Let’s get a little Practical

This article was published in the California American Independent Party newsletter some time ago by AIP founder and former Chairman, William K. Shearer. I think these are Words of Wisdom for not just the Constitution Party, but for all Third-Parties to adhere by.

This is actually a series of Bill’s articles that I will begin to post on Third-Party Watch.

________________________________________________________

LET’S GET A LITTLE PRACTICAL

by William K. Shearer

In a complex society, winning elections is generally a function of putting together combinations of voters who have different interests but who can come together around a candidate or party.

The present day Republican Party is an example which illustrates the point. The GOP is an alliance of big business, often with multi-national interests, social conservatives of the Christian right, and people not aligned with either big business or the Christian right but who see the Republican Party as their best protector from the dangers of terrorism. The three groups can be put in harness together because their interests, while certainly not the same, are not in apparent conflict. No one of these interests, by itself, could elect a president, but working in tandem they constitute a winning combination.

The modern Democrat Party illustrates the other side of the coin. It has become so identified with the negative side of the social issues, that it is perceived to be almost exclusively pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, etc. The total dominance in the party of the leftists on social issues has made it difficult for Democrats at the national level to form winning alliances with other groups.

The Constitution Party can take a lesson from the two examples. Most Constitution Party activists have strong moral views on the social issues, and tend to stress these issues to the exclusion of the other concerns needed to achieve a winning voter combination.

Conservative Christians are only one of the proper targets for Constitution Party recruitment, and even if all of the so-called Christian conservatives were recruited, by themselves they still would be unable to elect a President or even a Congressman in most districts.

The Constitution Party needs to reach out to other groups such as workers whose jobs are being outsourced, owners of local businesses threatened by the Walmarts of the world, taxpayers’ organizations, those concerned with privacy rights, people threatened by abusive environmental regulations, and groups seeking reform of the immigration laws. These groups, while not primarily concerned with the social issues, are not necessarily hostile to the Constitution Party’s stand on such issues as abortion and the sanctity of marriage.

An apparent total preoccupation with social or religious issues, tends to turn off people who have other concerns. It isn’t necessary to put the word Christian in every party release, and it certainly isn’t necessary to repeat the word over and over again in every party pronouncement. Such overemphasis doesn’t attract any more Christian conservatives than would be won with a less strident approach, and turns off many of the good people needed for the electoral coalition required to win an election.

This isn’t a question of principles. It is a question of how we present ourselves to the voters in an effort to give our principles a chance for victory at the polls.

112 Responses to “Let’s get a little Practical”

  1. Carl Says:

    You might broaden the base by taking a closer look at what constitutes Christian as well. There are many liberal and libertarian aspects of the Bible that are usually overlooked by the Christian Right.

    For example, even in the days when lighting a candle on Saturday was a death penalty offense, there was no penalty for recreational drug use. Prostitution was legal for women with no other means of support. Robbers could avoid further punishment by paying double. Those who couldn’t were enslaved for a time but 1. they were not separated from their families, 2. they were to be treated like employees, and 3. they were to be given capital (including wine!) on the way out. See “The Law of Liberty” at http://holisticpolitics.org/LawOfLiberty .

    On the liberal side, the Bible called for a welfare system even when there was no provision for standing army or police force. However, that welfare system was very different from what either the Democrats or Republicans offer today. Largesse was given either unconditionally (gleaner rights and the Jubilee Law) or as zero interest loans. There was no payment for being poor. The unconditional largesse was based on subtle natural rights principles (see “Really Natural Rights” at http://holisticpolitics.org/NaturalRights ) often overlooked by both conservatives and libertarians. The Bible distinguishes between wealth given by God and wealth created by human labor. For more details see:
    God’s Welfare System.

  2. Cody Quirk Says:

    Interesting.

    Though I think you should present this to Joe.

  3. Joey Dauben Says:

    mainstreamlibertarian.com
    Eric Dondero

    Libertarian Political Report

    Wayne Root for President update

    Just hours ago, prospective Presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root released the attached statement, MY LIBERTARIAN AWAKENING. As promised, you all are the very first individuals anywhere to receive this. You are now permitted to pass this along to friends and political associates. Root has confirmed for both the California Libertarian Party Convention in March and the Libertarian State Chairs Conference in Orlando for April.

  4. Trent Hill Says:

    Dondero,

    Where are these big two celebrities who were bolting for the LP “within the next few days”?

    Cody, I think this is a GREAT article, as I myself am not a traditional Religious Right Conservative. I am simply Paleoconservative, and although I am a Christian, I am often turned off by every other article on CP.com being about Christianity. My spirituality is important to me. However, I believe we are marginalized by our severe connections to Religion,and would do better to “ease off” a bit. I am a member of the newly formed Committee to Organize a Louisiana Constitution Party, and have expressed views that match these. I want to talk politics, not religion. I want to goto a convention, not a church.

  5. Cody Quirk Says:

    Same here Trent.

    Through its with hope we can make the CP sound less dogmatic in it’s goals and platform.

    And I have some more of Bill’s articles that I am going to post later.

  6. Joe Says:

    You may well be successful in making the Constitution Partyless Christian. I think people like Bill Shearer, Cody Quirk, and Trent Hill have already had much success in that direction. I doubt that Bill Shearer is correct that it will make your party more popular. More than 90% of Americans are at least nominally Christian. That includes those of us whose jobs are being outsourced, those concerned with privacy rights, people threatened by abusive environmental regulations, and groups seeking reform of the immigration laws. There are already plenty of political parties that are hostile to or ambivalent toward Christianity.

  7. Timothy West Says:

    http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/geo/courses/geo200/religion.html

  8. Trent Hill Says:

    The CP is certainly not hostile to Christianity, nor is it ambivalent, as it specifically mentions God/Jesus in the platform. However, Bill Shearer is correct in his assertion. Despite the fact that alot of the “Old Party Gaurd” dont like him because of the Tampa incident, he has a very valid point. This is coming from someone who has never met him,and has an unbiased opinion.

    The Religious Right is firmly placed in the sphere of Republican loyalty. We will see that this election cycle, when Guliani, Romney, or McCain get the nomination. The Religious Right is vehemently anti-abortion and anti-gay-marriage. But I’d be willing to bet that Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson throw their support behind the Republican nominee. Even if they didnt, the Religious Right alone is not enough of a force to get any one elected, anywhere. It might be enough of a force to get some local offices elected in the Biblebelt and Mid-west, but prolly not. As of January ‘07, we have 11 elected officials. This is FAR beneath the Libertarian Party and Green Party. We do have a state legislator, which is more than they can say. However, the Greens have had one before, and now they have a mayor in a 100,000 plus city. Pretty impressive. The Libertarians have over 300 elected offices.
    In order to push the Paleoconservative/Paleolibertarian issue,we really have to appeal to a wider range of voters. This isnt “selling out”, as their is no standard of “purity” as to wo can join the party. It will continue to be governed as it always has, however…if a state like California (or my state, Louisiana) wants to lower the religious rhetoric some, I think that is perfectly ohk, as everyone can VERY easily tell the CP is a Christian-based political party.
    Cody, in other news, what would you think about the National Convention inviting delegates from the dissifiliated states to attend? I think it could do alot to mend the broken spirit of those states. A few of the states, like Montana and Oregon, I’d like to have back. We don’t neccesarily NEED them, but it proves we are willing to treat wounds,as opposed to pouring salt in them.

  9. matt Says:

    That is one interesting map, Tim.

    And it makes an important point for CP types to remember. Some of those Religious groups are very focused on church-state seperation. Not in that they think it’s in the Constitution or per se, but in that they feel the seperation is neccessary for the Church. With many of these groups, talking about a “Christian Nation” is your ticket out the door. This is esepcially for Christian groups who emigrated here to avoid being persecuted in the “Christian Nations” of Europe.

    I think the best strategy would be to push the bill of rights, limited government. and the pro-life issue. Immigration is also a non-starter in many Christian groups, especially those who have fostered a strong enough sense of history to remember their own roots.

  10. Trent Hill Says:

    True Matt.

    For example, we appeal to the Minutemen, Friend’s of Border Patrol Agents, Immigration Reform people,except that alot of them arent Christian,and feel they arent welcome in the orginization. If the rhetoric were toned down,they could join.

    Pro-lifers feel at home already. But there are LOTS of pro-lifers who arent Christian. I know plenty.

    Especially the small government advocates, alot of them are not Christians, and though the Libertarian party, CP, and RLC are all reaching out to this group, it is as of yet,an untapped resource.

    I do not want a “christian nation”. That idea scares me. It violates the establishment clause. I would pick up a gun and march to D.C. over a president trying to turn this place into an exclusively “Christian Nation”. And I am a Christian, so I know alot of others would too.

  11. matt Says:

    Wait, that sounded bad. I’m not trying to say that only rootless people care about the immigration issue, since that’s not true. What I’m trying to say is that Churches made up of immigrants will be harder to get interested in curtailing immigration. I am a member of such a Church.

