As part of the May 2020 edition of the Wikinews feature on the 2020 presidential election published last week, I conducted three short interviews with three vice presidential candidates. Those candidates were Michigan Taxpayers Party chairman William Mohr of the Constitution Party, podcaster Spike Cohen of the Libertarian Party, and Angela Walker, the running mate of presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins.
WSS How did your nomination for vice president come about? Did you seek the role or was it thrust upon you?
- Mohr: I neither sought the office, nor was it thrust upon me. My good friend, Darrell Castle, asked me to run and nominated me for the position. The nomination was immediately supported by many who know me well. Given the support I received in voice, text, those within the national delegates, and that I was chosen by Don Blankenship for his running mate, I decided to accept. I am humbly honored to serve my party and the nation in this capacity.
WSS What are your thoughts on presidential nominee Don Blankenship? How do you complement him on the ticket?
- Mohr: Don Blankenship is a good man with vast knowledge in the political field. He stands firm on his positions, aligns well with the party platform and has an abundance of ability to lead this nation in the direction it needs to go. His political history demonstrates his ability to influence leaders around him. He has a backbone superior to most men and will be the strongest President we have seen in decades.
- Combined with my longtime message on the need for a return to morality in our states and nation, I am convinced that the Blankenship/Mohr ticket will simply be the best thing that has happened in Washington in a long, long time.
WSS With the coronavirus pandemic hampering ballot access efforts, is it possible to improve on the electoral performance of 2016 presidential nominee Darrell Castle? What can you do to improve the visibility of the ticket?
- Mohr: The American people are beginning to wake up to the fact that they are being ruled by tyrants. Times are changing in our nation. Many current elected officials are promoting false information and gaining much power and control by using this virus as their vehicle. The so-called pandemic has enlightened the masses to the point of large demonstrations and protests. In recent years Constitution Party vote counts have increased considerably and we are winning more and more offices, small and large. Recent actions by elected leaders have only led the masses farther away from the big two parties. I expect to see a large increase in voters searching for alternatives, which will certainly create yet a greater increase in visibility for the Constitution Party.
WSS What was it that turned you away from neoconservatism to begin your transition to libertarianism?
- Cohen: First it was seeing how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq actually played out, and that made me re-examine what I believed and actually form a political philosophy.
WSS How would you describe your role as vice presidential nominee? How do you complement Jo Jorgensen on the ticket?
- Cohen: I think the role of VP nominee is to help complement the ticket for the party faithful, to support the POTUS candidate, to promote her policies and beliefs (which isn’t difficult to do because they’re mine as well), to broaden the appeal of the ticket to the public, and generally to support her in running for President. I believe that Jo and I present a unique opportunity to reach voters across many age groups, and to campaign in both traditional and dynamic, cutting-edge ways to a public that is more open to an alternative to the Republicrats and their nonsense than ever before.
WSS How can you improve on the performance of Johnson-Weld in 2016?
- Cohen: Gary and Bill largely relied on outside agencies and beltway media connections to do their campaigning. A lot of complaints that I’ve heard from Libertarian activists and downballot candidates is that they felt completely left behind and unsupported in 2016. We are running an across-the-board, homegrown Libertarian campaign that is designed to lift up the whole party. We also aren’t relying on corporate media to tell our story, but instead are going to focus on viral marketing and social media reach to create earned media exposure that will force the mainstream media to pay attention to us, on our terms. We believe that will get us the 15% we need in the polls to get in the debates, and when that happens, we have a serious shot to win. Imagine having the two buffoons with a long history of contributing to our problems, and who are now barely able to form a coherent sentence, debating against an accomplished, self-made, brilliant leader who will be able to debate circles around them. And imagine me debating Mike Pence and…whoever has the misfortune of being Biden’s running mate.
WSS How does your experience as a nominee for vice president in 2016 help in the current campaign? How is your role the same or different from 2016?
- Walker: It’s my pleasure to be the Vice Presidential nominee for the Socialist Party of the USA in 2020, as I was in 2016. The roles are the same: we want both the Green Party and the Socialist Party to grow and be welcoming spaces for people of color, people with disabilities, people along the LGBTQIA rainbow, people who have been wondering where they could fit into a party. Also, getting our platforms and party principles into communities is important. Marginalized communities in particular need to know that they have options outside the party duopoly we have in this country. Being part of a campaign I can believe in helps me reach folks in those communities.
WSS Why should leftists and socialists support Howie Hawkins over Gloria La Riva or the Bernie Sanders-backed candidate Joe Biden?
- Walker: Many on the Left are very excited about the concept of . They are interested in reversing climate change, and they’re interested in having a available to them. They are also interested in social justice, making sure people are housed and fed and not abused by the state. All of these things are in our campaign platform. All of them. In detail. I can’t speak for the LaRiva/ campaign platform, as I haven’t read it. They are people who have my respect. And as to Biden, the fact that he does not support any of the issues people are asking for makes him a nonstarter. His cavalier statements and treatment of marginalized communities is also very problematic. Howie Hawkins is offering a platform that would improve the lives of everyone in this country while helping to reverse climate change. That is something I feel people can be confident about supporting.
WSS What are your goals for this campaign?
- Walker: My goals for this campaign are to help both the Green Party and the Socialist Party be welcoming spaces for marginalized people, and to get people politically educated around the country. Another goal is to help build true unity throughout the Left. We might not agree on everything, but there are many places where Leftists of different ideologies intersect. I want us to meet at those intersections and build from them. There is still a pandemic happening. There is an uprising happening. It is in the hands of the people how we help each other going forward, and I am looking forward to being helpful in those efforts.