Character of James Tarantin

Question: Is there a lesson or quote from a former U.S. President that influenced your views on policy making?
James' answer:

There is a great quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower that says, “This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”

While the left and right may not agree eye to eye on abortion, we all share the common purpose of wiping out unwanted pregnancies. And while the left and right may not see eye to eye on the Second Amendment, we all have a common purpose of preventing guns from getting in the wrong hands.

The federal government has a part to play in matters of social compassion. The federal government should be a lighthouse. That is my core belief. After 2,000 years, isn’t it time for a government to genuinely promote love? Love exists when there is light and unity in the world.

Love is the key to keeping this sacred balance between security that is too often threatened and human rights that are too often denied.

Question: You have said you avoid many common vices (drinking, drugs, dangerous behavior). What guides your moral compass?
James' answer:

From an early age, I realized that indulgence in these types of behaviors is not only bad for your mental and physical well-being but can also endanger the lives of those around you.

I’ve gambled three times in my life. Once when I was 21 and won and twice with my wife for a total loss of $150. I much rather take business risks than gamble in a casino or online. My mother said to me once, “Imagine if only 20% of all the people in the casinos of the world would contribute 20% of their gambles to help the poor or orphans.”

I can also tell you that I have not gone out clubbing, drinking and partying hard. Not even once since I was 19. I don’t know anything about it nor do I care to find out. When my wife and I go to Vegas, we are in bed by 10 p.m.

Too many good families have been torn apart from the effects of drugs, alcohol, gambling, and reckless behavior and I pledged not to allow myself to take the first step down the slippery path of giving in to temptation.

I regard self-discipline as a sacred practice and, in the words of Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Self-discipline is not just for self-growth but the power to also give meaning to your values.

Question: What is your biggest regret?
James' answer:

I left home at an early age to pursue my higher self and fulfill my dreams. Like many immigrants who come to America, we lose a great deal of ourselves and our identity in the pursuit of the American Dream.

Often, many immigrants come to America because they are fleeing a bad situation. On the contrary, I have two warm, loving parents who showered me with unconditional love. I call them almost every day and give them genuine respect and warmth but, over the past 15 years, I have had few opportunities to see them. I find redemption in God and my deep faith in the good altruistic nature of man. My father used to say, the sad fact of life is that you can give all your money, power, fame and knowledge to Satan and ask him in return to give you 5 hours to do the things that you haven’t done, but when your time to go has come, “you can’t even bribe the angel of death.” Meaning, I will never be able to reverse the clock and live through all the years I lost with my family.

Question: I understand that your mother was born and raised Jewish. What are your views on Christianity?
James' answer:

During my years of poverty and loneliness, it was the Evangelical Christian mothers that invited me to celebrate Christmas. During my years of poverty and loneliness, it was a Catholic family that invited me to have a warm meal during Thanksgiving.

Though she celebrates the Jewish holidays, my mother used to send me many letters glorifying the followers of Christ. Once she reminded me of the words of Queen Elizabeth II, “Our attention is drawn to the birth of a baby some two thousand years ago. It was the humblest of beginnings ... Jesus Christ lived obscurely most of his life. He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet billions of people now follow his teachings and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them.”

I am a man of faith. And without enforcing my beliefs on anyone, now or ever, many of my beliefs are rooted in Judeo-Christian laws. Most of the Western world’s legal system, including the Constitution of the United States and the Palace of Westminster in England, are based on ancient Judeo-Christian ethics.

I believe that our Common Creator wants us to live a rich and fulfilled life. I don’t believe that man’s purpose on this earth is to suffer and live in poverty. It is believed that Christ once said, “Above all things, I pray that you prosper, I pray that you have life more abundantly.” It is time to bring together the Jewish people and Christian people.

Question: How do you define leadership?
James' answer:

I do not believe that leadership can be taught, rather it must be learned. It starts with a genuine intention in the heart. I then think the characterization of statesmanship can be summed up in 7 attributes:

  • Humanity- the ability to see life from the perspective of a perfect stranger and genuinely relate to their lived experience.
  • Moral Courage- the ability to have the courage of your convictions and pragmatism to pursue a higher plane of ethical codes.
  • Justice- where you don’t just seek what is fair to all but, along with grace, you would gladly bear the burden of another man.
  • Wisdom- the ability to listen to opposite views and study.
  • Communication- the ability to have simple and pure conversations.
  • Humility- the ability to have sound temperament.
  • Transcendence- the ability to go beyond narrow intellect and see different cultures at large which are all bound by the same universal laws.

Pertaining a permanent universal moral outlook that is preoccupied with light and unity among all the members of the human family is my ultimate aspiration of my life.

Question: How do you define government?
James' answer:

Just like a contract is only as good as the person who signs it, a government is only as good as the people who run it.

A good government does not necessarily need new laws to become great. A great government needs leaders with a genuine intention at heart to light.

I know then that most of humanity’s perils will vanish quite quickly.

