1. Tell us about your family life.
Well, for about 40 years, I have lived tribally/communally. Now the 6 of us live together in two houses [one of which we built] on a street in Berkeley with 4 cats. Linda and I have been together for about 35 years. Michael has been with us for 20 years…as have Corey and Alexi. Erika joined us 6 years ago. We live as a tribal body. This tells you that I will expand concepts such as a family and family values. My relationships have always been what I am about. So we put our personal relationships and one another first. This opens up possibilities and expands our ability to use opportunities.
2. Tell us about your political experience prior to running for president.
If you mean holding political office, I’m a virgin. But if you mean being a subversive agent of social change…
I have always been dumb to what is impossible. So I just figure how to do the “impossible.” I have been doing this all my life! I am 61. I was born with cerebral palsy, can not walk or talk. I communicate using a laser-pointer and a board of letters, numbers and commonly-used words. But I am a host of a popular public access TALK show. Go figure it! So now I am setting my sights, as president, on eliminating poverty, hunger, war, etc. Impossible, eh?
When I was born, doctors told my parents that I had no intelligence, that I had no future, that I would be best put into an institution and be forgotten. This was a powerful expectation with all the force of western science and medicine as well as social influences, behind it. It would have been easy for my parents to be swept up into this expectation. Then that expectation would have created my reality. I would have long ago died without any other possibilities.
Instead, my parents rejected this expectation for the possibility they saw in my eyes, for what for them should have been true. This rejection of the cultural expectation of reality could not be a one time choice. They had to passionately live their choice everyday, every minute, or the cultural expectation would have sucked them and me into it. It fought them at every new possibility they opened to me. Their passionate commitment to how they thought things should be attracted people to me who kept opening new possibilities for me. Of course, these were in the minority. But I focused on them, making them how people should be, how I wanted to be. So I expected people and myself to be like that. So people were for the most part that way...at least I saw them that way. This opened up to me what is called luck. It also gave me the ability to trust and the ability to use opportunities.
So the struggle for freedom, and against the powers-that-be has been my life. And it has been a continuous struggle, struggling with schools to let me in, etc. I have always been a radical. But that became obvious when I was 18 and invented my head pointer with which I type and communicate…I started writing political columns for the high school paper…as well as putting out an underground paper. I was in the first special class placed on a regular high school campus so that the disabled students could be in regular classes and be a part of campus life. I was involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements. This was 1965…before it was popular to be against the Vietnam War. In the school paper I got into a debate with a GI in Vietnam. I was sat down and told that, because of my political philosophy and activities, I was hurting the chances of the disabled students who would come after me. I replied that the goal was to get the rights for the disabled [and for all people] to be complete and equal…and that included the right to be political. I would not surrender that, or any other, right.
So I started doing political columns for underground newspapers, joined Students for Democratic Society and The Peace and Freedom Party. I did political pranks…such as rolling in my wheelchair into the Marines Recruiting Office to join, offering to push the BUTTON with my head pointer. But after the Kent State killings, I switched from straight politics to art, performance, and community building as my tools for effecting social change. In the early 90s I and five other performance artists were targeted by Sen. Jesse Helms in what is commonly seen as the first battle of the cultural wars. This placed me in a great position to fight for our freedoms!
3. Tell us about your personal career prior to politics.
Well, I follow where opportunities lead, without limiting goals or pictures of how things should look like or where they should lead to. We here have many different projects going on at once…in addition to the “day job.” I’m always writing, painting, making movies, playing in my band The Cherotic All-Stars, performing, doing a weekly cable/internet talk/variety show. That has always been the case. But my “CAREER”… In the mid-70s in Santa Fe I started a workshop which combined intimacy and theater. This turned into a communal performance group which moved to N.Y.C. A few years later, we moved to Berkeley, where I combined the workshop with relationship counseling, creating an extremely successful practice. But this too morphed into a communal performance group of 30 people. Among our productions was The Outrageous Beauty Revue which ran for over 3 years at the San Francisco punk club The Mabuhay.
