I'm a Republican, or My Serious Look at Peroutka

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:49 PM

Well, considering that I have a number of third party supporting friends (online and offline, I believe), I decided it was time to look into Mr. Peroutoka of the Constitutional Party. The Constitutional PArty is basically the only third party that ever seems to come close to my beliefs… or so I thought.

I now have some non-Kerry bones, or should I say “Kerry-ion,” to pick. I've said before that I might lean toward the Constitutional Party if it had a chance. I had never seriously perused their platform however. After doing so, I hereby recant anything I've ever said that implied my support of this party. The GOP represents my views much better, I'm sorry for ever insulting the Grand Old Party by suggesting otherwise in favor of this party. Note the following is a selection of the things I disagree with Peroutka on.
Note: Another new presidential quiz is included at the bottom of this post with a “shocking new revelation” — on economic issues, I'm not most like President Bush! Well, actually this is not shocking, but would you read on if I said results with “ordinary, bland and rather plain results”?
I. On Selection of Judges
When both John Kerry and the debate moderator challenged Mr. Bush to say if he is for or against Roe v. Wade, Mr. Bush was silent, saying only that he would have no litmus test for judges which means, of course, he would have no pro-life, anti-abortion litmus test. In other words, Mr. Bush is saying that the abortion issue is so unimportant that he would not, in any way, make it a qualification for any judges he would appoint.

I think most people know President Bush would likely select pro-life judges. What the president has always insisted on, though, is that he should not have a litmus test on judges. We should not re-legislate from the bench. If a perfectly impartial judge would find that nothing in the constitution bans abortion (I'd be surprised about that!), then the proper solution would be to pass legislation in Congress not to appoint judges who are biased and legislate from the bench — even if that legislating from the bench going “our way.”

This is important. Judges should not rule based on their personal opinions, but on the constitution. President Bush's one qualification for judges is that they be strict constructionists. If we are confident that the constitution is on our side, then a strict constructionist would support the pro-life cause. The key is that he should support the cause because of his strict interpretation of the constitution, not because he reinterprets the constitution as a partisan just like the liberal activist judges.

II. On Free Trade
Peroutka advocates the dangerous policy of withdrawing from the WTO and NAFTA (and, if you didn't guess, he does not support the Free Trade Zone of the Americas). Here's the problem with that: free trade is the only economically sensible position, in my estimation (backed up by most economists that I know of).

In the global market, it is necessary, for instance, that I can get computer components as affordably possible from Japan, Taiwan, etc. (Note, I do have problems with not restricting trade with China, but I'm talking as a whole here.) Moreover, free trade works both ways: if countries can freely export to us, we can freely export to them. Placing tariffs and other restrictions on imports from countries with normalized relations just causes problems: take, for instance, the recent retaliatory tariff war between the U.S. and the E.U. that hurt Florida produce growers.

Isolationism is not an option.

Moreover, even though keeping jobs in the U.S. is a noble cause, first you are going to have to show me the American workers who want those jobs. The country seems to be no longer interested in manufacturing jobs, so if you try to stop imports, what do you do? You cause a government induced shortage. We should instead let the invisible hand of the market guide itself. Here's where I'll tip my hand towards libertarianism. We ought to keep the government out of trade as much as possible by making trade as free as possible.

III. On Civil Rights and the Defunct Confederacy
I'm of the mindset that completely equal rights between those of different skin colors is part of the inalienable right to freedom given to us by our Creator. That does not mean I support affirmative action and other reverse discrimination policies, instead, I think the government should just stay out of the issue as much as possible (albeit, I'd keep equal opportunity requirements that prohibit racist policies by employers, etc.). In other words, I support the “colorblind” policies advocated by the Republican Party.

So far I have not found any direct remarks by Mr. Peroutka on the issue, but having a Confederate Flag on a link to “Southerners for Peroutka,” which itself links to a page with a Confederate Flag on a capitol building speaks volumes. Delving into that (apparently) official site then takes one to a set of books on topics such as “Why Jefferson Davis was Right.” Is Peroutka running for president of the Union or the Confederacy? Moreover, the “We Have a Dream” captioned picture of the capitol with a confederate flag seems to strongly indicate a backlash against Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream Speech,” based on the allusion made by the quote juxtaposed with the picture.

Is this the kind of stuff we would want in a president of the United States?

Christian Science Monitor Presidential Quiz
Take it here. Found on Reverend Mike's House of Hash.

Tags: Politics

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