  12. Carl Says:

    Cody: who is Joe? (If you want to tell me offline, my email address is cmilsted at my site)

  13. Joe Says:

    Carl,

    I’m pretty sure Cody was referring to me. I read your comments and disagree with most of your analysis, as does the Constitution Party.

    Matt, I agree with you that churches that are filled with foreigners are less likely to be interested in curtailing immigration. That is all the more reason to end immigration – the sooner the better. The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of anti-immigration activists I have talked to identify themselves as Christians when the subject of religion comes up. Trent, I don’t know what makes you think that a lot of them aren’t. I am sure that some aren’t, but it is probably a minority. You say that you don’t want a Christian nation, yet your own party’s platform states “The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. . This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. . .
    The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations . . .The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law”

    Do you think that language should be changed?

    I have met Mr. Shearer? What “old party guard” doesn’t like him? As I see it, he IS the old party guard! I do differ with him on this issue though. In my opinion, we ought to embrace our Christian heritage, not out of any political calculation, but because it is the right thing to do. Baby murder, gambling, pornograhy, etc. ought to be prosecuted by civil government, because, as the Constitution Party’s platform makes clear, they are contrary to God’s established order. But even looking at it from a pragmatic standpoint, one goal at least of a political party is to get as many votes for our candidates as possible. Now there may be Americans who don’t care much about public displays of the Ten Commandments (for example) but who will vote for Constitution Party candidates because they agree with there position on some other issue, such as immigration. On the other hand, other Americans may not care much about immigration but will vote for Constitution Party’s candidate because they are an explicitly Christian political party. In my opinion, the Constitution Party should remain vigilant on all these fronts and let individual candidates decide what particular issues they are going to emphasize in their campaigns. I think what you and Bill and Cody are proposing would tend to alienate Christians which is not a smart thing to do in a country that remains overwhelmingly Christian. Most of the people you are hoping to attract by hiding your faith under a bushel are themselves Christians. You are acting like when people become interested in immigration, or the NAFTA superhigway, they suddenly convert to Islam or atheism, etc.

  14. Joseph Knight Says:

    Tim, your map is scary because it reminds me of one showing New Mexico as having the second-highest native population concentration – a map I once used to convince Russell Means to run for governor. Biggest blunder I ever made!
    jk

  15. Donald Raymond Lake Says:

    Protect my spirituality, keep organized religion out of public life.

  16. Trent Hill Says:

    Joe,

    That statement from the platform talks of returning the morality of the nation through backing up laws,outlawing abortion and so forth. Mostly it talks of simply having a RESPECT for the fact that our nation was founded on Christian standards. Furthermore,that is has been heavily influenced by the Christian movement,and remains to this day, predominantly Christian. It doesnt speak of creating a Theocracy. Which is what a “Christian Nation” implies.

    There is also a mention in the platform of Freedom of Religion. Now isnt there?

  17. Carl Says:

    Joe: where is gambling mentioned in the Bible? Where does Jesus call for putting gamblers in cages?

    As for pornography, etc. the New Testament definitely does call for expelling people from Church if they persist in sexual immorality, but does it call for legal prosecution?

    Christianity is a narrow path. To legislate Christian levels of morality on everyone is a contradiction.

  18. Joe Says:

    Trent,

    You said that you don’t want America to be a Christian nation. I pointed out where it says in your own party platform that America should be a Christian nation. Are you saying that you would like to see that language changed, or are you fine with it the way that it is?

    Carl, the Constitution Party’s platform plank on gambling says that “gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country.” Their pornography plank says Pornography . . is a distortion of the true nature of sex created by God for the procreative union between one man and one woman in the holy bonds of matrimony . . . We call on our local, state and federal governments to . . . vigorously enforcr our laws against obscenity . . . While we believe in the responsibility of the individual and corporate entities to regulate themselves, we also believe that our collective representative body we call government plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining the highest level of decency in our community standards. So again, they disagree with your interpretation of scripture, and I agree with them. I voted in for the pornography plank when it was proposed in ‘04. The gambling plank has existed since before I joined the Constitution Party. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord in all aspects of life, including civil government. Thus, the civil ruler is to be a servant of God, deriving his authority from God and duty-bound to govern according to the expressed will of God. Therefore, the civil government of our nation, its laws, institutions, and practices must therefore be conformed to the principles of Biblical law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments, or, as the Constitution Party’s platform phrases it, “the goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations.”

  19. Andy Says:

    Where are laws against gambling and pornography authorized in the Constitution? I’d say that such laws are actually prohibited by the Constitution.

    While I could say a lot of positive things about the Constitution Party these are two areas where they are way off base and in fact do not even deserve to be called the Constitution Party. Instead of calling the party the Constitution Party how about being more honest and calling it the Conservative Party or something like that?

  20. Joe Says:

    Andy,

    the Constitution Party’s gambling plank says, for example, “We call for the repeal of federal legislation that usurps state and local authority regarding authorization and regulation of tribal casinos in the states.” Such legislation would include the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). I would hope that if a constitutionalist ever gets elected to Congress he would vote to repeal such federal legislation. In the meantime, those elected to state and local government should also do what they can to keep gambling out of their communities. A party platform does not just apply to federal candidates, but candidates for state and local office as well. Similarly, the Constitution Party’s pornography plank also calls on state and local governments to enforce laws against pornography.

  21. Andy Says:

    Joe Says:

    “January 25th, 2007 at 4:38 pm
    Andy,

    the Constitution Party’s gambling plank says, for example, “We call for the repeal of federal legislation that usurps state and local authority regarding authorization and regulation of tribal casinos in the states.” Such legislation would include the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). I would hope that if a constitutionalist ever gets elected to Congress he would vote to repeal such federal legislation. In the meantime, those elected to state and local government should also do what they can to keep gambling out of their communities. A party platform does not just apply to federal candidates, but candidates for state and local office as well. Similarly, the Constitution Party’s pornography plank also calls on state and local governments to enforce laws against pornography.”

    Why should state or local governments be in the business of enforcing such laws? I’ve read several state Constitutions and I’ve never seen one that gives any authority to those state governments to enforce laws against gambling and pornography. I consider such laws to be a violation of individual rights. So I think that the Constitution Party is hypocritical here and this is an example of why the party should not be called the Constitution Party. As I said above, a more appropriate name would be the Conservative Party.

  22. Joe Says:

    Andy,

    My state constitution explicitly prohibits all gambling with three exceptions: paramutuel horse betting, state lottery, and charity (ie church bingo). Casinos are constitutionally prohibited, yet we have several currently operating with more in the works. We want the constitution obeyed and the casinos closed.

  23. Timothy West Says:

    No man ever believes that the Bible
    means what it says:
    he is always convinced that it
    says what he means.

    GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

    The trouble with some of us
    is that we have been inoculated
    with small doses of Christianity
    which keep us from catching
    the real thing.

    LESLIE DIXON WEATHERHEAD

    To justify Christian morality
    because it provides
    a foundation of morality,
    instead of showing
    the necessity of Christian morality
    from the truth of Christianity,
    is a very dangerous inversion.

    T. S. ELIOT

  24. Andy Says:

    Joe Says:

    “January 25th, 2007 at 8:03 pm
    Andy,

    My state constitution explicitly prohibits all gambling with three exceptions: paramutuel horse betting, state lottery, and charity (ie church bingo). Casinos are constitutionally prohibited, yet we have several currently operating with more in the works. We want the constitution obeyed and the casinos closed.”

    What about all of the states that do NOT have such provisions in their Constitutions? As I said above, I’ve read several state Constitutions and in all the ones I’ve looked at I never saw anything about banning gambling or pornography in any of them. It sounds to me that in order for your party to live up to it’s name gambling and pornography should be legal in all of the states where there is no provision prohibiting it in their State Constitution.

    I personally don’t see how it is anyone’s business if another person wants to gamble with their own money or view pornography. Also, who is to define what is gambling and what is pornography?

    People take all kinds of gambles in life. Starting a business is a gamble. Investing in the stock market or realestate (or anything else for that matter) is a gamble. Moving to a different area can be a gamble. Getting married can be a gamble. Who are you to stick a gun to somebody else’s head (which is what you do when you pass a law) and tell them what they can’t risk their money? That sounds like a nanny state to me.

    The same thing with pornography. Who defines what is pornographic? Is a nude statue pornographic? How about a nude picture of an infant (which is something that a lot of parents do)? What about a women who posts topless pictures of herself on the internet? Should the women be arrested? Should the men (or women) who view these pictures be arrested? How are you going to enforce such laws? What gives you the right to tell other people what they can and can’t look see? This also sounds like a nanny state to me.

  25. matt Says:

    Will homosexuals have to wear blue hats?

