More than two years ago, Mark McCloskey and his wife took up arms to protect their West End home in St. Louis during the George Floyd protests and riots of 2020.
He knows their lives will never return to normal—in part because of the unceasing, mostly negative attention they received from the legacy media.
“The media runs everything,” McCloskey told The Epoch Times during an Aug. 1 interview at Clayton, Missouri’s Ritz Carlton Hotel.
“They control the information that’s available to people, and they control the dialogue,” he said.
McCloskey, a dark horse candidate in the Aug. 2 Republican Senate primary, said he and his wife, Patricia, have been able to survive the onslaught from the media, local government, and the Left only because they are relatively self-sufficient.
“If I had been the managing partner of the largest law firm in St. Louis, and I did what I did on June the 28th of 2020, I would have had to go on an apology tour Monday morning, apologize for being born, apologize for being white, apologize for being successful. I’d still get fired and be without a job,” he said.
He faced ostracism in his own West End neighborhood—and no one from the local prep school he attended has helped finance his Senate campaign.
“They’re all tied into businesses. They all have social relationships. I don’t belong to any country clubs. I don’t belong to any Masonic organizations. I have no strings at all attached to me, but almost everybody else has lots of strings attached to them,” McCloskey said.
Responds to ‘Eric’ Endorsement
On Aug. 1, former President Donald Trump endorsed “Eric”—a move that could be taken as support for either former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens or his top rival in the primary, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
McCloskey has consistently polled well below both Erics and the third major candidate, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.)
Both Greitens and Schmitt accepted Trump’s Aug. 1 post as an endorsement.
Speaking minutes before that announcement, McCloskey emphasized his strong opposition to Greitens. He pointed out that Greitens was a Democrat until shortly before his run for governor, even attending the 2008 Democratic convention.
“When exactly did this epiphany happen—where on that road to Damascus did all of a sudden Eric Greitens say, ‘Oh, everything I believed in, everything I worked for my whole life was wrong’?” McCloskey said.
“Although Greitens portrays himself as an America First candidate, if Trump doesn’t endorse him, then he’s got no basis whatsoever to run. The endorsement of Eric Schmitt would just cut the legs out of the Greitens campaign,” he added.
After Trump’s endorsement went public, McCloskey told The Epoch Times, “I guess Trump enjoys being a comic.”
Threats to National Sovereignty
McCloskey told The Epoch Times that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the United States’ biggest threat.
He cited Chinese companies’ acquisition of land near military bases in the United States.
McCloskey argued that Russia, by contrast, is “no threat to us,” noting that both conservative and liberal media outlets have been pushing for conflict with that nation for many years.
McCloskey thinks the American response to the Russia-Ukraine war is being used to institute a new, more top-down form of government in the United States, modeled on the CCP.
He referenced President Joe Biden’s March 21, 2022, speech to the Business Roundtable’s CEO Quarterly Meeting, during which he said the conflict presented an “inflection point … in the world economy.”
“There’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it,” Biden asserted.
“That’s what all this is about. The destruction of our economy, inflation, the loss of energy independence, this push towards the Green New Deal to bankrupt the country, the lack of law enforcement, the encouragement of violence and lawlessness—all to make people frightened, to make people poor. And guess what? Next thing we’re being told is here in the breadbasket of the world, we’re going to face food shortages,” McCloskey said.
The candidate advocates the dissolution of the Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security. He also wants the Patriot Act repealed.
“The Republicans like to quote the Democrats as saying you should never let a good crisis go to waste. But the Republicans were the ones that seized upon the crisis of the Twin Towers and imposed the most draconian restrictions on American freedom, [to] create universal spying on Americans, amongst other things,” McCloskey said.
How much of a difference does he think he could make as just one senator?
“People always ask, what can one person do? And my response is always, think Donald Trump,” he said.
He claimed that “true constitutional conservatives” are a minority even among Senate Republicans.
In his view, the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions were a test by the government of how effectively they could control everyday Americans.
“They found out they can get away with everything,” McCloskey said.
“If you think people are willing to give up their rights over COVID, wait till you see what they’re willing to give up when their babies start to starve,” he said, referencing recent baby formula shortages as well as the possibility of widespread food shortages.
“Now you know why the traditional party doesn’t have much use for me,” he laughed.