[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.]
The campaign in California’s gubernatorial recall election advances in fits and starts. It’s spasmodic in terms of mainstream attention, and that means lots of work for participants who want to keep it within sight of the public eye. We do so by way of debates. Interviews help as well. If they aren’t solicited, we cheerfully volunteer for them.
But there’s another way that the election advances in fits and starts. No one knows yet just when it will be. Maybe late Summer. Or maybe mid-Fall. The official waffling gives candidates the fits, and we can’t start gathering signatures until the Secretary of State gives the County Registrars the go-ahead to print up the forms we need!
Amidst the fits and starts, I’m busy debating opponents and chatting with interviewers. More and more, I’m trying both to distinguish myself from the eccentric and to orient the concentric to the center itself. How’s that for a campaign update? I’ll explain.
Let’s begin with the eccentric, past and present. L. Brent Bozell, Jr., were he alive today, would find the American Solidarity Party “a party of interest.” We, in turn, would find him a political actor of interest. In 1964, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland. Observers commented that despite his eloquence his references to Gnosticism and the virtues of Spanish Carlists were, well, a distraction.
Fast forward to California in 2021. I regularly debate with an opponent whose real interest is California’s becoming an independent country. Another opponent insists that if the recall election isn’t rigged he will certainly be our next governor. Ah, well. For my part, I don’t have much trouble spotting the eccentrics. But maybe I’m overly inclined to humor them. (For the record, if I win the election, I’ll know that it has been rigged.)
Nowadays my chief focus is orienting the concentric to the center itself. All the debates and interviews, as currently curated, give rise to concentric circles of discussion. For example, we discuss whether this or that policy will steal us blind or put some real cash in our pockets. We explore whether this or that policy will stifle our voices or invite us to a bully pulpit. We talk about who best understands the Golden State. And, in each of us, there’s a faint hope of becoming a big wheel as we go round and round in circles.
But wish me luck. Or say a prayer. Just maybe I can help move this bunch of likely suspects, of whom I am one, closer to the center of a politics of solidarity. At the center is the human person, made in God’s image and likeness. At the center is the common good in which isolated individualism gives way to the service of others. At the center is a commitment to the good of all and the belief that we are all responsible for all. At that center is an appreciation that the goods of creation are meant for all. Tall order? Never mind the luck. Oremus pro invicem!
Politics and the reach of economism Enter philosophy: Philosophical anthropology: the person The transcendentals: truth, beauty, goodness Faces of being! That which is! (Get real!)
You can follow the campaign at:
Jim Hanink is an independent scholar, albeit more independent than scholarly.