World Net Daily
by Julie Foster
Now that the raucous split of the Reform Party has largely died down, John Hagelin has re-upped with the Natural Law Party for his third presidential race, though this time he is also supported by what he terms a "third-party coalition."
Hagelin attempted to gain the nominations of three political parties for the 2000 election: the Natural Law Party, the Reform Party and the Green Party. After a highly publicized and dissonant conflict with Pat Buchanan, who ultimately won the Reform Party's nomination and $12.6 million in federal campaign funds, Ross Perot's political progeny split.
"What we have done is absorbed the best of the Reform Party, meaning all the people who've [led] the party over the last 6 years, and 9 out of the 11 executive committee members and the strong states are all with us," Hagelin told WorldNetDaily last week. "Buchanan has unfortunately taken the name and the money and some of the ballot access of the party."
Though the Green Party nomination was captured by political veteran Ralph Nader, Hagelin did win the support of his Natural Law Party. Additionally, he was endorsed by the Independence Party of New York, one of the original founding state parties of the national Reform Party....
Regarding Republicans and Democrats, Hagelin said, "They will go the way of the dinosaur. This is a new economy. This is a new millennium. We need a new political party for the new millennium, and the old parties are so ideologically bankrupt. ... They have really failed the country badly. .. I would hope there would be either no political parties, where people simply vote for the best candidate, or there will be new political parties that are promoting new solutions that are scientifically based and field tested," he continued.
"This is where the third parties all will distinguish themselves, since the whole idea is contrasting content-free politics in the two ideologically bankrupt parties and substantive solutions in the new parties," he said.
To those who accuse the scientist/philosopher of being a spoiler, and thereby taking votes from "mainstream" candidates, Hagelin responds, "That's the point, I think -- to take votes away from two failed parties that are bought and paid for by special interest groups. Every third-party vote is crucial, because third-party votes, historically, are the only votes that have ever accomplished anything. They were responsible for the right of women to vote, the abolition of slavery, child labor laws, workers comp, Social Security. These were candidates who didn't win, but by demonstrating support at the poll, got their ideas implemented. Their ideas were co-opted by the two main parties because of their support at the poll. So third-party votes are far more important than whether Bush or Gore wins the White House."
A Harvard Ph.D., Hagelin has spent much of his time leading a scientific investigation into the "foundations of human consciousness." In his book, "Manual for a Perfect Government," he outlines his belief that through educational programs that develop human consciousness and through policies and programs that effectively harness the laws of nature, it is possible to solve social problems and enhance governmental effectiveness.
His belief is reflected in his "20 Point Action Plan to Revitalize America," in which the candidate lists specific objectives of a Hagelin administration. Campaign finance reform tops the list with a proposal to eliminate political action committees and "soft money" -- funds given to candidates by political parties -- and initiate public sponsorship of election campaigns.
The action plan also includes a proposal to raise teacher salaries by $10,000 per year through a program of block grants to the states. Hagelin also supports school vouchers "to expand school choice and to provide sound alternatives for children trapped in schools that are chronic under-performers."
"We will halt the endless manipulation of the tax code by Congress for their favorite corporate sponsors ('corporate welfare') by implementing a low flat tax," his plan continues. A family of four earning less than $34,000 per year would pay no income tax. "Above the $34,000 floor, the tax rate begins at 18 percent in 2001 and drops to 14 percent by 2006, as our cost-effective solutions begin to bear fruit. With this vastly simplified system, we can put an end to the IRS."
An environmentalist, the scientist wants to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and instead use wind- and solar-generated energy.
From a "prevention wing" in the U.S. military for world policing to continued study and labeling of genetically-engineered food, Hagelin's action plan covers a broad range of subjects -- something that separates him from rivals Nader and Buchanan, he said.
"We have totally different views of the direction for reform in America," he said in a melodious, soft-spoken tone. "Buchanan's view is a narrow message of bigotry and intolerance. The Libertarians are for the utter elimination of government. And Nader's message is a good one, but a narrow message, focused on ending corporate control of government. Those are some things, of course, that I support strongly, but the difference here is one of scope. His is a very narrow message, and ours is an extremely broad message, broad platform, and comprehensive blueprint for government in the new millennium covering education, crime prevention, foreign policy, defense, health care -- including preventative medicine -- sustainable agriculture, renewable energy."
"So the difference is this Natural Law Party/coalition candidacy is, I believe, the first viable alternative to Republicans and Democrats," Hagelin added, "because it's the first broad-based third-party movement. And by the way, when I say movement, it's bigger than a party. We have in place with the best of the Reform Party and the Natural Law Party and the Independence Party of New York. We have the most, the largest grassroots support base that any independent candidate has ever enjoyed."
Hagelin, 46, hails from Fairfield, Iowa, and is the director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy -- a think tank dedicated to applying scientific discoveries to public policy. He is responsible for the development of a successful grand unified field theory and has been published in leading scientific journals in the U.S. and abroad, including a cover story featured in a 1991 issue of "Discover."
Having appeared on such television programs as CNN's "Larry King Live" and "Inside Politics," Hagelin said his treatment by the media has been "very respectful, but minimal. "The articles are extremely positive. There's a great respect and appreciation for what we are doing in the Natural Law Party and this coalition candidacy," he said, "but I think that network television, especially, is under-serving the people by under-covering the third-party alternatives to the political monopoly."
The candidate summed up his perspective on the media's stonewalling of third-party candidates by pointing to network owners: "Each are contributors to the Republican and Democratic parties, and they don't want to rock the political boat."
But rocking the boat is exactly what Hagelin and his third-party colleagues have in mind.