by Sharon Rondeau
(Apr. 23, 2015) — On Tuesday, The Post & Email interviewed Merlin Miller, an accomplished film producer, West Point graduate, and writer, who, along with others, has launched a new political entity, the American Eagle Party, and plans to run candidates on the local, state and national levels in 2016.
The party launched in Gatlinburg, TN earlier this year.
In 2008, Merlin supported Ron Paul’s bid for the presidency, and in 2012, he was himself a presidential candidate on the American Freedom Party ticket.
The American Eagle Party’s platform includes advocating for secure national borders, bringing an end to “wars and occupations” and “sound currency” to promote growth of the economy and the private sector.
Another pillar of the AEP platform includes the fostering of new media “to be a viable alternative to the controlled, propagandistic ‘Mainstream Media.'” With his background in film production, Miller plans to broadcast unfiltered news from a news channel on the AEP website.
The platform is explained in more depth here and encompasses the premise that the U.S. should “end our foreign military adventures and close most of our overseas bases, redeploying forces stateside.”
On its “Take Back America” page, AEP maintains that “America’s Founding Fathers had the courage and divine wisdom to create a nation unlike any in history. In so doing, they delivered a promise – for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But America is sick and under attack. Not by any military, nor by God’s hand, but by treasonous elements within.”
The Post & Email asked Miller when he conceived of the idea of forming a new political party, to which he replied, “It has actually been a very piecemeal process. I was very uninvolved until I got familiar with Ron Paul in 2007 and sort-of inched my way into the political arena in backing his campaign. I was actually recruited by a new party in 2012 to be their presidential candidate. We were on the ballot in only a few states, and I wasn’t in total agreement with their platform. After the campaign, I left them, and with the encouragement of several people, we decided to form our own party with a platform that we all felt comfortable about.”
THE POST & EMAIL: Would you say that running for office caused you to want to start your own party, or were you seeking to make a change in the status quo?
MR. MILLER: First of all, I’m very uncomfortable with the political arena. I didn’t really like the campaign process, and I don’t like it now. In fact, I’m not throwing my hat in the ring as a candidate. I’m doing what I can to help get this party going, and we’ll have our first annual conference in September. The biggest challenge in putting a new party together is finding and building your support base, and for us, that means building state chapters. We have to decentralize and go down to the grassroots level and eventually have local and state chapters that would feed the national committee. Putting a national ticket together is important for positioning the party, but the real strength, I think, of a new party like us is hopefully impacting some of the elections, whether it’s congressional seats, senatorial seats, or within the state legislatures and local assemblies and offices where we might have an impact.
THE POST & EMAIL: It sounds as if you want to reach the people better than the Democrat-Republican paradigm that exists.
MR. MILLER: Exactly. There are only two ways that I see that the American people can effect this process, and one is the political arena. We have to get politically active; we cannot depend on the Democrats and Republicans. Both parties and the overwhelming majority of political officeholders are beholden to special interest groups and no longer represent their constituencies. We the People are not really represented anymore. So we have to do something within the political arena, and I see a third party as the only prospect.
That’s one-half of it. The other half, of course, is media. Without media, we aren’t going to effect much change, and the mainstream media is totally controlled, as is the political process. So we have to do what we can to build alternatives to that, and your program is one of those. There are so many alternative sources growing out there, and I think it’s pretty obvious that more and more people are distrustful of the mainstream media and looking for truthful answers.
THE POST & EMAIL: The people we elect often use soaring rhetoric while they’re campaigning and promise everyone what he or she wants to hear, but after they take their oath of office, they do what they want. How will your party be different in that regard?
MR. MILLER: Our whole focus is we want to be decentralized to the local level. The national ticket is providing a guideline to get us back within the binds of the Constitution so that the federal government is not exercising authority that it does not have. We want to decentralize and give people back their power as our Constitution and Bill of Rights were designed to do. So our whole focus is doing what we can to minimize government, to stop the growth of government and reverse that process, and we have to do it in a piecemeal fashion.
Our general platform right now is very simple. We have five major platform positions. We want to go out with very simple planks such that we can attract a lot of grassroots Americans who otherwise might be marginalized or divided amongst each other on the basis of a lot of these smaller issues which really aren’t critical to us right now.
I did find that in my experience campaigning in 2012, there is so much effort to divide and conquer the people – agents provocateurs within the parties, people doing what they can to create divisions – such that the issues that are not important are always thrust to the forefront in an effort to divide us so that we’re not united in the common cause. The primary focus of our political party is to be a unifying party, one that can reach out with a general platform where people can say, “This makes sense to me; why aren’t we pursuing these things?” and “Let’s stay away from the little things that pit us against one another.”
