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By Chuck Baldwin
August 29, 2013
After then-Congressman Joe Scarborough convinced me to endorse the neocon Bob Dole for President back in 1996, I vowed to myself that I would never vote for “the lesser of two evils” again. I haven’t; and I won’t.
Almost anytime one hears someone talking about voting for the lesser of two evils, it always means voting for a Republican instead of a third party or independent candidate. The argument is always the same: he or she (the third party candidate) cannot win. Therefore, voting for someone you presume cannot win is “wasting” your vote. I used to believe that, too, but no more.
One could even make the argument that voting for an unprincipled neocon Republican is actually voting for the greater evil, not the lesser. It seems we lose far more liberties under Republican administrations than under Democrat ones. That does not mean that Democrat presidents care more for the Constitution and limited government than Republican presidents. It simply means when Republicans occupy the White House, rank and file conservatives and freedomists go fast asleep. I mean deep sleep. I mean extended hibernation. The two administrations of G.W. Bush are prime examples.
In terms of foreign policy and the burgeoning police state at home, there is no distinguishable difference between Bush and Barack Obama. None! Except for the fact that with a Democrat in office, conservatives, Christians, and freedomists are much more alert and quick to oppose the administration’s draconian policies, whereas, with a Republican in office, those same people sit back and totally ignore identical policies. Yes, sometimes voting for a Democrat might be voting for the lesser of two evils.
I personally witnessed an election in which a vote for the Republican was not just a vote for the lesser of two evils; it was a vote for a politically evil candidate over a politically righteous candidate. I use the words “evil” and “righteous,” not in the true spiritual sense, of course, but in the overall political result of the two candidate’s positions on the issues.
I’m talking about the US Senate race in South Carolina in 2008. The Republican candidate was the pro-war, pro-police state, pro-big government, anti-Constitution incumbent Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham is the personification of everything that is wrong with Washington, D.C. Mind you, Graham is a US Senator from South Carolina. There are probably more evangelical Christians, more Christian schools, and more Christian influence per capita and per square mile in South Carolina than in any State in the country. Bar none! And Lindsey Graham is the best that South Carolina can send to Washington, D.C.? Egad!
In 2008, I was running for POTUS as the Constitution Party candidate. I spent some quality time in South Carolina during that campaign. I had previously spent time in the Palmetto State campaigning for Congressman Ron Paul. What I’m saying is I spent quite a bit of time in South Carolina that year.
While I was in South Carolina, I was introduced to the US Senate Democrat candidate Bob Conley. I spent much time getting to know Bob. I could not find one issue over which he and I disagreed. Bob was as straight as a gun barrel politically speaking. He was an awesome candidate. So, while I was in South Carolina, I was happy to publicly endorse Bob for that US Senate seat. In that race, a vote for the Republican candidate was to vote for the only “evil” candidate in the race. Yet, conservatives and Christians by the tens of thousands cast their vote for Graham simply because he was a Republican. You see, voting for the “lesser of two evils” does not apply to anything except voting for a Republican.
We had a similar situation here in Montana in 2012 for a State office race when there was only a choice between a liberal Democrat and a Libertarian Party candidate. No Republican was in the race. Without question, the “lesser of two evils” vote (in the jargon of so-called conservative Republicans) would have been cast for the Libertarian Party candidate. But what happened? A sizeable percentage of Republicans didn’t vote at all. They refused to vote for “the lesser of two evils.” This proves, once again, that the issue is not about voting for the “lesser of two evils,” it is only about voting for Republicans.
Obviously, there are numerous people who treat Democrat candidates the same way. It doesn’t matter one whit how unfaithful the person might be to Democrat positions, if there is a “D” behind the name, they will vote for him or her. President George Washington was right: this kind of loyalty to any political party is a bane of freedom.
Back to the aforementioned 1996 Presidential campaign: after leaving the airport where Scarborough and I had appeared alongside Bob Dole, I felt sick to my stomach. My radio talk show at that time was on a meteoric rise and I had enthusiastically campaigned for Pat Buchanan. I even hosted a major event for him in the Florida Panhandle during that campaign. I knew Bob Dole was no conservative; I knew he would never be faithful to the principles that I felt so deeply about. But, in the name of defeating Bill Clinton, I allowed Joe Scarborough to talk me into throwing my support behind Dole. As I walked away from that press conference, I vowed to myself, “Never again will I vote for the lesser of two evils.”
Now, that cliché, the lesser of two evils, means different things to different people. So, for sake of clarity, let me tell you what it means to me. I have a six-point litmus test. I don’t care whether the candidate is male or female, black or white, Democrat of Republican, conservative or liberal, Christian or pagan, if he or she violates fidelity to one of more of these principles, I will not vote for him or her; I don’t care how “evil” the opponent might be.
I will not vote for someone who would support or facilitate the legalization of abortion–a Republican candidacy notwithstanding. If neither major party candidate is pro-life, I will vote for someone else in the race that is, or I will leave my ballot blank on that race. I have done that numerous times. I will not vote for anyone who supports the killing of innocent unborn babies. Period!
I will not vote for a candidate (from any political party) who would support the attempt to redefine marriage as being between anyone except between a man and a woman. Marriage is a divine institution and our Creator has already defined it. Government didn’t invent marriage; and government cannot re-invent it. To tell you the truth, I don’t think government has any business being involved in marriage to any degree.
