Interview Theron Johnson - EC339

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Interview Theron Johnson
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 37
Length: 0:57:41
TapeCode: ec339
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 339, May the 23rd, 1995.

This evening we have a particularly interesting interview for you, plus some very remarkable people with us. First of all Paul Biddle. You are all familiar with him because we have written about him. He has written for the report and you read about him in the papers how he took on Stanford University, found that they had been misusing funds for national defense and is currently in the courts trying to recover that money from the federal government.

Then we have John Stukes with us. John himself has a remarkable story and sometime, John, we would like to have you come and we will interview, because I feel your story needs to be told. John Stukes has been very active in California on a number of fronts including the political front.

Then, of course, Andrew Sandlin and Mark Rushdoony and myself.

This evening we are going to interview someone whose life story—and he is a young man—is quite an unusual and an intensely interesting one. Theron Johnson is with us. Theron has had quite a background. He is currently a United Airlines pilot. Before that he was in the US air force and he was in Arabia and Saudi Arabia and took part in the Gulf War. And I think it would be especially interesting, Theron, to hear a little bit about your experiences there in Arabia, how Saudi Arabia treats Americans and whether anything is ever done about it.

[Johnson] Ok, and my time in the Gulf War, you have to understand, before that I was stationed din Saudi Arabia, went through weak deployments. A couple of several years before... before Desert Storm or Desert Shield the... as you know, the Muslim culture is vastly different than in the United States. They treat, in a nutshell, to make it simple, they treat Americans as if they are ... we are their servants. They don’t like the ... the culture is based upon third world countries doing their labor in Saudi Arabia and they rely on the Europeans and Americans to do all their technological or technical work of them. [00:03:25]

We during the course of the war weren’t treated very...[edit]

We during the course of the war weren’t treated very well. I am sure you saw a lot of the news articles and interviews from the American troops. That was just the tip of the iceberg when you have a ... such a clash of cultures, people running into each other in that way.

A lot of people... a lot of the soldiers were not very enthusiastic as the... as the war progressed as they saw how they... we were being treated by the Saudis. Not very appreciative of our... our presence.

[Voice] I remember seeing when the troops were sent over it was, you know, list some things that you couldn’t take and all the restrictions and that sort of struck me as ... as odd that a country that we were going and sending our boys to defend would... would set up all these restrictions. And do you have any other examples?

[Johnson] Well...

[Voice] ... of what happened while you were there?

[Johnson] Oh, interesting thing when you bring up customs. That brings back a lot of memories, bad, bad memories. Before the war when we would go to the country we had to have special passports. It would take us hours to get through customs, especially the women because they would be especially thorough going through there luggage. If they found anything that they liked or wanted they would say it was... it couldn’t come into the country and they would confiscate it. And it was exactly the opposite during the war because they... they wanted us in the country to defend them. So there... there was no customs that... no customs to speak of. So they just... we just came in the country. We were established in our billets and went about fighting the war. So, it was so... it was about 180 degrees...

[Rushdoony] You told me some interesting stories about Saudi justice toward Americans. Perhaps you could repeat one of them or more, the one about the...

[Johnson] Well I will tell you the one about the car accident.

[Rushdoony] Wife... Yes.

[Johnson] There was an American who a Saudi ran a... a red light and broad sided an American in their... in their car and there was a car flipped, flipped a car. The Saudi was wrong. In America he would have been cited in, you know, the American would have gone about his business. Well, in Saudi Arabia when the policeman showed up, he wrote... he did write the Saudi a ticket, but he also wrote the American a ticket. And the reason that he said that he wrote the American a ticket he says that this accident would not have occurred if you had not been in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [00:06:29]

[Rushdoony] And the American lost in court, no doubt...[edit]

[Rushdoony] And the American lost in court, no doubt.

[Johnson] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Johnson] And in another case of a ... a Saudi some connection to the royal family this is the way I understand it. A ... went to a gas station, if I understand there... five... I can’t remember what it is called their prayer calls during the day. But all of the shops and stores have to close down when they have the prayer call. Well, the ... a Saudi went into a gas station and wanted gas right at prayer call. Well, like I said before, all their labor is third world, Pakistani, Filipino and if they are caught violating these laws they are punished severely. Well, when a Saudi came in during prayer call and wanted gas, he didn’t ... this Pakistani... it was a Pakistani or Sri Lankan, I can’t remember exactly, but he wouldn’t sell the Saudi gas. Well, they proceeded to get into an argument and the Saudi pulled a gun on the Pakistani and they began to struggle and in the course of the struggle the gun went off and killed a woman in a... in a nearby car. The Saudi was fined, I can’t remember the amount, but he was fined and released. The Pakistani was put on trial for murder and he was scheduled last... or this is years ago, but he was scheduled to be executed. And at the time we were trying to raise money for his defense, because he wasn’t going to get a defense. And the reason that they put him up of the death penalty was they said that if he had sold the man gas, then that woman would not be dead. So they were ... I mean, there is many cases of they caught a... a Saudi who was raping and killing Filipino nurses and putting them in dumpsters. They caught him and they would not take the testimony of Filipino witnesses because they said they were infidels and they wouldn’t take that . that testimony. So that man walked. And now I don’t know if you remember this is back when Aquino threatened to bring all the Filipinos home from Saudi Arabia. So that is a... a small taste of Saudi... Saudi justice.

