Sunday, March 4, 2018

Soul Searching Within The Constitution Party USA

by J.R.Myers, Constitution Party National Executive Committee At-Large Member, Founder & former Alaska CP Chairman, ACP Candidate for AK Governor in 2014, and 2016 Presidential Candidate.  Opinions expressed are personal, and do not represent official Constitution Party positions.


The Constitution Party of America is on the cusp of potentially redefining itself in some important aspects.  There is a CP re-branding underway.  There is a new logo.  There are the Three Pillars of Integrity, Liberty & Prosperity.  There are the Seven Principles of Life, Liberty, Property, Family, The Constitution & Bill of Rights, States Rights and American Sovereignty.  There are the Twelve Key Issues of State's Powers, Education, Gun Rights, Foreign Policy, Defense & Terrorism, Veterans, Immigration, Treaties & Trade Deals, United Nations, Agenda 21 & Global Organizations, Religious Freedom, Health Care & Social Security, Judiciary, and Drugs.  We are re-examining our identity, and how we present ourselves. 

Having already gone through several changes, purges, splits, and more changes in its 26 year history, the CP is on the verge of vigorous renewal.  A heartfelt optimism and fresh excitement can be sensed within the National Constitution Party.  The current CP strategy is focused on expanding and maintaining ballot access, identifying and running good candidates, enhancing fundraising, developing grass roots local and state parties, increasing social media presence, and participation in more public forums.     

We have seen many of our platform positions become part of the mainstream debate and public policy.  Our core message seems to be resonating more and more with the American people.  We are well positioned to start seeing even more positive and dramatic results from our decades of perseverance, investment and hard work.   

Looking forward, our ballot access efforts continue.  We have recently successfully petitioned to get on the ballot in Hawaii.  That led to many other unforeseen blessings for our party there, and elsewhere.  We are actively petitioning with positive results in North Carolina right now.  The Montana CP is reorganizing, as are other states.  The CP recently had a booth and energetic presence at CPAC 2018, with bountiful results.  We are increasingly active in our communities and around our nation networking and speaking out.  We have CP candidates and potential candidates testing the waters and stepping forth all across the country.  Monetary contributions, membership, activists and candidate numbers are on the upswing.       

Along with growth comes growing pains.  In political parties, these are often most keenly felt in platform and policy battles.  Perhaps one of the most controversial, and least understood aspects of the Constitution Party is its National CP Platform Preamble.  Many believe it expresses the essential heart of our party, others are convinced that it keeps our party small and marginalized.  The National CP Platform Preamble reads as follows:

"The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.

This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on a foundation of Christian principles and values. For this very reason peoples of all faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.

The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

The Constitution of the United States provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” The Constitution Party supports the original intent of this language. Therefore, the Constitution Party calls on all those who love liberty and value their inherent rights to join with us in the pursuit of these goals and in the restoration of these founding principles.

The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law, administered by representatives who are constitutionally elected by the citizens. In such a Republic all Life, Liberty and Property are protected because law rules.

We affirm the principles of inherent individual rights upon which these United States of America were founded:

That each individual is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness;
That the freedom to own, use, exchange, control, protect, and freely dispose of property is a natural, necessary and inseparable extension of the individual’s unalienable rights;
That the legitimate function of government is to secure these rights through the preservation of domestic tranquility, the maintenance of a strong national defense, and the promotion of equal justice for all;
That history makes clear that left unchecked, it is the nature of government to usurp the liberty of its citizens and eventually become a major violator of the people’s rights; and
That, therefore, it is essential to bind government with the chains of the Constitution and carefully divide and jealously limit government powers to those assigned by the consent of the governed."