  26. Sean Scallon Says:

    The CP has grown slowly and steadily since 1992, but by 2006 it faced a crossroads between its conservative and Christian Reconstructionist wings. Conservatives, real conservatives, believe in allowing communities to develop themselves as they choose which mean religious conservatives could ban pornography or outlaw abortion if they wanted to. The Reconstructionalists want a religious theocracy pure and simple and they would use the Marine Corps to enfore their Calvinistic view Christianity if necessary if they ever gained power. Thus came the split over the issue of the Nevada IAP adoptiong a modified anti-abortion plank compared to the national plank. The Reconstructionalists objected, lost and so they balked.

    Shearer and Jim Clymer and Howard Phillips represent the true conservative wing. Mike Peroutka understands and sometimes makes the conservative argument, but no ever asked him what would he do as President if New York City persisted in allowing legal abortions. I fear the answer because I’ve heard what some of his supporters would do. The good thing is these people are all talk and no action so the CP gains because it gets rid of people who have no desire to participate in politics as it is and viewing campaigning as a five-month prayer meeting. I have written to the Reconstructionalists and told them they would be better off doing something more constructive than elective politics if that’s their attitude, but they persist on participating in elective politics without really trying. So whatever party they join or whatever they do in the future, they are no long-term threat to the CP.

    Shearer’s article is spot on and you’re seeing the CP do more in terms of voter outreach to different groups outside of ideology alone as I had recommended to them in my book (and all non-major parties for that matter) Beating the Powers that Be.

  27. Trent Hill Says:

    Joe,

    No. The CP’s plank does not advocate a “Christian Nation”, this is the idea of a Christian Theocracy, whereas they advocate electing candidates who’s morals are based on biblical truths.
    As for Gambling and pornography, I would personally like to see those rebuked to the state level. Perhaps that will change at the next convention…I doubt it. But,as more Conservatives join the party, the Reconstructionalists (to use Sean’s term) will be forced to flee, or accept a non-theocratic solution.
    By the way Joe, there is currently some negotiating going on between CERTAIN state parties that left, attempting to get them to rejoin in return for promising not to change the platform on no-exceptions abortion.

  28. Joe Says:

    Trent,

    The Constitution Party’s platform certainly does advocate a Christian nation. Most people who looks at it for long will tell you that – Exhibit A are the numerous comments on this website. “Not advocate a ‘Christian Nation’, this is the idea of a Christian Theocracy, whereas they advocate electing candidates who’s morals are based on biblical truths.” is double-speak. Electing candidates who want to conform civil law to Biblical Law IS Christian Theocracy. Now perhaps if the Constitution Party makes all the changes to their platform that you would like, they will cease to be that. But that hasn’t happened yet.

    Sean, it is inaccurate to say that Michael Peroutka has not said what he would do if New York City persisted in allowing baby murder. He said he would end all “legal” baby murder in America on his first day in office:
    http://www.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=42 I was there when he explained it at the national convention in 2004, right before he received a standing ovation and was unanimously nominated for President. It is also inaccurate to say that we are a do-nothing party. In 2005 our state party elected a man to town council where he is currently serving the second of his three year term. He is in complete agreement with our platform. We have elected one candidate so far this year, for county legislator. He is also in complete agreement with our platform. We are currently in discussions with other potential candidates with more likely to be announced before election day. Rick Jore, who voted to disaffiliate IAP Nevada and who has publicly rebuked the Constitution Party for their failure to do so, was elected to the state legislature. It is an insult to those of us who have devoted thousands of volunteer hours to our party to call us “do-nothing.”

    Andy, even though our state Constitution allows certain forms of gambling, such as a state lottery, our party is still opposed to them. Why? Because constitutions can be amended and because, as our platform says “gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country. We are opposed to government sponsorship, involvement in, or promotion of gambling, such as lotteries.” Things can be constitutional, yet still be bad policy (see also our party platform for opposition to the federal income tax and direct election of senators).

    How is gambling defined? It is currently defined in our state law in ways that do not include moving, marriage, or investing. Who defines it? Lawmakers and juries. Ditto for pornography. We understand that Godly men can and will disagree on definitions as they will on precise aplication of Biblical Law to civil government. We are under no illusion that we can create a Christian utopia. What I am concerned about at this point is agreement on the principle that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, including civil government, and that therefore civil magistrates should make an effort to conform civil law to the Old and New Testaments, or, as our platform puts it, “restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations.”

    I understand that Libertarians probably believe that it is nobody’s business if another person wants to gamble with their own money or view pornography. However, I joined the Constitution Party of New York instead of the Libertarian Party of New York because I find that attitude abominable.

    Nor do we want to be the Conservative Party. There is already a Conservative Party we could have joined if we wanted to. Most people are conservative in the wrong way. They accept whatever they’re used to as the natural order of things. They have no sense that the world really went radically wrong somewhere, and is still going further wrong. In this sense, people who think Bill Clinton left this country in fine shape are supremely conservative. Conservatism in America has failed because it has sought to bring about political and social change without Christ or the Bible, and thus it sought to treat the symptoms of the humanist-socialist state without providing a remedy for its underlying causes. While the times are pulling concerned Americans in the direction of conservative reaction, it is essential that we look beyond politics-as-usual for solutions. It is not what we oppose, or how strongly we oppose it that will bring victory, but what we stand for and how we seek it.

  29. Sean Scallon Says:

    Joe, I read the link you provided and I still must disagree with you. He said on his first day in office he would he would not enforce Roe v. Wade and states could penalize abortion if they wanted. Great! I’m for that too. But what those places that would still for abortions, what then? What does he mean “resist utterly to the grave?” Does he mean he would use force on those recalcitrant localities and states? I asked a Peroutkaite this very question on my blog Beating the Powers that Be (www.beatingthepowersthatbe.blogspot.com) and he said “well we would have to use the right amount of force.” In other words, burn New York City to the ground because of abortion just they burned Atlanta and Columbia down because of slavery.

    As I said I don’t think Peroutka grasps this. He says the right things about the proper relationship between the federal and state governments and yet he would use force on the very citizens he leads to get what he wants? I don’t know because no one has put the question to him in that way. But given the way he and his followers reacted to the Nevada IAP, I think I can guess what the answer will be.

    I didn’t say the CP was do-nothing party, I’m saying certain members (or ex-members now I guess) are do-nothing types when it comes to politics. That’s fine, if they think they’re too good to be political they can think that way. Life and the CP will go on and the Reconstruvtionalists can watch it pass them by while they wait until doomsday.

  30. Trent Hill Says:

    Joe,

    I sent a guy your way the other day. He lives in New York,and i introduced him to the CP. So, you’re welcome. =)

    No Joe, apparently you are the only one who does not get it. The difference between Theocracy and a Christian influenced law system is VAST. The biggest difference being that a Christian influenced government allows other religions to practice,and indeed even encourages it. The moment the CP turns into a Theocratic Organization, I will vociferously oppose it.

    Sean Scallon,
    I agree with you. In most ways. I must admit that the Jefferosonian Republican Party in Alabama has two elected local officials. New York has one I believe, Montana has one (and a very active state party), and Oregon is pretty active. However, the overall politics of these people, is not desirable. I have no need of a theocracy,and would in fact take up arms against one.

  31. General Lee Says:

    Joe…

    And that’s why I joined the Libertarian party and not the Constitution Party.

    Thanks for pointing out why the two are not the same or even similar.

    The main issues of the Constitution Party seem to be mandatory social conservatism/ecclesiocracy (outlawing abortion, pornography, gambling, gay marriage, gay rights, prostitution, some drugs below the federal level, and possibly even adultery and divorce, etc)., anti-immigrant hysteria, and “national capitalist” protectionism.

    All of these are directly counter to libertarianism.

    Some “libertarians” support some of these things too, which just means they are not libertarians on those particular issues, just like “libertarians” who support the war or the “fair” tax.

    We may agree on some other issues, at least on a very superficial level, but clearly we disagree on the most important issues of all.

    You are also correct in pointing out that Ron Paul has said he will not be running for any third party, and will be a candidate for Congress as a Republican when he loses the Republican nomination for President.

  32. Joe Says:

    General,

    Thank you for your agreement. I agree with your agreement except for the word “ecclesiocracy.” We advocate theocracy, not “ecclesiocracy.” We believe God established the separate institutions of family, church and state each with different functions. We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord of each and that the role of civil magistrates is to punish lawbreakers.

  33. General Lee Says:

    I don’t care what you call it.

    I’m for something completely different, and I’m tired of fools in the Libertarian Party who want to obscure or trivialize our differences with the Constitution and/or Republican Parties, since those differences are precisely why I’m a Libertarian or even care about politics at all.

  34. Carl Says:

    Joe: you advocate ecclesiocracy. Outlawing abortion is indeed a Bible based position. Outlawing gambling is not. The Bible forbids adding to the Law, and you advocate doing so.

    Solomon first demonstrated his newly granted wisdom by adjudicating a dispute between two harlots, not arresting two harlots.

    It is certainly true that Christians are supposed to go beyond the Law by avoiding things that lead people towards sin, but there is no mandate to forcibly impose such restrictions on others. Nay the opposite is the case. Go and read the Lord’s Prayer and the text surrounding it. The message of forgiveness found the the Gospels is conditional. Divine forgiveness is conditional upon forgiving others.