[Rushdoony] When you came back and you went into the United Airlines as a pilot. [00:09:07]

[Johnson] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Didn’t you? And you are still with United?

[Johnson] Yes. I still... I still fly with United Airlines.

[Rushdoony] You live currently in Sacramento, I believe.

[Johnson] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And you are a member of the Reformed Church there, I believe.

[Johnson] Yes, a new member of the Covenant Reformed Church of Sacramento.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

And, John, you are a member of that church.

[Voice] Yeah and we appreciate your work because it was basically through some of the writings of Chalcedon that ... in getting most of the church and started attending and we have had the pleasure of having in our home quite regularly and watching {?} to be a little joy.

[Rushdoony] One of the things that is notable about Theron is that he has a very strong faith, a reformed faith. And he is also intensely interested in politics, because he has discussed it with what he sees on all sides.

What are you doing about that, Theron?

[Johnson] Well, I am planning on running for Congress from the... in Sacramento, well, from the district in Sacramento in 1996. I have been, over the last several years, as John said, you are... your writings have influenced me greatly and... and in making this step. I have also been studying the issues so that I... I would be prepared to be a credible, a credible candidate in this... in this run for... for Congress. And, as you said, the... the situation now in... in politics in this country. It is disgusting. And... but I look at it and you have said this before, it is a... it is... we are approaching what we call a crisis and as a Chinese {?} says, you know it is a combination of opportunity and danger.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Johnson] And, you know, we could go either way depending on whether or not, you know, Christians decide to step up and, you know, and... and run and run and, you know, and run for offices. I have had people ask me, well, why are you... why are you getting involved in politics? You know, everybody is either slimy and sleazy and, you know, all these... you know bad things. I said, well, you just answered the question.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] Theron, what qualities can you bring to this office that either an incumbent or other candidates cannot?

[Johnson] Responsibility. Ethics. Initiative. The willingness to see if there is a problem and act... and act on that to do something positive to change the... the ... the thing that is going to, I m mean that... that put me over the top as far as, you know, wanting... wanting to run is definitely like my faith, my Christian faith, because that is the foundation of what I am going to run on is going to be ... it is... it is a Christian response to what we are seeing in politics. I think that has been a... a weakness in the conservative movement. You know, they will say, “Well, we are going to cut... we want to cut taxes and we want to get rid of welfare,” but they have nothing to, you know, to... to take its place, to respond to it. [00:12:51]

Whereas I am going to say, ...[edit]

Whereas I am going to say, “We want to get rid of welfare, but we want to get rid of that we must strengthen the family. The family has to, you know, step in and... and... and take its... the place, that, you know, God wants it to take and not, you know, look to the state for, you know, for everything, for all, you know, hand outs or ... or to take care of them.”

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] That is... that is, you know that is... that is an important part.

[Rushdoony] Well, you had more familiar with the political scene than probably you would like to recall. You have any suggestions and comments and counsel for Theron?

[Voice] Well, I ... I would only go back to when I ran for Congress and that is be faithful to your principles. And I would emphasize be in the fear of God and live in his ways. The back I... when I was running for Congress I read many of the things that Rush had put together over his good life and often when I would go before groups to speak to them, they would feel that you wouldn’t cleave to where you should be and if you were questioned you would sort of move to their side. And I ... I believe one of the first telling interviews was when they asked me and they said, “Are you a Christian?” And I said, “Yes.” And they said, “Are you a conservative?” And I said, “Yes.” And then they went into the issue of right to life and so on. We had five candidates there and I was the only one who would characterize himself as a Christian.

