Amir Azarvan is a candidate for president of the United States of America, he is running with the American Solidarity Party. I was blessed with the opportunity to talk with him via messenger. He was very kind and was more than willing to answer my questions. Here is the interview:
Q: Who are you and how would you describe the party platform?
A: I’m an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Gwinnett College, and am the 2016 American Solidarity Party nominee for president. I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian. As for my platform, to quote from my campaign page, I am “committed to the defense of life from conception to natural death, to an ethical economic system in which those who contribute to the wealth of their society enjoy a fairer share of it, to the traditional family, to educational reform that focuses on the cultivation of virtue, and to a just and humane foreign policy.”
Q: What is your response to the police violence and the Black Lives Matter Movement?
A: Needless to say, these were tragic deaths. I don’t necessarily agree with BLM’s tactics, and I believe that there is more to the killings than sheer racism (which, nonetheless, undoubtedly exists). That said, I think it’s unfortunate that some on the Right are pedaling the idea that the slogan “black lives matter” implies the belief that ONLY black lives matter. Rather, they’re simply affirming that black lives matter as much as those of others. Lastly, I believe the media is dangerously oversimplifying the phenomenon of police violence. I expound on these ideas further here: http://welcometoamirica.blogspot.com/2016/07/campaign-reflections-7132016-some.html
Q: What are your chances of winning and why should we “waste” a vote on you?
A: I have absolutely no shot of winning. I openly admit this. But I wouldn’t see it as a wasted vote. For many Americans, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump are equally unacceptable options. This enables those who, like me, are socially conservative and economically left-leaning to vote their conscience. For us, victory isn’t measured exclusively by my share of the vote, but in the attention to our party that this campaign will draw. The hope is that we can build on our momentum in future elections.
Q: What is your response to Trump wanting to ban Muslims?
A: I’m not sure if he genuinely meant it when he said it (he did of course backpedal on it). I think he was trying to pander to a certain subset of his supporters. Is he Islamophobic? Is he a racist? Who knows what’s truly in his heart? What I do believe, though, is that he’s a narcissist who’s willing to say anything in order to win.
Q: If you were elected president, what would you accomplish in the first 100 days in office?
A: Tough one. I would definitely focus on carefully selecting a liberal AND a conservative to head every cabinet-level department (so that I am always exposed to both perspectives). From that point forward, I would likely concentrate on health care reform, protecting the life of the unborn, and religious freedom issues, to name but a few.
Q: What are your thoughts on guns?
A: To put my approach briefly, and to quote from my platform, I would seek to strike a scientifically-informed balance between our Second Amendment rights and public safety. For me, the ultimate question is this: what is the most effective way to protect innocent human life? This is an empirical question that demands an answer from empirical research. I understand that this answer might fail to satisfy partisans on both sides of this issue, of course.