Recently, I was taken to task by Howard Phillips, the founder of the U.S. Taxpayer Party – now the Constitution Party – for an error I made in a column titled “What’s Wrong with the Two Party System?” In that column, I lamented the fact that, in the last election, I “threw away” two votes by voting for the American Independent because there was no way I could justify voting for either major-party candidate. (The American Independent Party is an affiliate of the Constitution Party in my state.)I incorrectly stated that the Constitution Party makes a “living for its leadership,” but does little else. I should have said “makes a living for its staff.” The leadership of the party takes no salary, and I want to make it clear that its dedicated staff – like most in the conservative movement – is underpaid.
After 14 years, the Constitution Party – which stands for godly principles – still is not a viable party. I could wish that it were, but wishing cannot make it so. At the very least, you should be able to go to its website to learn who the current leaders are!
I meant no offense to Howard Phillips. In fact, I greatly admire the leader of the Conservative Caucus who was the USTP/Constitution Party presidential candidate in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
Howard Phillips is a principled American patriot. He is perhaps best-known for resigning his position as director of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity in the Nixon White House after the president reneged on his promise to veto future funding for Great Society programs.
Howard Phillips would make a great president! Unfortunately, most Americans do not know his name. Most Americans cannot tell you the name of their congressman – the man or woman who is their closest link to Washington. Sadly, most Americans select a president the way a 7-year-old selects her Barbie doll. It’s a beauty contest!
In the present political climate, you simply cannot build a viable political party from the top down without a superstar – someone who has access to the media, is controversial or is instantly recognized by most Americans. That person would not have to win; he or she would just have to run and be able to articulate the Constitution Party platform to make the party viable.
I offer this list of possible “dream” candidates to the Constitution Party for consideration for the 2008 election. Admittedly, I do not know their positions on all the issues, but each has a background that seems promising, and each is capable of creating enough buzz to put the party on the map.
- Former NFL quarterback, businessman Roger Staubach
- Actor Denzel Washington
- NFL quarterback Kurt Warner
- Actor/columnist Chuck Norris
- Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
- Broadcaster/author Bill O’Reilly
- Actress/activist Patricia Heaton
- Broadcaster/author Dr. Laura Schlessinger
- Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol
- Columnist/authorAnn Coulter
If a suitable high-profile candidate cannot be persuaded to run, the Constitution Party would be much better off to concentrate on building the party from the ground up, not the other way around.
The important thing to remember is this: Should the Constitution Party become viable, without supervision it, too, will become corrupt and a slave to political expediency. Freedom is not cheap. Wendell Phillips, the 19th century abolitionist put it best when he said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” There just is no substitute for citizen involvement, and unfortunately, the citizens who should be most involved – people of faith – are not.
Most can give you the most intimate details of the lives of pop singers, movie, sitcom and sports stars, but they have no clue as to who represents them at the various levels of our government. They simply cannot be bothered. There is no salt and light there!
There is nothing wrong with the two-party system. With more parties, more compromises have to be made to govern. There is no reason that people of faith cannot take back the two major political parties and hold these parties to godly standards.
In a recent paper, Randy Thomasson, the president of Campaign for Children and Families ask these important questions: “Whose job is it to represent God’s Kingdom values and everything He teaches, such as protection of innocent life, marriage and family, religious freedom and moral decency (in our government)? If this doesn’t come from the church, from where will it come?”
There is a crisis of leadership, but it is not in the government. It is in the church.