We're two short weeks from the end of this incredibly drawn out presidential election cycle. I'm thankful it's almost over and deeply dreading the outcome. Never could I have imagined that the country would be facing the very real prospect of having a president in office that nobody likes, or wants there. However both the Democrats and the Republicans have put forth exactly those choices. It's turned into a battle to see who the United States of America likes the least, in some kind of twisted anti-popularity contest. Nobody is talking about voting for the best candidate, they're instead discussing voting for "the other option" because of how awful the opposition candidate is. Seriously, America! Wake Up! They are both awful, equally horrible for different reasons. And sadly, this whole election cycle has become some sort of insane mockery of our duty to pick a leader for our country. Luckily we do have other options, there's a slew of Third Party Candidates running, although only two have made onto most state ballots, Gary Johnson(Libertarian Party) and Jill Stein(Green Party). Others are qualified as write-in candidates for various states and the two with the most, to my knowledge, are Evan McMullin(Independant) and Chris Keniston(Veterans Party of America). Personally I don't like the idea of a former spook in the White House, privacy issues people, so I'm going to discuss the Veterans Party candidate, Chris Keniston.
Back in mid July I spent the day in New Orleans and had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with the Veterans Party presidential candidate. It was less an interview and more of meeting between online acquaintances, sitting down and having a face-to-face conversation about life, family, and politics. With any first meeting, it started a little awkwardly, but drinks in in hand we found a seat at one of Starbucks tables and got to know each other. Our conversation touched briefly on his campaign platform and the goals of the Veterans Party as a whole. We traded some memories from the past, I heard a couple of great stories from his time in the Air Force and shared a few of mine as a former Army spouse. We talked about the joys of raising teenagers and the sudden passing of his wife this last February, his recent move to New Orleans, and how he's working with the Water Department there to help solve some of the issues that have been ongoing since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Chris Keniston is a true gentleman, soft spoken and somewhat reserved, with a core of steel. A genuinely pleasant, intelligent conversationalist, that can competently discuss his ideas for the country. He comes across as open, honest and forthright, a rare commodity in a presidential candidate these days. As down to earth a person as I've met, with a touch of southern charm, and a delightful sense of humor. It was an hour and a half spent in pleasant company while the regularly scheduled rainstorm, common to the southern states, poured buckets outside. A break in the storm and my need to beat rush hour traffic had me leaving much sooner than I wanted and my only regret is that I didn't take any photos with him. Maybe next time.
Since the August 17, 2015 announcement of his candidacy by the Veterans Party of America, Chris Keniston has had a couple of local stations interview him but the majority of his press has been online radio podcasts, hometown newspapers, and blog articles by independent media. With a largely social media campaign conducted on Facebook and through the work of volunteers with each states' Veterans Party Office, Chris Keniston is looking to be eligible as a write-in candidate in most states. His odds of succeeding are about the same as those of Evan McMullin, but this is America and we love a long shot. I urge you to do your own research on third party candidates, contact them, and ask your questions. Chris Keniston is the Veterans Party of America presidential candidate, positioned as a constitutional centrist. As in the middle of Right and Left as you can get. You don't have to take my word for it, you can post a question for him on Facebook, Twitter, or just send him a message.
Updated information on the campaign status:
Only four states now remain undecided: California, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. Winning the presidency requires 270 Electoral Votes. We currently have 197 Electoral Votes available to us through ballot access and write-in candidacy. If we can qualify in those four remaining states, we will have 273 Electoral Votes available. We will have made enough Electoral Votes available to win. Perhaps that doesn't sound like much of an achievement. Considering that we are a 3-year-old political party, in our first presidential election, with a nominated candidate no one had ever heard of last August... I think it would be a remarkable accomplishment.
But this isn't my accomplishment. It's yours. I'm just a guy determined to offer this country a legitimate representative in the White House. I cannot simply declare myself a presidential candidate and be eligible to receive votes. It's not that easy. In every state we needed people spreading the word, gathering petition signatures, volunteering to serve as electors... in order to make this possible. This is only possible because you all helped to make it possible. We are close to doing the impossible: rising up from absolutely nothing and becoming legitimate competition for this nation's presidency.
But we need your help immediately in California, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska to make it happen. We need registered voters willing to serve as our electors. Without them, we will not be eligible to receive votes. It's that simple. The fate of this effort now rests where it has always been... in your hands. Please contact the appropriate state party, if you are willing to help:
(Both photos are used with the permission of the candidate.)