THE POST & EMAIL: George Washington had said in his Farewell Address that if we allow ourselves to be divided into “factions,” it would destroy the country. For instance, no one can agree today on what a “natural born Citizen” is. We have also divided ourselves into two groups: those who want a big federal government heavily-involved in the lives of the people, and those who want limited government which they believe enables more freedom.
How complicated is the process to register a new party in each state?
MR. MILLER: It’s a really difficult process because the deck has been stacked against the small, independent parties. We just recently formed our national committee and filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and the IRS monitors us. Although we’re exempt from tax as a political party, there are certain forms you have to fill out. Primarily, you respond to the guidelines of the Federal Election Commission. So we do have our national committee formed; we have an executive managing committee which responds and answers to the national committee on an annual basis when we have our annual meeting.
The next process is forming state chapters and then local chapters. That’s where you develop your power and gain membership; that’s where you get a voice in the communities. We’re in the process of doing that right now. Tennessee is forming; they have their website up already. Pennsylvania is in the formative stages. We have interest from several people in Texas and Arizona. Our goal is to have at least a half a dozen, possibly a dozen state chapters formed by the time we have our first annual conference this September. So it’s very important if we’re going to grow and really be a force for We the People to have that local activism. It all begins at the chapter level.
THE POST & EMAIL: So we can’t look to Washington for someone to solve problems?
MR. MILLER: That’s right. A lot of people would claim that we’ve been taken over, that we have a de facto government that has totally gotten away from our Constitution; that it’s a corporatocracy now. I’m a firm believer that that, in fact, has happened, and we have to get back to the doctrines of our Founding Fathers, our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The only way that that will happen is to shrink the power of theses special interest groups that now control us.
THE POST & EMAIL: It appears that the special interests control members of Congress. What strategy is there to run candidates for local offices such as town clerk or registrar of voters?
MR. MILLER: Exactly; that’s where our emphasis is going to be. At this stage, when we’re just launching the party, we want to be a magnet, and at the same time, provide a bit of a guidance. We’re developing our own organizational guide which we will share with state chapter leaders and local leaders who want to put chapters together so they can build on the basis of having a model that is existing that can help them get up and running. But the idea is to get them to identify people within their communities, whether it’s the town, county or the state to put up as candidates and run them through office. Each state will have its own issues that are more important, and they’ll have different priorities than other states. So that’s really up to them, as the chapter, to find and put up those candidates they think best represent their communities.
The only thing we’re doing is launching on the basis of five primary positions that we as a national committee stand for. Those, in a nutshell are very simple:
Stop the wars and occupations. We are a republic, not an empire to police the world.
That’s our first one. It’s bankrupting us and it’s bankrupting our reputation throughout the world and losing the blood of our young people.
We have to be a nation. We have to respect the sovereignty of other nations. We should secure our own borders; we should not allow an invasion, whether it’s a physical, warlike invasion or the ongoing immigration invasion that is challenging our very identity. Our demographics are being radically altered. We’re no longer a sovereign nation when we do not have secure borders. We are not opposed to immigration as such, but it needs to be a process which has the best interests of the American people at heart and they need to go through a process that makes sense and is fair.
We need to restore our economy. We need to look at all the trade agreements which have not been made with the American worker in mind. They’ve been made with the United Nations, with multinational corporate interests, with international financiers and even foreign competitors. Basically, everyone has a priority in this process except the American entrepreneur and the American workers. We need to turn that around and have a level playing field such that our trade agreements do not send production outside of the United States of America and penalize us. There are very simple ways to do that, and we need to relook at these so-called “free trade agreements” which are anything but fair.
THE POST & EMAIL: To me, this sounds like a “Founding Fathers” platform, because they advocated “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” unfettered by government.
MR. MILLER: It really is. When you look back at the whole American experience and our whole experiment in history, we have been so successful primarily because these doctrines which established by the Founding Fathers, which were divinely-inspired, in my opinion. We need to get back to their doctrines. That leads to our fourth platform position, which is:
- Restoring the rights and the freedoms to the American people. We’ve had executive orders, the Patriot Act, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA); we’ve had so much legislation take place which is in clear violation to our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. We have to undo those things immediately. We need to undo all kinds of legislation which has hamstrung the American worker and get back to where they’re free again to be the people that our Founding Fathers wanted them to be.
The fifth point is allowing for alternatives, whether it’s in media, which is critically important right now, that we allow voices to challenge this monopoly that the mainstream has over our minds and our beliefs. The same thing goes for medical, whether people want medical alternatives and don’t want to succumb to the profession and the pharmaceutical industry, the medical industry; people should have fee choice, especially when it regards their own body and the food they take in and the medical treatment they pursue.
Beyond that, most every issue should be dealt with at the state or local level.
The Post & Email will conclude its interview with Merlin Miller in an upcoming article.