By Bob Bennett
This is a time unique in politics: each of the major parties has presented us with an abhorrent candidate. The Democrats chose Hillary Clinton, one of the weakest candidates in history, to continue the deconstruction of America that Obama started. The Republicans had a true conservative running for the first time since Reagan – Ted Cruz.
But the Party couldn’t bear the nomination of someone who would undo their years of work extinguishing conservatism, becoming more like Democrats and nullifying the Constitution. So they sandbagged him with a flock of shill candidates and the help of Fox News. We wound up with Trump.
The GOP’s betrayal of its oath to defend the Constitution
Obama has done a great deal of damage to America, but the most damage he did was to our Constitution. And congressional Republicans willingly helped him. His most blatant unconstitutional act was his two amnesties of illegal aliens – in 2012 and in November 2014. Of course, both amnesties were unconstitutional; only Congress can change immigration law.
After we had handed Republicans the Senate on the promise of stopping Obama’s unconstitutional amnesties, this is how Mitch McConnell repaid us. The funding bill of DHS, charged with enforcing immigration law, was introduced in the House on January 9, 2015. Representatives Blackburn and Aderholt introduced amendments denying funds to implement Obama’s amnesties.
McConnell moved to strip the two amendments, Democrats – and Republicans – supported him; they passed the clean bill and sent it back to the House, where Boehner was waiting to pass it.
Those we’ve elected have betrayed us and betrayed their oath to defend the Constitution – the document that sets us apart from Europe, where a person can be fined or jailed for criticizing Islam – just one example of why it’s precious.
So once again, conservatives are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils: rapid annihilation of our American heritage under Clinton or a little less rapid annihilation, under Trump. We knew for sure what the GOP stood for when it allied with Trump at the Rules Committee meeting and at the Convention, to purge conservatives from its ranks. This will ultimately doom that party.
This year there’s a choice
But this year millions of Conservatives refuse to vote for their nominee. They do have the choice of getting involved with the Constitution Party, uniting its disparate members; tweaking it and making it a viable home for conservatives. True to its name, the CP aims to preserve the Constitution.
Darrell Castle interview
Madison’s CPC staff writer Edward Reynolds spoke with 2016 Presidential Candidate Darrell Castle on August 4th. Here is the first part of that interview: his Lincolnesque background and his views on the Constitution:
Edward Reynolds: We’ve been more than a two-party country for as long as this country’s been built. The Democrats and Republicans have taken so much power that they’ve convinced everybody that they’re the only options. There is no need to hold your nose and vote Democrat and Republican anymore. There are some very great constitutional conservatives.
Mr. Castle, of the Constitution Party. The party was founded in 1992 as The U.S. Taxpayers’ Party; It was on 21 state ballots. In 1996, it became the Constitution Party; it was on 39 state ballots. Darrell Castle was the vice presidential candidate in 2008.
So now we’re going to bring Mr. Castle in, and get some information from him on the party.
Welcome to Madison’s; thank you for coming on with us.
Darrell Castle: I’m more than glad to be with you.
ER: you are a veteran; I want to thank you for your service. To me that’s a big deal. I think if more of our politicians were involved in the military, they might have a better temperament for leading. How do you feel about that? Would it give them a better understanding?
DC: Certainly it would give them a better understanding of what the military does and what it’s like to serve. It’s an act of service that none of the other candidates have experienced. I don’t know that it’s a deciding factor, but it’s an important factor.
ER: I just want to give you a few minutes to tell people about Darrell Castle – not the politician; Darrell Castle, the man.
DC: Alright I was born in 1948, which makes me 67 years old and that means I’m constitutionally qualified from my standpoint. I was born on a small farm back in the hills in Tennessee, my parents were subsistence farmers, meaning that we raised what we needed to live and nothing else. They were pioneer type people in a sense, they bought this land and built the home and the barns from timber that they got from their own land.
That’s the way I grew up. And I have degrees in history and political science from Tennessee State University. I spent four years in the Marine Corps as an officer from the University of Memphis law school in 1979. And so I have 37 years as a lawyer. I’ve been married to Joan since 1977, so we’ve been married thirty-eight years.
ER: let’s get into how a third party campaign works. How do you get on the ballot in each state?
DC: All the states have different requirements…. Ballot access laws are passed by the legislatures, which are controlled by Democrats and Republicans, so they do tend to make the laws very, very difficult. Many people point out that they’re not impossible, just very difficult. You have to have an awful lot of people or an awful lot of money.
In one sense it would be fair to say that access to the ballot is for sale because the standard fee to get a signature is $3, so in my state of Tennessee you need 33,000 good signatures. About 50,000 signatures [really], because a lot of them will be eliminated. If you just went with paid signature gatherers it would cost $150,000 to do it. You either have to have that amount of money or enough people to go out and get the signatures.
