Washington D.C., Nov 15, 2016 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- American voters wanted change, says one third party presidential candidate who believes that Catholic social teaching will answer many of their desires.
“There is most definitely a hunger to apply the teachings of the Church to the situations that really matter,” Mike Maturen, 2016 presidential candidate for the American Solidarity Party, told CNA in an email interview on his support from voters across the country.
“I think the primary message sent by the voters on election day is that they were tired of the status quo,” he said of the overall presidential election. Voters “wanted change. In the minds of the electorate, Mr. Trump represented that change.” “I believe that much of our platform can fulfill what the people are looking for,” he added.
The American Solidarity Party began as the Christian Democracy Party USA, Maturen said in an earlier interview with CNA, but the name changed to more closely identify with Catholic social teaching. The party is not explicitly religious – and thus its membership spans adherents of various faiths, Maturen stated – but its platform rests upon the principles of Catholic social teaching: solidarity and subsidiarity.
On social issues their platform might look more similar to the GOP platform than the Democratic platform. The party supports the legal protection of “the Right to Life from conception until natural death,” and opposes the death penalty and the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. For religious freedom, the party supports “laws that allow people of all faiths to practice their religion without intimidation.”
However, on economics their platform advocates for “the creation of family-owned businesses and worker cooperatives” and “the repeal of subsidies which encourage urban sprawl and discourage local farming and production,” among other policies.
Maturen says his party was on the voting ballot in one state, Colorado. There he received more than 810 votes, “placing 11th out of 22 Presidential candidates,” he stated. In Texas, he received nearly 750, and in Ohio, more than 470.
“Probably the most common comment I have heard from supporters is ‘Thank you for giving me someone to vote for with a clean conscience’,” Maturen stated.
Now that the election is over, the party plans to continue spreading its message at the state and local level. “I will be writing a book that gives much more detail to our platform, and how to apply it in real life,” Maturen said. He also will consider a run for office in 2018 or even another presidential run in 2020. The coming months could bring change, especially in the policy areas of health care, trade, and immigration, with predictions that the Affordable Care Act could be partially repealed and trade deals re-configured. Maturen said he would reach out to members of Congress to discuss these issues from his party’s perspective.
“Of course, the over-arching issue of life is primary in all of this, and the abortion laws will also be a strong part of the discussion,” he insisted. “Our job now is to continue to educate folks on Catholic Social Teaching, and how it can be applied not only to our everyday lives, but to the functions of government as well,” he stated.