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What's It Going to Take?

June 2, 2008


In December 1773, a group of about 50 men lightly disguised as American Indians boarded three ships and dumped the contents of 340 chests of tea into the Boston harbor, in protest of forced duties on the tea or, as more aptly stated by the patriots of that day, "taxation without representation." The so-called Boston Tea Party was one of the pivotal events that led to a war of freedom between the young colonies and the mother country.

Today, as we continue to lose our God-given freedoms and continue to abide an out-of-control big government, I often wonder what it will take to make people angry enough to protest in the way the patriots of Boston did over two centuries ago. For if they had not taken this action, at great personal risk, America as we know it may never have had the chance to exist.

The culmination of our national apathy is now evidenced in the three mediocrities to whom we the people have given the majority of our votes in the presidential primaries. While this country has survived second-rate leaders in the past, at critical junctures it seemed that Divine Providence appointed a great leader to take us through times of crisis. The most recent case in point is Ronald Reagan, who took office at a time when the country was mired in a bad economy and a worse attitude. Arguably, Reagan's greatest accomplishment was in making us proud to be Americans again, in reminding us how precious our freedoms are and the price that has been paid to attain them. Today, however, 20 years after Reagan, that pride has been muted in a maelstrom of uncertainty and doubt, fed by what Spiro Agnew referred to as the "negative nabobs" who reflexively present America in its worst light and as a country in decline on the world stage.

2008 is truly a crossroads year in the history of our nation. We have reached a fork in the road and, if we continue down the path of Big Government, Big Lies about the environment and our national sovereignty, and big federal deficits, we are headed for serious trouble. Neither of the main political parties has either the courage or the candor to acknowledge this simple truth, because to acknowledge it is the beginning of admission that something-a very substantive something-needs to be done about it.

In a crossroads year, where we stand on the threshold of a future that could either hold great promise, or one that will take us further down the road toward national failure, our votes are too precious to expend on candidates who ignore what the future may hold in the interest of getting our votes in the present. Therefore, I will hold my nose no longer in the voting booth. I did that for Bush I; for Dole; and for the current President Bush, twice. I cannot and will not do that again.

That said, I know that each of us has our own choices to make, and I respect that. But it's about time that we stop preaching the nonsense that a vote for a third-party alternative is, at best, a wasted vote or, at worst, a de facto vote for the lesser of two major party candidates. If enough people rose up in protest against the two major parties, as they almost did as recently as 1992, real change (versus Obama "change") could occur.

There are numbers of third-party candidates who run every election cycle and most receive little if any notice or fanfare. However, those with name recognition and liberal views, like Ralph Nader, garner outsized attention in comparison to the tiny percentage of votes they receive. In researching the various third parties and their candidates, the one who comes closest to my vision of America is the Constitution Party.

Here is a sampling of Constitution Party positions on major issues of the day:

   1. Putting an end to illegal immigration
   2. Outlawing abortion
   3. Streamlining of the federal government including abolishing the IRS
   4. Tapping of oil reserves in Alaska
   5. Withdrawal from Iraq.

Of these positions, only number 5 is a problem, admittedly. However, the concept of putting top priority on fixing our problems at home versus those of another nation is understandable.

The Constitution Party nominee is Chuck Baldwin, a long-time pastor and commentator who has a radio program and publishes regular columns on moral/political issues of the day. Chuck's columns have appeared in Conservative Truth from time to time and, while we don't agree with some of his views, it's indisputable that he's a patriotic American who is justifiably concerned about the direction we are headed as a nation. Chuck didn't just come out of nowhere to attain this party's nomination; he was their Vice Presidential nominee in 2004, and this time around had to beat back a challenge from Alan Keyes, certainly a more well-known figure in national politics.

I'm going to stop short of endorsing Chuck at this time, not only because of disagreement with some of his positions, but because McCain still needs to be given some time to more fully articulate his positions, select a (hopefully conservative) running mate, etc. However, given what we've heard thus far, I'm not holding my breath. In the mean time, please give some serious thought as to whether McCain, based on what he's told you so far, really deserves your vote. More to come.

Copyright ©2008 Phil Perkins

 


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