Now I am sure, going to church but they would not put their foot on the step and say what they were. And I think as people realize what we are, we will attract more people than we will cause to go away from us. But I... I think you are really an outstanding fellow to take on this challenge and it is really a challenge, but keep the faith, so to speak, on... on what you are and what you want to be and what you want to deliver to your people. The constituency up in Sacramento I... I think they have a good chance of getting a good congressman out of you. [00:15:18]

[Voice] It is... I ... I think it is an interesting time where, I mean that the district in Sacramento is one that the political professionals would say is an impossible district. It is an urban center. It has got all the problems that the liberals are designed to solve and yet the people there are starting to... to react much the same way as we are seeing revolution around the country. We need {?} Parker who is a black activist in Los Angeles who has got a dynamic testimony of coming to the Lord and having her pastor challenge her to get off welfare and then just, you know, in obedience doing it cold turkey and she went out and started a business and turned out to be a pretty good marketer and had a little local newspaper and when the Los Angeles riots took place is when her political revolution took place, because here she was at home literally watching the business that she derived her living from and she knew other black families derived their livings from, burning to the ground. And in the next scene Maxine Waters the black leader for Los Angeles as a congresswoman was standing there saying that these were just troubled youth and that they needed a way to express themselves. And... and that completely turned Star around and... and what we are finding is that in these literal bastions by the... by the press’s estimation, it is conservatives that are starting to come to the forefront and these people are rising up saying, “Of course, we are strong in the family. Of course we are strong in the church.” And I think it is... it is a real opportunity for a... for an American reformation of some real proportions because it is... it is only as we go back to biblical principles that we have got any real answers for these inner city problems.

[Rushdoony] Well, the past weekend and until yesterday I was in Appaloosas, Louisiana. It was a marvelous trip. I thoroughly enjoyed the people there, Cajuns mostly. And, of course, I met a rather select group, I would have to say. But I was impressed by the number of lawyers who were present as well as men in politics including one of the candidates for governor. And one of the things, Theron, and this really surprised me, was how many of them were disgusted with the unwillingness of men to be Christian in their stand. And he, the candidate for governor was unabashedly a Christian and I thought I believe there is something happening in this country. And I realized I had been seeing this happen here and there across country in my travels, that men were making a stand not just as a conservative or as a liberal or Democrat or Republican, whatever the case might be, but were specifically Christian. [00:18:44]

I think it is an indication that the time is rapidly...[edit]

I think it is an indication that the time is rapidly coming when people are going to have to be counted in terms of their basic faith, their willingness to make a stand, their readiness in some instances to go to jail for the stand they make and, John, you know what I am talking about.

[Voice] Used to put up a lot of money.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And some time we will have to get your story. But there is a definite change underway.

Tell us a little bit about your family, because I think it is interesting that your father was an air force man, retired from the air force.

[Johnson] Yes. He initially joined the air force. He enlisted and through a program that the air force had they sent him to college. He went to Arizona State to get his degree in the medical ... medical lab technician. We were stationed mainly in the southwest, Texas, Arizona, California, did a lot of moving... moving around and he retired and still, you know, when you retire from the air force you are still a young... I mean 40... he was 45 when he retired from the air force so he is still working and my mother is also... they all live... well, my whole family lives in... are still living in Houston. My brother is a police officer in... in Houston. My sister ....sisters, one is a nurse and the other one is an interior designer. And the are all down in Houston. My brother and I are the only true conservatives in the family.

[Rushdoony] Now in the Sacramento area you have a problem in that you have the great deal of bureaucracy there, state bureaucracy.

[Voice] It is the only growth industry in Sacramento. [00:21:12]

[Rushdoony] What do you have to say to the Sacramento...[edit]

[Rushdoony] What do you have to say to the Sacramento bureaucracy?

[Johnson] I haven’t had much contact with them, so I have had... I have had much to say to them. I am busy trying to get grass root support right now. The way I envision it would be to build my grass roots, raise my money and then go to the bureaucracy or go to the party leadership and say, “This is what I have. This is what I have, you know, built. Do you want to support me? You know?” And... and basically put in a frame where it would be nice to have you come along, but, you know, we don't want to... I don’t want to go in ... in needing them to... to... to finance my campaign or ... or keep me going. Yeah, I... I think it is... we are doing a little opposite of... of where most people do. They go around and want to meet all the... all the big wigs and head honchos whereas I am fairly content to go around and... and meet the people that, you know, I am going to be representing.

[Rushdoony] I am glad to hear you say that. What is the nature of your district?

