25 July 2008

The Presidential Candidates: James Harlin Carter

Carter is the rare candidate in our group who acknowledges that he will not win the 2008 election. For him and his running mate, Dennis Stoltzfoos, this first campaign as standard bearers for the Real Food Party is a party-building exercise, but it looks like the party will have to build itself, since Carter says he doesn't have time to participate in debates, and has no plans to raise money apart from a benefit concert tentatively scheduled for October.

Carter and Stoltzfoos live in Live Oak, FL, where Carter owns a ranch and works as an optician. When he gets around to becoming President, he intends to "get rid of all" the lobbyists and reform the education system in order to steer those who fail standardized tests onto a vocational track. His main motive for entering politics, however, is to "change the way Americans eat."

The Real Food Party seeks to revise existing regulations to allow the sale of non-pasteurized milk and other "food that is helpful." At Project VoteSmart, Carter lists his personal priorities as :"1) Give back the personal freedoms (Freedom of choice for one) that have been taken away by the government and its corrupted organizations. (2) Removal from Iraq and other U.S. agravated areas using sensibility + balance. (3) Change the Healthcare System; this I can't tell you how yet until I have more facts."

Perhaps ironically for someone who is virtually a single-issue candidate, Carter writes that "We need to think of the nation instead of single minded Causes. " However, Carter appears to be in the process of broadening his agenda. He seems to be writing 2008 off as a learning experience, but if he does more to improve public awareness of his concerns over the next four years, he might be in a better position for the 2012 campaign.

Carter has no campaign website of his own, but along with the information he gave to Project VoteSmart, he's been interviewed by the Third Wheel Politics program, in which he discusses his Real Food views in more detail and advocates "unorthodox" thinking in general. You can listen to the interview below.

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