In a year of endless presidential endorsements for John McCain (Jon Voight, Chuck Norris, Tom Selleck) and Barack Obama (the rest of Hollywood and all other narcissists), I don’t suppose another endorsement could possibly cause any more damage.
Perhaps this is not an official endorsement. Endorsements typically come from celebrities who don’t feel they get enough attention. On this issue I tend to agree with, of all people, Kid Rock. One of the only remaining singer-songwriters honestly admits that he does not understand much about politics and cares little for celebrities who endorse candidates. He says that celebrities don’t understand politics and now they tell us how we should vote. It’s just another chance to force their views on the American people, the rocker tells us. This is especially true when most celebrities’ reason to vote for someone like Barack Obama is that he "represents change" and "has the ability (i.e. race) to unite like FDR, Kennedy, and Reagan." Blah Blah Blah. Love Me. Blah Blah Blah. Celebrity babble.
So, please think of this as my explanation for voting for Dr. Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party.
As the two major candidates continually prove that neither major party has the fortitude to lead, 2008 would seem like the perfect year for a 3rd party to break through and shake things up. Republican Ron Paul would have been an obvious choice to disrupt the balance of the two-party system but Dr. No was content to remain in his congressional seat. Fair enough.
Bob Barr, former representative from Georgia, threw his hat in the Libertarian race and generated some enthusiasm. Mr. Barr wrested the nomination on the sixth ballot and is running with self-promoter Wayne Allyn Root. Enthusiasm for the Barr-Root ticket faded as more people realized that Mr. Barr is really just a Republican posing as a libertarian in order to cash in on Ron Paul’s popularity. When antiwar sentiment drew a million voters to Dr. Paul in the Republican primaries, it made sense that a consistently antiwar candidate would pick up that block of the vote. But while he was still in Congress, Mr. Barr voted for the invasion of Iraq and the Patriot Act. Today, he still says he would have supported the war, but would have executed it in a different way. In a nutshell, Bob Barr has the same Iraq position as John McCain. Likewise, Mr. Barr’s running mate says the invasion of Iraq was a disaster, that it should not have happened in the first place, and that the situation is such that he would not leave. The folks at lewrockwell.com are correct in attributing “neocon” status to the 2008 libertarian ticket.
That was the case against Bob Barr. The case for Chuck Baldwin is that he is a genuinely antiwar conservative. The host of the “Chuck Baldwin Live” radio program is a Baptist minister (W. James Antle III dubbed him "Reverend Right"), a syndicated columnist, and was the vice presidential nominee of the Constitution Party in 2004 when he ran behind Michael Peroutka. His website, http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/, is a repository of Dr. Baldwin’s writings, dating back to 2001. If anyone wishes to inquire about any of Dr. Baldwin’s positions, they are easily accessible. Also found are articles written by an assortment of journalists and other writers on topics ranging from foreign policy and immigration to trade and economic policies. To my knowledge, he is the only candidate in this year’s race who actively spoke out against the nation’s banking problem.
Dr. Baldwin repeatedly invokes Dr. Ron Paul in his writings. He particularly supports the good doctor’s “Sanctity of Human Life” amendment, which Dr. Paul brings up annually in Congress, only to have it voted down or killed in committee. One of Dr. Baldwin’s hammering points is that Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress for six years and did nothing to alleviate the abomination of abortion. Many values voters keep voting for the GOP because they have been duped by the party on the issue of judges. The logic goes that if enough conservative judges are appointed to the Supreme Court, then they can overturn Roe v. Wade. Republicans are more conservative, so they are the best bet to get abortion outlawed. But Sandra Day O’Connor, John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter, foes to values voters both past and present, were all appointees of Republican presidents. And if the Republican establishment knows they will always have the antiabortion vote, then what incentive do they have for nominating justices who actually would outlaw abortion? And Dr. Baldwin knows that if abortion would be overturned in the country, it has to be through an act of Congress, in whose authority the issue lies.
But perhaps Chuck Baldwin’s chief issue in the 2008 election surrounds America’s national sovereignty. He, like myself, is disturbed at the immigration mess that is literally turning the American southwest into “Mexamerica,” a region that is neither America nor Mexico in any definable way. He opposes the proposed NAFTA superhighway, which would connect the trade of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, as if the three supposedly sovereign nations had no border whatsoever. Dr. Baldwin insists that as national sovereignty fades away, so too will the remaining liberties of our nation. As a conservative Christian, Chuck Baldwin understands the value of religious liberty, for all religions, and how the de facto merging of the three North American nations could not guarantee religious liberty for anyone.
Now for a brief note on character. This summer there was a demonstration dubbed the “Ron Paul March on Washington,” an event orchestrated to oppose the continued war in Iraq and the federal government’s perpetual encroachment into the lives of its citizens. There, Dr. Baldwin was scheduled to speak for a substantial amount of time, but voluntarily withdrew some of his allotted time out of respect for Dr. Paul‘s schedule. In an election where all third party candidates were yearning for a Ron Paul endorsement and any connection to the man, Chuck Baldwin resisted and humbly declined to lobby for the physician’s vote of confidence. He repeatedly says that if Dr. Paul was currently in the race, he would not be running himself. He insists that the message of liberty is stronger than any one candidate and that he is not necessarily the best person to be its spokesman, but accepts it as the candidate of the Constitution Party. The resistance to lead is the most qualifying characteristic for a good leader. While Chuck Baldwin might have that characteristic, George Washington definitely had it, which made him the great leader he was.
I will not sit here and tell anyone that they must vote for Chuck Baldwin because I am or because I say so. I am voting for Dr. Baldwin because he has well-articulated opinions and positions with which I agree. I cannot agree with him on everything (a look at Martin Luther's Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms should be in good order), but his positives far outweigh his negatives. He is not running on name recognition or riding on someone’s coattails. In a country whose federal government causes more problems than it solves, I am voting for someone who preaches limited government, a message found in neither the Republican nor the Democratic party.
*I am not picking on Mr. Hanks by posting his video but it is merely one example.