[Johnson] We have... it is... as far as their... the break up of Republicans and Democrats, it is two thirds Democrat, a lot of low income areas. It is basically the city of Sacramento. So there is a lot of labor there in town, a lot of, as John says, bureaucrats and government workers, but the approach that we are going to take, as I said before, is going to be... it is going to be a Christian platform. We are going to have to go after issues that cut across party lines and those are going to be... we are going to talk to... we are going to address education. We are going to address jobs or and employment, the fact that the government over regulates and over taxes and, you know, it destroys jobs. It hurts the economy and we are going to talk about balancing the budget, fiscal responsibility which is the overall... and give... and.... and all those issues really address the family. It is if you take... if you address those... those issues and we, you know, we turn... we turn those around, then that makes it a... a better environment that would be conducive to people getting jobs, supporting their families, being able to look into the future and say, you know, I can count on, you know, dollar will still be worth, you know, being wroth, you know, whatever it is worth now, 14 cents. [00:24:01]

But a dollar being worth a dollar, you know, ...[edit]

But a dollar being worth a dollar, you know, 10, 20 years down the line and not go with this in this insane overspending and this debt we have approaching five trillion dollars. And that is what they are telling us about. And the... the funny thing is how I... I came about my issues. I... I... I looked at the Communist Manifesto which was a thing I thought would be the most anti Christian document I could find and I went in and picked a couple of issues. I believe Marx wanted government control of education which we have now. He wanted a central bank which we have now and is... is one of the reasons we are able to have the debt that we have is because of that centralized banking. And he wanted government control of industry which is almost what we have now. So I have... I ... the way I looked at it, if we address those problems and ... and started tearing down that ... his 10 points on his plank and, you know, having a Christian response to that, then that would be a... a good starting point.

[Voice] What... is the seat currently held by a Democrat or a Republican?

[Johnson] A very liberal Democrat.

[Voice] Ok, then I think I know which one.

What do you anticipate to be the response of .... are you running as a Republican I take it?

[Johnson] Yes.

[Voice] What do you anticipate to be the response of the party leadership?

[Johnson] Republican leadership?

[Voice] Yes, towards your candidacy.

[Johnson] I think it all depends on what... what kind of team I build as far as setting up... again, get the campaign set up. If I come in with money in the bank, a lot of volunteers, I think I will get good response. If I come in not prepared, I don’t expect them to... I mean, I expect them to give me a response of, I mean, showing how much work I have put into it. I look at a similar situation of Tim Lefebvre last year. He basically went, didn't get much support from the... from the party, grassroots campaign, basically did it on his own. The party came in. Once they realized, hey, this guy has got a chance to win, but by then it was too late. And he needed the support early. So I am looking at as a similar situation. I am also looking at the fact that Matt Sewey hasn’t been challenged, I mean, had an incredible challenge against him what is it 78 or...?

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] Seventy.

[Johnson] Longer than I have lived in Sacramento. So... and looking at his record, I can’t see how, you know, like I said, coming in with a, you know, I am going to show it as a opposite ends of the pole. I am going to show him as a radical, far out, left wing and not... I am just the conservative, you know, Christian candidate. And I think... and that... and, as you said, I want people to, you know, make a choice. It will... it will be a... a... a very, you know, a line drawn. It won’t be anything, you know, grey. It will be black and white.

[Voice] You have already had some interesting experiences in... in building your grass roots because of your profession. You get to strap in with seat belts next to a pilot or a co pilot for extended periods of time and you haven’t been shy about sharing your political ambitions. Maybe you could share a couple of the... the fun stories that you have {?} discussions in building support. [00:27:51]

[Voice] You call that a captive audience...[edit]

[Voice] You call that a captive audience.

[Johnson] Well, some of the... this is kind of an eye opener for me thinking that I would be flying with conservatives and I flew with a captain one day whose father helped set up the NAACP in Alaska and we were in the course of the discussion we were talking and he said, “Well, you are ok. You are a conservative, just as long as you are not one of them crazy right wing Christian fanatics.”

[Rushdoony] What was your answer?

[Johnson] I said I got bad news for you.

[Rushdoony] Theron, my feeling is the tough campaign will be the primary, but if you win there, I think it will be a shoe in, because I think you will pull a great many of the people who are registered as Democrats, but that the Republicans in your district will be some thoroughly entrenched liberal figures. Or am I wrong on that, John?

[Voice] Ironically, you are probably right. It is... it is the districts where.... where we probably have the greatest what we call wedge issues. In other words, we are... it is a difference in world views. I... I look at much as the reformers did when they walked into a ... a medieval city and the children were alcoholics at the age of eight and stumbling in the streets and the ... and the venereal diseases were running rampant. They would write back and say, “This... this town is ripe for revival. God’s Spirit is about to do a great work.”

