Presidential Candidate Spotlight – Joshua Perkins

I grew up in a mixed-race working-class family in Houston, was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, attended Rice University (paid for by scholarships and loans), and have worked for the past nine years at a life insurance company in an actuarial role. I have been blessed with over a decade of marriage to my wonderful wife, Jocelyn, and we are raising four children (so far) while attending an Anglican church.

My political upbringing was pretty conservative, and I was fairly libertarian from high school through college (I cast a write-in vote for Ron Paul in 2008); however, I slowly became aware that a truly consistent libertarianism would result in bad outcomes—up to and including premature death—for real people who simply lacked money or economic opportunities, which didn’t fit well with my moral and religious convictions about the equality of all people.

By 2012, my shift toward a centrist position was mostly complete, and I voted for the most moderate Republican presidential candidate (Jon Huntsman, Jr.) in both the primary and the general election that year. Although my position on many (perhaps most) of today’s political issues had moved from the right to the center or center-left, I still couldn’t vote for Democrats because of their stance on abortion; however, due to the increasing tilt of the Republican party to the right, I found myself unable to stomach voting for most of their candidates, too, which left me adrift and without a place to hang my political hat. Providentially, I found the American Solidarity Party in the spring of 2015, and I have been proud to be a member ever since.

My main impetus for putting myself forward as a candidate for the presidential nomination is to broaden the discussion and give the membership more choices; if the process shows that any (or all) of the other candidates would be a better nominee, I will gladly step aside and endorse that person (or persons) instead.

In addition to our four core principles, I plan to focus particularly on issues under the following platform headings:

Civic Engagement

In order for our party to have a significant impact on local and national politics, we have to be a viable electoral alternative, which means the most important structural issues are breaking the political duopoly by significantly improving ballot access for third parties, implementing alternative voting methods, and eliminating partisan gerrymandering.

Personal Security and Criminal Justice

Systematic racism, mass incarceration, and concerns about police accountability are some of the most pressing problems facing racial and ethnic minority communities in our country. These problems need to be addressed effectively in order to make progress toward the goal of true equality for all.

I hope that this nomination process will be clarifying and unifying for our party, and I’ll do my best toward that goal.

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