The 90s found me touring the U.S. and Canada doing performances and lecturing. My writings started being published. I was also busy making films. By the mid-90s we were publishing the popular zine The Cherotic ®evolutionary. When the internet became available, we were among the first to have streaming audio and video on our http://www.eroplay.com. A live weekly show, The Shaman’s Den, which I was doing on one of the first internet radio stations quickly dragged us into starting our own internet station, http://www.luver.com, which quickly evolved into a powerful 24/7 uncensored channel for change. We have expanded onto public access cable television, cell phones, etc.
And now I am running for president!
4. Please discuss a public figure from the past 300 year who you admire most.
During my teenage years I read the Beat writers and the French Surrealists, Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl and Abbie Hofmann, listened to Dylan, watched the hippie movement grow. I wished I could be a hip artist living in San Francisco instead of being stuck outside San Bernardino reading, listening, watching, waiting. All of this brewed inside of me. I admired the muckrakers, the “trouble makers” in history like Tom Paine. I’m proud that Paul Krassner was the first to endorse my candidacy.
5. Do you think the US should have entered the war in Iraq? Why or why not? What is your strategy for finishing the war in Iraq.
We invaded Iraq on lies or blunders…take your pick. Almost everyone…with a few notable and impeachable exceptions…now agree that we should not have invaded Iraq. I would bring our troops home now. If someone tells you that s/he will stay in a failed marriage to avoid admitting mistakes, hoping things will somehow improve…you would rightfully question that person’s judgment.
I will change this country’s self-image from that of THE SUPER POWER/ WORLD LEADER to that of a member of the global community. I will cut our military budget by at least half.
6. While it is rarely mentioned in the news anymore, the US troops are still in Afghanistan. What are your plans for that theater of operations?
While going into Afghanistan had more of a logic to it than our invasion of Iraq, I would withdraw our troops from there and work through the U.N. Our interests aren’t served by having our troops there.
7. The US initially went to war with Afghanistan under the presumption that Osama Bin Laden would be captured or killed. Why do you think he has not been apprehended yet? What do you plan to do about this?
I don’t think that was the real reason why we went into Afghanistan, but the excuse. Most experts now believe he is in the tribal area in Pakistan. We don’t send our troops in there because it might destabilize the dictator who we for some reason support there…because if he falls, the nuclear weapons that Pakistan has might [probably] fall into the wrong hands! All hands are the wrong hands.
This is insanity. I would withdraw our troops from Afghanistan because being there does not serve our national interest, except as a part of a U.N. mission. I may send the C.I.A. in to bring Bin Laden out to stand trial.
We need to stop supporting dictators. On the nuclear issue, we need to get rid of double standards. We need to treat all nations with the same expectations, be it Pakistan, Israel, France, the U.S., Iran, etc. In other words, my policies would be even-handed. I will join the rest of the world in pressuring Israel to live up to treaties, and to dismantle its nuclear arms. I will use the “special relationship” between Israel and the U.S. to motivate Israel to do this.
I will work for global shutting down of all nuclear reactors and dismantling all nuclear [and biological and chemical] weapons. I will start this in the U.S. All countries should be expected to live under the same rules….not one set for the “super powers” and another for the “developing” nations like Iran. I will push for a global development of clean, safe energy sources as alternatives to nuclear power.
8. Iran has been spoken of by some as a potential threat to the United States. Is Iran a threat to the United States? What should be done about this?
I started answering this in the last question. But anything/everything could be a “potential threat”…except the things that are in fact threats now. Seeing things as “potential threats” is a sign of insanity. It blocks the effective dealing with real and present threats. It creates the fog of fear.
Iran is not a threat to the U.S. now nor in the short-term future. So there is time and opportunity to revert Iran from the nuclear path by giving Iran other options. Frankly nuclear used for energy and nuclear used for weapons are both dangerous.
9. Are there any policies you would like to change or implement in the US Military and the Department of Defense? Do you have any concerns about the oversight of these organizations?
Again, I will cut the defense budget by at least half, turning it into a real defense budget rather than a bloated offense budget with billions in waste and with many times over kill in weapons. This cutting has been long over due since the Iron Curtain fell. I will start closing our foreign bases. I will use the money that is now spent on weapon development on development of new cheap clean energy sources, mass transit, and other ways to live in the post-oil era. I will work closely with Congress in developing a more effective oversight system of all federal agencies.