And I think that needs to be our vision politically. It is the inner cities that are ripe for the Christian answer.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] We are the only ones that can give them hope and restore their families and restore their communities and put, you know, the bars and the prisons where they belong instead of the homes. And then I... I live in an inner city neighborhood and I take walks and it just breaks my heart to walk by a beautifully manicured yard and home with bars.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:30:16]

[Voice] ... on the windows. And... and... and you can vision an elderly woman and... and just living in fear. And we can break those chains. And yet it is the political establishments that would look at that and they would say, “Well, gosh, Theron, this is two thirds Democrats and one third Republican. The only way you could possibly win at that district is act like a Democrat. So you have got to be... you have got to get rid of these social issues and you have to be moderate and you have to be, you know, for all these spending programs and you have got to just continue the things that have destroyed your lives.”

So it is going to take this kind of boldness and I think we are starting to see it happen around the country.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Where ... where people stand up and it will be Christian people who stand up and say, “Hey, we have got some answers.” You know, getting back to the obedience of God’s Word is going to have an impact on individual lives, family lives and society. So, you know, that kind of boldness will not be warmly received at the... at the Republican Federated Women’s Clubs. But it certainly will get a ... a warm, I think, reception when it is taken out to the neighborhoods and to the people that are... that are there.

Maybe Theron could share one... one exciting aspect we are working on right now is the alternatives to the public schools. They are being done in some other areas that we hope to bring to Sacramento as part of this process.

[Johnson] Yes, one of the... a project I am working on right now is a ... a way for the low income families to opt out of the public school system and send their children to private schools. It is a private voucher system. It would be a ... a ... a tax exempt organization. I would take private donations and what I would do is supplement low income families, their incomes 50 percent up to a certain dollar amount and that would give them the option to ... to let their children attend a private school.

This system is working... is running in Milwaukee, Indianapolis...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Atlanta, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Antonio. And everywhere it has been started it is... it has had a tremendous reception from the ... from the families. And that is what we need to ... to turn around the... the education system is to get the... the parents involved. And if we give the parents the option, you know, I... a lot of people want to go after the public school system. I prefer the military tactic to bypass them and hit them in the rear where they, you know, where they can’t defend themselves. And that attack is basically competition. If people will... I mean if they are superior then people will choose the public schools. If they are not and I don’t think they will, they will bail, they will leave them in droves. [00:33:17]

And you look at in the ...[edit]

And you look at in the ... this last Sunday in the Sacramento Bee there was an article and this was supposedly an advanced school in the Sacramento school district where the... the test was... it was an open book test. The test was define the following terms: communication, transportation and transcontinental. And they couldn’t read. And they... they just stared at the test and couldn’t... well, some of the students couldn’t read. Others, I guess you could call it marginal reading, but...

[Voice] They had great phonetic spelling. The word back on two of the papers was B A K E. It just tried to...

[Voice] In contrast, I was with Senator Mountjoy’s administrative assistant down there in Los Angeles and she was taken on a tour of one of the schools that had been set up and this is a matching grant. The poor family still has to pay 50 percent of the tuition. Some of the single moms are working three jobs to get their kids into these schools even with the grant. But you can see why because Peggy was just astounded. She said she walked in. This is south central Los Angeles, you know, the Watts riots. And they walked into this project, this school and all of the young men stood and they stayed standing until the teacher turned to them and said, “Gentlemen, you may be seated,” because Peggy is a woman that walked into the room. So that is... that is a stark contrast to the public schools that, you know, have medical... metal detectors and things to keep the guns and riots and shootings.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

Well, what you have to say about industry now providing scholarships for Christian school students is so very true, although very few people know about it. And it is because they are realizing that a very high percentage of all parents want their children in Christian schools.

I was at two graduations when I was in Appaloosas, Louisiana, the eighth grade and the 12th grade. And these were at the Westminster Christian Academy whose registration for next September is already 1100. So they are successful schools. And I was very much interested during the graduations to be told by those who were seated next to me on the platform, principal or someone else, whoever was next to me, the stories of some of the student, the families they came from. [00:36:20]

There was one boy, I believe an eighth grader, who...[edit]

There was one boy, I believe an eighth grader, who won one of the awards, a fine looking young boy, who had been found three or four years earlier living in an abandoned bus. And he had been living there for some time. And the doctor who was involved found a home for him. He is highly successful. He will no doubt end up at a university when he finishes high school.

There were 37 or 38 from the high school graduating. And these students and I was told some of them came from extremely modest families. They were ... these were black and white students. Every last one of them was headed for a college or university and a number of them had scholarship, a surprisingly high number.

Well, you can see why businesses are financing such students. They are recognizing that the future of the country rests with these. It was really a marvelous experience to see the caliber of those students and of the future they are making for themselves. Some of them I was told came from extremely poor families.

