[Campaign Diaries is a new series at The American Commons. James Hanink is a candidate running for Governor of California on the American Solidarity Party ticket. Every other week, James will publish a “campaign diary” entry here at The American Commons magazine.]


Here’s an update, not from Ohio, but from California. It’s a page or so from the campaign diary of a different campaigner on a different trail. In our recall election for the governor of the Golden State, in which much that glitters is fool’s gold, my goal is to get the word out. And here’s the word, albeit in several words. The American Solidarity is real, it’s growing, it’s pro-life for the whole of life. It’s neither conservative nor liberal, neither capitalist nor socialist. It is, however, “progressive” in the best sense: we want to make progress toward a common good built on solidarity, subsidiarity, and economic democracy.

Desmond Silveira, a veteran of California gubernatorial elections, is my campaign manager. Not surprisingly, we’re off to a promising start. We’ve filed the right papers and are ready to file the next batch. We’ve opened a bank account. The interviews are starting to come, and we’ve had the first debate. More await us. Next up: gathering signatures; a certain number are required, and each signature helps reduce the filing fee.

My diary entries, gentle readers, will make no mention of slick mailers or TV adverts, much less of star studded rallies. There won’t be any. Plus, there will be no pandering to identity politics. My one and only, glorious constituency is the human person wherever he or she lives in this conflicted state. I also have a promise to make. Today’s political discourse is mostly divisive, pre-packaged, and dumbed-down. I will strenuously avoid all such cant and call out those who contribute to it. If I fail on this pledge, please blow every whistle you can find.

Even on this first page of my campaign diary, something needs saying about qualifications. I’m not a “politico/wonk.” But I do have the experience! For the past 45 years I’ve been a resident of  a state that once reflected the American Dream and now exports a primal scream. After four decades of teaching philosophy at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), I’ve “redirected.” Of late, I’ve been hosting The Open Door podcast and blogging for the New Oxford Review.

Just maybe someone wonders about my mentors. If not, someone should. We all have our teachers, and that’s especially so for teachers. My favorite philosophers are Elizabeth Anscombe and Jacques Maritain. (I serve as the chief cook and bottle-washer for the American Maritain Association.) Anscombe, to her credit, told her employer, Cambridge University, that it ought not honor war criminals and that Harry Truman was among their number. In her later years she participated in Operation Rescue. Maritain deftly mixed metaphysics with politics, and he helped write the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Whether on or off the campaign trail, it’s family first. My wife Elizabeth and I just celebrated our 53rd anniversary. We have been blessed with six children, some of whom appreciate “Dad jokes.”

A last thought for today. Let California’s flowers and California’s lives bloom and flourish! You can follow the campaign at:

Dr. James G. Hanink for Governor of California | Facebook
Dr. James G. Hanink for Governor 2021 | (solidarity-party.org)


Jim Hanink is an independent scholar, albeit more independent than scholarly.