As I get ready for my 100-Day Road Trip beginning in early August, I’ve been thinking back on my first one hundred days as an independent candidate for President. My first observation is that my original reasons for entering the Presidential race stand strong: I love America and I no longer believe our government Of the People truly serves We the People. After 35 years working on government reform and ways to reduce and prevent violence, I have shaped a platform I believe is perfect for our times: Fix Government, Build Peace.
I launched my campaign on March 30 and spent much of April on 3 road trips from upstate New York into New Hampshire. Here, I learned what “campaign mode” really means and I started greeting strangers with “Hello, I am Lynn Sandra Kahn - independent candidate for President of the United States.” I got a lot of confused looks so shortly I learned to say “Hello, I am Lynn Sandra Kahn – Independent candidate for President of the United States – Independent not Republican Not Democrat Independent.”
Aha – that was the ticket! Now the reaction was confusion and curiosity! Confusion – since few people know there is a rising independent movement in the United States. And curiosity – since pretty much everyone I talked with described himself or herself as an “independent.”
I learned that folks understood my platform better if I added the word “broken” -- fix our broken government and build peace. People accepted my 7-track plan and eyes lit up when I said “and Track 1 is Cut One Trillion Dollars of Government Waste and Use the Savings to Invest in Our Communities.”
In May, I drove from my home base in Maryland to Iowa and then back again. I met with supporters and independent thinkers in Columbus, Ohio; Valparaiso, Indiana; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I met with the co-founders of the New Independent Party Iowa in Des Moines. A few weeks later, I drove from Maryland to upstate New York and then into Boston to meet with the founder and some staff of the United Independent Party of Massachusetts – where I got some welcome advice about running as an independent candidate. May was also the month I started speaking as a Presidential candidate on the radio – twice for the Independent Voter Radio Show on Revolution Radio (of course).
June was highlighted by a stopover in Connecticut and then two trips to Maine. I have a base of support and gracious sanctuary near Portland, Maine that served as a stopover for a terrific meeting in Bangor regarding open primaries and ranked choice voting. A hallmark of the independent movement is the effort to open up primaries so all voters regardless of their affiliation can vote for the candidates of their choice. More than 42% of all Americans are locked out of primary voting since they do not want to register as Republican or Democrat!
The Bangor meeting focused on Ranked Choice Voting. It sounds complicated but is actually an easy run off system if no one gets a majority vote. Voters rank all candidates in a race; if no one gets 51%, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the people who voted for that person have their second choice votes count. The process is repeated until one candidate has a majority vote. One goal is to eliminate the trash talking that goes on in so many of our political campaigns since all candidates are ranked and therefore all candidates are encouraged to talk about real issues to attract the most votes possible.
June was also a landmark month for me since Democracy Chronicles started publishing most of my blogs with greatly improved graphics. June 19 was especially important with the publication of Five Strategies to Cut One Trillion Dollars of Government Waste.
- July brought me back to home base in Maryland and I have spent most of the last few weeks meeting with policy experts in a wide range of fields to prepare solid position papers.
- I’m taking my published strategic plan to reduce and prevent violence in America and putting in more details. The result will be an action plan to reduce over-aggressive policing; divert all non-violent offenders away from the criminal justice system; and to honestly address the disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates for people of color especially young African American men.
- I’m also putting more details and actions into an updated version of “Cut One Trillion Dollars of Government Waste” – since that is my pathway for jumpstarting jobs, expanding healthcare, improving education, transitioning to a green economy and funding community-based programs.
I am also getting ready for my 100-Day Road Trip! I have mapped out a route to reach 48 states and maybe even 50. This blog went out as an email to those supporters who included an email address – if you add your location, I can let you know when I will be in your neighborhood. If you are not yet a supporter - sign up to meet up!