10. Legislation and policy since 9/11 have attempted to increase Counter- Terrorism measures. Many Americans feel this has come at the expense of civil liberties. What if anything do you plan to change in this regard?
Well, I will have repealing parties in the White House, scrapping all the rules and policies in every department and agency which infringe on our rights, freedoms, privacy, health and welfare. We will have similar parties in both houses of Congress to repeal bad laws such as the so-called Patriot Act. We will return to the common English language in which “torture” means torture. I will declassify documents which were classified to hide questionable actions rather than to protect the real national interests. I will push the Justice Department to investigate the war on The Left by the F.B.I. since the 60’s.
11. Do you plan to make any changes regarding US immigration policy and border enforcement?
I believe we as citizens of the world should have the right of travel/movement. I believe we need immigrates. So I believe in fairly open borders…using our historical relationship with Canada as the model. I would remove racist filters. I would deny entry to those with criminal records. I would seriously beef up the security and inspections at our ports.
All businesses selling their products in the U.S. will have to certify that their products were manufactured in accordance with this country’s labor, wage, environmental, and safety laws ... that they meet or exceed these ... no matter where they were produced. This would curb people’s desire to come to this country for a better life. It would also remove the motivation of the corporations to drain jobs from this country. Businesses would pay non-citizen workers at least the minimum wage which would be tied to the cost of living.
12. Some people have discussed the idea of introducing a national ID card. How do you feel about this?
It is an awful idea!
13. What are your plans and opinions on the Enforcement, Intelligence and Security organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Agency?
The Department of Homeland Fear… I mean Security…has been a disaster, a con job on a massive scale. I will junk it. Terrorism is a criminal matter. It should be dealt with as such, not as a war. We shouldn’t abandon our principles, freedoms, rights, The Constitution and The Bills of Rights to live in fear. The F.B.I. is supposed to investigate crime…not to keep the people in line. The C.I.A. is supposed to gather information outside this country, and not to manipulate events. Whenever there is an attempt to fudge the limits of power for convenience of “safety,” we the people get screwed.
I would end the so-called war on drugs. The use of drugs should be legalized and taxed. Pot and spirits should be sold over the counter to adults only. Tobacco and other addictive drugs should be sold by prescription only. Free drug rehab programs should be readily available. So the D.E.A. can be greatly reduced.
Prisons should be only for violent or otherwise dangerous criminals. Prisons should be a part of the health and education system and should include drug rehab programs. This should also be true for the new creative in-community programs for non-violent criminals for paying back, rehab, and education sentencing. These programs will be more effective and much less expensive and harmful to the community on every level than the current human warehouse system. Flexibility of sentencing should be returned to judges. I will ban the death penalty.
Basically the law enforcement agencies should be the servants of the people, protecting our rights, freedoms, and welfare instead of the servants of the rich, the corporations, the status quo, and the powers-that-be. I would de-militarize the police departments.
14. What is your stance on gun control? What do you plan to change or implement regarding the specific policies on shotguns, rifles, handguns and assault weapons?
I’d ban assault and automatic weapons outright. For other guns, I am for strict control.
15. What is your stance on US drug policy? Do you plan to make any changes on the enforcement of Drug Prohibition Policy?
16. Do you intend to legalize marijuana for medical use?
17. Government entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Welfare are going farther from fiscal solvency. What measures will you take on this? Do you plan on making any changes in the coverage or scope of current entitlement programs? Please outline any specific changes you will make.
I’ll do away with welfare, medicare and social security. Instead, every American will receive a minimum income of $1,000 a month. This amount will be tied to the cost of living and will not be taxable.
We will have universal prenatal-to-the-grave health care and universal free education with equal access.
18. Many people, especially the elderly are worried about the cost of medicine and medical care. What do you plan to do about this?