The above CP Preamble has been vigorously debated in previous CP National Committee meetings.  It has been staunchly defended before, and remains intact.  Now, a resolution has been proposed by former CP National Communications Director, Gary Welch for consideration by the next CP National Committee Meeting in Denver, April 20-21.
"Proposal for a Resolution to the National Committee of the Constitution Party
Resolution for a Proclamation Of the Constitution Party on the Role of Religion in Government
Whereas, the Constitution Party has continuously been unfairly misrepresented about our position on the Role of Religion in Government and
Whereas, comments made by members of our party have been deliberately used to incorrectly portray the Constitution Party as a political organization that wishes to promote a Theocratic government or that wishes to specifically enforce Christian morals on the entire country and
Whereas, the members of the Constitution Party wish to set the record straight regarding our views on the Role of Religion in Government
Therefore, The Constitution Party of _____ proposes this Resolution to the National Committee of the Constitution Party:
Be it proposed that the national party approves and promotes the below Proclamation that will be distributed to the media, promoted by the party, and provided to media outlets. Additionally, this Proclamation shall be placed on the same webpage as our Preamble to ensure that there is no misunderstanding of our position on the Role of Religion in Government:
PROCLAMATION OF THE CONSTITUTION PARTY REGARDING THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
The Constitution Party hereby proclaims to the world our views regarding the Role of Religion in Government and Politics. We believe and proclaim:
  1. That Freedom of Religion is our most sacred right and that government is compelled to protect all of their citizens to worship as they see fit. We strongly support that our government shall have no laws respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
  2. That no Constitution Party candidate shall promote nor government official shall pass any laws that promote one religious belief over another or provides preference of a religion over other belief systems.
  3. That no Constitution Party candidate shall campaign for any laws nor Constitution Party Government Official shall pass any laws that unduly restricts the practice of any religious beliefs except for those that have already been provided for in current laws.
  4. That we strongly reject and condemn any attempt by any government official to establish a state religion or to use their position to promote one religion over another.
  5. That our Platform forbids the use of any religious test for membership, positions of leadership, or to be a candidate in this party. All religious beliefs are welcomed and encouraged to participate in our party and will enjoy equal access to all the privileges and participation of party membership.
  6. That just because our Preamble expresses gratitude of the blessings of Jesus Christ does not indicate our intolerance or disrespect for other religions or religious beliefs. It is simply a statement of the writers of the Platform and the members of the National Committee to acknowledge their beliefs and views. Making the statement does not oblige the party, or party members, to adopt only the beliefs of Christianity, or to inhibit the free practice of religion by members of our party.
  7. That our statement regarding the establishment of this country on Christian values and our desire to restore jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations are not promotion of religious beliefs but simply confirming what our Founding Fathers stated when this country was created. The Christian principles and Biblical Foundations that we wish to establish are not those that are exclusive to Christianity nor to the Bible. These are the same principles and foundations that have made up the laws of this country from its creation and apply equally to all people, regardless of their religious beliefs. These same principles and foundations can be found in many religious tenants. They are universal and are the essential components of a civilization by providing a structure for a free and morally strong society.
  8. That our desires to create a moral government and society are not meant to apply to only Christian morality. These are human morals that ensure safety, tranquility, and happiness for a people and can be found in the laws of many societies with different prominent religions.
  9. We strongly support the right of government officials to publicly declare and discuss their beliefs both in official and unofficial capacities. Just because a government official has a strong belief in a particular religion does not mean that they will disrespect or trample on the beliefs of those that do not share that same belief system. We feel the censoring of government officials in the expression of their beliefs is unconstitutional. The implication that a person with strong religious beliefs would act to impinge upon the belief systems of others is unsupportable and ridiculous.
  10. That we strongly feel that the use of force to compel individuals to adopt a singular religion or to create laws that only apply to a single religion is repugnant, dangerous, and tyrannical.
  11. That, while the majority of our members are Christians (just as the majority of Americans are Christians) and support the restoration to Christian values to this country, does not mean that we intend to do so by law. Our Second Pillar clearly states that some issues belong to government and some issues belong to society. Society needs to solve social issues and government is restricted to solving only government issues. Those of the Christian faith in our party understand this principle clearly and want the return to Christian values to be done freely by the citizens of the country by their own will and desire without any compulsion or force by government. We feel that this is an issue for our society to solve without government intrusion.
  12. We believe that our government currently has adopted a state religion. That religion is Secularism. The current laws, regulations, policies, and institutions only promote philosophies and tenants of that religious belief. It allows the proponents of these beliefs to freely proclaim their beliefs in our schools, government institutions, and laws, yet forbids the declarations of any other belief systems. It hides the support of this religious belief by declaring it to only be “science and fact” but, in reality, it has no more evidence to support it than any other religious belief. Therefore, it is a religion. Our government has especially taken a hostile attitude towards Judaism and Christianity by creating a double standard that only applies to these two religions. We feel that this must end and that the government needs to take a neutral stance regarding the expression and practice of any religion. We are committed to defending the rights of Christians and Jews (and every other religion) against any government tyranny and oppression.
We make this proclamation to the world and the people of the United States. We are fiercely dedicated to protecting and promoting your religious freedoms. While we cannot force all of our members to be tolerant of other religions and cannot control what they say, the overwhelmingly majority of Constitution Party members respect and support the religious beliefs of everyone in this country and welcome their input and full participation in our party. Individual statements made by our members cannot be construed to represent the entire party.
The media and our political opponents have gone to great lengths to portray this party as one being intolerant of other religions and of trying to establish Christianity as the state religion. This proclamation sheds the light on these falsehoods and establishes, once and for all, the true position of the Constitution Party regarding the role of religion in government and politics."
This proposal brings up several important questions.  Is this proposed resolution simply a clarifying statement of inclusion?  Is it simply an honest attempt to expand the CP base of support?  Or, is it a prelude to the removal of the current preamble altogether?  Is it a bold needed departure from our historic path?  Or, something that could adversely change the composition and direction of the CP?  Is it a wise step to allow the CP to be seen as more welcoming, tolerant and diverse?  Or folly, leading to the loss of our identity?  There will certainly be much debate on this before and during the next CP National Committee meeting.  The National CP seems to have come to another fork in the road which will likely have profound consequences.  Which way will we choose to go?  