    Jailing people is not forgiveness.
    ——-

    I have grown increasingly annoyed by the anti-Christian bias expressed by many in the LP, and strongly oppose the party’s position on abortion.

    Maybe it is time for a political party with a truly Christian viewpoint, but it does not appear that the Constition Party is it (assuming Joe is representative).

  35. Joe Says:

    Carl,

    You don’t have to ask if I am representative. All you need do is look at the Constitution Party’s platform plank opposing gambling, ratified by hundreds of Christians who apparently do not agree with your interpretation of scripture.

    When I talk to people about joining our party, I never tell them that need to agree with every plank of the platform in order to do so. Few of our members agree with our entire platform. It seems to me the question is which party is closest to what you believe on the issues that are most important to you. Would you withhold your vote from a candidate who would end all legal abortion in his first day in office, just because he would also abolish the state lottery?

  36. Carl Says:

    Joe: read the CP platform. Must say I agree with quite a lot. Were there a viable CP candidate in my district running on this platform, he would most probably get my vote, and possibly more support.

    That said, like all third parties, the CP requires far more than votes to become truly viable. I have a history of running at a burnout pace to support the cause of liberty, but at this stage I am becoming more selective.

    For either the CP or the LP to become truly viable, a measure of increased economic egalitarianism needs to be part of the package. Switching from labor taxes to tariffs or sales taxes is a step in the right direction, but I think more is needed. Also, while I agree that the death penalty is appropriate for murderers, many lesser criminals are WAY overpunished, and the punishment is very inappropriate and un Christian. Imprisonment is a Roman punishment, not part of the Law given to Moses.

    A tax code that incorporates some of the economic ideas of Leviticus 25 could bring in many from the Religious Left. Ditto for a justice code that balances justice and mercy. (The penalty for selling marijuana should be far less than the penalty for abortion!)

  37. Andy Says:

    “How is gambling defined? It is currently defined in our state law in ways that do not include moving, marriage, or investing. Who defines it? Lawmakers and juries. Ditto for pornography. We understand that Godly men can and will disagree on definitions as they will on precise aplication of Biblical Law to civil government.”

    So you are saying that it is OK for men to play the role of God? Sounds like you are worshipping false idols.

    “We are under no illusion that we can create a Christian utopia. What I am concerned about at this point is agreement on the principle that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, including civil government, and that therefore civil magistrates should make an effort to conform civil law to the Old and New Testaments, or, as our platform puts it, ‘restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations.’”

    How does this fall in line with the 1st amendment?

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  38. Andy Says:

    “I understand that Libertarians probably believe that it is nobody’s business if another person wants to gamble with their own money or view pornography. However, I joined the Constitution Party of New York instead of the Libertarian Party of New York because I find that attitude abominable.”

    So you find individual freedom and personal choice to be abominable?

  39. Andy Says:

    “Nor do we want to be the Conservative Party. There is already a Conservative Party we could have joined if we wanted to. Most people are conservative in the wrong way.”

    Well, if you don’t like the name Conservative Party then how about the Christian Theocrat Party?

    Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good things about the Constitution Party. The Constitution Party is certainly better than the Republican Party. However, given some of the views of the Constitution Party, I think that naming the party after the Constitution is false advertising since the Constitution Party veers off into socially conservative issues that have nothing to do with the Constitution and are in fact unconstitutional.

    I’d say that a principled Libertarian minarchist like Michael Badnarik is more of a strict constitutionalist than anyone in the Constitution Party.

  40. Andy Says:

    “The main issues of the Constitution Party seem to be mandatory social conservatism/ecclesiocracy (outlawing abortion, pornography, gambling, gay marriage, gay rights, prostitution, some drugs below the federal level, and possibly even adultery and divorce, etc)., anti-immigrant hysteria, and “national capitalist” protectionism.

    All of these are directly counter to libertarianism.

    Some “libertarians” support some of these things too, which just means they are not libertarians on those particular issues, just like “libertarians” who support the war or the “fair” tax.

    We may agree on some other issues, at least on a very superficial level, but clearly we disagree on the most important issues of all.”

    I run into a lot of Constitution Party types in anti-income tax and pro-gun rights circles. Those are both libertarian issues.

    The Constitution Party is also the only other political party besides the Libertarian Party that wants to shut down the Federal Reserve and get the US out of the UN. These are both important libertarian issues as well.

    Ask the average Green Party member about the Federal Reserve and they don’t know what in the hell you are talking about. The Green Party thinks that the United Nations is good. The average Green is afraid of guns (I know that there are a few pro-gun or semi-pro gun Greens, but they are the minority) and is in favor of lots of taxes to pay for social welfare programs.

    I consider shutting down the Federal Reserve and the IRS to be the two most important issues. Get rid of those two and the whole house of cards comes crumbling down. The only parties that are trying to accomplish this are the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party.

  41. General Lee Says:

    The Constitution Party says they want to shut down the IRS, but who is going to collect their tariffs? Whatever tax you impose – including tariffs – has to be collected by some agency, no matter what you call it, or people (or in this case, businesses) will figure out the don’t actually have to pay it.

    Those tariffs aren’t going to be that low either.

    They will have to pay for what they describe as a “strong national defense” and a massive crackdown on immigrants and their employers. They wil have to pay for some kind of inspectors to go around to see who is selling foreign made goods, and whether thay are paying the full tariff amount. That all costs money.

    They will also have a coast guard and/or navy. Among other things it will be “shooting drug smugglers.”

    Whether their socially repressive agenda is enacted at the federal level or the state and local level, some agency has to collect the money to fund whatever state apparatus is going around enforcing all those anti-gambling, anti-abortion, anti-porn, anti-prostitution, anti-drug, anti-gay, etc., laws they want to ramp up.

    So it may not be the IRS - maybe it will the California Franchise Board or the County Sheriff or whatever. What difference does it make to you as an individual what the gang that’s extorting your money and taking away your freedom is called? What difference does it make if its headquarters is in DC, Albany or Sacramento, or wherever?

    So, when you or the Constitution Party claim they will end the IRS I just don’t believe them. Maybe they will rename it. At best, they will replace it with state and city/county agencies which do the same exact thing.

  42. Cody Quirk Says:

    You may well be successful in making the Constitution Partyless Christian.

    =You mean Partyless Theocratic.

    I think people like Bill Shearer, Cody Quirk, and Trent Hill have already had much success in that direction. I doubt that Bill Shearer is correct that it will make your party more popular. More than 90% of Americans are at least nominally Christian.

    =And a very good majority of those Christians think your views are too warped and extreme to adhere to.

    That includes those of us whose jobs are being outsourced, those concerned with privacy rights, people threatened by abusive environmental regulations, and groups seeking reform of the immigration laws. There are already plenty of political parties that are hostile to or ambivalent toward Christianity.

    =The Constitution Party isn’t one of them.
    =Neither does it advocate Theocracy.

  43. Cody Quirk Says:

    You know what your problem is Joe?

    You and the Peroutka gang only view things in absolutes, in black and white only. Perhaps if you viewed all the colors of the rainbow, then maybe you’ll have a practical idea.

  44. Cody Quirk Says:

    ...’Let’s Get A Little Practical 2’ will be coming soon…

  45. Andy Says:

    “General Lee Says:

    January 27th, 2007 at 12:11 am
    The Constitution Party says they want to shut down the IRS, but who is going to collect their tariffs? Whatever tax you impose – including tariffs – has to be collected by some agency, no matter what you call it, or people (or in this case, businesses) will figure out the don’t actually have to pay it.

    Those tariffs aren’t going to be that low either.

    They will have to pay for what they describe as a “strong national defense” and a massive crackdown on immigrants and their employers. They wil have to pay for some kind of inspectors to go around to see who is selling foreign made goods, and whether thay are paying the full tariff amount. That all costs money.

    They will also have a coast guard and/or navy. Among other things it will be ‘shooting drug smugglers.’”

    Yes, the Constitution Party is for protectionist tarriffs and they do support government intervention in drugs, but OVERALL, they are for less government than the Green Party (note that Greens are also in favor of protectionist tarriffs), the Democrat Party, and the Republican Party.

    “So, when you or the Constitution Party claim they will end the IRS I just don’t believe them. Maybe they will rename it. At best, they will replace it with state and city/county agencies which do the same exact thing.”

    The Constitution Party advocates shutting down numerous government agencies and programs. They want government out of education, healthcare, and welfare. They want to shut down the Federal Reserve System and end fiat currency. They want to shut down the IMF. They want to get the US out of the UN. They want to pull the military out of other countries. They want to cut off foreign aid.

    Although I disagree with their stances on the Drug War, gambling, pornography, prostitution, and a few other things, I think that overall they are for smaller government when compared to every other party besides the Libertarian Party. So I think that they are sincere in their desire to eliminate the IRS and I think that they’d have an overall tax burden that is much lower than what we’ve got now.

