorado oil reserves, buying us both time to develop alternate systems, and reduce our costs from $100+/barrel in crude, as well as giving Americans some breathing room in their wallets; or 3. We can look at OPEC and other petroleum regions and say either start a 1970's style rationing system, or bankrupt ourselves by meeting foreign controlled prices. I prefer 1 and 2 over the third option. Similarly, we need to pare down the national deficit. This isn't going to be easy or pretty. Congress has worked extremely hard at wasting taxpayer monies, and they really don't have a clue on how to balance a checkbook, let alone a national bank account.
Lastly, the Congress. When was the last time you could honestly say that Congress was looking out for the interests of the American people? It's hard to believe they aren't working against the common interest when the Congress is dealing with legislation that includes granting amnesty to all illegal immigrants (when 87% of the public is vocally opposed), spending million of taxpayer dollars on a highway between two towns in Alaska (a highway that will be impassable for more than half the year), or trying to wrangle a million dollars on a museum to a 1960's music event. Personally, I think those monies would have been better spent on trying to balance the budget, or given back to the states for programs that more directly affect the population.
Face it, our federal legislators don't want to fix problems, they are more interested in making the American public afraid of issues and then telling you who's to blame... I’ll come right out and tell you who's to blame. We are. We've left the henhouse unguarded for too long.

Campaigning for the American presidency is one of the most expensive exercises in the world. How do you deal with the cost and fundraising?

Very carefully. As opposed to the major candidates, all of whom have access to vast monetary resources and matching funds, an independent's campaign requires a coordinated effort to even obtain a basic monthly operating fund.

Do you have a running mate yet? Who are they? What are you/were you looking for in a running mate?

I have not selected a running mate for the 2008 election at present. As an independent/third-party candidate, I have aligned myself with a minor party, and we are conducting a party ballot. I will be more then eager to work with a running mate of the party’s selection. If given the open opportunity, my personal selections for a running mate would include either William Owens (former Governor of the State of Colorado) or Frank McEnulty, who is himself another third-party/independent candidate.

Can you win the 2008 Presidential election? Can any third party or independent candidate ever win?

I believe anything is possible. Presently, a great majority of citizens of this great country are rapidly becoming fed up with the corrupt variant of politics currently going on in our nation's capital. It should be remembered that in 1860, the Republican Party was effectively a third party, with only minor political success at the national level, this was the party of Lincoln, and unfortunately, this Republican Party no longer exists.

If you can't make it into the Oval Office, who would you prefer seeing taking the presidency?

If I were unable to obtain the popular vote and someone else were to make it to the Oval Office, I believe the best alternative would be either Michael Bloomberg (present Mayor of New York City), or Lou Dobbs (Commentator for CNN). While neither gentleman shares my views on all issues of interest to me, both are extremely capable individuals with similar stances on a range of topics.

What should the American people keep in mind, when heading to the polls this November?

American voters should be conscious of the fact that regardless of the present "quality" of our elected officials, the concept of term limits for Congressional posts was established in 1787. I am referring to the ballot, and your vote. If you cannot truly say that your Representative/Senator has done a job that reflects your core values and beliefs, then it's time to "hire" a new representative. Congress was never meant to be a lifetime job for anyone. While the Supreme Court has struck down the Congressional Term Limits Act, they cannot strike down the ballot box. People should make their voices known that it's time for a fresh start, truly a second American Revolution.


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