The best proof for that theory is the fact that people do not make war, governments do.
Think about how much money the nations would save on arms expenditures and could re-invest in the lives of people, if only the politicians in office were truly seeking universal unity and light among all the members of the human race.

Question: is there a political idea or truth that you really support?
James' answer:

One political truth that has a special place in my heart is the Universal Declaration adopted by the United Nations which says recognition of “the inherent dignity of all members of the human family, is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

I believe this declaration to be self-executing when leaders are focused on genuine intentions and unconditional giving. Doing good without an agenda is the ultimate expression of humanity’s true altruistic self.

Question: Your campaign is record-setting. You are the first person ever who was born in Israel to run for the United States Senate. How do you feel about what you have achieved and what do you say to people who doubt you and your ability to lead at 35?
James' answer:

I remember the words of Albert Einstein, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” I hope this campaign and movement will inspire a new generation of immigrants to do the same. Immigrants not just from English speaking countries but more immigrants from exotic countries around the globe elected here in the USA and in various parliaments.

Regarding my age and experience in politics, I remind you that the Constitution requires the Senator to be 30 years old.
Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he authored the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe was 18 and Alexander Hamilton was 21 when they signed the Declaration of Independence.

Oprah Winfrey wrote in her book, “I remember back in 1988, when I first took ownership of the Oprah show... There were a million things that I didn’t know.” Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, said, “So a college degree is certainly useful, and I would recommend that everyone get one or more of those. But, you know, I left school without a degree, came to California. I never took a computer science class in my life. I got a job working as a programmer; I was largely self-taught. I just picked up a book and started programming.”
Finally, according to the book Blink, “Imagine that you were looking at a seventeen-year-old Michael Jordan. He wasn’t the tallest or biggest basketball player, nor the best jumper. His statistics were not the finest in the country. What set him apart … was the attitude.”

I believe that one thing we learn from history is that old age and experience in politics are no guarantee of efficiency, innovation or good progress for all people.

People and citizens from all over the world do not want more of the same old, crooked Washington D.C, experience in their leaders. Where did that get us? Do we really want politicians who got their experience by means of deceit, desire for personal power, and unlimited money spent on campaigning or is it time to elect ordinary people with extraordinary ideas?

I fundamentally believe that it is not our experience that defines us but the ideals we believe in and the ideas we share with mankind.

People want something fresh, new, genuine, honest so their voice and dreams can have a real shot at coming to life. That’s reality.

Question: To add another layer to my previous question, you once said that if you were elected to high office, it would be a great honor for millions of Spanish Jews around the world. What do you mean by that?
James' answer:

Your previous question was regarding a place of birth. This question is regarding ethnicity. Let me explain. To make a long story short, in terms of origin and ethnicity, there are two major types of Jewish people: Ashkenazi and Sephardic. This is regarding Jewish people born in the United States or anywhere around the world.

I am Sephardic, which in Hebrew means Spanish. These are Jewish people who have their ancestry and origins in Spain and therefore they tend to have a much darker skin color than the Ashkenazi Jewish people whose origins are predominantly from Eastern European countries such as Russia and Poland.

To the best of my knowledge and with a high degree of certainty, most, if not all, Jewish officials to ever serve in the Federal government of the United States were and are Ashkenazi. There’s nothing wrong with that but I believe my campaign can give hope to many immigrants around the world that they can also one day shatter glass ceilings and make their voice come alive. I think that’s a good thing. I believe it is possible.

Question: Which charitable organizations do you contribute time or money to?
James' answer:

When I was 19 years old, I heard Billy Graham emphasizing the importance of being personally involved. While it is easy to write a tax-deductible check that has a secret agenda of gaining more connections or goodwill, it is harder to actually be personally involved and devote your time anonymously.

So in the past 7 years, in my daily work schedule, I have a line item called “one good deed a day.” Meaning I will just not go to sleep until I do one simple good deed that has no secret agenda or a desire to get something in return. This could be giving a few dollars to those in need on the street or taking some grains or nuts and spreading it on the grass for the squirrels or birds.

I have always believed in unconditional giving. In school I would spend time with the janitors listening to their hardships. I always help young artists, businessmen, and waiters who seek advice so their voices could come alive.

Question: I see that you have given many speeches prior to 2021 on many diverse subjects. One of your videos has 1 million views. Who writes your speeches?
James' answer:

When I was 16-years-old, after writing the theory of my book which I would go on to publish at the age of 25, my mother said to me, “Son, nobody will believe that a young man of your age wrote such a thing.”

Your question reminds me of the words of my mother.

