Why I Have Decided to Leave the Constitution Party: An Open Letter to the Constitution Party of Wisconsin, the National Constitution Party and All Others Interested
Dear Constitution Party Members,
This letter comes after much prayer, thought and discussion. I have decided that it would be best to conduct my political activity within the Republican Party. This was not an easy decision, but it is one on which I am confident. Let me reasons for leaving the party.
(1) For quite some time, I have been growing disenchanted with the Constitution Party. The fact of the matter is, I no longer see the rationale of placing much time, effort and money into a party that will constantly and consistently lose in the end. In the summer of 2008, I can’t think how much time I spent traveling all over Massachusetts dropping off and collecting signatures for Chuck Baldwin. While it was nice seeing the sights, was all that effort worth the less than one percent that Pastor Baldwin was able achieve. I also think of my own campaign for Congress three years ago. Several months of my life were spent in an effort that gave me less than half of one percent of the over all vote. While this race taught me a lot about the political system and gave me an experience I am now able to pass on to my students, but overall it really did little to help the party or the state of Massachusetts. The party has been in existence since 1992. What signs of growth or accomplishment can we really show to justify the party’s existence? What is the point in exerting all this effort to accomplish nothing? What really bothers me is that some in the party actually take pride in losing. They proclaim their moral and ideological superiority as the reason for their defeat. At least I didn’t compromise… But, the problem is, you didn’t do anything else either.
(2) Somebody has to say it, so here it goes – you cannot expect people to vote for unqualified candidates. What is it about a pastor in Florida that qualifies him to be the President of the United States? What is it about an assistant pastor of a small church in Massachusetts that qualifies him to be a US Congressman? Looking back on it, I’m really surprised that anyone voted for me. Why should they have? I had no real ideas, plans, legislation, or substance to offer. All I had where conservative and constitutional views that I could spout off about. To be taken seriously, there needs to be more than that. Give me a reason to vote for you. Although I greatly love, appreciate and admire Pastor Chuck Baldwin, The CP passed up a great opportunity to have Alan Keyes as their nominee for President. Here is a man with legitimate political experience and Constitutional values, but in the name ideological purity, he was cast aside. Now, I do understand there are candidates within the party that I would consider to be qualified to run for lower offices, and even a few for federal offices. I don’t want to suggest that all CP candidates should not run, but there are enough to make me wonder.
(3) Although I know every party has their fringe and extremists, it seems as though this is the base of the Constitution Party. I know this will sound unpopular, but am still not completely convinced that there is a grand conspiracy between the US, Mexico and Canada to form a North American Union. Yet, while I am open to the possibility of such evidence arising maybe, the general public views this as wild and insane. Alex Jones has very little creditability in my mind and I am borderline offended at the whole “truther” movement that suggests the US knew and assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I am so tired of an overemphasis and great exaggeration of the power of both the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Affairs. I do not believe in a shadow government. None of this strikes me as serious debate that the American people even take seriously.
(4) The Ron Paul insurgency within the Republican Party has been a sight to see. Here is a US Congressman who stands exactly where we stand. Having been a third party candidate, Congressman Paul realized he would never get anywhere by continuing along that route. The GOP has given him (and our views) more of a vocal and public platform that no other party can offer. As his candidacy began to pick up steam, the more his following grew. This influence within the GOP is greater than the influence of all third parties put together. It makes more sense to me to join this movement than to continue to work in obscurity.
(5) The idea of 100% ideological purity no longer makes much sense to me. In other words, I want to be able to support a law that prohibits or limits abortion to some extent, without abolishing it all together. I think it is abhorrent to allow some innocent children to be viciously murdered because we could not save all children from being viciously murdered. What is the result – no children are saved when some of them could be. You can blame 100% ideological purity for that. I don’t like the idea of not working with a person who agrees with me on 80% of the issues just because he doesn’t agree with me 100% of the time. Our political system is built on the idea of compromise and coalition. If I can only work with or respect people who agree with me completely, I will get very little accomplished, and that is the legacy of the Constitution Party thus far.
(6) I am tired of hearing that there is no difference between the two mainstream parties. Anyone can see there are great and obvious differences between Republicans and Democrats. Yes, there are similarities in that both parties have failed to live up to their convictions. Yes, both parties have driven up the debt, increased a bloated budget and trample on the Constitution. However, there is only one of the two parties that has an anti-abortion plank in their platform. Republicans at least have shining lights under their tent that are completely absent from the Democratic Party. Even with some similarities, after having had exposure to both parties, I can still see a wide and vast chasm between the two philosophically.
