Q. What made you decide to run for President?
DC: “You know, I got interested in politics back in 1999, when I was a freshman in High School. It really fascinated me and I remember watching the debates, following the results, etc. It became like another sport that I followed and I’ve followed it to this day. At the time, I supported a man named John McCain, who was a former P.O.W. and national hero. It wasn’t so much his politics, which were not too different from those of his opponents, so much as it was his personal story, his humility, decency and courage that drew my support. As an aside, Senator McCain belonged to the Republican Party and so I became one as well and have been ever since. Unfortunately, despite coming very close to pulling off a historic upset he was ultimately defeated in the primaries by George W Bush, who would then go on to be narrowly elected President in a controversial election. I continue to think it was a big miss for us because I think McCain had the potential to really bring the country together at a critical moment when the two sides were really drifting apart. Again, it wasn’t so much the difference between the politics which he ran on. Even looking back now to the Democrats at that time, there wasn’t nearly as much difference in a practical sense as it felt to voters at that time, which is only marginally less than the current state of our national conversation. It was the character of the man, his humility and his genuine desire to be of service to his country that set him apart in my eyes. That rare willingness he possessed to go against the grain when he felt it was in the best interest of the country to do so. They called this his Maverick streak, which is a trait that all men ought to aspire to, though seldom do. I think not only the country but really the world looks a lot different today if he had been elected President in 2000, especially because he would have been a war time President. That’s when things like integrity, character and leadership really have an impact on the flow of history. I don’t think 9/11 and the wars in the Middle East that followed, I don’t think they play out in such a unilaterally disastrous manner if he’s sitting at that desk instead of a George W. Bush. Certainly we know there wouldn’t have been things like Abu Ghraib if Senator McCain were guiding our military procedures rather than Dick Cheney, whom we now recognize as the architect of the failed foreign policy which defined that Presidency.”
“So I always held out hope that we would correct this misstep and elect John McCain as President. In 2008 he managed to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in primary history to become the Republican nominee. Unfortunately however, his hour had past and he was soundly defeated in the general election to Barack Obama, whose candidacy had really swept up the nation. McCain was now in his 70’s and the Bush administration had left such a crater on our country that it was virtually impossible for anyone belonging to his Party to be elected. But beyond that, despite being his polar opposite politically, I certainly acknowledge what a compelling candidate Obama was for so many millions of Americans. It all seemed so unjust to me because McCain ended up taking the loss that really belonged to the same establishment thugs who used such underhanded tactics to stop him back in 2000. It still doesn’t sit right with me but looking back on I am thankful that I had the privilege to be able to cast my first ever vote for someone who was a personal hero for me like Senator McCain was. In fact, for various reasons I haven’t gotten around to voting ever since; though I might have in 2012 if we’d nominated someone like Rick Santorum instead of Mitt Romney. I’ve carried on a bit here and given a long history lesson but I think to answer your question I decided to run for President because I was inspired by John McCain to do so. Because I want to make good on the promise that I saw in his candidacy for the type of national leadership which could potentially bridge the widening gap between the two sides.”
“And by the way, this adds a personal component to the 2024 race because Donald Trump, a man who ran from service, had the audacity to insult Senator McCain’s military background. What’s even more disgraceful, he refused to ever apologize, even after the late senator passed away. This was the big indicator to me that something was off with the Trump movement, when we see honoring the service of P.O.W.s becoming a point of contention within our ranks. If we’ve stood for nothing else, Republicans have always stood for honoring the heroism and sacrifices of our military and that’s not something that should ever have been allowed to become a discussion. Certainly as someone running for President who has never served, I feel the very least that I can do is demand that my political opponents acknowledge the heroism of our P.O.W.s. So while I expect to support whomever my party nominates, as I’ve always done, there won’t be any Ted Cruz kumbaya moment between myself and the former President until he issues a proper apology to the McCain family, which he certainly owes them. I’d sooner lose the primaries than allow such foul misconduct from any figure in my party, even a former President, to go unchecked.”
Q. In your opinion, what are the key challenges in front of the USA today?
DC: “You know, there is a lot of talk about the poor state of our economy and no doubt this is a big concern. But for me, I see this as more of a natural and predictable indication of a much deeper, more substantial problem, which is spiritual nature. As a nation, we’ve turned away from God and history paints a very clear picture about what happens to countries when they do that. And that’s a picture that lines up quite clearly with the type of rampant social chaos that we see today. Breakdown of the family, racial tension, widening social division, outbreaks of violence, these are all key indicators of our failing health as a nation. So to me, not to gloss over topics like rising gas prices but we have problems much, much deeper that we must examine and address at the same time.”
“One example of a big problem to me is our culture, which sort’ve gets this free pass because it’s perceived as an expression of capitalism, which we’ve established as untouchable. Media is a very powerful thing that has in the past had some military application and now, it’s all so invasive, the phones, all of it. I don’t think we can afford to give these topics a pass anymore. in fact, I actually view applying some basic supervision here as a matter of national security. This isn’t actually a new idea, we used to hold the entertainment industry to some basic moral and ethical standards and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the moment we stopped doing so the artistic community turned around and started imposing a very different set of values on the nation. And because America has always been the cultural center of the world, this has had a big impact on everyone else as well. So that’s the other side of this, what are the unintended consequences of exporting such a toxic culture to the rest of the world? These are the real root causes of things like high inflation and rising gas prices, which are the natural byproduct of our moral declension. Until we roll up our sleeves and engage on these topics, again, we’re just treating the symptoms rather than disease itself.”