I can say with certainty that I write all my speeches including my announcement speech for the United States Senate. I did have friends review them and offer edits but I authored the actual words. I must say that I was always befuddled by the fact that 99% of all politicians don’t write their own speeches nor their own stances on policy. They pay tens of thousands of dollars to biased political firms in Washington D.C. to write it for them. The funny thing is that these firms use the same one or two cold templates for all their clients. So they copy and paste the same old agenda to the same style of politicians who just care about winning and not progressing our nation or humankind. Is this humane or logical to you? How is this even democratic? My website offers an accumulative 120-page policy agenda which I personally authored since 2015 without the help of a political firm. I believe people in this brave new world want their leaders to speak to them directly, honestly and with genuine intention in heart.

Question: Having lived abroad and visited many countries, what is your foreign affairs outlook?
James' answer:

I believe we can live in a world that is not just filled with mere diplomatic peace on paper, but a world full of light because there is a genuine unity among all people.

I believe in face-to-face meetings and frank talks to air tensions between countries. At the same time, we must be strong against those who only understand strength. Being strong is very much like protecting your virtue, you just say “no” and have the courage to say that there is a line beyond which they must not advance.

I believe one of the best foreign affairs approaches can be summed up when President Reagan quoted the words Gandhi had spoken shortly after his visit to Britain in his quest for independent India, “I am not conscious of a single experience throughout my three months’ stay in England and Europe that made me feel that after all, that East is East and West is West. On the contrary, I have been convinced more than ever that human nature is much the same, no matter under what climate it flourishes, and that if you approach people with trust and affection you would have ten-fold trust and thousand-fold affection returned to you.”

Question: When I read the content on your website and your speeches, they are very spiritually charged. What will you say to those who will charge you with being too poetic and wordy for politics?
James' answer:

For many months I had a very special screen saver on my computer. It was a quote from the Lord Speaker of the British Parliament Helene Hayman, who said publicly to the 44th President of the United States, “You reminded us the importance of maintaining the poetry in government, because to lead … that poetry is necessary. Necessary not only to articulate the challenges, but also to bring others together.”

Think about the words of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan in Berlin.
Think about the first State of the Union of George Washington in 1790.
Think about the words of Winston Churchill during WW2.
All these were very poetic speeches. Just words.
I believe that words matter and can inspire.

Question: Is there anything you believe is not clear about your life that you would like to share?
James' answer:

As an immigrant, when I was 21 years old I drove at midnight to a kind local chef who gave me leftovers from his restaurant. On the way back home, the police stopped my car and took me to the station because I did not have my insurance card and driver license on me. They released me after 2 hours.

I did not commit any traffic violation. I remember after this incident I got over 58 letters from local lawyers that I should sue the police. I refused. It was not the right moral thing to do. I respect the police. I sympathize with many immigrants who get pulled over because of their accent or skin-color.
As a human who desires the experience of true love, I was married before. I am very happy that even though the marriage ended in divorce, we had no children, and everything ended well. I believe marriage is a sacred institution and it is sad that over 40% of people have gone through this heartbreaking experience. I am glad today that I found the true love of my life and together we share two boys.

Question: You have been a father now for a few years. How do you plan to raise your children?
James' answer:

I believe that if you educate a child with pure intentions, most likely they will not depart from that path.

I wish to work with my children on what their passion is from an early age, develop it intently, and hope they will pursue it with dedication. It’s about making them happy, giving them unconditional love and confidence, and not imposing society’s false expectations on them. We want them to be naturally exposed to books, nature, and the world at large.

Question: I read your very touching post on the late legendary broadcaster Larry King. I understand that he was the first one to give you an opportunity in America. Is there something special you learned from him?
James' answer:

Larry was a father figure to me for many years. He said to me once something that others had said but the way he said it left a special imprint on my spirit. He said, “Kid, I had no choice but to be born in America. However, you did have a choice, and you decided to leave your family, pursue your hopes, so that one day you can become an American. Who is more American, the one that had no choice to be one or the one that had a choice to be one? The strength of America is the patchwork of people who came here from every corner of the globe.”

I remember visiting his home so many times. His home phone was placed on a black piano in the living room and I was amazed by how world leaders and media icons would pick up the phone in seconds when Larry called. I vividly remember thinking to myself how wonderful would the world be if these people would pick up a call that fast when a poor young man would ring asking for advice.

I felt such reverence when Larry would make introductions for me.
But I also felt the pain of all the young people around the world seeking to make their voice come alive but nobody would give them a chance.

To this day, I cannot help but become emotional when listening to a young waiter seeking advice from anyone who is willing to listen.

Question: I would like to ask you a series of quick questions that are slightly similar to the famous questions James Lipton asked his guests. What are your 3 favorite colors:
James' answer:

White, gold, and purple.

Question: Who are three people you respect?
James' answer:

George Washington, Gandhi, and Einstein.

Question: What are three of your favorite books?
James' answer:

Common Sense by Thomas Paine, I-Ching, and the Zohar.

Question: What are three of your favorite sounds?
James' answer:

Birds chirping, the Shofar calling, and water flowing.

Question: What are three of your favorite drinks?
James' answer:

Espresso, water with lemon, and tea.

Question: What are three of your favorite words?
James' answer:

Light. Unity. Victory.