[Johnson] Well, you have a case of a California business going out of California to find people qualified for jobs that are available here.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Johnson] We have... I mean, the estimates on what industry spends to reeducate its employees is somewhere between two and six billion dollars a year.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Johnson] It is incredible. I mean and... and... and... it... for them it is a... it is a smarter investment to invest in the student while they are in school.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Johnson] So they will become a... they will be a productive employee as soon as they get on the job as opposed to taking them out of school, I mean, taking them out of the business, re... you know, teaching them again so that they can, you know, be productive. [00:39:01]

[Rushdoony] Well, the military is doing the same thing...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, the military is doing the same thing, reeducating the recruits, because what they found was that a functional illiterate could in a matter of minutes destroy millions in equipment simply because he could not read properly. So they test them and they retrain them, reeducate them

I think it is very good that you are promoting this and certainly there are the industries just in your area that could subsidize any number of such families.

[Voice] Theron, you are not a protest candidate. You expect to win. Every good candidate has a strategy for winning. What is yours?

[Voice] Get more votes than his opponent.

[Voice] That is the way to do it.

[Johnson] Well, a strategy, as I said before, is a ... we need issues that are going to cut across party lines.

[Voice] And for you those are...

[Johnson] Those are the education issue, which I think is going to be huge in this coming election, the... the public schools in Sacramento at a... are at a point of melt down. They are having riots. I said the article they had in the paper on Sunday the kids can’t even read. And the education department is having a very hard time covering... covering up that fact. Like I said, a lot of the people we have in the district are low income looking for jobs. The ... the thing we are going to need to do is ... it is really going to be an education. We are going to have to educate people. We are going to have to let them realize or teach them what the role of government is. It is not to redistribute wealth. It is to provide an environment so that people can provide for themselves. That will be a big part of it and as, you know, like I was thinking about this, but as I make my {?} gave me the last check I need to get me started, I have... I have started going through the ... the Federalist Papers again. They were very wise men.

[Voice] Yes. You unnoticed that, didn’t you?

[Johnson] There was a lot of interesting stuff in there.

[Voice] Yes.

[Johnson] The Constitution, just going over the founding documents and I am going to let Matt Sewey’s... my opponent...

[Voice] There you go.

[Johnson] I am going to let his ... his record defeat him. I...

[Voice] You will have a decided advantage, because I am sure he has never read the Constitution.

[Johnson] Well, and I am going to... I am going to... [00:42:05]

[multiple voices]...[edit]

[multiple voices]

[Johnson] And I am going to bring that up as ... as often as I can. To let him... you know, I don’t like... like I said. I will come out. My platform is basically pro family. And the government needs to be in... in a providing, how do you say an atmosphere or an environment where the family can survive. And I will show how his record, my opponent’s record is anti family. I mean, to send... for him to vote for... to keep increasing the debt ceiling, that is destroying our... our future. To vote to send the money to China who is... for... for... as they call it population control, we call it coercive abortions.

[Voice] Yes.

[Johnson] Where he knows that that is, you know, that is taking place. And I am going to ask the simple question. Who is that pro family? And I am going to let the... you know, through a process of education, but also a process of letting the voters see this man for what he really is and what I have to offer as, you know, my Christian response to him is to show a true conservative, not a conservative who is just... you know thinking... saying the ... the ... or filling the squares saying we are going to cut taxes, you know, we want to, you know, reform welfare and the joke goes what is the difference between a conservative and a liberal? About 20 years.

[Voice] Right.

[Johnson] I don’t want to ... like I said, I basically want to redefine or... or have a ... a new type of Conservatism as we call it. I mean, a... a true conservative is a Christian.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Johnson] And that is . and that is... that is the way I want to ... to bring out in the... in the election.

[Voice] Interestingly about, oh, the last three decades the black political leadership in this country, did you know, Theron, by and large has been liberal. How do you think that those whose ideologies is much like Jesse Jackson are going to respond to a dynamic, intelligent young black conservative like you. Although, as you know, there are others. But...

[Voice] Very poorly. They {?} Republican convention a few months ago. And they had a ... a... a black caucus on the affirmative action issue which Theron was anxious to get to, but you were sort of surprised when you arrived, weren’t you?

[Johnson] Yes. If I didn’t know that I was at the Republican convention, I thought I was at the Democratic Convention from what I... from the response I heard. I mean there is... [00:45:00]

The... the response that needs to be given and... and I think the only that... that... I am capable of doing it because they... there are certain tactics they can’t use against me.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Johnson] An example, when John was at a ... a {?} debate when he started making headway he just... the... the... the person in the audience just said, “You are white.”

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Johnson] You can’t understand Racism.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Johnson] And, you know, and basically retreat into that. Well, he can’t do that with me.

[Voice] Right.

