William F. Buckley once said, "I would rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the 2000 members of the faculty of Harvard University." No doubt, given what our chattering classes and elites have produced over the past 50 years, most of us would avidly agree with him. Perhaps that is why John Bootie, a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, has stepped forward to run as an independent candidate for the Presidency. He describes himself as being an "Ultra Conservative Reaganite" and maintains a website outlining both his mission and his past. Unlike his peers, he is not afraid to take a stance on the issues of the day. In fact, he has even put them forth in writing.
Bernard Chapin: Mr. Bootie, you are running as the ultra conservative Independent candidate in this election. What uniquely do you have to offer the electorate that other Republican candidates do not?
John K. Bootie: My biggest claim in this is that I, like our forefathers, have been blessed with a great deal of common sense. In today's political world that is not a common thing to have. People who do have it often do not have the nerve to use it.
Bernard, as an Independent candidate, I have truly yet to see any other candidate in the two major parties give you or I a clue as to what they wish to do. We hear a lot about what is wrong or what they will do in reply to a specific question, but not one of them has stood up and said I want to do this and said why they do.
I have to run as an independent because the Republican Party has left me sitting on the side of the road. They have already decided on their two or three possible candidates.
What do I have to offer that is different? Well, first off, I offer new and sometimes unpopular ideas. I know just introducing them will be an uphill challenge. I offer to voters a candidate who is not a slave to our self-proclaimed elites. I offer to voters a man who wishes to serve our great nation in the manner of President Reagan and President Lincoln. Those two men were servants to this, the GREATEST nation in the world and they both helped make it what it is today. They did it with daily prayer as well.
I offer to voters a challenging and public minded candidate who will put the moral majority's wishes ahead of special interest groups and appeasement.
Bernard Chapin: What is your assessment of the Bush Presidency?
John K. Bootie: First off, I want to say President Bush restored dignity and class to the office of the President of the United States. Next I believe the nation is better served when we talk positively about this President and all our past Presidents.
I think his tax incentives and his stance on the War with Terrorism has been legitimate and aggressive. I think, on the other hand, Congress has done nothing but try to obstruct and hinder his performance. I believe that some in Congress should be charged with treason for their actions.
I am against his stance on illegal aliens and the amnesty which Congress tried to force upon the American people. I am proud to say that I was on the right side of that issue. I called my representatives and told them to say NO to amnesty. I also blogged against it and encouraged others to get active regarding the secrecy surrounding the Bill.
Bernard Chapin: If you won who would you pick as your Vice President?
John K. Bootie: I have had a few names in mind, but, being a small unknown candidate, I have not got feedback from the specific individuals as of yet or even found out if they would be interested in running. Atop my list are Zell Miller (Democrat from Georgia), Condy Rice, Michael Steele (Republican from Maryland), and Roy Moore (former Judge from Alabama).
Bernard Chapin: You are a member of the Teamsters. Is it your opinion that conservative ideas are more accepted among blue collar workers than most of us suspect?
John K. Bootie: Bernard, it's apparent from looking at a political map of red versus blue which shows where the conservatives live and who we are. Also, if you look at the map it tells you that a state can be mostly red but become blue due to one or two cities. It has been my experience that the "US Suspect" crowd are those who believe liberals are the norm (majority) in this country. I disagree. The union rank-and-file is not in sync with their leadership as some would have the nation believe.
Bernard Chapin: How condescending have people been to you due to your having no political history and not being, vocationally, a member of our society's self-proclaimed elite?
John K. Bootie: Truthfully, in the five months I have been running only had one man got offended or upset and he was mostly upset over the present President as are most true liberals. In 2004 you could have ran Mickey Mouse and he would have gotten as many votes as John Kerry did.
I have found that people say they will vote for me and that they are ready for an outsider to become President. I tell them that I don't want their vote unless they find out who I am first. After five minutes of talking face to face, people love what I have to offer but personality should only be part of what determines their vote. Correct?
Bernard Chapin: Correct.
John K. Bootie: Not enough people think about the candidate's family, his business associates, or his past before deciding who to vote for. Most hardcore party supporters vote for whomever their party nominates. They don't ask any questions.
Bernard Chapin: Why aren't there any legitimate—meaning popularly supported—third parties in America?
John K. Bootie: That is a great question. Do you want to know the real answer? Even Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity haven't acknowledged my campaign and aren't they the ones we hear saying "why isn't there a truly conservative candidate out there?
The real answer is that Congress, along with the media as a whole, doesn't want the system to change. Congress loves the heir apparent. The media loves their ability to sway the vote with media coverage or a lack thereof. They want to be a part of the process no matter what.
Case in point, today the mainstream media focuses most intently on the two or three candidates they want to see win or think have the best chance to win.
It is now 14 months to Election Day and the conventions have yet to take place, so what excuse can the media have for not covering all of the candidates.
Where is the media's negative coverage of Mrs. Bill Clinton? Why is it taboo to badmouth her? She is not perfect. She has a political past. We should explore this. Today the wives of top Democrats attack her because their men are afraid to tell the truth. That would cause them to be labeled as haters or abusers or misogynists.
If you remember, or go back if you don't remember, when the election process started the President was the one with the most votes and the VP was the one with the second most votes. Parties didn't choose a Vice President or say John Doe will be the VP if John Bootie wins. The people choose both people with their votes.
Bernard Chapin: What book or author has most shaped your political beliefs?
John K. Bootie: I don't read anything about politics. I have read books by Glen Beck and Sean Hannity to get perspective on the nation's ideas about who we are and what we were. I trust in Talk Radio to keep me fair and balanced as they put it (ha ha). I stay well informed and will give my views on any subject.
Bernard Chapin: What political problem do you regard as being most pressing for America at this time?
John K. Bootie: My first six months would be filled with the normal stuff like cabinet appointments and what not. But the War on Terror and illegal immigration are most pressing to me. I will push to keep the tax incentives alive.
I will be aggressive about ending frivolous laws suits. I will ask for legislation which makes it harder to file them and to get a judge to listen to them. Should a suit have no merit or be untruthfully filed then I will ask for the plaintiffs to pay the defendant's costs.
I also want to see an overhaul of the Protection from Abuse laws in this country. As it is today no defendant has rights or a chance to speak or respond to accusations for many weeks. They should be able to tell their side of the story at once. I want to see a Protection from Abuse or a temporary Protection from Abuse barred from being issued unless there is a clear life threatening danger or until the defendant has a chance to tell their own side of the story.
Also, in my first day in office, I will sign a Presidential Pardon for the border agents currently in prison. The two of them have been wrongfully charged. We can't ask men and women to do dangerous jobs and assume no one will ever be hurt.
Thank you, Bernard for the great questions and the chance to get to know you.
Bernard Chapin: Thank you, sir. And good luck!
Bernard Chapin is the author of Escape from Gangsta Island and the soon-to-be released Women: Theory and Practice (October 2007). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.