  46. Andy Says:

    “General Lee Says:

    January 27th, 2007 at 12:11 am
    The Constitution Party says they want to shut down the IRS, but who is going to collect their tariffs? Whatever tax you impose – including tariffs – has to be collected by some agency, no matter what you call it, or people (or in this case, businesses) will figure out the don’t actually have to pay it.

    Those tariffs aren’t going to be that low either.”

    Even a lot of minarchist libertarians “support” tarriffs as tarriffs, duties, and excise taxes are listed in the Constitution. Of course these libertarians would set the tarriff rates lower than the Constitution Party would.

    “They will have to pay for what they describe as a ‘strong national defense’ and a massive crackdown on immigrants and their employers.”

    I don’t think that it would cost any more money than is being spent now on national defense. In fact, it would likely be far cheaper being that the Constitution Party opposes military imperialism and wants to bring the troops home.

  47. Andy Says:

    You know, I’ve had this idea for a while of making a chart of a bunch of issues and then listing the stances of the 3 major minor political parties in this country: the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and the Constitution Party. I think that issue for issue the Constitution Party comes closer to the Libertarian Party than the Green Party does.

    I’d rate the parties in this country like this.

    1) Libertarian Party

    2) Constitution Party

    3) Green Party

    There is also the Reform Party but they are practically dead and were essentially an empty shell from the beginning. The Natural Law Party is pretty much dead. If the Natural Law Party was still around I’d probably rate them at #3 and move the Green Party down to #4. There is also the Working Families Party and the Socialist Workers Party but they are only on the ballot in few states. They are similiar to the Green Party but probably worse. The Peace And Freedom Party is only on the ballot in California. They are also similiar to the Greens.

    I didn’t mention the Democrats and Republicans because they’d be tied for last place on my list. Of course even they have a few members that are good (like Ron Paul) to semi-acceptable, but for the most part they suck and are the source of our problems.

  48. General Lee Says:

    Andy, it is disingenuous to argue that the Constitution Party would get rid of the IRS.

    Even if you are correct that the tax/tariff rate would be a good deal lower than at present, someone still has to collect it. I don’t care what you call it, or whether it is done by state or federal agencies; it’s still the IRS under another name.

    And for that matter, the Constitutional monarchist “libertarians” you mention would also not get rid of the IRS either – so long as they are collecting a tax by force, there has to be an agency to collect it, no matter what you call it, and whether or not that tax is constitutional has nothing to do with it. Except for a few tax protestors who usually get laughed out of court and/or pay up or go to prison 99% of the time, most people acknowledge that the income tax is also constitutional. That doesn’t make it right.

    Also, even if the income tax is not “constitutioonal” at the federal level, state income taxes may well be constitutional under their state constitutions. But what does this have to do with whether they are a violation of liberty? If they were somehow found not to be constitutional, the votes are certainly there to pass a new constitutional amendment and make them constitutional now: would that somehow change their coercive nature?

    As to whether this tax/tariff rate will in fact be lower than at present is another interesting question. Sure, there are a bunch of areas of government that the Constitution Party would supposedly cut. At the same time there are a lot of areas where it would simultaneously expand government:

    A massive crackdown on millions of immigrants and their employers.

    Inspectors to look at every business to see if they are paying their “fair share” of tariffs.

    Vast expansion of government powers – possibly at the state and local level only, but, nevertheless-

    To enforce “morality laws” and shut down businesses which make a living catering to the market these laws aim to shut down.

    Porn, gambling, and abortion are multi-billion dollar businesses. There are millions of willing customers. Just like drugs and prostitution, or liquor in the 1920s, prohibition doesn’t just get rid of these businisses, but it does create all kinds of crime, corruption, perversion of the judicial system, suspension of civil liberties, police brutality, prison industrial complex, gangsterism in the market to fill these demands, and increasing calls to spend ever more money to “enforce the law” and “win the war” on various vices, which never works.

    Gays may be as much as 10% of the population. Adultery and divorce are far more frequent than that. Hetrerosexual sodomy is certainly very frequent.

    Just how much government money does the Constitution Party intend to spend to combat these things? How many civil liberties will it invade to make this feasible? How many people does it intend to throw in jail, or work camps, or indentured servitude, or send to the firing squad or the town square for public stoning?

    It is entirely possible that all this could cost more than all the federal agencies the constitution party would eliminate.

    But here’s another question: would they really eliminate any of them? The fact is that if they come to power, it is unlikely that they will have all of it.
    Just like now, they would have to share power with other political factions.

    When political factions share power, they compromise. And the compromise that usually happens is: we will agree to leave alone or expand whatever parts of government you want if you do the same for us.

    Thus, Reagan and Gingrich Republicans agreed to not pursue their promises of reducing the welfare state, so long as Tip O’Neill and Clinton Democrats agreed to their proposed expansions of military spending, the drug war, and corporate welfare.

    Likewise, the constitution party might well decide it is more important to crack down on immigrants, foreign goods, gambling, abortion and porn than to reduce whatever parts of government they promise to reduce. In fact, history and public choice theory indicate that is precisely what would happen, in reality. It’s a lot easier in practice to expand government than to reduce it, and when you simultaneously seek to reduce government in some areas and expand it in others, almost invariably the parts of your agenda which call for reducing government are the ones that fall by the wayside.

    I’m not completely sure what your point is about the Green party, or why it’s even a part of this discussion. I haven’t heard people here suggest that that the Libertarians should merge with the Green Party. But a lot of people seem to take it for granted that we can or should merge with the Cosntitution Party and/or the Republican Party.

    We haven’t even gotten into the discussion of how tariffs historically lead to wars, and wars lead to massive government spending across the board and suspensions of civil rights and liberties which all tend to remain after the war is over; or how they create a permanent military-industrial complex ever in search of new enemies to justify its existence and expansion.

    Your comparative analysis also has nothing to do with your point which I disputed.

    Even if the Constitution Party would in fact make government smaller than the Democrats, Republicans or Greens, it is clear that they wil still need to collect taxes and make sure those taxes – or tariffs, if you really want to draw a distinction – are in fact paid. Thus, for practical purposes, your claim that they will get rid of the IRS - in your own words, one of the most important reasons you like them – is false.

  49. General Lee Says:

    By the wy, whether the Constitution Party comes closer to the Libertarians than the Greens do depends in part on which issues you consider most important.

    For someone who considers they personal freedom to gamble, watch porn,
    have gay (or, posisbly, extramarital) sex, drink liquor on Sunday, have an abortion if birth control fails, buy foreign goods at a reasonable price, or hire Mexican immigrants – to take several examples – to be highly important, or more important than, say, whether their charity money goes to the government or to the church, the Greens may well be less anti-liberty than the Constitution Party.

    Not that either, or even many Libertarians, are fully libertarian.

    But as to which one is less libertarian depends not just on how many issues you agree on but which issues you consider most important as well.

  50. General Lee Says:

    For anyone keeping track, what is in dispute here is Andy’s contention that

    “I consider shutting down the Federal Reserve and the IRS to be the two most important issues. Get rid of those two and the whole house of cards comes crumbling down. The only parties that are trying to accomplish this are the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party.”

    I do believe I have proven that the Constitution Party will not shut down the IRS, unless you count renaming it, changing what form of tax it collects, or replacing it with 50 state level IRS type agencies.

    Saying that it would collect less overall tax than at present is debatable.

    Saying that the parts of government it seeks to cut more than make up for those it seeks to expand, or that the intrusions on liberty it would reduce are more important than the ones it would increase, is also debatable.

    Whether it is better than some other political parties, or the status quo, is irrelevant to the question of whether it would get rid of the IRS.

    What is not debatable is that it will not, in any meaningful way, get rid of the IRS. It will not. The house of cards remains, and the only question left is which pile of manure to land your parachute on, or whether it is preferrable to die in the pit or be crushed by the pendulum.

  51. Trent Hill Says:

    General Lee,

    Howard Philips and the entire platform advocates shutting down the IRS.
    Collecting tarriffs at each port is no where near as intrusive as the IRS. Nor does it affect the average american near as much. The agency would also cost VASTLY less money and (as a result of very little individual contact, except in port cities, with foreign companies) less loss of liberty.

  52. Andy Says:

    “General Lee Says:

    January 27th, 2007 at 5:17 am
    Andy, it is disingenuous to argue that the Constitution Party would get rid of the IRS.

    Even if you are correct that the tax/tariff rate would be a good deal lower than at present, someone still has to collect it. I don’t care what you call it, or whether it is done by state or federal agencies; it’s still the IRS under another name.

    And for that matter, the Constitutional monarchist “libertarians” you mention would also not get rid of the IRS either – so long as they are collecting a tax by force, there has to be an agency to collect it, no matter what you call it, and whether or not that tax is constitutional has nothing to do with it. Except for a few tax protestors who usually get laughed out of court and/or pay up or go to prison 99% of the time, most people acknowledge that the income tax is also constitutional. That doesn’t make it right.

