NLP Campaign 2000:
Poised to Create History
Kingsley Brooks has been with the Natural Law Party since its inception in 1992. He was John Hagelins campaign manager in the partys first presidential race and became party chair in January 1994. Kingsley has overseen the partys rise as the fastest growing political party in America. In this interview with Natural Law Party News, he presents an inspiring vision of what lies ahead.
NLP News: Before we discuss the current campaign, what do you see as the partys biggest accomplishments so far?
Kingsley Brooks: Two things stand out: the creation of the partys infrastructure and learning how to create a new political party in this country. When we started out in 1992, we were so naive. We assumed it would be easy to put forward some fundamental new ideas as the basis of a new political party. We were not aware of the enormous obstacles to creating a third partyobstacles imposed by the Republicans and Democratsthat in effect have prevented American voters from having the chance to consider these new political ideas. But after eight years, we now have the party machinery, the donor base, and the support base that have allowed us to overcome those obstacles and form a mainstream third party that truly gives people hope for a better future.
NLP News: Party leaders and supporters seem to be more optimistic than ever as we enter the 2000 campaign.
Kingsley Brooks: When you look back at the 1998 election, one overwhelming statistic jumps out at you: of the 185 million eligible voters, only 70 million cast ballots. Thats 115 million people who felt they were not being represented in that election. And over 60 million people in this country have been identified as cultural creativespeople who care deeply about the environment, the food they eat, the development of our full potential through educationall important planks of the NLP platform. These are people who are seeking spiritual answers to the nations problemsnot spiritual in the sense of a specific religion but rather in the sense of wholeness. They want government to access a deeper, underlying intelligence. Our party has identified that intelligence as the field of natural law. So yes, we are very optimistic. If we can get our message out and give this huge segment of the population a reason to vote, we can win the 2000 election. We will be on the ballot in all 50 states, John Hagelin will soon be qualifying for matching funds, the issues we are raising are gaining more national prominenceeverything is pointing to the realization of our highest political goals.
NLP News: What strategies will the party be implementing to reach those goals in this election?
Kingsley Brooks: Essentially we have identified four key objectives: aggressively developing our NLP donor base, raising public awareness of our positions on the major issues through a series of forums and national TV advertisements with John Hagelin, using direct mail to reach the 60 million cultural creatives, and of course Johns effort to forge the largest third party coalition in U.S. political history.
NLP News: The donors are first on your list.
Kingsley Brooks: I think more than any other political party, the NLP has been blessed with a group of donors who are deeply committed to the ideals their party represents. Without them, the other three strategies will never be implemented. To run in an election takes a lot of money; to win an election takes even more. We can only attract new donors by making more and more people aware of the NLP. For instance, we have produced some powerful television spots featuring Dr. Hagelin. If we can buy the TV time necessary to run them, we know we will be able to attract tens of thousands of new donors to the party. But this takes money, so it is only through our existing donors giving more now that we can expand our donor base and enable the party to take its message to the next level. And we need to do this soon. Every dollar we raise now is really worth two dollars because it will help create more donors. There is so much to be done.
NLP News: You mentioned direct mail. Already the nations mailboxes are being stuffed with pamphlets from candidates. What mailings are you planning and how will they stand out?
Kingsley Brooks: We are very excited about our direct mail strategy. Over the past six months, John Hagelin and Neale Donald Walsch have teamed up to give seminars in a number of cities across the country. These talks have proved to be very inspiring to people who were not yet familiar with the party. We have produced a videotape with highlights of these seminars, and we want to get this tape into the homes of as many of the cultural creatives as possible.
NLP News: The party has overcome many obstacles to get to this point. What challenges do you still face?
Kinglsey Brooks: First, we need to achieve ballot access quickly. We are far ahead of our pace in 1996 but not as far as I would like us to be. (See story, opposite page.) We will be on the ballot in all 50 states, but we need funds immediately to speed up the process. Also, as you get closer to the election, the price of ballot access goes up. So we can save a lot of money by completing ballot access soon and using the savings to promote our candidates later in the campaign.
NLP News: The relative lack of media coverage must also be an area of concern.
Kinglsey Brooks: Unfortunately, the media in our country are driven by celebrity status. If youre not a Jesse Ventura, a Pat Buchanan, or someone who has already held public office, its very difficult to get media attention. And its so important. The more that people hear about John Hagelin and the NLP platform, the more public pressure there will be to have him participate in the presidential debates. We are now in a position to give him the national exposure necessary to get the attention of the media. Our massive national TV advertising blitz featuring Dr. Hagelin in 30-second and 60-second spots will fulfill that need. We just need the funding to do it. The increased exposure will also address the third big challenge we face, which is attracting more candidates to run under the NLP banner. It is through exposure to our candidates that the the party is built.
NLP News: What impact is the NLP having on the 2000 campaign?
Kingsley Brooks: We cant put any limits on the impact we could have. The NLP is changing the direction of politics in this country. So many people tell us that the NLP is the future of politics. Its just a question of time. As John Hagelin says, If its good enough for the future, then its good enough for today. Why wait?