Q. If elected, what changes would you make as President?
DC: “One thing I would do as President is invest big in restoring the traditional family, which has been reduced from the national standard to one of many different, unique configurations. I’ve talked about extending paid maternity leave to 18 years, effectively providing what amounts to a considerable household credit to families which choose to pursue a one bread winner model with a working Father and a stay home Mother. Being a mom is actually a super important job and I think we’ve done a real disservice to our young women with how aggressively we’ve worked to devalue motherhood as a society. You know, ideas like these, and I’ve got plenty of others, at first glance they seem really crazy or out of the box, but really this is nothing new. Our government has been in the business of incentivizing lifestyles, choices and attitudes for some time now. The problem is that our government has been incentivizing things which are harmful and which run counter to the common good. So it’s less of a new concept than it is a reversal in the direction of our social welfare programs away from that which is destructive back towards things which are life affirming.”
“That’s one of the things that makes this process really exciting and rewarding for me personally, when we start to talk through these things and you see the lightbulb turn on in people’s heads that not only are ideas like these not crazy, they’re actually normal. That we actually can dare to put forth ideas to actually bring about positive changes, as opposed to merely adopting strategies aimed at slowing the encroachment of degeneracy. So if you take a policy like this as an example, you can begin to see many other applications of this principle in action. In fact, the policies begin to write themselves.”
“The other big thing that you will see from me on the domestic front is my determination to better protect our children from exposure to harmful forms of media, such as pornography or violent video games as well as the various alternative lifestyles we’re currently pushing on them. I know it’s an uncomfortable conversation but we need to figure out how to have it, we have to be able to talk about things that impact the development of children. That can’t be a topic where one side gets to define what can be challenged. My viewpoint on this topic is that we need to reset the boundaries around our children and again, if this becomes a point of friction with capitalism, corporate America etc, I’m always going to side with protecting children. That’s a guiding principle of mine which no doubt flows over to other topics, such as gun rights, education and entertainment. If you don’t take these things seriously enough to actually do something about it, to introduce disruptive ideas and meaningful reforms, you’re really just in the business of complaining about things. I think we need to take action here and I’m confident most Americans agree with me.”
Q. What is your message to American voters?
DC: “My message to the voters is let’s make this happen. Let’s actually do something, let’s shake things up. Let’s reimagine the political landscape and put forward platforms which redraw the out dated lines between red and blue America. Until we do that, we’re going to see this ugly gridlock and division continue to get worse and worse until something pops and we don’t want that. It’s not supposed to feel like a civil war when we go to the polls. Both parties are so rigidly locked in on a very small set of topics, largely defined by the special interests which fund them, there’s no room left for growth. If nothing else, I really want to reset the conversation, to disrupt the group think and encourage people to start over from scratch and create their own independent ideas about what is best for their country. That’s what I’ve done personally and you know, now I’m putting my unique ideas forward. My message is that there is nothing wrong with making bold, systemic changes to our system if we the people deem it necessary. Democracy allows for this, in fact this is perhaps its best feature.”
“Let’s get away from the militias and conspiracy theories. Let’s put pen to paper and write our demands on the ballot, which is what I’m doing. If I’m crazy, if these ideas are terrible, then nothing wagered, nothing lost. If on the other hand it turns out that a majority of Americans come to share my vision for the country and I am privileged enough to be elected President, then I’ll get to work on implementing those ideas. Regardless, I want us to step back from the current trend, where it’s really becoming a proper banana republic, where we don’t know necessarily if our government takes actions against opposition with proper cause, etc. Let’s not question the legitimacy of the process, let’s look at all of the things that we don’t like, which provide an unfair tilt to the national conversation and then let’s re-engage with the process of convincing voters to elect us to change these things. Let’s get back in the game and let’s win big enough to compensate for the unfair officiating. Then when we win, let’s fix it. I think we had a big opportunity to do that in 2016 and didn’t get the job done and we gave up home court advantage. There’s no point complaining about the officiating now, after the fact. The present reality is that we’ve got to go on the road and pull out the victory. If other people want to keep talking about 2020 that’s their business but I’m focused on 2024, which I continue to believe is very winnable for Republicans. But it’s only if we produce a winning strategy and a winning mindset and I don’t think we’ve done either to this point.”
Q. Thank you for sharing your ideas with our readers Mr. Constantine. Please close with anything you’d like.
DC: “Thank you very much for the opportunity Manish. You’re a very talented young man and I feel through our conversations both on and off the record that we’re becoming friends. At least this is the feeling from my side. It’s a pleasure to be able to share some of these concepts with an international audience such as yours and I look forward to conducting many more such interviews with you in the future. We shall have to do such an interview face to face from the White House, should we make it that far. I’ll have the chefs prepare some samosas and mint chutney. perhaps some pickle, which are favorites of mine. Ofcourse, we are a long way away from the White House and I’ve got to do a much better job of getting my message out in 2023 than I did in 2022. So again, thank you for helping me to do so. I wish all the best for you and your readers.”
Mr. Constantine declines social media and encourages media and supporters to engage with him via his campaign website www.constantine2024.com.