The universal health care would include all medicine, medical equipment and supplies, long-term care, personal attendants, etc. There will be no pre-authorization ritual. So your doctor will be free to prescribe whatever you need. There may be a review of treatment afterward if there are any questions. Everybody will have the same care as the President now has. Preventative medicine will be stressed and the so-called alternative medicine will be included. You will notice that health insurance companies are not in this picture!
19. What is your record on raising or lowering taxes? Do you plan to raise or lower taxes as President? Why?
I do not have a record. But…I’ll do away with all tax deductions for over $12,000 income. Instead, there will be a flat tax of 10% on annual income of less than one million dollars for an individual and less than five million dollars for a corporation. But the flat tax will jump to 75% on annual income exceeding these limits.
Now my policies are pro-business. The universal education system will provide business with a superior, flexible work force. The minimum income and the universal health care will remove the business’s burden of providing health insurance and pensions to workers. In reality, this relief will be much more than any tax cut could give. Moreover the minimum income will make the starting and maintaining a small business much easier. This is also true for small family farms. The minimum income will encourage independent invention and artistic pursuit, on which true progress depends.
20. How do you plan on ensuring the fiscal solvency of the United States Government? Please outline any specific plans you have for this end.
I will cut the military budget by at least half and use half of the savings to pay down the national debt. I will shrink the federal bureaucracy and again use half of the savings to this pay down.
Basically the problem is not a lack of money, but what we have spent our money on…war, pork, waste, etc. It has been a standard trick to distract us with supposed waste, fraud, etc. in the social programs while milking us out of billions of military waste, corporate welfare, etc.
21. The US Dollar is losing its value compared to other world currencies. What do you plan to do about this?
Honestly this wouldn’t be one of my focuses. But my policies taken together will tend to strengthen the dollar.
22. What plans to improve the United States Economy?
The minimum income of $1,000 a month for every citizen will give people money to spend, save, invest, or pool with others to create more effective financial communities which will open up a wide range of opportunities for the average person…to start small businesses, to stay on the family farm, to do art, to raise kids, etc. Free health care [which will include long-term care, home attendants, medicine, etc.], free life time education [including child care], free mass transit, etc. will in effect put more real money in the pocket of the average person. But more importantly the fear of the future will fade, releasing what is now horded away for old age, for when your health fails you, for your kid’s education…releasing the knot in your belly of knowing that no matter how much you manage to save [if any] it will not be enough.
23. President Bush agreed to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in 2005. Do you believe this is a good thing? Do you plan on making any specific changes to the agreements in this partnership?
On paper, it may be desireable to form a more inter-dependent relationship with Canada, Mexico and the U.S., forming an economic and social union similar to the European Union…after it has been debated in depth in public and has been voted for by the people of the three nations. This so-called partnership is a con developed by the big corporations with their allies in government behind locked and heavy guarded walls…a con they plan to railroad “fast-track” through Congress. The con is a wish list of the corporations, and not in the best interest of the people of the three countries. So I will derail it.
24. Many people are worried about environmental concerns such as Global Warming, the Depletion of the Ozone Layer, and Pollution. What do you intend to do about this?
Public mass transit will be free, 24/7, and reliable. I will call for a major rebuilding of America. We will repair our school buildings and will build needed new schools. I will encourage a society of small villages connected by mass transit. Within these small villages, people could walk or bike to work, to school, to shopping, to entertainment, etc. Mass transit will combine these small villages within 15 miles radius into dynamic communities. Living in these villages will end gridlock traffic, will cut greenhouse gasses, will cut stress and isolation. Housing for all incomes will be included equally in each village.
We will encourage electric cars, fast trains, clean sustainable decentralized energy generators. I would shut down all nuclear generators. I would also shut down polluting coal-burning generators. I would encourage local organic small farms rather than huge factories farms which harm the environment in many ways and actually endanger our future food supply. To put it simply, we need to start shifting to a sustainable living model, preparing for the post-oil era. We need to work with the other nations to create this sustainable living rather than throwing roadblocks to this to protect short-term profits.
25. Do you plan to make any changes regarding US energy policy? Please address transportation, and power distribution.
I have addressed this in the last question. But a key is de-centralize and diversify energy sources.
26. Abortion is a heated debate among many Americans. What are your personal feelings on Abortion? Do you plan on making any changes in current abortion policy? If so, how do you plan to accomplish your changes?