Some states are even more egregious, like Texas for instance… the only people that you can get a signature from are those that haven’t voted in the primary.
ER: So where are you guys up to, in getting your states in line?
DC: right now we’re on the ballot in 19 states. This is the intense time of registration: all the states will pretty much be closed by the end of this month, so we are working really hard on it. Our target was 42 states, but it looks like now, realistically, we will probably be on the ballot in 35 or in the mid-30s of states; in most of the rest of them we’ll be registered as write-in candidates.
ER: What makes you a better choice for president than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?
DC: First of all, I am the candidate of an FEC-registered party in enough states to theoretically win the election. Number two, I’m the only candidate that understands, or seems to understand that the Constitution is very, very important and represents the rule of law. I based my campaign on the concept of preserving and protecting the Constitution, which is what the presidential oath requires the president to do. It’s written right into the Constitution. It’s so important that he does not take an oath to preserve and protect and defend the American people or the nation; his oath is to the Constitution.
We know what Mrs. Clinton’s regard for that instrument is and Mr. Trump doesn’t even seem to understand what it is or care about it one way or the other. So to answer your question I would say I’m the only one who does. There are many other reasons that separate me from the other candidates but that is primary. You could say that I am the only conservative candidate, if that’s important to you; you could say that I’m the only pro-life candidate, both [of] which are true.
ER: Okay. Speaking of the Constitution, this is a question from one of our staff writers Michael Murphy. He wants to know what your understanding is of the enumerated powers of the Constitution, how would you follow them and how would you hold other branches of government accountable?
DC: Well, the enumerated powers, as set out in Article One, Section 8: there are seventeen of them, only seventeen; what that means is that when the states came together to form the central government that we’ve come to call the federal government, the states were sovereign individual units. At that time, the Revolutionary War had been fought, they had declared their independence, they had defeated the British Empire in order to win it.
Each one of those states was a sovereign nation just like Britain, France, Spain and so forth. So they got together; they wanted to preserve the independence that they had won with their blood sweat and tears. They wanted to form a general government, so in order to do that, they knew they had to cede some of the power that they had.
The states gave this general government only seventeen powers and they set those out specifically in Article One, Section 8. Those are the powers the states set forth in that written document that they constituted, called the Constitution of the United States. They gave this general government only seventeen powers. They said “we will give you these powers; all others are reserved to the states, or to the people, respectively.” So that’s what they mean to me.
And the Constitution Party was founded on the principle of original intent: we intend, if we are elected, to abide by the original intent of the Constitution. That means we would endeavor to restrict the federal government to only those seventeen enumerated powers.
ER: Speaking of the Constitution: When I was looking at your site, I saw the term “constitutionist,” [as] opposed to a constitutional conservative. Can you differentiate between those terms?
DC: Well I don’t know; I try to avoid those types of labels … but I will accept that term [conservative] in the sense that I’m trying to conserve something. I’m trying to conserve the Constitution, the rule of law and really, the civilization that Western civilization, Christian civilization has brought to the world in the last 800 years.
To that point, I would accept the term conservative. I mean, I believe that the Constitution is vitally important and without it, if it’s lost—which it could be—we will be set adrift at the mercy of government. The Constitution, remember, does not confer rights on us; it protects those rights that God has endowed us with.
It is a protective device, to protect us from the government, from government predation of the rights given to us by God. That’s why it’s so vitally important.
ER: Absolutely; I believe that as well. That’s why I actually like the word “constitutionist,” as opposed to “constitutional conservative,” especially in this day and age when everybody believes that “conservative” is a bad word. Especially what has happened in the GOP, and where they’re heading. It kind of sets everybody off, and they’re always standoffish.
So I do like the term constitutionist because that’s where I’m at. I believe in preserving the Constitution as well. I mean that’s a big deal. Our forefathers were not stupid men, like a lot of people like to think: that those guys are so old and they didn’t know what they’re talking about. And can’t apply to today’s culture. And it obviously can. It’s a very liquid document.
DC: Remember that there are provisions to amend it, if we don’t think it fits into the modern world, but just to ignore it is very, very dangerous; when we ignore it what we’re really saying is: “There are no boundaries on government; government can do whatever it wants.” This constitutional republic, this free republic we have is getting converted into a democracy, or mob rule, if you will.
The dictator that you like this time might be benevolent. But the dictator next time might not be so benevolent. so I’ll stay with the Constitution, and I’ll stay with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They’re alright with me.
ER: They’re alright with us too…. What’s your take on a convention of states?
DC: I am opposed to it. I don’t think it’s necessary. I’m not objecting to its constitutionality, it’s right in Article V. It’s certainly constitutional. But just because it’s constitutional doesn’t mean it’s something we should do. I don’t think it’s a good idea, for reasons which I’m sure you already know. That’s my position, anyway.