    Also, even if the income tax is not “constitutioonal” at the federal level, state income taxes may well be constitutional under their state constitutions. But what does this have to do with whether they are a violation of liberty? If they were somehow found not to be constitutional, the votes are certainly there to pass a new constitutional amendment and make them constitutional now: would that somehow change their coercive nature?”

    I suppose that you are calling them liars then. I’ve talked to quite a few Constitution Party people and I believe that everyone of them have a sincere belief in eliminating both the federal and state income tax. I’ve even encountered Constitution Party people who want to eliminate property taxes. Yes, they would still collect tarriffs, duties, and excise taxes but these were being collected in this country well before there was an income tax.

  53. Joe Says:

    Carl,

    If you look at our party platform again I think you will find that, other than the death penalty plank, there is little discussion of proper legal penalties. That is left up to the individual candidates if an when they are elected and mostly I would think up to members of juries. Personally, I certainly agree with you that the punishment for baby murder should be greater than punishment for possession of marijuana.

    Cody, I hope you are right that we think in terms of black and white. I certainly try to and consider that a virtue. I’m not much into rainbows.

  54. Cody Quirk Says:

    Cody, I hope you are right that we think in terms of black and white. I certainly try to and consider that a virtue. I’m not much into rainbows.

    =Ignorance is not a virtue, nor does reality operate inside a box.

  55. Andy Says:

    “A massive crackdown on millions of immigrants and their employers.”

    The Constitution Party also wants to eliminate the welfare state. So they’d save lots of money there and there would also be less incentive for illegal immigrants to come here.

    “Inspectors to look at every business to see if they are paying their “fair share” of tariffs.”

    This is no different than what we’ve got now. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t tarriffs only paid for when foreign goods come into American ports?

    “Vast expansion of government powers – possibly at the state and local level only, but, nevertheless-”

    They also support a vast decrease in government powers. They’d shut down most of the federal government. I suppose in falling in line with state constitutions they’d shut down a lot of stuff at that level too. For instance, they want to get the government out of education, healthcare, and welfare. This would save BILLIONS of dollars.

    “To enforce “morality laws” and shut down businesses which make a living catering to the market these laws aim to shut down.

    Porn, gambling, and abortion are multi-billion dollar businesses. There are millions of willing customers. Just like drugs and prostitution, or liquor in the 1920s, prohibition doesn’t just get rid of these businisses, but it does create all kinds of crime, corruption, perversion of the judicial system, suspension of civil liberties, police brutality, prison industrial complex, gangsterism in the market to fill these demands, and increasing calls to spend ever more money to “enforce the law” and “win the war” on various vices, which never works.”

    Yeah, I don’t agree with them about this but this isn’t much different than what we’ve got now. There are already laws on the books against gambling in most of the country. We already have a War On Drugs. There are already places in this country were porn shops are illegal.

    Keep in mind that the Constitution Party would not have the federal government interfering with the affairs of the states on most of these issues. So if there were a Constitution Party President or if the Constitution Party controlled Congress a state could still have legal gambling or porn or prostitution if that state elected Libertarians or other people who didn’t care about such things.

    Also, keep in mind that the Constitution Party has come out in favor of medical marijuana. I’ve read this in some of their writings. While it is possible that all of their members do not support this at least some of them do. I know that it’s in the platform of the American Independent Party – their California branch – that they support medicinal uses of drugs, just not recreational.

    “Gays may be as much as 10% of the population. Adultery and divorce are far more frequent than that. Hetrerosexual sodomy is certainly very frequent.”

    Realistically, how many people could actually be arrested for sodomy? Unless somebody is doing it in public nobody would know about it. There are already laws like this on the books and how often do you hear about anyone being arrested?

  56. Andy Says:

    “Porn, gambling, and abortion are multi-billion dollar businesses.”

    Stopping abortion is not necessarily anti-libertarian. If one believes that life begins at conception then one can say that abortion violates the right to life. There are libertarians who want to stop abortion as well.

  57. Andy Says:

    “Trent Hill Says:

    January 27th, 2007 at 6:40 am
    General Lee,

    Howard Philips and the entire platform advocates shutting down the IRS.
    Collecting tarriffs at each port is no where near as intrusive as the IRS. Nor does it affect the average american near as much. The agency would also cost VASTLY less money and (as a result of very little individual contact, except in port cities, with foreign companies) less loss of liberty.”

    Exactly Trent. I remember seeing Howard Phillips on TV giving out the Constitution Party’s 800 number which was 800-VETO-IRS (is this number still accurate?).

    I think that the General is distoring your positions just because he’s biased against conservatives. I have some disagreements with the Constitution Party as well but I’m trying to paint an accurate description of your positions.

  58. Andy Says:

    “I do believe I have proven that the Constitution Party will not shut down the IRS, unless you count renaming it, changing what form of tax it collects, or replacing it with 50 state level IRS type agencies.

    Saying that it would collect less overall tax than at present is debatable.

    Saying that the parts of government it seeks to cut more than make up for those it seeks to expand, or that the intrusions on liberty it would reduce are more important than the ones it would increase, is also debatable.

    Whether it is better than some other political parties, or the status quo, is irrelevant to the question of whether it would get rid of the IRS.

    What is not debatable is that it will not, in any meaningful way, get rid of the IRS. It will not. The house of cards remains, and the only question left is which pile of manure to land your parachute on, or whether it is preferrable to die in the pit or be crushed by the pendulum.”

    Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the federal government collect tarriffs, duties, and excise taxes well before the IRS exsisted? I think that the IRS first came into exsistence when Abe Lincoln illegally started an income tax during the Civil War, and that this income tax was ruled unconstitutional after the war was over.

    Yes, the Constitution Party would still collect taxes but everyone I’ve heard from or read from their party wants to get rid of the income tax, both state and federal. They also want to cut government spending, both state and federal.

    If you don’t think that this is true then I guess you are saying that that are liars.

  59. Andy Says:

    “What is not debatable is that it will not, in any meaningful way, get rid of the IRS. It will not. The house of cards remains, and the only question left is which pile of manure to land your parachute on, or whether it is preferrable to die in the pit or be crushed by the pendulum.”

    I notice that you skipped over the fact that they want to eliminate the Federal Reserve and fiat currency and reinstitute the gold & silver standard. Shutting down the fed and their funny money would be a HUGE positive.

  60. Andy Says:

    “General Lee Says:

    January 27th, 2007 at 5:23 am
    By the wy, whether the Constitution Party comes closer to the Libertarians than the Greens do depends in part on which issues you consider most important.

    For someone who considers they personal freedom to gamble, watch porn,
    have gay (or, posisbly, extramarital) sex, drink liquor on Sunday, have an abortion if birth control fails, buy foreign goods at a reasonable price, or hire Mexican immigrants – to take several examples – to be highly important, or more important than, say, whether their charity money goes to the government or to the church, the Greens may well be less anti-liberty than the Constitution Party.

    Not that either, or even many Libertarians, are fully libertarian.

    But as to which one is less libertarian depends not just on how many issues you agree on but which issues you consider most important as well.”

    The Green Party is not necessarily in favor of legalized gambling. Some of them could be but I know that some of them are of the mindset that gambling “takes” money from the poor and that people aren’t responsible enough to decide whether or not they want to gamble. I will do more research on Green Party positions on gambling but I would not just assume that their whole party supports it.

    The Green Party is better than the Constitution Party when it comes to the Drug War, however, I’ve heard mixed things from the Greens when it comes to the Drug War also. So I wouldn’t assume that all of the Greens want full drug legalization like the Libertarian Party does. I’ve heard and seen some Greens say that marijuana should be legal but that harder drugs should be illegal. I know that some Greens support forced drug treatment programs.

    Also, as I said above, at least some people in the Constitution Party are in favor of medical marijuana!

    You said buy foreign goods at a reasonable price. THE GREENS ARE FOR TARRIFFS! Their tarriff policy is not much different than the Constitution Party.

    You could still hire Mexican immigrants with the Constitution Party, just not ones who snuck in the country. Also, less Mexicans would want to come here because they want to shut down the welfare state. Since there wouldn’t be any welfare subsidies Americans who supposedly “won’t do those jobs” would have to get off their ass and do them since there wouldn’t be any more welfare checks comming in the mail. The employers would not be able to get away with offering such shitty below market wages for these jobs that only immigrants will take them because the immigrants would not be able to recieve welfare benifits because there’d be no welfare state.

    As for foreign military interventionism, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian Party are all way better than the Democrats and Republicans.

    The Constitution Party opposes the war in Iraq and opposes moving it into Iran. The Constitution Party also opposes the Patriot Act and all of the other civil liberties infringements in the name of the “War On Terror”. So the Greens and the Constitution Party are basically on the same page for these issues. However, the Greens naively support the United Nations and foreign aid programs which the Constitution Party rightfully opposes.

