Pagan Presidential Candidate Aligns himself with OccupyWallStreet

If you wish to learn more about Aldous Tyler’s presidential campaign, visit http://americachangestoday.com/ for an overview of Tyler’s platform. You can also listen to his radio program, TMI with Aldous Tyler, at http://tmitmitmi.com.

Radio announcer and political commentator Aldous Tyler says that corporations are ruining America’s economy. In a bid to resolve what he calls the corporate takeover of the United States, Tyler announced his candidacy as a democratic candidate for the office of US president in late September.

Aldous Tyler seeks the Democratic presidential ticket

Tyler states, “My goals are really not political. My goal is to save this nation from where it’s headed right now.”

When asked about his odds for winning, Tyler admits his chances are not good. “I cannot raise the millions and millions of dollars that Obama can. This is not a factor in whether or not I should do this.”

As of the time of the interview, Tyler needed to raise $15,000 to get his name on the ballot in 15 states. “I don’t have any paid staffers. I have volunteers to help me out. I’m making sure every dollar that comes my way goes to getting my name on the ballot and making sure this campaign happens.”

Tyler is a resident of Madison, Wisconsin and a former resident of the Twin Cities. He is a longtime member of the Pagan, LGBT, BDSM and polyamory communities and he has served on Detroit, Twin Cities and Madison Pagan Pride boards. At present, he lives in Madison with his wife, his son and a niece he fosters. He also hosts the radio program TMI, a program focused on progressive politics in the United States.

Tyler describes himself as a “spiritual interconnectivist” and considers his spirituality to fit best under the umbrella of modern Paganism. “I honor the divinity in every human being. This is why equality of all people is one of my priorities, and this is why people must be exalted over corporations. We must be able to respect one another. Because [corporations are treated as more valuable than citizens], this is one of the most destructive things that has ever occurred in human philosophy. If anyone has found a religion or philosophy that nurtures their spirit or soul, more power to them. We are all equal, we are all here to experience the world so collectively the world can know itself,” explains Tyler.

Tyler has his own description for his candidacy. “I am a citizen candidate. I am participating as an activist to put forward causes. I have never been a member of the Democratic party before. I am issues based, and it’s the issues that I’m running for.” He says what he wants most from this campaign is to prompt his fellow progressives to act.

He says he sees broad-ranging demoralization among liberal activists, to the point where apathy has contributed to backslides in the progressive movement. Tyler especially expresses disappointment in President Barack Obama. “No candidate running from either party actually represents the people. They are representing corporations. One wholly corporate owned party, the GOP, is ready to put us under the boot heels of their masters. The Dems are playing good cop to the GOP’s bad cop. President Obama halted EPA regulations that were ready to go and Congress had no say. He halted them supposedly because keeping the regulations would harm the ability to create jobs. This is a move straight from Eric Cantor’s playbook – that environment conflicts with ability to create jobs even though that’s been proven untrue.” Tyler continues, “I supported [Obama] strongly in 2008, and I thought this was a man who would be able to pull the country back toward the left. Obama hasn’t compromised so much as he has capitulated.”

The biggest issue in Tyler’s platform: corporate abuse of American citizens. Tyler’s stance is that the Constitution should unequivocally protect citizens, not companies. “Corporate personhood is one of the sicker jokes that’s been played on us.”

Tyler expresses particular interest in the Occupy Wall Street movement, because he believes his platform aligns with the intent of the protesters. If the campaign goes well, he plans to attend the protests in Madison, Wisconsin, himself. “We are the 99% of Americans that are not the super-rich that are making the decisions that benefit only the top 1%. We the people must reclaim our economy and our authority from corporations. I feel extremely blessed and lucky that they have decided to make this movement just as I started this campaign.”

He also fully believes that he can correct current economic conditions, and has specific ideas for how to do this. “We need to reinforce the aging infrastructure. Obama has proposed a small measure if this in his current job bill. Back there in Minneapolis, you know a little something about a bridge collapsing. We need every mile of cement inspected, bridges reinforced, and updated. We need a rural broadband project. Not having access to Internet in this day and age is a real handicap. My own mother lives in an area of Virginia where she can’t get better than dialup. The things she cannot do without broadband is enormous. If you have a bunch of people putting broadband through your home, they’ll be eating in restaurants, stopping in convenience stores, buying goods – and those people will be well paid. It’s a synergistic effect.”

Tyler envisions job creation also through reinstating import tariffs. “The free trade agreements we have going are the death mill of industry. They allow people to create horrible conditions allow people to die daily. If we create tariffs that give companies a real incentive to build things here they’ll be able to build jobs. Those are jobs that will stay and empower America to become what it was once before.”

He also sees the country as already having a solution to public healtchcare: Medicare. Tyler plans to expand on the Medicare foundation and make it available to every citizen, not just the elderly. “If you work for a for-profit healthcare company and you want to keep your job, don’t vote for me.” Tyler states that he does want to establish retraining programs for people that would experience job loss as the result of his policies.

Tyler acknowledges that his plans require raising taxes. “Taxes are the price of living in a proper society that takes care of itself. If you do not pay taxes, you do not have roads, bridges, or services we all rely on: police, firefighters – all the things we need in order to have a society. Let’s leverage our power as citizens to make this happen. If you didn’t pay taxes roads wouldn’t get plowed.”

The candidate also intends to address immigration reform. Tyler sees the best solution as a combined plan of encouraging those who would immigrate to stay in their own countries while decriminalizing those already in the United States. “It is completely unfair we have two different signs on the border between the US and Mexico. One says stay out and the other says welcome. It is 100% wrong to allow companies to openly and with impunity to use labor illegally to bring down their bottom line. Look at especially largest corporations on down and look at their use of illegal employment; this is the source of the problem [of illegal immigration.] If there is no job for someone across the border they’re not going to risk their life to get here.” Tyler advocates working closely with Mexico and South America to improve conditions for laborers there in addition to a crackdown on major corporations that exploit illegal labor. “Make sure employers do not employ people that are here illegally, and help the countries that have established policies that drive these people to the U.S.”

Tyler says he does not see mass deportation as a positive or beneficial solution. “Can you imagine trying to move over 12 million people out of the country? That’s the equivalent of the population of the state of Ohio. Rather than deporting them all, which is insane, give them documentation and offer them provisional citizenship. There are illegals in this country that actually do pay taxes to the government.”

Tyler also wants to recall the military at foreign outposts. If the United States experiences another attack on its own soil, he states that he considers the response of President Bill Clinton most appropriate. “Treat the terrorists like criminals and have them tried as criminals. You do not need their cause legitimized with war. They should face punishment and that’s that.”

Tyler summarizes his campaign as a call to his fellow progressives. “It is the actions of those who pay attention to these things that will determine the legitimacy of the campaign. We’ve talked about this for years. It’s time to act.”

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