James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Constitution Party on Ron Paul

From the Constitution Party website:
The Constitution Party presidential candidate will be selected at its convention in the spring of 2008. We can’t say for sure what will be decided by the convention delegates, but as the party who puts principle above party loyalty, it seems that in the unlikely event that Doctor No [Ron Paul] is able to capture the Republican nomination, we would stand behind him 100%.

The dilemma we have is that we cannot sit around and wait to see what the Republicans are going to do but must build the ark that true Constitutionalists can find refuge on when it dawns on them that the Republican and Democrat parties will let them drown. To that end we must work to secure ballot access in all 50 states NOW and find a candidate who can carry our principles into a presidential campaign which will more than likely find a left-of-center candidate carrying the Republican mantle.

If the Grand Old Party does choose to return to its conservative ideals by supporting Congressman Paul, then there will be ample opportunity to throw our support behind him should our delegates so decide. If he does not win the GOP nomination we will have done much of the work to gain the ballot lines necessary to field a candidate who shares our values and who will govern constitutionally. That candidate could be Ron Paul should he decide to continue his race by seeking the Constitution Party nomination.
This is quite a dilemma. By the time the Republican primaries are finishe
d thanks to what will be the most vicious and dishonest smear campaign in the history of the Republic (after the strategy of ignoring him had failed), Ron Paul will still have a much larger following and greater name recognition then than he does in this early stage of the campaign. Paul could probably launch an independent or third-party bid and get at least 10% of the popular vote and probably a lot more. If Ron Paul doesn't win the Republican nomination but decides to continue in the race, options include:

- Unity 08; see my column on it here.
- An independent run or creating a new third party, provided it gets tacit endorsement from the Libertarian Party and Constitution Party in that they don't nominate their own candidates. But if Paul runs as an independent, the ballot-access chances of both parties are hurt. But his pro-peace, pro-civil liberties message will also be effective outreach to many on the Left. The ends of both the LP and CP would be advanced, however imperfectly, by an independent Paul run, even if it does institutional damage to those parties.
- seeking the nomination of either the CP or the LP, but not both. This will be a bonanza for the party he chooses, as it would guarantee ballot access for that party in every state. Then again, he isn't a "pure" Constitution Party guy as he's a federalist on the abortion question and rejects protective tariffs, which the CP seems to favor. And he's an even less "pure" Libertarian, as he is more federalist than individualist on "moral" issues, more nationalist than laissez-faire on immigration, and favors national sovereignty over "free trade agreements."
- seeking the nomination of both parties. This could lead to conflicts and confusion on state ballot laws, and perhaps competition between the parties as to who will Paul represent in a particular state.

Time will tell. But it brings me joy to even speculate about it. The Ron Paul grassroots so far has proven to be larger, more enthusiastic, and better organized than I had anticipated, so that his campaign at this point is now more good news than bad, with greater reasons for optimism now than when it started.

And, as I said then, it's better for Ron Paul to run than for everyone to wonder what might have been. Because now, I'm wondering about what might be, which is more fun than trying to speculate which Libertarian candidate has the best chance to win half a million votes.


  1. he's a federalist on abortion

    Um, I'm pretty sure his position is pure 10th Amendment on Abortion. That would be by definition not federalist, right?

  2. Well I hope either the Libertarians or the Constitutionalists would wake up and realize that Mr. Paul's platform is the one they should adopt. The areas where they disagree with Ron Paul are the areas where they are wrong. The Libertarians need to embrace the US Constitution and separation of powers between the state and federal government. The Constitutionalists of course need to overturn Roe V Wade but embrace the idea that punishing criminals is a State matter.

  3. Ellis,

    That's what I should have said, that he's pro-Tenth Amendment on abortion.

    The word "federalist" should probably go out the window. The sense I used it was in the pro-Constitution sense of the Federalist Papers, in which most issues are left to the states. But an equally valid view of the word is the way you see it, that it means "nationalist," or an expanded federal role in our lives as was the view of the old Federalist Party and its ideological heirs.


    I agree with you. But there are too many LP members who incongruously believe in anarchist principles and the statist electoral process. And there are too many CP members who incongruously understand state jurisdiction over moral and criminal matters yet want to ban abortions nationally. I don't think Ron Paul can ever please the hardest of the hard core of either party.

  4. I don't know that there is any mismatch between anarchist principals and voting ... after all, votes are weapons, and most anarchists who vote do so only in self defense.

    I'm not an anarchist, but as a minarchist, I agree with many of their principals