    I’ve gone through all of the party platforms and I see more stuff that I disagree with in the Green Party platform than in the Constitution Party platform.

    Under the Constitution Party I would not have a Social(ist) (In)Security number because they’d abolish that program. I wouldn’t have to pay any income tax. The currency that I hold would not be devalued by a Federal Reserve. I could own a gun, including a machine gun!

    The Constitution Party being pro-gun is a big selling point for me. This way if they get too tyrannical and want to arrest me for looking at pictures of naked chicks I could fight back!

    The Green Party gasps in horror at the thought of eliminating Social Security and income taxes. I’ve never met a Green that has a clue about the Federal Reserve. I’ll have to do some more research on this to see if I can find some kind of stance from them on this issue. Most Greens are for gun control.

    Since most Greens are for gun control I’d have less of chance fighting back if they get too tyrannical. That is not a very big selling point for me.

  61. Joe Says:

    Both the Green Party of New York and the Constitution Party of New York are members of Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County. You can read their statement at http://nocasinoerie.org/greenpr1.htm

  62. Nat Turner Says:

    “I suppose that you are calling them liars then. I’ve talked to quite a few Constitution Party people and I believe that everyone of them have a sincere belief in eliminating both the federal and state income tax. I’ve even encountered Constitution Party people who want to eliminate property taxes. Yes, they would still collect tarriffs, duties, and excise taxes but these were being collected in this country well before there was an income tax.”

    They are not necessarily liars, but getting rid of income taxes is not teh same thing as getting rid of taxes. Tariffs stil require an agency to collect them.

    And while the Constitution Party people you met may say one thing, note that in another thread they are courting certain major party politicians, such as Roy Moore, Richard Shelby, and Tom Tancredo. These politicians have a voting record. Take a real good look at that, rather than speeches, and tell me what you really think.

  63. Nat Turner Says:

    “The Constitution Party also wants to eliminate the welfare state. So they’d save lots of money there and there would also be less incentive for illegal immigrants to come here.”

    The vast majority of so-called illegal immigrants come here to get jobs. The CP wants to crack down on those folks, and their employers, a lot more than at present.

    Many – probably most – CP members also want to limit or stop legal immigration.

    This is a massive expansion of government. It will also hurt the economy, violate liberty, and cost a lot of money, which will have to be raised somehow. That will take an agency to collect it – no matter what you call it.

    “This is no different than what we’ve got now. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t tarriffs only paid for when foreign goods come into American ports?”

    This is very different than what we have now because the tariffs would be a lot higher, since they are theoretically replacing other taxes, and the CP wants the government to keep doing quite a bit – and do some things a lot more than now.

    The higher the tariffs, the more people try to get around them by smuggling. Stop smuggling, in turn, will require a lot more enforcement, and that will cost a lot of money. The government can’t stop illegal drugs from coming in by the boatloads or “illegal” immigrants from coming in
    by the millions at present, despite spending billions of dolars. Now you want to also add massive attempted smuggling of foreign goods, to avoid paying a high tariff. How much is this really going to cost to effectively enforce? Will it even be possible? What about UPS and Fedex- will a CP regime be opening every package that comes in to see if it might contain goods which might be resold, or open packages at random, or will it also have to send inspectors around to shops like the General supposed?

    Keep in mind it will be sending swarms of agents to businesses to hunt for immigrants anyway.

    “They also support a vast decrease in government powers. They’d shut down most of the federal government. I suppose in falling in line with state constitutions they’d shut down a lot of stuff at that level too. For instance, they want to get the government out of education, healthcare, and welfare. This would save BILLIONS of dollars.”

    But they would also need billions more dollars to spend on immigration enforcement, tariff enforcement, and enforcement of their “morality” laws than at present.

    “Yeah, I don’t agree with them about this but this isn’t much different than what we’ve got now. There are already laws on the books against gambling in most of the country. We already have a War On Drugs. There are already places in this country were porn shops are illegal.”

    The fact is that the CP and their heroes like Roy Moore would do a LOT more of this than at present. They aim to shut down all the legal gambling and porn in as many palces as they can. There is a huge demand for these products. Porn alone makes as much money as Hollywood, for example.
    For that matter, many of the CP members would make a lot of what comes out of Hollywood and mainstream media illegal as well by censorship.
    They will shut down the multi-billion dollar abortion business which serves over a million willing customers a year.

    “Keep in mind that the Constitution Party would not have the federal government interfering with the affairs of the states on most of these issues. So if there were a Constitution Party President or if the Constitution Party controlled Congress a state could still have legal gambling or porn or prostitution if that state elected Libertarians or other people who didn’t care about such things.”

    Do you realistically expect that the CP could win the Presidency or a significant presence in Congress without winning a lot of state and local government positions? It does not work that way, and never has.

    “Also, keep in mind that the Constitution Party has come out in favor of medical marijuana. I’ve read this in some of their writings. While it is possible that all of their members do not support this at least some of them do. I know that it’s in the platform of the American Independent Party – their California branch – that they support medicinal uses of drugs, just not recreational.”

    Some CP members might support this, which would still leave the war on drugs as a multi-billion-dollar big deal, imprisoning millions of people, hiring swarms of cops, prison guards, narcotics agents, probation officers, district arttorneys, etc, etc.

    Some CP members have also called for enforcing state drug laws much more, including executing drug dealers in large numbers.

    “Realistically, how many people could actually be arrested for sodomy? Unless somebody is doing it in public nobody would know about it. There are already laws like this on the books and how often do you hear about anyone being arrested?”

    Perhaps they will put cameras all over the place, and pay money to informants. The could even have helicopters taking infrared and microwave pictures of the inside of people’s homes to make sure they were not engaging in the “wrong” type of sex, as they do know for pot growers, or they may even make it legal (and even mandatory) to put cameras inside everyone’s homes, like in George Orwell’s “1984”.

    They could take advantage of the Halliburton prison camps to round up everyone breaking all the new laws they want to pass, and all the old ones they want to enforce a lot more, as well as the millions of immigrants and their employers that they will be rounding up.

    This could all be very, very costly.

  64. Nat Turner Says:

    “Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the federal government collect tarriffs, duties, and excise taxes well before the IRS exsisted? ”

    How did they do that exactly?

  65. Nat Turner Says:

    “Yes, the Constitution Party would still collect taxes but everyone I’ve heard from or read from their party wants to get rid of the income tax, both state and federal. They also want to cut government spending, both state and federal.

    If you don’t think that this is true then I guess you are saying that that are liars.”

    I didn’t see anyone claim they would intend to keep the income tax, although some of the politicians they want to recruit would, or at least have voted to continue doing so. Also, keep in mind that while they may want to ge rid of the income tax, actually repealing a tax – and especiallya constitutional amendment – is a lot harder than passing a new one or increasing a existing one.

  66. Nat Turner Says:

    Sounds like the Greens (at least the ones in control of the party), the Constitution Party, and some LP members are all not very libertarian.

  67. Joe Says:

    Richard Shelby? I never heard of that one. And I suspect that courting of Tom Tancredo is greatly exaggerated. Why not wait until the Constitution Party actually nominates someone? Here is what their 2004 nominee said about the federal income tax: http://www.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=55

    You are certainly right about wanting to shut down the the multi-billion dollar baby murder business. Planned Parenthood has received over $100 million dollars in federal funding each year of George W. Bush’s presidency.

  68. Trent Hill Says:

    Nat Turner,

    You dont know what the hell you’re talking about.
    Informants? Infrared scanners? Have you read ANYTHING from the CP platform? The CP (by and large) is far more against big government than Porn/Gambling.
    Oh,and by the way, every CPer iv ever talked to was anti-War On Drugs.

    “At the same time, we will take care to prevent violations of the Constitutional and civil rights of American citizens. Searches without probable cause and seizures without due process must be prohibited, and the presumption of innocence must be preserved.”

    It does say,
    “The Constitution Party will uphold the right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and to enforce such restrictions. We support legislation to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States from foreign sources. As a matter of self-defense, retaliatory policies including embargoes, sanctions, and tariffs, should be considered.”

    The War on Drugs, and federal involvement in stopping the flow of illegal drugs are different things. The difference is, how they would be achieved (or attempted). The war on drugs takes entirely too much money, every CPer i have ever spoken with agrees. Certainly this is against Libertarian principles. As for that,all i can say is…sorry.

    The good news is, that first paragraph ensures a regaining of many liberties. And assumed innocence.

    As for Andy and Nat Turner. The CP wants to cut:
    Foreign Aid
    The United Nations
    Welfare
    Social Security Number system
    Federal Reserve
    Fiat Currency
    The Department of Education
    Overseas Deployment
    Environmental Controls
    Abolition of the Civil Service system
    The IRS

    This frees up trillions of dollars. Even if you ARE correct and the Tarrif’s take an agency to collect, and our immigration system must be overhauled and the anti-drug/porn/gambling laws must be enforced (though they are already enforced mostly,by states). This still leaves about 90% of the budget we cut,to go back to the people.