[Johnson] And the answer is... is, I guess, that I will admit to ... to the... to the people that, yes they are a problem. But having had the {?} is not the solution.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] The solution is... and it goes back to some of the things I am running on: education, entrepreneurship, getting the regulations out of people’s way so that they can provide for themselves. And then the last that they are really not going to like is hard work. And you have to set up a system and it is not going to happen overnight. It is going to take work to do it. The system now and... and what is... and it was funny... it is funny to me and I ask people this. I say, “Why... you admit that affirmative action is not working. So why are you fighting for it?”

[Voice] Well, and... and what you say, you know the alternative option is... is not well received because there is hard work. When you became a United Airlines pilot did you find a ... a full quota of black pilots?

[Johnson] No.

[Voice] And yet that is an avenue that... that any ambitious black young man could enlist in the military and go the course that you have.

[Johnson] Right.

[Voice] And... and plant himself in a good position.

[Johnson] Right. I have had people attack me in that way saying that... that you wouldn’t be where you are at unless... if it wasn’t for affirmative action. And I answer, well, maybe it got me in the door, but it didn’t keep me there.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Johnson] It didn’t keep me at the academy. I asked them, I said, “You know, did affirmative action stay up all night with me and write a 30 page term paper?”

[Rushdoony] Right.

[Johnson] Did affirmative action climb into the jet with me when I had to fly my solo flight.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Johnson] You know, did... was affirmative action there, you know, when I... when I did my simulator evaluation when they were blowing up engines on me and saying, you know, fly this airplane back and land it. No. I... I answered that I in high school prepared myself.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Johnson] I took the calculus, the trigonometry, the geometry and the physics. The only thing necessary. So maybe that slop wasn’t affirmative action, but I could take advantage of it. So I would have succeeded anyway.

[Voice] That is because of affirmative action that you were forced to answer those questions. That is the difficulty, isn’t it, Theron?

[Johnson] Right, and...

[Voice] That...

[Johnson] Yes. It... and {?} that is another problem you have where there is the stigma.

[Voice] Exactly. So it harms the people often it is designed to help.

[Johnson] It harms... it harms... it harms the people. It also puts people in a position that are not prepared to take advantage of the situation. It doesn’t do... it doesn’t do the... the ... the black any good if he is going in for an interview and if he is the product... especially the product of the public schools if he can’t read and write.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] You know, I may have five slots open for black nuclear physicists, but if they can’t read and write they are not going to get the job.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] Whereas if ... if there is someone who prepared, you know, all you are doing is you are making it, you know, if anything you... you know, you have given me a... another boost that I don’t need.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] And you are hurting, you know, a lot of other people. I mean there is a lot of poor white {?} that are... that are trying to make it. I mean there is poor across the board. If these people truly wanted to level the playing field, then that is what we ... that is what we should have. You know, make an opportunity for everyone, not, well, we are only going to, you know help out this group or this group and then that is another funny aspect of affirmative action. [00:48:57]

Inserting 70 percent of the people in this country...[edit]

Inserting 70 percent of the people in this country are eligible for preferential treatment.

[Rushdoony] Yeah, yeah.

[Johnson] You know, it doesn’t... there are so many contradictions in it that, you know, if they do an internal critique of the system, I just asked them: How can you... how can you continue to support this? You may not like my solution. If you don’t, come up with something better.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] Because we ... we know what is required to succeed. You need to be educated. You need to have skills and you need to... you know, when you have the opportunity you take advantage of it. And nobody is going to pick you up and carry you, you know, and... and, you know, and exclude {?} basically. I mean, you are going to have to have some initiative on your own. You are going to have to work hard.

[Voice] Theron, what can the Christian community do to assist you in your campaign?

[Johnson] Prayer, first of all. I... the support I need, I need... I am looking for... and. that ... and that was... those were the people I initially went to were... were... were the Christian community, because I... I told them and if I can’t get Christians to support me, I am not going to get anybody to support me.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] I... like I said, right now I am... I am trying to get volunteers for my grass roots support and hopefully that will get my name out and let them know, you know, what my platform is, what my stances are on ... on the issues and it will get people talking. And...

[Voice] As I recall, you had a... sort of an ingenious financial plan. Rather than having huge donors with huge amounts, you just wanted to get a number of people to support you at a... at a relatively small amount every month. Is that...

[Johnson] Right and this is a... this is a new system we are trying. It... we get people to commit to... to contribute to me on a monthly basis a... a small amount, 11 dollars is the way it is set up now for a year. And that helpless getting the grass roots going. It helps with me going out letting people know what I... what my issues are that I am running on, why I am running and it gives me the opportunity to ... just to get out here and... and verbalize and everybody has been asked different questions. For instance, I had someone ask me a question the other day. [00:51:25]

You know, they said, ...[edit]

You know, they said, “Well, what is you are talking about, you know, is going... is going to tear down a lot of industries that have been built up because of this and, you know, it is going to... it is going to hurt a lot of people that are going to be out of work.”

