It was my privilege to interview presidential candidate Virgil Goode, Jr. of the Constitution Party, America’s third largest by membership. We quickly tackled the elephant in the room: does the Constitution Party waste your vote, or even deprive Mr. Romney’s elephants thereby shifting victory to Mr. Obama and his donkeys?
Mr. Goode rebutted that he’s “attracting votes from both parties” and there “are more independents than either Democrats or Republicans.” Moreover, “many old-line Democrats whose families voted Democrat back to FDR are fed up with Obama, but won’t vote GOP.” Appealing to these constituents appears pivotal to Goode’s efforts to “shake-up the big money interests controlling both Democrats and Republicans.”
The former congressman from Virginia, who has represented each major party, predicted a Goode/Clymer win would break the two party stranglehold suffocating America. He beamed that “the Constitution Party doesn’t have any PACs” and its “principles have not been compromised” by special interests.
Like Ron Paul, Virgil Goode has long supported a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, which recently cleared the House. He advocates “currency that is real and backed by gold or silver.” We discussed the moral and economic implications of uncertain money and America’s wavering adherence to the Constitution whereby Goode stressed the “necessity for fixed principles.”
When discussing the application of justice, Goode champions “fair and equitable opportunity, but it’s up to you to use it. Government cannot ensure equal results because every individual differs;” further “success is measured differently by different people.” Goode promises to “check government spending” thereby freeing individuals to thrive.
Of the economic stagnation and looming fiscal upheaval factoring heavily this November, Goode notes, “The biggest problem with the deficit is programs that are unconstitutional and wasteful.” An ardent proponent of balancing the budget, our deficits Goode insists, stem from “spending.” “Taxes should be simple and fair … I’m not for increasing income taxes; if we even have an income tax.”
In contrast to Republicans whose federalism means letting states administer Washington’s initiatives, strings attached, Mr. Goode vows the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, “would still matter if I was president.” Goode would also boost the economy by “slashing and cutting and eliminating unconstitutional agencies; then the bureaucracy stymieing businesses will ease.”
The candidate laments “too much federal involvement in our lives” offering as an example the Department of Education, “should not be involved, schooling should be determined by states and localities … when the Federal Government dictates standards, which shouldn’t be in their purview, students (and taxpayers) suffer.” Goode staunchly resisted No Child Left Behind.
When asked about the source of our rights/liberties, Mr. Goode clarified, “Here in this country we’d say the Constitution, but there is a higher law.” Of the natural rights views Americans have long cherished Goode explained, “The Founding Fathers were religious persons of faith” and that “just government preserves to individuals the liberties included in the Bill of Rights.”
Goode differentiated his platform from the Libertarian Party, which also favors limited government, “Gary Johnson is pro-choice and supports ‘gay’ marriage.” As an obvious devotee of constitutionalism, Goode noted “the Bill of Rights protects life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness stated in the Declaration,” emphasizing the word life.
Regarding the oxymoron of “same-sex marriage” Goode warned, “Government forcibly redefining marriage to include anything other than one man and one woman would be totally foreign to the views of the framers of the Constitution, first ten amendments and Declaration of Independence.”
Goode denies that the Founders, men of “deep-seated values,” would consider a cross on the town square or the Ten Commandments posted at school “as un-constitutional.” Further, public displays “aren’t forcing religion on anyone, but now certain parties wish to erase the principles on which this country was founded.” He continued, “In this era of relativity, we’ve gotten away from the Christian principles which made families stronger, gave a compass to individuals.”
“I believe we’re an exceptional country,” observes Goode “but we must get back to being exceptional. We’re not globalists.” To “balance the budget, we need to step back from foreign entanglements.” The other parties “are prone to extend ourselves into too many areas.” He adamantly opposed our Libyan debacle and questionable legislation emanating from both parties which doesn’t “recognize American sovereignty.”
Goode implores “following the Constitution, we can’t let the UN decide” clarifying “I don’t mind working with allies like we did in World War One and Two, but I’d never let U.S. troops serve under UN command. Under President Obama, he’s more interested in the UN’s approval than declaratory resolutions by Congress.” Goode eschews international meddling, but also lackadaisical enforcement of our own borders.
“I’m totally opposed to illegal immigration and will put a moratorium on new Green Cards until unemployment reduces. Jobs should [go] to U.S. citizens first.” Goode would “eliminate automatic birthright citizenship” for which he has supported past legislation and would “immediately repeal the executive order giving temporary amnesty; a stand Romney won’t take.”
The Constitution “secure[s] the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Affirmative action unfairly lifting new arrivals over native born citizens violates this sacred legacy. Easy welfare welcomes the wrong immigrants. The Constitution Party has long opposed these infamies, but families coming to improve their lot though honest toil bolsters the economy.
Goode’s eagerness to curtail unconstitutional spending, streamline red-tape and solidify the currency will better alleviate unemployment.
Given his passion vis-à-vis immigration reform, I asked if this represented the first item on the presidential to-do list. Goode replied, “It would be high on the list, but we have to get back to the Constitution. I’d repeal all the recent executive orders which don’t appropriately fit in the executive realm.”
As a candidate envisioning a less invasive executive branch, Goode warned of the “ever increasing scope and sphere of a Federal Government intertwined [in] our everyday lives.” He expressed admiration for George Washington as a leader who successfully navigated the lure of power, “He was a man of high principles, referring to the Deity as the source of values and principles” who “inherited a precarious, chaotic situation,” but “didn’t succumb to the temptations of monarchy.”
After successive imperial presidencies Goode appears well worthy of consideration for the legions of Ron Paul supporters seeking limited, constitutional government. Four years ago America didn’t elect “Change,” but “Acceleration.” If conservatism was once, as Bill Buckley suggested, “standing athwart history yelling stop,” saving the Republic now requires more.
The locomotive sped further away from our founding vision towards fiscal tragedy and a moral cesspool. Paul Ryan was the right choice for Romney but the GOP’s failure to staunch the hemorrhaging of America’s constitutional heritage and erosion of cultural values proclaims that a U-turn is needed.
Going the third party route is admittedly precarious even for those who tire of simply accepting the lesser evil. Yet, as Art Carden articulated for Forbes, unless living in a key battleground state, it’s unlikely your vote matters much. Likewise, for the many voters so disengaged they might stay home, pulling the lever for Goode seems sound.
For Ohio and other key states, let conscience prevail.