TEXARKANA, Ark. — His name will not appear on any ballot, but Dennis Andrew Ball is confident he could be the next president of the United States.
Touting various proposals with names such as Ballonomics, Ballcare and the Ball Doctrine, the longshot write-in candidate stumped Monday in Texarkana, the latest stop on his shoestring campaign representing the American Party of America. His solo journey in an RV brought him to town from his home in Illinois, most recently by way of Memphis, Tennessee, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he spoke to voters at local Walmart stores.
"History makes room for people like me," Ball, 68, said during an interview he requested with Texarkana Gazette staff. He wore a baseball cap featuring the presidential seal, and an image of a bald eagle adorned his T-shirt. He distributed campaign materials from a plastic, White House-shaped music box that played "Hail to the Chief" or "The Star-spangled Banner" when he opened it.
The self-published author of two dozen books with titles such as "Keep America Strong Again," Ball thinks his message is unusual and important enough that he could reach 35% approval in national polls this year, earning him a spot on the debate stage with President Donald Trump and the Democratic Party nominee.
The American Party of America has about 4,000 members, and it represents the idea that we are not Democrats or Republicans, but Americans, he said.
The central idea of Ball's campaign is to protect and strengthen the family, which is in "big crisis right now," he said. That includes getting wages up and ending what he says are the abuses of the legal system, including child and senior protective services.
Ball proposes eliminating income and property taxes in favor of a "fair" tax on spending. An overhaul of the monetary system, including returning U.S. currency to a precious-metal standard, is also on his agenda alongside traditional conservative planks such as opposing gun control and abortion.
He earned a degree in history from University of California San Diego in the early 1970s and subsequently "abandoned" a law degree, Ball said. After stints in two Christian seminaries, he said, he had a career in marketing and advertising.
Ball first became interested in being more politically active during the impeachment scandal of then-President Bill Clinton. After a loss in a mayoral race, he wrote his first book and traveled to New Hampshire to promote it during the 2012 presidential primary season. It was then that he became determined to run for president.
Campaigning has not been easy, but Ball swore an oath on the grave of Daniel Boone to go the distance, and he is willing to make sacrifices.
"I intended to retire in the Bahamas," he said.