Political independent is challenging the American two-party system with common sense
Joe Schriner explains he traveled with his family across America for eight years doing social research before he decided to run for president of the United States.
When introducing himself he would say, “Hi, my name is Joe Schriner and I’m running for president.”
Invariably the response would be, “President of what?”
His patient and humble reply was always, “President of the United States.”
No one expects a presidential candidate to come campaigning dressed in blue jeans and a short sleeve plaid shirt, or to have his wife and three small children in tow, riding in a minivan equipped for camping.
However, Joe Schriner, a 50-year-old Midwestern father, Catholic, journalist, licensed social worker, independent candidate and presidential hopeful from Cleveland, does not mind doing the unexpected. In fact, his platform is change, harkening back to the days of simplicity, common sense and family values.
“You cannot heal the country until you heal the family,” he explained in a gentle and unhurried voice.
His gaze seemed thoughtful and longsuffering as he sat on a lawn chair, in the backyard of a middle class suburban home he was visiting, during a recent visit to Bonners Ferry. He and his family began their national campaign tour almost eight years ago.
Jonathan Schriner, age two, plays croquet while his father discusses issues of national and global politics.
His children, Sarah, age 9, and Joseph, age 7, played croquet on the grass nearby, with a local youth. His wife, Liz, dressed in casual denim slack and loose fitting top, her haired tied neatly behind her head, attempted to quell the exuberant energy of their two-year-old son, Jonathan, by swinging with him on a garden swing in the shade.
According to Joe, it has been quite a journey and added there have been over 1,000 news stories about their campaign published in newspapers and magazines and they have been guests on 160 regional news shows.
Joe explained he is concerned about the mounting level of violence on the streets and in the womb. He is also concerned about pollution, poverty and apathy in the country.
What does he plan to do about it?
Holding up a sign is not good enough according to Joe, so he decided to get involved.
“We are trying to make the Country a better place, one town at a time as the Lord leads us and as God guides,” he said. Joe further explained that his platform is based on successful projects, not airy concepts.
He explained before he decided to run for president, he and Liz traveled across America looking for people that made a difference by implementing successful projects, which turn back the clock on crime, violence, unwed births, hunger and poverty.
Back Road to the White House was written by the almost first family, Joe and Liz Schriner, and includes stories about people they have met on their campaign travels. It is interspersed with stories of Americana and vignettes from on the road.
They shared the result of their eight years of research, along with anecdotes and humorous quips, in their book titled Back Road to the Whitehouse.
Joe said when he shares about a working project and someone hears about it, reads his book or a news article about what he shares, they might say, ‘Hey, that’s a good idea.’
“If they try it, we can get a policy planted before we even get to office, so I'm never tired of talking about it,” he said. “Its amazing what people have done. We can't legislate that, but we can hold it up as an example.”
One of the best programs Joe said he has seen is Woman to Woman, in Newport, RI. There, women in the churches have come together to provide residential help, food, clothing, scholarship funds, and mentorship to support unwed mothers who have turned down the abortion alternative.
He added he wanted to see an end to abortion, and would like to see it legislated away. He would also like to see a lot more help for women in crisis pregnancy.
With 10 fingers, 10 toes and a heart beat inside the womb and 10 fingers, 10 toes, and a heart beat outside the womb, the fetus is a life, Joe declared and said pro-life issues are common sense.
He further explained he believes social problems are the result of a complex web. Poverty loops catch kids who are growing up in the inner city, where they are dodging bullets and drugs, just trying to survive. They often do not see a way out he said and, as a result, youth turn to gangs for support.
His platform of social justice involves giving help in the form of mentorship, social education, and resources enabling people to get on their feet. Joe said help should come from the government as an interim measure until more people are motivated to step in and begin to help.
“The government is a stop gap measure,” Joe explained. “What my platform entails me to do is to prick the consciousness of the spiritual leaders of this country. The message coming over the pulpit needs to be that people need to assume the responsibility of providing the help to the poor and needy around them.”
In order to facilitate this, he recommends that ministers, pastors, priests, and all spiritual leaders cut back dramatically on their consumer lifestyles in order to inspire their congregations to do likewise and give to third world countries where, according to Joe, 24,000 people are starving to death daily.
In addition, because politics sets the tone for whatever goes on in the Country, Joe explained he is especially interested in setting examples for getting youth involved in the process.
Joe shared about a project he observed at a high school in Columbus, OH, where the students were encouraged to work on a political campaign. Though there was a lot of apathy at the start of the project, he said it was just phenomenal to watch the enthusiasm in the students after hands-on participation. Liz beamed enthusiastically as she shared her support of Joe’s mission. She added the reason she thinks Joe would make a good president is that he is very concerned about doing the right thing for his children and the children of the nation.
“He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the talk,” she explained. “When he talks about living more simply and getting back to family values, he does that.”
Joe and Liz live with their family in the inner city of Cleveland, by choice, she said and added, when they are back in Cleveland, they spend about three nights a week with their family at an outreach to the needy, called the Storefront, where they serve meals and visit with those who come for assistance.
She and Joe share the Gospel message and said Christian values form the basis of their political platform.
Liz Schriner says she travels the road on Joe's campaign trail because she thinks Joe would make a great president and she wants to support him all she can.
While on the road, Joe and Liz homeschool their children using the Classical Curriculum. In addition, they have a hands-on, on the ground involvement in government and American history.
Finally, Liz said approximately 50 percent of the voting populace are disenfranchised, and believes their vote could go to Joe because he is not fettered by corporate interests, and because he talks about what his conscious tells him.
“People may not agree with everything we stand for,” said Liz. “However, we find they respect us because we are saying what we think is right.”
Follow along with Joe on the Road and read daily logs about his travel experiences, or find more information about Joe Schriner and his stand on political issues at Vote for Joe. You can email Joe or telephone him at 419-792-9059.