In our last blog post we noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center listed the Constitution Party as an "antigovernment Patriot" group, and attempted to link the party to domestic terrorism. According to the SPLC's website, an "antigovernment Patriot" group is one that defines itself as "opposed to the 'New World Order,' engages in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocates or adheres to extreme antigovernment doctrines." But in this case, does the proverbial shoe fit? Does the Constitution Party meet the SPCL's definition of an "antigovernment Patriot" group?
The Constitution Party's website lists "Seven Principles of the Constitution Party." They are:
- Life: For all human beings, from conception to natural death;
- Liberty: Freedom of conscience and actions for the self-governed individual;
- Family: One husband and one wife with their children as divinely instituted;
- Property: Each individual's right to own an steward personal property without government burden;
- Constitution and Bill of Rights: interpreted according to the actual intent of the founding fathers;
- States' Rights: Everything not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, is reserved to the states or to the people.
- American Sovereignty: American government committed to the protection of the borders, trade, and common defense of Americans, and not entangled in foreign alliances.
Does any of this constitute "opposition to the 'New World Order,'" "groundless conspiracy theorizing," or "extreme antigovernment doctrines"? First of all, let us consider the "New World Order." Does such a thing even exist? The answer to that question will largely depend on how one defines the term. What is an undeniable fact is globalization, and the concentration of the world's wealth of a relatively small number of billionaires. And as the Eurocrisis has vividly demonstrated, a global economy will require global regulation. It may be too early to speak properly of a "New World Order," but one is surely emerging. What will the world look like then? Shouldn't we all be concerned?
As for "groundless conspiracy theorizing," there may be some within the Constitution Party who engage in this kind of speculation, but the Party itself does not take a position on such matters. By the very nature of the case a conspiracy is hard to prove. If it is secret, how would outsiders know about it? Conspiracies are like the theory of evolution: it is possible to "prove" almost anything based on circumstantial evidence. What we should be concerned about are the massive social, economic and cultural changes that are profoundly changing the world today, and are probably beyond the power of any one clique or cabal to manipulate or control. We might be, in fact, living in the End Times predicted in the Bible.
And then, what about "extreme antigovernment doctrines"? As we pointed out in our last blog post, one man's orthodoxy is another man's "extremism." "Extreme" simply implies a wide difference between two positions. If the SPLC thinks that we are extreme, on whose side does that reflect? It simply says that there is a wide difference between us and them, which we freely acknowledge.
What is fair to say, however, is that we are "radically conservative," in the sense that we seek a return to the first principles of American government. The U.S. Constitution was intended to be a compact among the American people, and that compact can only be altered by the people themselves. The Founding Fathers never pretended that they had the answer for every problem that would confront the growing republic. But the made a provision in the Constitution for amending the document as the need should arise. Might we not amend it today to accommodate such popular federal programs such as Social Security and Medicare? But what is not conscionable is simply to ignore the letter and intent of the document and to read into it whatever the Supreme Court may please. That is nothing less than judicial tyranny, and effectively extinguishes the principle of self-government among a body of free citizens.
Is this radical? It surely is. But we in the Constitution Party feel compelled to hold aloft the torch of liberty amid the encroaching darkness. Let our hands never falter in the cause of liberty, humanity and justice!