One of my favorite things to do during Presidential election years is to research third party candidates and learn more about third parties in general. In 2004, I began to look a little bit at the Libertarian Party. This year, I’m looking at the Constitution Party. This is a political party that was originally formed as the United States Taxpayer’s party in 1992. The purpose of that party was to limit the federal government’s ability to tax and reign in federal spending. After a few years they decided to change their name to the Constitution Party because they felt the new name better reflected the organization’s direction. From their website:
The Constitution Party strongly champions the principles of government laid down by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, principles which have been abandoned by our political establishment. Unlike other political organizations, we do not believe these principles are outdated. We recognize that the Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the land and must be enforced.
As you can see, this is a party that is strongly in favor of states’ rights and restoring the Constitution to its proper place as the pinnacle of American democracy. That may be hard to do in today’s society since so many of today’s common thoughts (i.e. equality of all peoples) are not specifically cited in the Constitution. Of course it would only take a normal person to realize that the Constitution implies equality for all people, but who wants to get bogged down in that type of argument? More from their website:
Seven Principles of the Constitution Party are:
1. Life: For all human beings, from conception to natural death;
2. Liberty: Freedom of conscience and actions for the self-governed individual;
3. Family: One husband and one wife with their children as divinely instituted;
4. Property: Each individual’s right to own and steward personal property without government burden;
5. Constitution: and Bill of Rights interpreted according to the actual intent of the Founding Fathers;
6. States’ Rights: Everything not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government is reserved for the state and local jurisdictions;
7. American Sovereignty: American government committed to the protection of the borders, trade, and common defense of Americans, and not entangled in foreign alliances.
There you have the states’ rights listed as point number 6. I’m actually a big fan of point number 7 regarding American sovereignty. No, I’m not an isolationist, but I think it’s time our troops leave Japan and Germany… We could use their expertise, knowledge, and sheer manpower in other areas of the world (like Afghanistan) or right here in our own country! We forget that not only do we have the most powerful army in the world, we have the most intelligent. America could use that intelligence within our own borders.
The first two points and the fourth one are pretty much a statement of what all Americans are looking for in their federal government. No controversies there. The third point seems to be one that the majority of Americans agree with, but not the folks in certain areas of the country. Definitely not going to get a Constitution Party Mayor in San Francisco any time soon! Point 5 can become dicey as the intent of the Founders can be interpreted in a few different ways. I would assume that the Constitutionalists would be in favor of a rigid interpretation of the Founders’ intent. In some cases that might not be such a bad thing.
I joined the Constitution Party mailing list and added a link to their national party and their New Jersey state party to the links on the side of this blog. Like I said earlier, I always like keeping up with what third parties are up to – this country needs a third party to emerge as a real contender!