Monday, June 12, 2017

Candidacy for the National Committee of the American Solidarity Party

I am Ephrem Hugh Bensusan, and I am running for election to the National Committee of the American Solidarity Party.

A little about myself: I am am 48, married with grown children, the youngest of which shipped out June 5th on her journey to Parris Island to begin her career in the US Marine Corps. I work for Apple, Inc. as a Technical Advisor in the Enterprise Creativity Software division. I have a long background in political activity, and in all three streams of Christian social theory that act as the general basis for Christian Democracy - Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformed, as well as the thought of the Civil Rights leaders of the 20th Century. I am technically a Melkite Greek Catholic, but I attend the Roman Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington, Kentucky, under Bishop John Stowe, a notable social justice Bishop.

Currently, I am the Chairman of the American Solidarity Party of Kentucky, and I have led our state party through a period of fairly rapid growth, established us as an officially affiliated chapter, and worked to establish relationships with other political and social justice groups locally, most notably the Lexington NAACP and BUILD - Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct-action, and we continue working to establish relations with the various refugee and immigrant advocacy groups in the commonwealth, as well as with pro-life groups that seek to implement whole-life solutions rather than simply focus on issues of legal status. The Kentucky ASP is also very serious about racial justice, and we are heavily involved in the movement to remove specific Confederate monuments both in Frankfort and Lexington. We are also in the process of establishing a candidate to run in a U.S. House race in 2018, and looking at an endorsement for a candidate in the local non-partisan race for Lexington Councilman at Large.

I am deeply committed to the principles of the Christian Democracy movement as it has developed in Europe and the rest of the world, and in bringing those principles to bear in our unique American milieu. Our four core values as a party are

  • The sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. 
  • The necessity of social justice.
  • Conservation of the environment. 
  • The promotion of a more peaceful world.

Our three core principles are Common Good, Common Ground, and Common Sense. Guided by these principles and values, we seek to promote the material and spiritual welfare of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or orientation, in a political framework that emphasizes unity over fragmentation, community over individualism, liberation over enslavement, solidarity over division.

These are my emphases in Kentucky; you can count on them to be my focus on the National Committee as well.

My priorities for the National Committee are these:

  1. Grow the party at the state and local levels, encouraging networks with other groups of like mind. 
  2. Encourage state chapters to affiliate with the national party in order to create a national organization with strong chapters in all states. 
  3. Field candidates to run at all levels of government, with a focused emphasis on local and state elections. 
  4. Ensuring that all of our policies and actions as a party arise from a preferential option for the poor and marginalized, rather than serving to enrich the already wealthy. 
  5. Emphasizing our particular distinctives - sanctity of human life, necessity of social justice, conservation of the environment, and promotion of a more peaceful world - in platform and policy development, and in spreading our ideas in the various media. 

Lastly, promotion of principled resistance to both the current Administration and to the threats to the common good that come from both sides of the conventional political spectrum.

In 1904, in the original edition of his novel, The Jungle, Upton Sinclair described the American two-party system as “‘two wings of the same bird of prey!’ The people were allowed to choose between their candidates, and both of them were controlled, and all their nominations were dictated, by the same power. The people attended political meetings of either party, and the hall was paid for, and the speakers were hired, out of the same purse.”

 More than a century later, that reality has not changed. In fact, the inequality of wealth between the top 1% and the rest of humanity is greater now than ever before. For all their superficial “differences,” Democrats and Republicans alike are united in the neoliberalism that feeds the ruling elite.

The ASP Statement on Principled Resistance (which originated here in the Kentucky Chapter) says this: “We are, as an organization, committed not to conciliatory acceptance and acquiescence, but to principled, peaceful opposition and resistance to the actions of any administration, national or local, that violate our core principles of human life, human dignity, social justice, and environmental responsibility.”

We need people on the National Committee that take this stand of Principled Resistance against the existing order, rather than to those who call for us to “stand behind our new president,” or issue endorsements for Trump’s dubious nominees for federal positions. We need those who are willing to take a stand against the Trumpist Kleptocracy, not those who would normalize and support it.

I can guarantee that I will remain in the vanguard of those who stand and fight, and not among those who compromise and acquiesce as the country slides further under the boots and high heels of its monied master class.

I thank you for your consideration. I would deeply appreciate your support and your vote at the upcoming convention.

May God bless our endeavours and our nation.

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