It started in 1990. I felt a spiritual calling to leave my profession, my home—I was a mental health counselor in private practice in suburban Cleveland—and go on the road. I did.
This was the start of an eight-year, 150,000 mile research journey across America. From town to town, and quite serendipitously, I would meet these amazing people who had developed phenomenal local models to help women in crisis pregnancy, save the environment, heal families, curb crime, promote peace, bring social justice to the poor, and so on.
It was as if God, below the surface of the “cacophony of dysfunction” going on in the country, was developing these models as building blocks to, ultimately, dramatically shift America—when the time was right.
I took a lot of notes.
Prior to being a counselor, I’d been a journalist. I met Liz on a research trip through Alaska. We got married, started having kids, and kept traveling. After the eight years, we settled for a short period. During this time, through more considered spiritual discernment, we were inspired to take the notes, draft them into position papers, establish an overarching platform based on the research—and start the run for President.
Funny though, the resulting platform didn’t match up, across the board, with any party’s platform. Pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, yes, but also pro-environment and pro-social justice. What our platform did match up with was Catholic social teaching. I knew something about that because I am a strong Catholic versed in those teachings.
We launched on the presidential quest in April of 1999. Since then, it has been: six successive election cycles, 100,000 miles of campaign traveling, some 1,000 newspaper articles, some 200 regional network TV news shows, hundreds of radio shows, a good number of college talks, and a whole lot of street corner stumping.
We’ve reached millions. And we’ve used various strategies from our previous research to plant seeds that then ripple out into the wider community from there. This has spanned 20 years now, and counting.
In 2012, I was contacted by the Christian Democratic Party (now the American Solidarity Party). They wanted to “endorse” me in that campaign. When I checked out the website, I was astounded! It matched our platform, almost exactly. I accepted the endorsement. During the 2016 campaign, I was approached about considering vying for the ASP nomination. I declined because, at the time, I had decided to focus my energy more on internal campaign work. That’s done.
Our campaign, we believe, now stands at a “tipping point.” What’s more, the ASP now seems to have more of a nationwide structure in place (albeit kind of a “Gideon’s Army” numbers wise). The synergy, with God’s grace, should surprise everyone!
So . . . my “passion” is to see the models we’ve researched inspire people in every town across the country, and what better way to mobilize that than through the Presidency? Concurrently, I want to see the ASP become a quite formidable mainstream Party in this country, soon!
What a wild ride this combination could be!