My personal feelings about abortion…or any politician’s personal feelings about a moral issue…are not to the point. A person has a fundamental right to be in control of her body and personal life. Having/not having an abortion falls in this fundamental right. I will protect this fundamental right in all of its forms.
27. What is your stance on Gay Marriage? Do you plan to make any changes regarding policy in this area?
Government should leave marriage to churches. Instead, any two or more adults who have been living together for at least 2 years should be able to register as a “family.”
28. What are your opinions on the idea of “Net Neutrality”? What do you plan to do about “Net Neutrality”?
It is a case of where when you can’t understand what they are talking about, you can bet they are screwing us! It is also where the big boys are fighting among themselves over control…in this case, the control of the gates of the internet, about who will be in control and how much control on who and what passes through the “gates.” It is a part of the attempt to reduce the internet to a passive entertainment medium for selling. They are very threatened by the free-flowing democratic internet where something like my campaign can blossom beyond their control. I don’t see the web having gates, but pipes. We don’t need gatekeepers, but plumbers who keep the pipes wide open. I believe in equal and free access for all. I support the principles which were in The Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 which woulsd have made it a violation of the Clayton Antitrust Act for broadband providers to discriminate against any web traffic, refuse to connect to other providers, block or impair specific (legal) content; would have prohibited the use of admission control to determine network traffic priority. But this bill was let die in committee. I will push for its rebirth and enactment.
29. Do you have a set of standards by which you intend to appoint Federal Judges? What standards must a potential Federal Judge or Supreme Court Justice meet to gain your approval?
I’d look for people who have histories of protecting human and civil rights and freedoms, who have common sense and a sense of justice, and aren’t dogmatic.
30. What are your plans for the US education system? Is the “No Child Left Behind Act” a good thing? Do you plan on making any changes to the “No Child Left Behind Act”. How do you plan on changing US policy regarding elementary school, high school, and higher education?
We will have universal prenatal-to-the-grave health care and universal free education with equal access. Education should be federally funded, based on the number of students, adjusted to special needs of each student, in each school district. But schools should be locally controlled. The equal access of education for every student will be insured by the federal government. I will call for a major rebuilding of America. We will repair our school buildings and will build needed new schools. I will give back the art of teaching to teachers, instead of making generalized goals, instead of focusing on testing. I will focus on creating smaller classes, on providing needed tools, raising teachers’ salaries, and attracting/training new teachers.
Education will become a lifetime activity, not a process from which you graduate, not ending one part of your life. Colleges and universities will become community centers of resources, accessible to everyone. You could get training, explore your passions, do research, be challenged within an educational setting through out your entire life.
31. What issues are of strongest concern to you regarding domestic policy? What changes will you make?
Well, I have been talking throughout this entire interview about my concerns and the needed changes. The ending of hunger and poverty, true equality of possibilities for everyone, protecting our personal freedoms, civil and human rights, making sure all of our people have their basic needs met including housing, and creating a more caring environment will be my focuses. I will take back the control of our society from the big corporations with their addiction to obscenely huge profits. This addiction has distorted almost every aspect of our society. My policies will induce the big corporations to break up into much smaller entities that will be more dependent on serving the people’s real needs.
32. What issues are of strongest concern to you regarding foreign policy? What changes will you make?
They are pretty much the same as in my domestic policy. I would work as a member of the global community, not as THE WORLD LEADER, to end hunger and poverty, to provide health care and education, to de-nuclearize the world, to find ways to reduce world pollution and population growth, to protect people’s rights and freedoms, to end arms sales…all of which gets to the core causes of war. Corporate interests and the real national interests are rarely the same. I will protect the national interests. I will shrink our military into an effective defensive force rather than a bloated offensive machine that demands a purpose to exist and grow.
33. Please take this opportunity to address any miscellaneous concerns, plans or policies that were not discussed in this questionnaire. Also use this opportunity to make any closing statements.
