Voting ‘no’ on Hillary, Obama and McCain
Is this the year for 3rd party candidate?
Posted: March 24, 2008
9:47 pm Eastern
Many conservatives are feeling left out of the 2008 presidential race, with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battling for the Democratic nomination and the GOP endorsement likely going to U.S. Sen. John McCain, who has worked with Democrats on campaign limits as well as amnesty for illegal aliens, and in 2004 actually was thought of as a possible running mate for Democratic candidate John Kerry.
Some prominent leaders, including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, even have said they will not vote rather than vote for the liberal leanings of McCain.
So is 2008 the year when a third-party candidate would find some traction among those disaffected by the abortion, marriage and national security stances found in the records of the three front-runners left in the race?
Charles Lewis, national outreach director for Christian Exodus, is one of those behind the launch of the new Save America Summit website, and believes it’s not only time, it’s overdue.
“Even the national conservative pundits who have drunk the Koolaid have to say ‘hold your nose and vote for McCain,'” Lewis told WND. “Not one of them recommended voting for McCain in a primary.”
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Among those joining in the effort are presidential candidate Alan Keyes, American Minute founder Bill Federer, Minuteman national executive Director Al Garza, Constitution Party founder Howard Phillips, Gun Owners of American executive director Larry Pratt, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founder Chris Simcox, Operation Save America founder Flip Benham and dozens of others.
Lewis told WND the 2008 election cycle is too critical to wait through, with plans for the future. Given that supporters of traditional U.S. values – allegiance to country, love of family and reliance on faith – would not support the Democratic candidates, he said the establishment now is offering only McCain as an alternative.
And his support of McCain-Feingold campaign limits, his repeated “reaching” across the aisle to work with Democrats, and other issues, scare a lot of people.
That leaves, he said, only a third party candidate to meet the needs of conservatives, Republicans, Ron Paul Democrats, independents, Reagan Democrats and others. Lewis says it’s just that the word needs to get out.
“We have lots of radio talk show hosts, and we aim to recruit more. There are thousands and thousands of Christian radio talk shows,” he said. “As momentum grows, the pundits that have so reluctantly fallen into line behind McCain will feel the movement. Our goal is to reach a certain critical mass where they’re going to have to stop telling people to stay home or vote for Hillary.”
Keyes, one of the leading names being supported by those who are “thinking outside the box,” confirmed to WND that he is in the process of evaluating his connection to the Republican Party.
His campaign has focused on the traditional values of America, protecting marriage, life and the nation, and he said it isn’t an issue of his leaving the GOP, but of the GOP moving away from its traditional moorings, where he remains.
“A lot of people are disenfranchised,” he said. “The system has been hijacked. There no longer is a commitment to the U.S. Constitution. I think Americans deserve an alternative. Elections ought to be about choices.”
Among the two major parties, and candidates Clinton, Obama and McCain, there isn’t a “choice,” Keyes contended, with two publicly committed to a liberal bent he cannot support and “McCain trying to leave his conservative roots.”
“The system now has all kinds of obstacles that have been erected to destroy the choice of the people,” he said, and instead support the maintenance of power of those who are already in those positions.
That, he told WND, is what communism does: limit the choices but then call it a free election. Allegiance to a party is what is being emphasized, when it should be allegiance to a freedom-loving country.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “I don’t think there’s been a time in my lifetime when the two parties are so out of touch with the grass roots.”
On the border issue alone, he said, “the elites have seemed to have lost their mind as well as their allegiance to our physical integrity as a country.”
He noted the contributions of Phillips to the new effort and the possibility of working through the Constitution Party for a true change in America, a “revival.”
“There is a real desire, a belief that some alternative must be developed,” he said. “We can no longer be enslaved by the existing party structure. On the contrary, if things aren’t representing you, there needs to be something else.”
“My experience [is] a period of serious reflection with what I can do,” he said.
The Constitution Party has acknowledged the possibility of having Keyes, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Chuck Baldwin or someone else on its ballot in 2008.
“This is not a closed list, and it is possible that there may still be others who are considering the possibility of seeking the 2008 Constitution Party nomination,” the organization tells website visitors.
The party already is on the ballot in 15 states and is working on the petition process for others. The website says, “That puts it well ahead of where we were this time in 2004! We are nearly finished with petition drives in Ohio and South Dakota and are making excellent progress in West Virginia, Hawaii and New Mexico as well. Petitioning has now commenced in a number of other states.”
