Restore, or Reform – That is the Question
Let’s face it – those who believe the Constitution is something that ought to be followed today, to the letter of Original Intent, are a small minority in our country.
There are basically two points of view amongst those conservative patriots who believe the only thing that could possible save this country would be to return as quickly as possibly to the Constitution:
- Those who believe it’s too late, that the Republic is dead, that it’s all over but the crying; and
- Those who believe it might be doable, IF we were to start voting for principled candidates instead of party hacks whose loyalty is to their party and their pocketbooks not necessarily in that order).
Ask any conservative which camp he falls in – most will tell you they think it can be done, but once again, those voters fall in one of two categories:
- Those who believe it’s necessary to Restore the Constitution by working with a third party dedicated to restoring the Constitution; and
- Those who think they can Reform the Republican party into something it is not, something it has never been, yet something it keeps telling us it is.
Those who would Restore via a third party are idealists, and have little chance of winning, but they’d rather be right than to compromise their principles.
Those who would Reform consider themselves to be pragmatists, thinking they’d rather get half a loaf than none at all. The fact that they rarely get that half loaf never seems to discourage them. They are like Charlie Brown – some day they just know they are going to get to kick that football!
The Reformers are willing to work with the “Streetwalkers for Jesus” because they just can’t believe that leaders would be so dishonest as to give them an excellent platform and then betray every plank in it when it comes down to critical votes in Congress. They like to trust those who say what they want to hear. And these pragmatists are the reason that a third party can’t get traction. It can’t win because they won’t join, and they won’t join because it can’t win.
People tell us this all the time – “I love what you stand for, but you can’t win.” They don’t seem to have thought through what they are also saying: “I may not like the Policy of Prostitution in the Neocon party, but they can win, and that’s more important to me than any principles.” In other words, “Winning is everything.” And there are a lot of Americans, when you boil it down, who subscribe to that point of view.
As long as this attitude prevails, we’ll continue to get what we’ve been getting for our entire lifetimes – party hacks without principle, who will continue to run this country into the ground, eroding all the freedoms our ancestors acquired for us.
This is the same question that challenged Martin Luther in the 16th Century, and Alexander Campbell in the 19th. “Do we rebuild from within, or do we start over?” They were dealing with entrenched religious systems, of course, while our subject at hand is entrenched political parties, but the issues are much the same.
Do we try to reform the Republican Party from within, or do we start a new party? Some high profile conservatives have voiced this question out loud, especially after the 2016 election. Small wonder. They’ve been being stuck with “moderate” candidates for president for the past thirty years. (When they say “moderate”, think “socialist”.)
Nothing should be more clear to thinking conservatives and to Christians than the fact that, while their voting bloc is coveted, they are not welcome at the table when policy and legislation is being determined.
Most people who suggest starting a new party have no idea what they are talking about. Their musings are as realistic as a lover promising the moon to his beloved. Talk is cheap, but building a party is hard work. It requires blood, sweat and tears.
Just ask Howard Phillips, who had the Vision in 1990 to begin a new party. He was only 25 years ahead of his time. He called it the “Taxpayers Party” (a name that turned out to be too clever by half), but later that was changed to a more marketable “Constitution Party”.
For more than two decades, now, the men and women of principle who were attracted to Phillips’ party of principle have cobbled together State affiliates across the land, achieved ballot access in many of them, and run serious candidates. These pioneers have done this without any expectation of winning, but with the hope and prayer that the day would come when enough conservatives of high moral principle would walk out of the GOP (Group of Prostitutes) and start looking for an alternative.
The idea was (and is) that the infrastructure has already been built for those who want a new party – just come and join!
Republicans have scorned the Constitution Party as being a motley collection of religious fanatics, and speaking as an insider, I can’t deny that we have had, and continue to have some members who are a bit extreme in their beliefs. Kind of like every church and every social club in America – some members are stronger in their views than others.
The GOP is hardly in a position to criticize us for having principled views – after all, they consistently put forth a platform that espouses deep religious and Constitutional beliefs and principles, while passing legislation that is diametrically opposed to that platform and to Biblical principles. (This strategy has worked for many years to deny power, but to keep the votes of conservatives in November, invoking the “lesser of two evils” mantra.)
Will we ever learn? Probably not. Which means each generation of our children will know less and less freedom, until some day there will inevitably be another revolution. What will our children think of us?