*Disclaimer: This piece should not be considered an endorsement of any of the mentioned candidates by the author or by High Times. While we believe Brock Pierce has interesting policies, and has ideas that both major party candidates should consider, we’re not ignorant to the Democratic process and the importance of this election, and therefore can not endorse a third party candidate at this time. However, we encourage our readers to educate themselves on the benefits of voting third party in the future, and how dismantling the two-party system could solve many of the issues we face today.*
You’ve heard a lot about Donald Trump and Joe Biden these past few months, but there’s another lesser-known candidate running this cycle with some big ideas that might be of interest to our readers. A major departure from the typical major party candidates, allow us to introduce you to Brock Pierce.
Aiming to be something like the Psychedelic J.F.K. of the Independence Party, the former child-star gone media-mogul turned tech entrepreneur, innovator & VC has lived many lives, and while he’s survived torment and accusations, one thing is clear: this guy can take a punch, and come back swinging.
After several successful exits including what some considered to have pioneered the market for digital currencies, Brock Pierce has now set his sights on politics, throwing his hat into one of the most visceral elections in modern times. While he knows his chances are slim, Pierce believes, and will likely make you believe as well, that we’ve got some problems the politicians of today aren’t equipped to answer, and it’s time for some new blood throughout the whole system, not just in the Oval Office.
“We are highly skilled visionary leaders. I have been doing impossible thing after impossible thing most of my life—we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. It’s time to speak our truth and rise up.” Pierce tells me on a call this past weekend to talk about his campaign, and future. He knows this is a bold step, but the problems of today require modern problem solvers to match, and while there are plenty of things to be excited about, there are some drastic changes that need to be made.
“I’m hoping it’s more of an evolution than a revolution,” Pierce notes. “One that’s led with love and unity.”
Although this marks his first foray into traditional politics, this isn’t the first time Brock Pierce has held a high office. The Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, Pierce has raised over $5 Billion for companies he has founded, including Tether, the world’s first stable and asset-backed coin, and the IMI exchange, the world’s leading digital currency marketplace for games. He has been a citizen of the world for decades, holding multiple ambassadorship titles in South Korea after helping to revolutionize the country’s digital currency offering, and having travelled the globe several times across his other various ventures. While this may not be considered traditional Presidential experience, it seems oddly similar to the man currently in the big chair, only with the tax statements to back it up.
Brock Pierce Is A Different Kind of Candidate
What makes Brock Pierce different is simple, and it has to do with his core fundamental beliefs. Pierce believes in speaking the truth, even if you don’t have the answer, and while that may seem like a big departure for most politicians, he’s betting it’s something that will facilitate real, lasting change.
“This is the beginning of a movement—a revolution to bring about the change that is needed in this country. This should be about, for the remaining [days before the election—you actually have a candidate that can start a movement. We need to begin to vote our conscience. Not what we stand against, but what we stand for.” Brock notes.
To ensure that change he’s enlisted an impressive team of political newcomers, with names you’ll likely recognize. As running mate he’s enlisted Karla Ballard, the founder and CEO of YING, the peer-to-peer sharing platform, with media ties from the FCC to Sony, who most recently held the Senior VP role at Participant Media’s TAG division, which works with brands to serve vulnerable communities.
As Chief Strategist he’s enlisted the two-time GRAMMY nominated Akon, who famously provided electricity to millions in Africa while employing over 5,000 people—alongside a highly successful music career that included over 27 Billboard Hot 100 rankings.
As Campaign Manager Brock Pierce has brought on data and human rights activist Brittany Kaiser, the subject of the Netflix documentary ‘The Great Hack’ and cofounder of the Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA). As you can see, his network is almost as far reaching as his policy beliefs.
His policies include major restructurings like fixing loopholes to equally tax the elite, a monthly Universal Earned Income for all citizens, and ensuring no one has the right to make decisions about your body but you, but what I’m sure will be particularly interesting to our readers is Pierce’s policy on legalizing nature.
“For cannabis, there needs to be a complete full court press. Federal legalization, ending all federal enforcement, pardon & expunge all non violent cannabis crimes… the War on Drugs failed, it’s time to stop it.” Brock explains with passion.
