Constitution Party of Virginia

Fears of the Pragmatic Voter

Fear of the "Split" Vote

Conservatives fear that splitting their vote between a major party candidate and a third party candidate will indirectly elect a liberal. The fact is, third parties draw votes from both major parties, especially today when both major parties contain people from both ends of the political spectrum. For instance, the Republican candidate will lose "conservative" votes to a third party due to his position on a "social" issue and his Democratic opponent will lose "liberal" votes to the same third party due to his position on an "economic" issue.

In 1996, millions of conservatives did not vote because they did not care for either of the major candidates. Therefore, the conservative vote is already split three ways between the major parties and those who will not vote for a liberal or a moderate. If these people were lost to the Republican Party in 1996, they are even less likely to come back to the fold now that more compromises have been made.

Surveys show a steady, 15-year increase in the public’s desire for a third party. Three separate, independent surveys recently showed that 40% of the public would consider voting third party. The question for year 2000 and beyond is not "Will there be a viable third party?" but "Will the third party that emerges be one that represents conservatives?"

Fear of the "Wasted" Vote

Conservatives fear that casting their vote for a "less viable" third party candidate will waste their vote because it won’t help the "most viable" front runner. If this fear is maintained, there will never be hope for change and there will never be a choice besides the lesser of two evils. An unworthy candidate should not receive one’s vote, regardless of how much more unworthy is his opponent, or one will be encouraging "conservative" candidates to be only a little more conservative than their "liberal" opponents.

One’s vote is truly wasted when he casts it for something other than what he fully supports. His views are not expressed. The winner will never know that the voter doesn’t truly agree with his policies and will carry on as if he has a mandate from the voter. However, if people would vote what they really believe, then the winner (regardless of which candidate won) will have to consider the beliefs of that block of people whose votes he did not win. The dissenting vote was not wasted because it will command more consideration than the status quo vote. Voting for the evil which is "most likely to succeed" will still yield evil.

Fear of Court Appointments

Conservatives fear that an opportunity to appoint conservative judges will be lost if they don’t vote for the "more viable" major party candidate. However, Republican Supreme Court appointees gave the country Roe v. Wade and then a court of eight GOP-appointed judges (five by Reagan and Bush) strengthened it in 1992. The same court has rendered many other liberal rulings. Future appointments promise to be no better.

The Republican-led Senate confirmation rate of federal judges has been dismal. Clinton's 357 judges so far (with an "opposition" Senate for six years) leave him just 21 shy of Reagan's two-term appointment record, while Reagan had a Senate of his own party for only two years. Since becoming the majority, Republicans have handed Clinton a 228-1 judicial appointment run. Republicans demonstrate their low value of court appointments by repeatedly using multiple court confirmations as bargaining chips in exchange for positions of minor bureaucratic nominations (yes, nominations, not guaranteed confirmations). The Senate confirmed ultra-liberal and pro-abort Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by a vote of 97–0. Not a single "no" vote could be mustered from the most "conservative" GOP senators!

Fear of the Truth

Conservatives are loathe to believe the obvious – their party has deserted them. They are like an abused wife who cannot leave her husband because he might commit suicide and it would be "her fault." That if only he had the right conditions he would improve his behavior.

Conservatives have been conditioned to believe the lie that if only the GOP controlled both Congress and the White House, things would be so much different, that suddenly they would begin to hold legislation to a constitutional standard and hold each other accountable to their platform (now, that hope has been proven vain). To believe that the GOP truly has conservative values and not just a conservative (but ignored) platform, one must never look at the record of their actions.

This statement does not refer to the times when the GOP has passively stood by as the liberal agenda was enacted. It sees behind those few small victories that are given to conservatives as bones to keep them complacent. This statement is about active collaboration with liberals. This fear of the truth permeates even those who make a profession of research. The National Right to Life supported Senator Bob Dole, yet he never once voted against a pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee. Twenty-eight Republicans who the National Right to Life Committee says voted 100% pro-life in 1999 supported Mary McLaughlin to the U.S. District Court. She received a 1998 award from the ACLU for her pro-abortion activism.

Following are just a few examples which are so indicative of the real values of the GOP that to consider the GOP a morally acceptable option for governing requires one to refuse to believe the truth.

Conservatives are supposed to be mollified by the GOP's bringing the ban on Partial Birth Abortions to vote repeatedly. What we are conveniently NOT reminded of is that each time the PBA ban has failed to override the Clinton vetoes, the margin has been less than the number of Republicans voting with the President. In other words, had the Republicans made their members toe the line on this most extreme example of barbarism, it would have passed.

Not only would the GOP not demand adherence to the party platform on this issue, but the GOP refused to stop sending campaign donations to candidates who supported PBA (the vote wasn’t even close). Henry Hyde's support of G. W. Bush is supposed to allay fear that Bush may be no more pro-life than his father, but Hyde's reputation as a solid pro-lifer was used to keep money flowing to pro-abort GOPers.

Does anyone think G. W. Bush is more conservative than Reagan (who despite his pro-life rhetoric nominated two pro-abort judges to the Supreme Court)? Bush does not believe that unborn babies have a right to life. He says he opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. In other words, who lives and who dies is a political decision. There is not a right to life in the mind or heart of Bush, who opposed fellow Texan Tim Lambert's resolution to defund PBA candidates.

Then there is the support by the GOP of a federal budget that has more than tripled since Reagan took office. There is the recruitment and support of liberal GOP candidates using the contributions of Christians – accompanied with punishment for conservative GOP members who refuse to support establishment choices in primaries. Sellout after sellout on education (GOP Congress appropriated MORE money than Clinton wanted), gays in the military, unconstitutional use of our military as a global police force, tax increases, federal agencies running amuck, giving money to the UN, failure to defund or even reduce funding for Planned Parenthood and the National Endowment for the Arts, permanent MFN for China, and on and on.

A Lack of Fear of God

The United States of America was not founded upon compromise and rationalism. It was founded upon the belief that people are accountable to God for the principles that they stand for and the people that they elevate to high office. As George Washington said at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, "If to please the people we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God."

Those who call themselves Christians must be faithful to the truth and leave the results to God instead of trying to play God. Do we believe it is more important to be honest in business than successful in business? Do we not teach our children that they should follow what is right, instead of following the crowd? More concern with winning and maintaining power than in standing by principle has resulted in compromise by those in office and by those electing them. It is time to do what is right and fear God more than the Democrats.

Lydia Kaiser and Mitch Turner

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