The Democrats are splintered right now, with the sometimes vitriolic battle between Clinton and Obama, with the most intense part of the race leading up to the August convention in Denver still awaiting Americans, third-party supporters said.
Republicans still haven’t coalesced behind McCain because of his political history.
The Constitution Party is the third largest political party in the country in terms of voter registration, with more registered voters than the Libertarian, Green or Reform parties.
Mainstream Republicans warn that a division of vote, that is any conservative not supporting the more conservative of the mainstream candidates, will result in a White House run by the Democratic candidate.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been sought by some as a candidate himself, told the Conservative Political Action Conference that conservatives need to be “independent” from the Republican Party.
“Let me make very clear what I’m saying here. I am not saying there should be a third party – I think a third party is a dumb idea, will not get anywhere, and in the end will achieve nothing,” he said. “I actually believe that any reasonable conservative will, in the end, find that they have an absolute requirement to support the Republican nominee for president this fall.”
And while he believes “the McCain-Feingold Act is unconstitutional and a threat to our civil liberties” and “that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill was a disaster and was correctly stopped by the American people,” he said he rather would “have a President McCain that we fight with 20 percent of the time, than a President Clinton or a President Obama that we fight with 90 percent of the time.”
“I believe the conservative movement has to think about reaching out to every American of every background,” he said.
Gingrich said Ronald Reagan was of a similar opinion, quoting from a 1975 Reagan speech in which he said, “Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people.”
But the Constitution Party insists that shouldn’t be an issue.
“Voting for the lesser of two evils will still yield evil. The major parties offer a choice between driving our country over the cliff to ruin at 50 miles per hour or 70 miles per hour. For example, Republican Supreme Court appointees gave the country Roe v. Wade and other liberal rulings. … If the fear of voting third party is maintained, there will never be hope for change …
“The United States of America was not founded upon compromise and rationalism. If was founded upon the belief that people are accountable to God for the principles that they stand for,” the Constitutional Party says.
Gary Odom, the national field director for the party, told WND the party’s convention in Kansas City will determine the candidate.
“Anybody with a sense of reality can tell we have a ways to go, [but] we are making progress,” he said.
He said the time is ripe in 2008.
“If there is a Judge Moore who would step forward, you couldn’t find a better time.”
The three front-runners, he said, offer virtually nothing different among them.
“You get big government either way,” he said. “Your vote is the currency of your virtue. People should vote for what they believe in.”
He cited the old definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
“Why shouldn’t we try something different. Let’s get back to the Constitution and not ignore what made this country great for its first 150 years,” he said. “I think there is a great desire for something different.”
Former Sen. Rick Santorum warned at the beginning of the GOP race, when there were four or five vying for the lead, that none of them was running “because they’re social conservatives. … They all have problems on these issues, and most of them aren’t comfortable talking about them.”
McCain, specifically, opposed a ban on same-sex marriage and led efforts to limit political spending by interest groups.
Dobson told Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel at one point he knows a third party movement could give the Democrats the White House. But he said he simply could not – ever – vote for someone who supports abortion, as has McCain.
A WND reader, Dan Jr., posed the question that many are wondering.
“Might not [a third party] be able to convince a worthy presidential candidate, like Roy Moore, Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter, to run? If that happened, wouldn’t a significant number of disgusted voters make a more positive statement with their vote than for an indeterminable lesser evil? If so, wouldn’t that vote shift, at the very least, get some politicians’ heads up about the intensity of voter disgust at their malfeasance, misrepresentation and the damage they are doing to their parties and U.S.?”
On the American View, John Lofton wrote of Keyes, “Alan believes, accurately, that the GOP has used conservatives just to get their votes and that the GOP has betrayed many fine Christian people.… He believes McCain is unsupportable because of things McCain has already done – such as supporting embryonic stem cell research.”
“Alan believes Christians should hold up a Christian plumbline as a measuring standard and make this Godly standard known. … Christians must have Christ’s priorities – to seek first the Kingdom of God.”
In a previous interview with WND, Keyes said his first priority in office would be to make sure the executive branch of the U.S. government recognizes the unalienable rights of U.S. citizens, as spelled out in the U.S. Constitution.
And that means applying to the unborn the protections the Constitution already includes for them.
“My first priority would be to re-establish within the executive branch respect for and protection of the unalienable rights of the unborn children in the womb, to make sure nothing was done by the executive branch of the United States that violated the Constitution of the United States in his regard,” he told WND during an exclusive one-on-one interview.