Perhaps other resolutions will be proposed for the Denver CP NatCom meeting before the 30 day deadline.  It isn't too difficult to accomplish.  There are a couple weeks left.  The CP National Committee Resolution process, according to National CP Secretary Cindy Redburn, is as follows:

"Article II, Section 2.6, para 5

Notice of all meetings shall be given in writing to all members at least fourteen (14) days prior to such meetings. The order of business shall be stated in the call. Resolutions not proposing to alter the party Bylaws and/or adopt or alter the Standing Rules shall be submitted to the National Secretary thirty days (30) prior to the committee meeting date.


ARTICLE VI - Amendments

In order for the National Committee to consider proposals to alter the party Bylaws and/or adopt or alter Standing Rules, it shall be necessary that such amendment be in writing and signed by a majority of the dues paying National Committee members from a state that has paid its annual state assessment for the current year and submitted to the National Secretary thirty (30) days prior to the national committee meeting date. The second to the amendment must also be in writing and signed by a majority of the dues paying National Committee members from a different state that has paid its Annual State Assessment for the current year and submitted to the National Secretary thirty (30) days prior to the national committee meeting date. Payment of the Annual State Assessment must be received on or before the date of submission of the amendment. For the first National Committee meeting of the year this requirement may be satisfied by payment of one-half of the Annual State Assessment.

Amendments to these Bylaws may be adopted by a majority vote of the delegates at a National Convention or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at any meeting of the National Committee provided that the amendment be stated in the call for the meeting.

Simply Stated:
Resolutions
A resolution may be submitted by any member or any state as long as it is received by National Secretary thirty days prior to the meeting date.

Bylaw Changes
Proposals to alter the Bylaws require:
1. Submission by a state that is current with their assessment
2. Proposal in writing signed by a majority of the dues paying National Committee members of
the submitting state.
3. All the above guidelines to be met by a seconding state.
4. Submitted to the National Secretary thirty (30) days prior to the National Committee meeting date."

Once approved, official National CP Resolutions are found at:  https://www.constitutionparty.com/principles/platform-preamble/

Ultimately, as we grow and add new voices, our focus needs to remain on fulfilling our stated purpose:

"The mission of the Constitution Party is to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity through the election, at all levels of government, of Constitution Party candidates who will uphold the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions."

The Constitution Party is expanding its working alliances to achieve our goals.  We are moving forward on several fronts simultaneously.  We know that there is much more that unites us in common cause with other patriots than divides us.  Together, we are realizing success in many arenas.  This is hopeful.  

Next month, the governing body of the Constitution Party, the CP National Committee will meet in Denver.  At that gathering, renowned patriot and Alaskan politician, Joe Miller is scheduled to give the keynote address.  Many are very interested to hear what he has to say.  There is already an excitement in the air, a new sense that the CP is preparing itself for a season of transformational growth.  There is a dawning realization that our time has come.  The CP is positioning itself more strongly than ever to be the political home for all Patriotic Constitutional Conservatives in this country.  CP patriots are leading the way for the restoration of our beloved Republic of the United States of America.  See you in Denver!

4 comments:

  1. A very wise & reasonable approach.

    However how does the Executive Committee and those of the southern and eastern state affiliates (whom are fervently religious like their state party) such as Ricardo Davis, Robert Peck, etc. -feel about this resolution? Would they likely vote for it as is without altering the language?

    IMO, another thing that would also help the CP rebound is changing their name to a more populist one, after all, the state affiliates in the west (like Nevada) are quite large & organized because of the populist draw of their names, yet in states where the affiliates have the state title the Libertarians, Greens, and other third parties can run circles around them in terms of voter registration & votes.

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  2. Thank you. I don't know how others feel about this yet. I don't know what the level of support is. We will find out soon enough.

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  3. This resolution was defeated by the CP National Committee by a 2 to 1 vote at the recent meeting in Denver.

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