The Chronicles Magazine Chuck Baldwin Debate

Our frequent critic Savrola asked me what I thought of Thomas Fleming’s recent comments about Chuck Baldwin. I was unaware of such comments. Turns out they were in the comment thread of an article, not an article itself as I had supposed.

As a supporter of Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party, I obviously disagree. I posted my comments there and Dr. Fleming has already responded. I won’t reproduce my them here because they are rather long. I’ll just direct you to them.

Your thoughts there (requires registration) and here.

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8 thoughts on “The Chronicles Magazine Chuck Baldwin Debate

  1. Feltan

    Red,

    What an outstanding bit of writing.

    I actually had to google a few terms to make sure I understood what you were saying.

    Nothing really to add. However, I would take you up on explaining the history of the Constitution Party platform. I’ve read it, and just one or two bits of it bother me — and I am not sure if those are key dogma points for the Party, or filler that couldn’t be removed without losing a majoirty vote.

    Regards,
    Feltan

  2. Savrola

    Personally the religious aspect of the discussion is of no interest to me, as I have nothing against Pastor Baldwin’s faith or his 2008 Presidential run.

    I might note that the in the years between 2000-2008, some prominent members left the Constitution Party because of the liberalization of it’s platform, principally on the abortion issue.

    My critique is the same as Dr. Fleming’s reinterated original point, in his last post.

    The Constitution Party adds nothing to the debate, and it subtracts valuable time and resources real political endeavors.

  3. RedPhillips Post author

    Thanks Feltan.

    I’ll write something up on the Constitution Party platform.

  4. Kirt Higdon

    This exchange reminds me of all the reasons I quit going to the Chronicles website, let alone commenting there, and let my subscription lapse. Dr. Fleming continues to grow ruder with age.

  5. Bruce

    This isn’t much of an argument but pretty much everything Fleming says makes sense to me so I think he’s probably right on this too.

    I voted for Peroutka in ’04 and Baldwin in ’08. But I got the distinct impression from some of his articles (posted at VDARE) that Baldwin was a bit of a kook. Not quite at the Alex Jones level of kookery. Maybe mildly kooky. And no I can’t define kook real well.

    FYI, Sam Francis had good things to say about Peroutka as an alternative to Bush in 2004.

  6. Matt Weber

    I don’t know about Baldwin per se, but Fleming is right about the constitution party. They have no real constituency and so have no hope. People just don’t get exercised about abstract ideas like limited government. They get exercised about things that will concretely affect their interests. To take just one example, Hampton Roads VA, where I used to live, is a generally conservative place, but serious military spending cuts would leave it an economic ruin. Who in their right mind would support such a thing on some abstract principle?

  7. Feltan

    Matt,

    My rejoinder would be: if you don’t get your abstract principles down pat, the details of day-to-day government will drift with which way the wind is blowing at a given moment.

    In other words — Romney. When big government solutions seem to fit, he is for them (same said for Bush I and II). When it has been convenient to support unlimited abortion, he is all in. Conversely, when political winds blow in the opposite direction he is comfortable doing a 180 degree turn like it is the most natural thing in the world.

    Flemming might not be a fan of the Constitution Party, but he himself is adrift — no solution, no path to a solution, but plenty of bitching and denigration of people with whom he marginally disagrees.

    Regards,
    Feltan

  8. Sean Scallon

    I only mentioned Baldwin in terms of arguing against for voting for the lesser evil, which I despise. I wasn’t trying set off a larger debate about man the himself but others did so when Dr. Fleming decided to call him a “clown” which I think is unfair. Clown compared to whom, Romney?, Obama?

    Here’s my latest response. I agree, Red, that was a really good piece of writing.

    “At the 1944 GOP National Convention in Chicago only delegate voted against party nominee Thomas E. Dewey. He happened to be from my home state of Wisconsin. And someone asked him why he said: “Because I’m a man not a jellyfish!” I feel the same way. I never give up my vote because I am only just one vote out of millions. I do not determine the outcome of elections so my responsibility is to my conscious and what I believe in. If it puts me in minority of less than one percent so be it. What does it profit a man to be a part of a faceless crowd determined to throw itself off a cliff? Millions probably wish they had a different choice to vote for in November other than Obama and Romney and yet they’re stuck with them and fated to do so.

    It was not my intention to taunt or start a discussion about the Christian beliefs of Chuck Baldwin. As someone who has written about non-major parties (as Sam Francis used to say we do not have third parties we have many, many political parties) I’ve been back and forth about their purpose and usefulness and I believe Red’s summed it up, as he usually, rather well. “The primary point of a third party is to uphold a standard and to punish, rhetorically and at the voting booth, the major party nearest to it.”. And I also believe, as Dr. Fleming pointed out, such parties can advance ideas and critiques which the major parties can’t or unwilling to offer at a point and time which make their appearance effective in influencing the debate. As he mentioned, LaFollette, Wallace, Perot, Nader and Buchanan were able to do so. I think it’s why third activists whom I’ve met along way continue to do what they do. Intellectually they know they can’t win but they know there is an audience for them if they can make an effective argument for themselves

    The Ron Paul campaign is a non-major party too. But its following a different route through the Republican Party. Because the political system of this county is so rigged to favor one side or the other, such a campaign may well be a useful model for the future. The parties, in the post Citizens United world, have basically been reduced to brand names like they were soap or car. The faction who capture the brand for millions of voters who only see the parties as a shortcut to make choice and get out of the voting booth, will be the ones with the power.

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