Thursday, 25 August 2016

Constitution Party Candidates

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The Constitution Party, as its name suggests, is the party of strict constitutionalism and limited government. Every four years, the party’s ticket offers up candidates of personal integrity and strong constitutionalist convictions, and this year is no exception. While they may not (yet!) be household names, the Constitution Party’s presidential nominee, Darrell Castle (shown on left), and his vice-presidential running mate, Scott Bradley (right), offer a palatable alternative for voters dismayed at the lack of both character and convictions among the major-party tickets.

Castle, a soft-spoken Tennessee lawyer who currently lives in Germantown, earned a double degree in history and political science from East Tennessee State University in 1970. While in college, Castle enrolled in ROTC and received training in Marine Corps platoon leadership in Quantico, Virginia. After graduation, Castle was commissioned as a Second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He eventually served a 13-month tour of duty in the Far East, including Vietnam. His experience in the Vietnam War was a transformative one; according to the thumbnail biography on his campaign website:

War is a life-changing event and Darrell’s experiences during those years contributed to his strong belief that war should not be entered into capriciously; and, that the decision to go to war must be made according to constitutional provisions. He firmly believes in upholding Article I Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which makes it clear that only Congress can declare war, and that those powers are not granted to the president. He left the Marine Corps a very different person than when he went in.

After his military service concluded, Castle enrolled in the law school at Memphis State, where he earned his J.D. in 1979. It was also there that he met and married Joan Weil, to whom he has been happily married ever since. He opened his own law practice in Memphis in 1984, which turned into Darrell Castle and Associates, with firms in Milwaukee, Detroit, and Kansas City.

Even as his law practice flourished, Castle became more and more concerned over the lack of understanding of the Constitution and the principles of limited government on the part of elected officials and their electorates alike. He became active in the Constitution Party, serving in various leadership capacities over the years, including two terms as party state chairman for Tennessee and three terms as vice chairman of the Constitution Party’s national committee.

In 2008, Castle became the Constitution Party’s vice-presidential candidate, alongside presidential running mate Chuck Baldwin. The Baldwin-Castle ticket finished with just under 200,000 votes nationwide, good enough for a fifth-place finish, just ahead of the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney, but well behind the Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian tickets, as well as independent Ralph Nader.

Scott Bradley, Castle’s running mate, has had several careers, including as an administrator at Utah State University and an executive at AT&T. A tireless promoter of constitutional government, Bradley is a well-known patriot in his home state of Utah, for his radio show dedicated to constitutional principles, his non-profit educational organization the Constitution Commemoration Foundation, and his authorship of To Preserve the Nation, a book and DVD/lecture series. Bradley and his wife, Tamara, have five children and 11 grandchildren.

The Castle-Bradley 2016 platform is built around a five-point program: adherence to the Constitution, withdrawal from the United Nations, ending the Federal Reserve, rejection of the radical environmentalist program embodied in Agenda 21, and maintenance of the Constitution Party’s traditional pro-life stance. Writes Castle of the U.S. Constitution:

The Constitution is the charter of liberty for the American Republic. It is much more than just a piece of paper or just a legal document. It is evidence of the grand design the founders left us and it secures the rights that God granted to us.

In the Declaration of Independence Mr. Jefferson told us that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. That is the purpose of government and the reason why the Constitution was and is necessary.

Adherence to the Constitution brings liberty and ignoring and denigrating it brings tyranny.

Regarding the United Nations and our continued membership in it, Castle and Bradley believe that the international organization and its founding principles are fundamentally incompatible with those of the United States:

The ideas of America are not compatible with membership in the United Nations (U.N.). The U.N. is world headquarters for the church of unbelieving humanism. The fundamental doctrine of the U.N. is that the world should be a global collective, redistributing shares of material prosperity to every human on earth. That is a religious and not a political idea. Faith in God is replaced by faith in Humanity....

The very existence of the U.N. is an affront to liberty and human dignity. Many of the inherent rights in the US Constitution are superseded by the United Nations Charter, including the right of self-defense. We must free ourselves from the notion that the U.N. is vital to U.S. interests. It is not.

Castle and Bradley also propose to repeal the Federal Reserve Act, effectively ending the century-old system of tampering with interest rates and the money supply to serve the interests of the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else. “I would let the American people know that they are now free to use whatever currency they want,” writes Castle. “The dollar would again be exchangeable for a fixed quantity of gold and the U.S. Treasury would now accept any major currency ... in payment of taxes.”

Castle also intends to withdraw the United States from “international, sovereignty-destroying legislation,” such as the Agenda 21 protocol, which for two decades has been insinuating itself into federal and state legislatures, encouraging and at times requiring reforms that will bring U.S. laws into conformity with the international radical environmentalist agenda.

Regarding the right to life, Castle proposes to veto any and all federal spending in support of organizations such as Planned Parenthood, and to “recommend to Congress, and work to convince Congress, to take away the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over such matters.” What this means in practical terms is to try to get Congress to pass legislation limiting the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction (and, by implication, that of all federal courts inferior to it) over matters concerning abortion, pursuant to the little-known authority granted to Congress in the U.S. Constitution, Article 3, Section 2. The relevant clause states, in part, that “in all the other Cases [i.e., other than those in which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction] before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” (Emphasis added.) This powerful check against judicial tyranny is seldom mentioned in the media, because the Supreme Court has been such a reliable force for the promotion of leftist agenda items such as abortion and same-sex “marriage.” Using its given power, Congress would have only to pass legislation denying the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over Second Amendment-related cases — or any other matter on which their judgment might be deemed suspect — for a radicalized Supreme Court to be neutralized. Of all presidential candidates, Darrell Castle alone seems to be aware of this.

The Castle-Bradley platform is brief. After all, most federal programs and initiatives that polarize the electorate, from minimum wage laws to Social Security, are patently unconstitutional. With the Constitution as their electoral standard, Castle and Bradley need only to point out their illegitimacy.

In fine, Castle and Bradley are the only ticket that consistently upholds both the Constitution and certain traditional moral positions, such as the right to life. Anyone for whom the Constitution and divine law are the ultimate standards of political conduct should give their candidacy careful ­consideration.


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