And I said, “That is true. I am not going to lie to you.”

But if we have a system and I answered them, I... by telling them if we have a system that is built on a corrupt foundation, that, you know, yes there is people that have vested interests in that system, but if the system is wrong, it needs to be corrected and we need to build it on a better foundation. And if we have people that really are ... are good businessmen, they really motivated, they are not going to have any problems finding a work or starting over again. And the example I used was the affirmative action.

Think of the... all the businesses, the consultants, the ... these people are in business ands they... they want discrimination to exist because that keeps them in business.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Johnson] And if we get rid of that, yes, a lot of people are going to be out of business, but I would say the country is the better for it and the other industries will... will spring up.

Another example would be the buggy whip industry. The cars came along and the buggy whip industry went, you know, went out of business, but look at what took its place.

[Voice] Right.

[Rushdoony] John, are you helping Theron?

[Voice] He is going to be my congressman. I have got to help him.

[Rushdoony] Good. Now, you have set up a committee that people can send their contributions to.

[Voice] Well, actually Theron is still in the development stage on that. This is... ... this is a new approach that we are taking in terms of grass roots, you know, positioning. I don’t know if it is appropriate to give a telephone number if anybody wants to contact us. We can certainly let them know what the progress is and ... and do that.

[Rushdoony] All right. Why don’t you give an address and telephone number both so they can mail if they want to a gift.

[Voice] Sure.

[Rushdoony] Because I know I would like to.

[Voice] It is... the address is 4246 Second Avenue in Sacramento. And it is 95817.

[Rushdoony] 95817. Whom do we address there?

[Voice] You can just address it to Theron Johnson.

[Rushdoony] All right.

[Voice] And the check should be to Vanguard... Vanguard Advantage.

[Rushdoony] To what?

[Voice] Vanguard... if you are going to send a check, it should be made out to Vanguard Advantage, which is a ...

[Rushdoony] Vanguard Advantage?

[Voice] Advantage. [00:54:11]

[Voice] Bob has asked us to spell Theron’s name, so...[edit]

[Voice] Bob has asked us to spell Theron’s name, so...

[Voice] T H E R O N.

[Rushdoony] That is an old name. I hadn't heard it until you came into our lives, Theron, but when I was growing up it was fairly common. It is... I don’t know the origin, but I suspect it is an old English name.

[Voice] Well my prayer is that it becomes very prominent, once again.

[Rushdoony] Any last comments you would like to make, Theron, before we finish? We have just about four minutes, three to four.

[Johnson] Oh, I will just finish briefly, basically the note I started on, the... the only way for these evil men to succeed is for Christians to stand by and do nothing.

[Rushdoony] Paul, any last comment you would like to make?

[Voice] I am just really impressed with the freshness and the vitality that Theron has for this task ahead of him and I wish you the best of luck.

[Johnson] Thank you.

[Voice] I mean, we need people like you to go in and represent us.

[Rushdoony] Mark.

[Voice] You know, I am just... I am just excited that... that... that I wish I was in your district so I could vote for you.

[Johnson] Well, you can drive on down and watch some precincts for me.

[Voice] And that could be it.

[Voice] I want to say something quickly. It is largely because of the writings and influence of Rousas John Rushdoony...

[Johnson] Yes.

[Voice] ... that men like Theron are doing what they are doing and there is a remarkable revival across the country of the Christian interest in politics and from a human standpoint, we know it is because of God’s sovereignty and his Word. But from a human standpoint we have to thank to a huge degree the writings of ... of Rush. And I mean that very honestly from the depths of my heart.

[Voice] And it is a ... a broad spectrum of... of things happening, from what would by anybody’s standard be an uphill challenge in an area that is... that is new when taking on these urban districts, but in safe Republican districts where we know a lot of establishment money, we are supporting a fellow down in southern California, George {?} for the state assembly who is principal of the largest Christian school in Lancaster, California. And he is going to be in another two months the ... the hands on favorite for that race in 1996 with hundreds of Christian volunteers and ...

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] ... and a... and a bold witness. As a matter of fact, one of the headlines in the local paper was, “Christian Candidates may split the Vote.”

[Voice] Wow.

[Voice] Because there is two of them running. But, you know, it is... it is a real reformation American style going on as people reassert biblical values and... and become serious about taking back our nation.

[Rushdoony] Well, thank you all and, Theron, thank you for coming up here. [00:57:16]