Mind you, I’m not talking about civil unions. That is another matter altogether. I have my opinions on that subject, but that issue does not rise to the level of marriage. And I most certainly am not talking about granting power to the government to invade people’s privacy. I don’t want government in the bedroom, living room, kitchen, or closet.
The Warfare State
Ever since World War II, and the advent of the United Nations, America’s foreign policy has been the antithesis of the principles of liberty and independence. Foreign interventionism, nation-building, and wars of aggression are the enemies of freedom. The vision of America’s founders was one of free trade and good will with all and foreign entanglements with none. Modern American leaders have completely inverted that concept. Now, it is foreign entanglements with all and free trade (the so-called “free trade” agreements in modern times are not free trade at all but government-manipulated trade) and good will with none.
The so-called “war on terror” (along with the “war on drugs”) is the cornerstone of all of the infringements upon the liberties of the American people at home and the excuse given to justify all sorts of military aggression abroad. The “war on terror” is actually a war on the liberties of the American citizenry. The “war on terror” has made us less free and less safe. And if it continues unabated, it will result in the enslavement of the American people.
Therefore, I will not vote for any candidate for public office, regardless of political party, that does not understand the evilness of the Warfare State and that will not aggressively oppose it. This includes those who support sending US military forces around the globe to fight undeclared, unprovoked wars, those who support the use of drones for the purpose of military assassination, and those who support interfering in the internal affairs of foreign countries without due process as prescribed by the US Constitution.
The Police State
The burgeoning police state currently being built in this country is the result of the Warfare State. Legislation that authorized such things as the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the NDAA, the DHS, USNORTHCOM, etc., tramples the Bill of Rights into the ground. For all intents and purposes, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Tenth amendments to the Constitution have been thoroughly and absolutely shredded by every administration and congress of the Twenty First century.
I absolutely refuse to vote for any candidate of any political party that would facilitate the burgeoning police state. That would be like asking me to vote for the lesser evil of, say, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, or like asking me to choose between Nero and Caligula. No thanks.
The New World Order
Now, use this term and all kinds of ideas pop into people’s minds. To some, it means a “Jewish conspiracy.” To others, it means a “Catholic conspiracy.” To still others it means a “Masonic conspiracy.” Ad infinitum.
However, to me it simply means there are elitists within government, business, religion, private groups, etc., (from virtually any and every brand or type) who truly desire to strip countries (especially the United States) of their independence and sovereignty. This is nothing new. Its roots go back to the Tower of Babel.
There have always been rich and powerful individuals who have attempted to accrue riches and power unto themselves. And the best way to accomplish this is to erase national borders. It is always about money. Always. Sovereign nations are an encumbrance to a global anything, but especially to a global financial market. Trade restrictions, imposts, tariffs, regulations, etc., are anathema to global merchants. Therefore, in order to erect a global economy or global financial market, one must create some sort of global government to control it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the New World Order.
I believe the United Nations is a tool of globalists to pave the way for global government. I believe certain internationalist organizations were created to facilitate global government. Some of these organizations probably include the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, etc.
But from a political perspective, I refuse to vote for any candidate for public office, regardless of political party, that would support any legislation that would cede even the slightest bit of American sovereignty to any supranational or international body. Most of the so-called “free trade” deals fall into this category. The creation of any facsimile of a European or North American Union or North American Community (call it what you will) falls into this category; asking US armed forces to serve under, or at the behest of, the United Nations falls into this category; and legislation that would facilitate illegal immigration certainly falls into this category.
This is a no compromise, no negotiation-issue with me. I absolutely will not vote for any candidate, regardless of political party, that supports any additional gun control. We already have too many egregiously enslavish gun control laws on the books. If anything, our lawmakers should be expunging gun control laws, not adding new ones.
Friends, have you ever noticed the wording of the Second Amendment carefully? The Second Amendment is the only part of the Constitution that is said to be “necessary.” The only thing, the ONLY thing, that the Constitution says is “necessary” is the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t say that the Supreme Court is necessary, or that the US Congress is necessary, or that even the President is necessary. It says that the right of citizens to keep and bear arms is necessary. (A big word of thanks to my good friend, Dr. Ed Vieira, for recently pointing this out to me.)
I don’t care if a candidate for public office is a Democrat, Republican, or Whig, if he or she supports or facilitates in any way any further gun control, I absolutely and positively will not vote for them–regardless of how more “evil” their political opponent might be.
There you have it. These are the six criteria I use when I say I will not vote for the lesser of two evils. I don’t expect a candidate for public office to be perfect; I don’t expect to agree with them on every issue; I don’t expect them to be of my religious persuasion. I can differ with them on a wide array of issues. But these six issues are not negotiable. On these issues, there is no lesser of two evils. Transgression of any one of these issues means I will not vote for them–party affiliation notwithstanding. I concur with the words of John Quincy Adams, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” And these are the six principles upon which I will either vote or not vote with the “sweetest reflection.”
Dear reader, I sincerely hope that you are not one of these folks who blindly support a political party with no regard to position or principle. A man or woman who has no principles they will not compromise has no principles at all. And if we need anything in the voting booth today, it is fidelity to principle–especially the principles of liberty upon which our freedoms rest.
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Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife, Connie, have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Chuck and his family reside in the Flathead Valley of Montana. See Chuck’s complete bio here.