Sunday, 25 May 2008

Constitution Party Chooses Baldwin

Written by  John F. McManus

Chuck BaldwinAt its April 24-27 national convention in Kansas City, the Constitution Party nominated Florida pastor/political activist Charles O. “Chuck” Baldwin as its candidate for president of the United States. Baldwin received 383.8 votes to 125.7 garnered by Maryland’s Alan Keyes and a few given to minor candidates. During the proceedings, hundreds of delegates from across the nation heard speeches from a slate of seven candidates and also from party founder Howard Phillips, conservative activist Richard Viguerie, Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt, popular author Jerome Corsi, and myself.

Younger looking than his 56 years, Chuck Baldwin was born in northwest Indiana and received his education at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan; Liberty University of Lynchburg, Virginia; and the Christian Bible College of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. In 1973, he married the former Connie Kay Cole, and they are proud parents of three children and now enjoy six grandchildren.

As pastor of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, Baldwin once served in the 1980s as Florida chairman of the Moral Majority founded by the late Jerry Falwell. Before Falwell passed away in 2007, Baldwin distanced himself from his former mentor because of Falwell’s continuing support for President George W. Bush and other GOP headliners who had “strayed from positions vitally important to conservatives.” In the widely read Internet news column he has authored for many years, Baldwin endorsed the 2008 candidacy of Texas Congressman Ron Paul for the Republican nomination, and he specifically spoke out against the candidacies of Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and John McCain.

A consistent critic of the current occupant of the White House, Baldwin has regularly chided fellow Christian Right pastors and their flocks for “blind support for President Bush in particular and the Republican Party in general.” He has faulted them for refusing to “honestly face the real danger confronting these United States,” the loss of sovereignty.

Among the many stands appearing in the party’s 39-page platform and totally supported by the candidate, one can find unequivocal support for both the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms. The party opposes conscription and any type of constitutional convention. It calls for repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the “anchor baby” loophole used to provide legal status within our nation for border crossers. It seeks abolition of the Departments of Education and Energy; withdrawal from the United Nations, NATO, NAFTA, and the WTO; termination of all foreign aid and all tax-supported benefits for illegal immigrants; phasing out of the Social Security system; and ending the practice of sending military forces into battle without a congressional declaration of war. Believing that reducing the size of government to constitutional limits would enormously cut government’s monetary needs, the platform calls for the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service and the repeal of the income-tax amendment.

A strongly religious man, Baldwin emphasized his belief in the right of all to choose the religion of their choice. He made note of his friendship and admiration for Roman Catholic Alan Keyes during his acceptance speech, mentioning that he had welcomed his opponent for the nomination to speak to his Baptist congregation. Perhaps the strongest of Baldwin’s issues is the matter of abortion. He emphasized support for Ron Paul’s “Sanctity of Life Act” (H.R. 2597) that declares human life “shall be deemed to exist from conception” and bars the Supreme Court from ruling on the matter. Once legally defined as a person, insisted Baldwin, every infant in the womb would thereby be guaranteed the right to life — under the U.S. Constitution. He thundered, “If the Republican Party had been serious about life, it could have already ended legal abortion in America.”

As the party’s vice presidential candidate in 2004, Baldwin campaigned with presidential candidate Michael Peroutka, a Maryland lawyer. Considered even then as a possible candidate for the party’s nomination, Baldwin admits that the question of his future plans had arisen frequently, but while denying that he had ever sought the top post, he added, “I am always open to God’s will.” After having been named the party’s nominee, he asked the convention to nominate Tennessee attorney Darrell Castle as his running mate, and his request was honored.

Baldwin announced plans to gain the kind of attention Ron Paul achieved through the Internet where he succeeded in “showing how to circumvent the media.” He found while campaigning during 2004 that “the American people haven’t rejected our message; they haven’t heard our message!” And he blamed that deficiency on the dominant news media leading Americans to believe “there are only two political parties.” The conventioneers roared their agreement when he pledged, “This we intend to change.”

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