(7) I left the Republican Party in November of 2006. It was never my intention to join a third party, but I could no longer stomach a party that in that year offered me no reasonable choice in Massachusetts. That election year, Massachusetts would be electing a new governor. There was no one on the ballot who was pro-life or pro-traditional marriage. I was forced to write in Michael Carl of the Constitution Party, and was quite happy to do so. Since then, I have got to know Michael pretty well and think he would have made a great Governor. Unfortunately, his write-in campaign was just that, a write campaign with very little organization. But, my main point was that the GOP in Massachusetts consisted of what can charitably be labeled as moderates and rino’s (Yes, I include Mitt Romney in that category by the way). Before Scott Brown won his US Senate seat, there wasn’t much a Republican Party there in the Bay State. However, things are much different here in Wisconsin and especially in Rock County. It has been my great joy to meet and interact with candidates such as Congressman Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, David King, Rick Richard and Evan Wynn. These are all committed conservatives, pro-life, and pro-marriage. I have even been privileged enough to speak to several of these men concerning their own, personal, faith. Praise the Lord, not only are some of these men conservative, but they are truly Christian as well. I have no problem associating myself with them. The Chairman of the Rock County GOP, Jim Olsen, is also a true conservative who is dedicated to building a party of true conservatives. Again, I have no problem associating myself with such a man. I feel as though I can be a part of the Wisconsin Republican Party, and the Rock County Republican Party in particular, and not compromise my principles at all.
I know this is shocking to some of you, disappointing to others of you and angering to many of you. I still cannot believe the effort, sacrifice, money and time that the Constitution Party and its members put into my campaign for Congress. It is humbling to even think about. Yet, as we say in the CP, I must place principle above politics. I don’t believe the views and values I hold dear are better advanced in the CP than in the GOP. Therefore, I must change parties.
Now, before some of you jump to conclusions, let me state some things that I am NOT trying to say in this statement.
(1) I do not believe the GOP is a perfect party or even completely heading in the right direction. I am deeply disturbed by neo-cons who dream of world domination and moderates who advocate abortion, homosexual marriage and an abandonment of a strict constructionist view of the Constitution. I still maintain my opposition to the war in Iraq and the Bush Doctrine of preventative first strikes against nations we think may have the capability of striking us.
(2) I still intend to vote for the best candidate on the ballot, the candidate who best represents me – no matter what party they may be. For example, I have made known my doubts about Ron Johnson for US Senate. Should he win the GOP nomination, I fully intend to continue my support for Constitution Party of Wisconsin Candidate Rob Taylor. After having met Rob, I feel confident he is qualified for the job and will represent my views and values. Ron Johnson has a lot to convince me of thus far. Just because he has money doesn’t mean I will vote for him. However, as stated before, I do like Dave Westlake. I will support him in the primary. Should he win the primary, I will have a difficult decision to make come November. But, it will be my decision, not the decision of a particular party.
(3) I do not believe this move to be a compromise of any of my views, beliefs or stances. As I leave the CP, I take with me everything I believed while in the CP. Please do not view this move as an abandonment of my principals. I believe and will continue to fight for fidelity to the Constitution as well as the God-given rights of freedom and liberty from oppressive government.
(4) I also still believe America deserves more than just two parties. It sickens me that only two parties receive press and attention. It is high time to end the two-party monopoly that strangles our political system. Voters deserve to have more than just two options from which to choose. Candidates also deserve to run with the party whose views they best represent and not have to think about compromising their views just to satisfy party leadership.
(5) This decision is not the result of anything personal. No one in the party has ever personally offended me. Actually, this is what has made this move so difficult. Members of this party have bent over backwards to help me. Folks like Nicholas Sumbles, Rich Selfridge and Michael Carl have been a tremendous encouragement to me. Without Nicholas, I would not have had even the mere appearance of a political campaign. I owe these men a great debt I could never repay. This is not personal at all.
(6) I am not trying to lead a mass exodus out of the party. This is a decision I have made and it is only for me. I leave others to the dictates of their own consciences. I have no desire to take people out of the party. I am not leaving in a huff, or with a temper tantrum.
While this is goodbye for now, I still wish to be considered a friend of the party. I believe that I still stand with the party. I am open to the idea of one day returning to the party if situations change in the future. I wished to be kept on the mailing list and kept informed about candidates, campaigns and events. Anyone in the Constitution Party is still welcome as guests on my internet radio program any time they wish to appear.