This interview with John Kenyon of the Institute of Global Church Studies, first appeared on Facebook, Jan. 1, 2020.
IGCS: The media will be promoting the 2020 Presidential race as the Democratic Party vs the Republican Party. But 40% of the American electorate are registered independents and a majority of voters still self-identify as Christians. What is your strategy for succoring them; thus, becoming a serious third party alternative?
BC: Thank you, John, for some excellent questions and the opportunity to answer them on your site. The 40% of voters who are independent are hardly monolithic, and we won’t appeal to everyone, but we hope to earn a share of them, and maybe even draw out voters who have not voted at all in recent elections. We also hope to pull in Pro-Life Democrats. Top Democrats are trying to say that to be a Democrat one must support any abortion for any reason at any time. Pro-Life Democrats need a way to call them on that. On the Republican side, many voters believe that separating children from parents at the border, holding them in cages, and denying them basic care is both unAmerican and unChristian. Among Republicans there are many upset by the anti-science denial that climate disfunction is real. We are in a position to send different messages to the two major parties. A third party has several ways to demonstrate victory. Ross Perot’s issue was a balanced budget, and for the next decade or more, both parties made that more of a priority. The Green Party has been talking about climate from their beginning, and that has prepared voters for some of what needs to be done now. Both parties are close to splitting apart. Our job is to build the Party to be ready to offer voters a new home.
IGCS: Most Americans, I think, are wholly put off by the impeachment process. Do you see an opening for the ASP here? What is your stand on impeaching President Trump?
BC: John, I think that going back to 2015, there have been serious questions about Donald Trump’s business dealings with some very shady Russian power brokers. The President could easily clear those questions up by releasing his tax records, or by letting Congress question the aides who have the information. That he refuses to allow either leaves the suspicion that under oath, the answers would not serve the President’s interests. When the House voted for Impeachment, Tulsi Gabbard voted present, but announced she would have voted for censure. Maybe that would have been a better route, but we have never had a President who seemed so willing to cave to foreign strongmen like Putin, Erdogan, or the Saudis.
IGCS: The ASP has a pro-life platform. Do you support over-turning Roe v Wade?
BC: That is the easiest answer yet: Yes, absolutely. Then we have to create a society where children are valued, where health care is available, and family leave is the norm. Tax allowances should begin with pregnancy, not at birth. A woman who is home devoting her time to children should receive qualifying quarters for Social Security, etc.
IGCS: Iranian proxies just attacked the American embassy in Baghdad. How will the Carroll administration deal with the Sunni-Shi’ite civil war(s) in the Middle East?
BC: We will never find a magic solution in the Middle East, but we currently seem to be more interested in protecting Saudi interests than our own, and in selling our weapons to various factions. Oil policies influence everything, and we need to reduce our dependence on oil. We can frack, but that damages the environment. We not only are protecting our oil supply, but we are trying to make sure it doesn’t go to the Russians instead. All of that ties our hands in places like Iraq. We have no choice in the short term but to protect our people, but we need to rethink our long term goals.
IGCS: The Trump administration put religious freedom on the front burner of US foreign policy. Will President Carroll keep it there?
BC: Yes, but the bigger question is how to encourage religious freedom both at home and abroad. How do we convince North Korea to lighten up on Christians, or China to relax their treatment of Uighur Muslims? We certainly can’t land troops in every country around the world where there is serious religious persecution. But we ought to be able to do more at home, even if it only serves as an example to the world, and lets the world know it is a subject we take seriously.
IGCS: Christians in the US know “soft” or “polite” persecution from secular politicos and from organizations such as The Freedom From Religion Foundation. How will the Carroll administration protect the right to free expression of religion? If by supporting school prayer, does this extend to Muslims, Hindus and Satanists?
BC: Any freedom granted to Christians will also have to extend to other religions. I don’t support school prayer. I think a prayer neutered enough for a non-believing teacher to pray with a class split between believers and non-believers is going to devalue prayer and be a negative. Jesus told us not to pray standing on the street corners. The real battles that we need to be fighting are over questions like can a Christian adoption agency maintain practices under attack from the sexual revolution? Can the Amish maintain their lifestyle against encroaching public health departments? Can First Peoples protect their burial grounds against oil pipelines? Can Muslim students wear head coverings? Any student can sit in class and create their secret prayer closet. And I think those are the kinds of prayer that God most likes to hear.
IGCS: Thank you for being with us, Brian Carroll. I hope you’ll come back often so we can follow your 2020 campaign. Have a happy and most blessed New Year.
IGCS: Thank you, John. May God shower his richest blessings upon you in the new decade.