Well, I have been running for president for about a year now. I started running basically because none of the prominent candidates are talking honestly and directly about the state of things, are committed to fundamental change, and have a clear plan to create a humane, sustainable, and just plain enjoyable society. So I took on that role. When everyday people in the “real world” hear about my candidacy, they become extremely excited. They don’t see a performance artist in a wheelchair. They don’t check the odds of my winning. Instead they see someone who they could excitedly vote for… somebody who shares their dreams, talks deeply about what really affects their lives. And then they read my platform. Then they got more excited at how possible it is to bring our dreams for our society into reality… to remove fear and isolation; to get the boot of big corporations off our neck; to provide everyone health care, life-long education, a minimum income, and a livable wage; to restore our rights and freedoms; and to bring our troops home now! We everyday people know the real state of the union! But more importantly, we have the sense of what is possible! We need leaders who share our dreams and who do not sell us short. Or sell us out!
So for most of the year, I have been running way below their radar. A performance artist in a wheelchair “pretending” to run for president is no threat… just a weird piece of conceptual art. But now I’m beginning to be a blip on the radar. Just a blip, mind you. But it is amazing that we have gotten to the blip stage this early… or at all! A blip who talks about the issues seriously and who gives real alternatives is dangerous. So the gatekeepers are beginning to say that I am not a “real” or serious” candidate. What they are really saying is that I’m not a part of the political system that has been corrupted by big bucks; that I’m not playing by the unwritten rules, etc. And of course this is true. It is one of the reasons why everyday people are excited about my running. That big bucks political system has been divorced from the everyday reality, hijacked by the addicts of obscenely huge profits. I am a real, serious candidate. I’m just working outside of their boxes. Outside of boxes is where the new possibilities are. Inside the limiting boxes is where political power is created. This is why the normal politicians stay in the boxes. This is why fundamental, humane change rarely—if ever—has come from power politics. I hope they keep saying that I’m not a real and serious candidate because each time they say that our blip gets brighter and more intense. I also hope they keep saying I am the candidate of the fringe, of the margins. Consider who they have marginalized… the poor, the working poor. In fact, most of the labor force: the disabled, gays, seniors, the uninsured, women, the middle class, artists, family farmers, racial minorities, immigrants, etc. Hey, I may win by a wide margin!
True, I do have my problems. As one “art expert” once wrote, I, “Seem to have a compulsion not to take no for an answer under any circumstances.” I do have this disability of not knowing what is “impossible.” So, I just figure out how to do it. When I was born, the doctors told my parents I had no IQ. Obviously the doctors were wrong. So I don’t pay any intention to the supposed limitations. I just do what is needed. When I was growing up, I struggled to get educated, struggled against discrimination and prejudices. I really enjoy the righteous struggle. This enjoyment of struggle gives me an advantage when struggle is needed. When Senator Jesse Helms tried to blacklist me, when the Berkeley City Council tried to ban my public access cable show… there have been so many struggles! My enjoying righteous struggle has been a winning element. I also enjoy when struggle is successful. I’m looking forward to the huge struggle of taking away controlling power from the big corporations, of reclaiming the rights and freedoms that have been stolen from the people of this country, of creating a new post-oil social order in which we will eliminate fear of getting sick, of getting old, of the future, of the Other.
In reality, as president, I will be able to do a lot to start the process of change. And I will! I get results! I deliver! But realistically, I will be working with a Congress full of people heavily invested in the old power system. I will need you! Writing me in on election day will be just the first step. I will need you to get involved in your local community. I will probably need you to put pressure on Congress—and on the press—to enact our dreams. It may take you coming to Washington DC a few times as you did for civil rights and to stop the Vietnam War. But together we will get this done! If it takes me throwing a giant party on The Mall every three months, then that’s what I’ll do!
It will be an exciting, fun four years! Just imagine a world in which somebody like you or me could really become president. Now keep imagining it and we just may win! Do not throw your vote away on a candidate who does not share your dreams, who is not committed to bring your dreams into reality! Go for it! It is the only practical thing to do because if we don’t go for it, we will never get what we need, what we want, what we are dreaming. Hey, it just makes sense… right? So write in Frank Moore for President and Susan Block for Vice President on election day! For more information, go to http://frankmooreforpresident08.com/