  69. Andy Says:

    “Joe Says:

    January 27th, 2007 at 10:25 am
    Both the Green Party of New York and the Constitution Party of New York are members of Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County. You can read their statement at http://nocasinoerie.org/greenpr1.htm”

    I KNEW it! The Greens are not quite a libertine on social lifestyle issues as some may think.

    I wouldn’t be suprised if there are some radical feminist Greens who want to ban porn because it “exploits” women. Of course I’m just speculating on this one so I’d have to do some research before I could verify this.

  70. Andy Says:

    “The vast majority of so-called illegal immigrants come here to get jobs. The CP wants to crack down on those folks, and their employers, a lot more than at present.”

    Yes, a lot of them do come here to get jobs, but even many of the ones who really want to work end up falling into the welfare state. I know that illegal aliens in California have run up hospital bills well into the billions, and I also know that their offspring (who are not counted in the statistics because they are regaurded as American citizens if they are born here) cost the tax payers billions in healthcare, education, and welfare. Then take into consideration that the crime rate among illegal aliens is a lot higher than the crime rate of the general population. The costs in murders, rapes, assults, robbery, destruction of property, and the costs of prosecuting these crimes (and note that most of the perpetrators never get caught) and keeping them in prison is tremendous. There are now more hispanic gang members in Los Angeles than there are gang memebers of all other races combined!

    Also, keep in mind that since the Constitution Party wants to shut down the welfare state for everybody that means that lazy Americans won’t be able to sit on their asses and collect a government handout every month. They will have to go out and work and they will have to do jobs that are currently going to immigrants.

    “Many – probably most – CP members also want to limit or stop legal immigration.”

    I’ve never heard of anyone in the CP calling for cutting off all immigration all together permanently. I know they’ve called for a 5 year moritorium on immigration, but is 5 years really that big a deal? It’s not like there is a shortage of immigrants in this country. Some of the places I’ve been in this country there are more immigrants than there are natural born Americans! Constitution Party people that I’ve talked to are primarily concerned about stopping illegal immigration. They may want to put some more restrictions on legal immigration but I’ve never heard any of them say that they want to cut off all immigration permanently.

    “This is a massive expansion of government. It will also hurt the economy, violate liberty, and cost a lot of money, which will have to be raised somehow. That will take an agency to collect it – no matter what you call it.”

    I don’t think that this is as massive an expansion of government as you are claiming. The Constitution Party would be making many huge cuts in government. They are opposed to the war in Iraq and they want to pull American military forces out of other countries. This would SAVE BILLIONS. They want the government out of education, healthcare, and welfare. This would SAVE BILLIONS MORE.

    “This is very different than what we have now because the tariffs would be a lot higher, since they are theoretically replacing other taxes, and the CP wants the government to keep doing quite a bit – and do some things a lot more than now.”

    They also want to cut taxes and spending in other areas so I think that it would amount to a net decrease in government, even with tarriffs.

    “But they would also need billions more dollars to spend on immigration enforcement, tariff enforcement, and enforcement of their “morality” laws than at present.”

    I don’t think that it would costs nearly as much as you think for them to enforce immigration laws and tarriffs. With the “morality” laws it depends on how far they want to go. I seriously doubt they are planning to put cameras in people’s home or things of that nature. I’ve never heard any of them propose anything like that.

    “Do you realistically expect that the CP could win the Presidency or a significant presence in Congress without winning a lot of state and local government positions? It does not work that way, and never has.”

    Yeah, if they won the Presidency or a signifigant presence in Congress they’d likely pick a lot of state and local offices, HOWEVER, they will not get every state and local office and they would have opposition in Congress.

    Look at the situation now, there is a Republican President but the Democrats control Congress and there are plenty of Democrats that hold state and local offices.

    “Some CP members might support this, which would still leave the war on drugs as a multi-billion-dollar big deal, imprisoning millions of people, hiring swarms of cops, prison guards, narcotics agents, probation officers, district arttorneys, etc, etc.

    Some CP members have also called for enforcing state drug laws much more, including executing drug dealers in large numbers.”

    I don’t agree with their stance on the Drug War. The fact remains that we ALREADY have a War On Drugs. So if the Constitution Party got elected they’d get rid of a lot of crappy stuff but that would be one crappy thing that they’d keep.

    By the way, some Republicans have also called for executing drug dealers and even Democrats have voted for mandatory minimum sentences for people caught with drugs.

    “Perhaps they will put cameras all over the place, and pay money to informants. The could even have helicopters taking infrared and microwave pictures of the inside of people’s homes to make sure they were not engaging in the “wrong” type of sex, as they do know for pot growers, or they may even make it legal (and even mandatory) to put cameras inside everyone’s homes, like in George Orwell’s “1984”.

    They could take advantage of the Halliburton prison camps to round up everyone breaking all the new laws they want to pass, and all the old ones they want to enforce a lot more, as well as the millions of immigrants and their employers that they will be rounding up.

    This could all be very, very costly.”

    Oh come on, I think that you are being unfair here. It’s one thing to disagree with some of their policies but another thing to put words in their mouth.

    I’m NOT a member of the Constitution Party and I do NOT agree with some of their positions. I’m just trying to be fair and paint an accurate picture of their positions. I will do the same with the Green Party or any other party.

  71. Andy Says:

    “They are not necessarily liars, but getting rid of income taxes is not teh same thing as getting rid of taxes. Tariffs stil require an agency to collect them.”

    There are Libertarians who say that we’d still have tarriffs, duties, and excise taxes even if they got elected. I’m a Libertarian Party member and I do not support any taxes. I agree with the notion that taxation is theft and should be abolished all together. However, I’m also realistic and I know that it could take many years to accomplish this even if Libertarians get elected to major offices. If I were elected President my biggest priority in cutting taxes would be to get rid of the income tax.

    “And while the Constitution Party people you met may say one thing, note that in another thread they are courting certain major party politicians, such as Roy Moore, Richard Shelby, and Tom Tancredo. These politicians have a voting record. Take a real good look at that, rather than speeches, and tell me what you really think.”

    A lot of Libertarians have endorsed candidates that aren’t hardcore libertarians, and some have endorsed candidates that aren’t libertarians at all. Look at people that Eric Dondero has endorsed.

  72. Andy Says:

    “They will shut down the multi-billion dollar abortion business which serves over a million willing customers a year.”

    As a Libertarian I do not hold their anti-abortion stance against them because I don’t consider abortion to be a definitional libertarian issue.

  73. Nat Turner Says:

    How much federal and/or state money do you propose to spend to shut down the abortion business, which has over a million paying customers in the US alone? How sill this money be collected?

  74. Nat Turner Says:

    “There are Libertarians who say that we’d still have tarriffs, duties, and excise taxes even if they got elected. I’m a Libertarian Party member and I do not support any taxes. I agree with the notion that taxation is theft and should be abolished all together. However, I’m also realistic and I know that it could take many years to accomplish this even if Libertarians get elected to major offices. If I were elected President my biggest priority in cutting taxes would be to get rid of the income tax.”

    Those “libertarians” would also not effectively abolish the IRS.

  75. Nat Turner Says:

    “A lot of Libertarians have endorsed candidates that aren’t hardcore libertarians, and some have endorsed candidates that aren’t libertarians at all. Look at people that Eric Dondero has endorsed.”

    You’re counting Eric Dondero as a libertarian?

  76. Nat Turner Says:

    It’s certainly true that some “big L” have endorsed things like pre-emptive and undeclared wars, immigration barriers, limited gun confiscation (Redpath), continuing the drug war, except he now supports states rights on medical marijuana (Barr), the Defense of Marriage Act, “fair” taxes, etc., etc.,

    As I said…not all “Libertarians” are necessarily libertarian, either.

  77. Nat Turner Says:

    “I KNEW it! The Greens are not quite a libertine on social lifestyle issues as some may think.”

    SOME greens. Just as with big Ls and Constitutionalists, some Greens are more libertarian than others.

    The same for that matter is true of Democrats (Gary Hart, Jerry Brown, Howard Dean and Bill Richardson are more libertarian than Walter Mondale, the Clintons, John Kerry, or Michael Dukakis, for example) and Republicans (Ron Paul is much more libertarian than John McCain).

    Strangely, “Libertarian/Republicans” like Eric Dondero (although he may be unique) like the least libertarian Republicans and Democrats of all, including the very worst Democrats (Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman) and the most scummy fascist Republicans such as the Bush family, Katherine Harris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill O’Reilly, Mitt Romney, and even Rudolf Giuliani, who may well be the absolute worst of the worst.

  78. Nat Turner Says:

    What does any of what you say about a small handful of immigrants have to do with the MILLIONS of immigrants that almost universally come to America to work, and generally work harder than native born Americans for less money?

    They are the backbone of the American economy, which will fall into a serious tailspin without them, and with less foreign trade.

    The effort to crack down on immigration MUCH MORE than now, and on the smuggling of goods across borders which will be MUCH MORE than now, and t