While he’s quick to acknowledge that not all drugs are the same and some are certainly more dangerous than others, Brock Pierce is firm in his stance that decriminalization is the answer.
“We should not be locking people in cages for doing nothing but harming themselves. Portugal and others have already given us the empirical data to know there’s a better way. Decriminalization will ensure a safe and healthy environment for all, while not harming others.” Pierce told me.
A key detail to his point on legalizing nature seems more aimed at the pharmaceutical industry than just a plea for the freedom to consume.
“I don’t have all the answers, but I know the direction we’re headed, and I know the process to getting to the right answers. This country is in need of healing. Cannabis saved my mother’s life. She was one of those people who was about to lose her life to Oxycontin. [My Campaign Manager] had a spinal deformity that required lifesaving surgery and was prescribed vicodin…” he laments about how easily, and for how long Dr.’s prescribe life-changing substances, without even mentioning natural options.
A frequent donor to MAPS and an investor in Atai (the life sciences research company dedicated to innovation in treatment and access for mental health care), more than anything Brock Pierce believes we should explore our options and make data-driven decisions. He cites what’s happened in Switzerland as another example our country should follow, as he knows even if they can’t acknowledge that’s what they’re doing, most citizens are consuming drugs to deal with trauma of all types, and we can’t think less of those people for not having more options.
“How did we get here? I’m like a historian, I take the time to study how we got here. When I look at the tree, I start with the leaves—the symptoms, the problems, and I work my way through the branches, to the trunk—but I don’t stop there until I get to the root of the problem. That’s why people don’t usually solve problems. That’s where you need to start your resolution if you want to bring real change.”
His bold ideas don’t stop at policing our bodies, though. His team is greatly concerned about the future of this country, and how prepared our current leadership is to deal with new problems.
“The dollar is the underpinning of the nation, the foundation. [It] is at risk—it is under threat because of bad decisions by past admins, and because tech is changing the world. The Chinese government is leading the world right now with the digital Yuan, and our government doesn’t understand technology. Have you ever seen one of the congressional hearings against Big Tech? It’s embarrassing. We need visionary leadership in this country that understands how to navigate the road ahead.” Pierce notes.
As we discuss some of the new problems we could face over the next few decades, an all too familiar one comes up—election fraud. Pierce’s campaign manager, Brittany Kaiser, knows about this issue well from her time with Cambridge Analytica.
“Unfortunately even the Federal Election Commission can’t enforce the laws in this country – it’s nearly impossible. We’re being sold to the highest bidder,” She states with clear concern. “Ethical technologists are required to help us regulate – we can’t stifle innovation but we need to protect our citizens from bad actors.”
In Brock’s view, this is a fundamental issue.
“How does our nation measure our success? What have we incentivized?” He asks. “The problem is we’re working in an antiquated system. No one has put forth a new goal or vision, a new unit of measurement to define success. It’s currently measured by growth. Growth Domestic Product, GDP. The problem with growth is it assumes we have infinite resources. Eventually people have to start looking into each other’s pockets. The goal of the country has been to grow blindly—and this is a global problem. We need to change the system. It’s time to take a step back, to upgrade the operating system of the United States of America.”
Brock Pierce speaks with an exuberance you can feel.
“The founders of our great nation had a powerful intention: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What if we started to measure success by life? Life expectancy is in decline! Despite all of our technology! What if we held that as a measure of success, and we held our government accountable? You would see changes! By 2030 we’d ALL be glad to live here. What if we measured by liberty? We’re supposed to be free after all. But we have more people in prison—in total and per capita—than any other nation in the world! What if we measured by happiness?”
He pauses, knowing this will resonate.
“Why is everyone trying to get money and power? It doesn’t make you happy, fulfilled. We SHOULD measure by happiness. In my eyes, a billionaire isn’t someone with a billion dollars, but someone who positively impacts a billion people. Measure not by what you earn, but by what you give.”
You can’t tell me that’s not what a psychedelic J.F.K would say…