I have a healthy respect for the Constitution and Libertarian parties. Both appear to have some semblance of intellectual consistency — the Constitution Party pushing for strict interpretation of the 220-yearold namesake document, the Libertarian Party emphasizing personal freedom over all.
Republican John McCain is the candidate who will most likely suffer should the Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr or Constitution presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin manage to accomplish what appears to be their mission: Peel conservatives away from the GOP to bolster their quixotic quests for the White House.
McCain certainly has given some segments of the GOP rank-and-file plenty to be upset about. Anti-immigration (illegal and otherwise ) voters are upset with McCain for his amnesty bill from last year. Strict constructionists and free speechers are upset over McCain-Feingold “ campaign finance reform. ” And the small but vocal anti-war isolationist wing of the GOP is upset with McCain’s support of the Iraq war.
Barr and Baldwin are both trying to position themselves as the voice of these discontents. If disgruntled Republicans give in to this siren song, they will not be merely cutting off their nose to spite their proverbial face. It would be more like cutting off their arms, legs and head.
Ironically, if either party gains any traction, like the bit that Green Party perennial Ralph Nader enjoyed in 2000, both personal liberties and the strength of the Constitution will suffer. With the media in the tank for Barack Obama, McCain already has an uphill battle to keep the socialist-leaning Democrat out of office. Barr and / or Baldwin could seal the deal for Obama, especially in tight states, the same way Nader did in Florida in 2000. (If Nader wasn’t on the ballot, Al Gore would have been president. )
Does Barr really think that McCain is so bad on personal liberties that he’s ready to be a spoiler to throw the election to Obama ? Wait until Obama’s nanny-state, conservativethought-is-hate-speech supporters take over the administration. I shutter to think what the Justice Department, the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency will look like under Obama’s control. Let’s just say I don’t expect personal liberty to be on top of the agenda.
Does Baldwin really think that McCain is so bad on defending the Constitution that he’s ready to risk letting Obama be the guy picking the next few Supreme Court justices ? With a likely Democrat-controlled congress, Obama’s Supreme Court nominees are going to be typical legislate-from-the-benchers. Prepare to get homosexual marriage crammed down your throat by judicial fiat. States’ rights won’t even exist anymore if Obama gets to name the nominees.
For social conservatives like myself, Barr and Baldwin have little to offer. I am more interested with stopping the infanticide of legal abortion, and ending the murder of innocent unborn children, than I am in making a political statement. If Barr and Baldwin spoil the election for Republicans, I know the battle to end the slaughter will face its biggest setback since Roe v. Wade came down from the Supreme Court more than three decades ago.
Some Constitution and Libertarian supporters will no doubt be happy to see McCain fail and the country fall into Obama’s hands and let Obama run crazy left with everything. Only then, the cracked logic goes, when things are really bad, will people see the error of their ways and then in 2012 throw out the Democrats and elect Libertarians and Constitution Party candidates in droves.
Those disgruntles who wish ill on America in anticipation of future political gains for their party of choice have no business participating in the governance of this country. Such sentiments echo those of Democrats who hoped that our soldiers would fail in Iraq in order to boost the donkey’s chances in future elections. It’s unpatriotic and sickening.
So should third parties just give up ? The answer is no, but they should either give us a worthy candidate or quit spoiling the ballot. If Barr or Baldwin had any real credentials or gravitas to lay claim to running the executive branch, they would be real candidates with a real shot. Good third-party candidates bring standing to their parties; they don’t expect their parties to give them standing.
Barr is sending out e-mails to conservative mailing lists asking for money to help him get on the ballot in as many states as possible. If Barr had what it takes to become president, he wouldn’t be begging for $ 310, 000 to help make sure he is on the ballot. If the Libertarian Party doesn’t have enough political will to get on the ballot in all 50 states, why should we have any expectation their nominee can become president ?
Our mainstream parties have morphed over the years, but the Republicans generally have represented political conservatism, and Democrats have come to embrace leftism. There are individual exceptions, but those only serve to prove the general rule.
Libertarians, social conservatives and others within the GOP were part of the process of selecting our nominee in what was a spirited and legitimate contest. As a social conservative, I supported Mike Huckabee. Many libertarian-leaning conservatives supported Ron Paul. Some fiscal conservatives backed Mitt Romney. But we lost fair and square to McCain. We can throw fits and cry about it all we want, and watch Obama float to the Oval Office on our tears.