This column is archived at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2006/cbarchive_20061027.html
For the sake of those who are unfamiliar with my background: I was raised as a Democrat. I remained a Democrat until 1980, when I registered as a Republican. I observed a demonstrable difference in Ronald Reagan's conservatism and felt proud to not only vote for him twice, but also, as the Florida Moral Majority Executive Director, to actively help register tens of thousands (not an exaggeration) of new voters throughout the state during his 1984 reelection campaign.
I was also very involved in helping to elect Joe Scarborough to Congress back in 1994, when he joined conservatives such as Helen Chenoweth, Bob Barr, and Steve Largent in the House of Representatives. I remained a Republican until 2004, when I became an Independent, choosing to affiliate with the Constitution Party. By 2004, it had become obvious to me that the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., had long abandoned the conservative credentials of Ronald Reagan.
I am amazed at how many of my conservative brethren, especially my Christian conservative brethren, continue to believe that the Republican Party is a conservative party. It's not. Not even in the broadest definition of the term is the GOP conservative.
I often hear Republican apologists referring to the GOP as the "family values" party, or the "pro-life" party, or even "God's" party. I've heard Christians say, "If you don't vote Republican, you are not saved and are going to hell." Is it really possible for Christian people to be that deceived? Apparently so.
Let me give readers an exercise in reality: the GOP (at the national level) cares nothing for "family values" or even the pro-life cause. It has been conning Christian and "family values" voters for decades. It's time Christians awakened to this truth! Just because Ronald Reagan, Joe Scarborough, and perhaps a few dozen other Republicans were (are) conservative, does not mean that the GOP, as a national party, is conservative, because it's not.
Christians will often accuse Democrats of belonging to the "party of death." It is true that the national Democratic platform embraces a pro-choice position. It is also true that there are numerous Democrats, especially at the state and local levels, who are pro-life. We currently have an outspoken pro-life Democrat running for Congress in my home district.
It is also true that the national party platform of the GOP embraces a pro-life position, but it is also true that the Republican platform is just so many words on paper. Can anyone remember when Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole brazenly acknowledged that he had never read the Republican platform and couldn't care less what it said? I do. The fact is, the pro-life plank of the national Republican platform is wholly meaningless and without substance! I'll prove it.
It was a Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion on demand in 1973 with two monumental decisions: Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Dear Christian friend, do you understand that? It was Republicans that authorized the killing of over 40 million innocent, unborn babies. Furthermore, since 1973, Republican-dominated Courts have repeatedly reaffirmed abortion-on-demand, including the current Court.
Republicans have enjoyed a sizeable majority on the Supreme Court for more than 30 years. The current makeup of the Court stands in favor of Republican appointments by a margin of 7-2.
Dear Christian friend, it is the Republican Party, more than the Democrat Party, that, by its action, legalized, augmented, and legitimized abortion-on-demand. How can anyone say that the GOP is the "party of life" with a straight face? It's laughable. Democrats may talk pro-abortion (and do), but it is the Republican Party that actually gave America abortion.
In fact, that's the way it is with a lot of things: Democrats talk liberal, but Republicans govern liberal. What's that old saying, "Your actions talk so loud, I can't hear a word you say"? If anything describes the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., that saying does.
Let me put it another way: there were 4,000 unborn babies aborted every day when George W. Bush became president back in 2001. After nearly six years of the Republican Party in complete control of the entire federal government, including both houses of Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court, there are still 4,000 unborn babies being aborted every day! Between 2000 and 2006 all the GOP has given pro-lifers is rhetoric!
And please, don't bring up the partial-birth abortion ban. The only thing that the bill does is further legitimize the remaining types of abortion (which amount to about 99% of all abortions). It also prompts those mothers who desire to abort their babies to do so earlier in their pregnancies. The partial-birth abortion ban has not saved the life of one unborn child.
It's time Christian conservatives face the fact that the national Republican Party is, along with the Democrat Party, a "party of death." Neither party is a pro-life party.
That is not to say that there are not a few principled pro-life Republicans in Washington, D.C. There are. However, they are a distinct minority. For example, When Rep. Ron Paul proposed H.R. 776, The Sanctity of Life Act of 2005, a bill "to provide that human life shall be deemed to exist from conception," there were only 5 cosponsors: Roscoe Bartlett, Ron Lewis, Charlie Norwood, Scott Garrett, and Jeff Miller. What happened to the rest of the so-called "pro-life" Republicans? What happened to our so-called "pro-life" president, George W. Bush? Did we hear him say one word of support for H.R. 776? No, we did not.
Furthermore, it is standard practice for GOP national party leaders to throw their power and weight (not to mention money) to pro-choice Republicans running against pro-life Republicans in primary races all over America. This happens all the time.
Let's also not forget that it was our pseudo "pro-life" president, George W. Bush who just recently gave his support to the abortifacient "Plan B" which prodded the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its sale over the counter without a prescription. Therefore, now that millions of people have unrestricted access to "Plan B," the true number of abortions will multiply exponentially. In other words, President George W. Bush has not only done nothing to end abortion on demand, he has actually dramatically increased the numbers of abortions taking place.
By the same token, if grassroots Republicans were themselves truly pro-life, they had the opportunity to support a genuine pro-life candidate when Alan Keyes was seeking the nomination for president. That they chose to elect the phony conservative, George W. Bush, means that Republicans' commitment to the life issue is shallow at best.
It is time for the American people (especially Christian conservatives) to recognize that the two-party system in Washington, D.C., is beyond broke: it is a joke! Pat Buchanan was absolutely right when he said that the two major parties are "two wings of the same bird of prey." One party tends to support Big Business; the other party tends to support Big Labor. However, both parties support Big Government, and neither party supports the U.S. Constitution or conservative principles.
At some point, our national Christian leaders must begin putting principle before party politics and cry out in support of genuine conservative constitutionalists, party label notwithstanding. There are hundreds and thousands of principled conservatives running for elected offices throughout the country. Some are members of my party, the Constitution Party. Some are Libertarians. Some are Republicans. A few are Democrats. If our national Christian leaders would stop playing politics and would begin championing these principled independent candidates, many of them would win election. If that happened, it would not take long for things to drastically change for the better.
However, as long as Christian conservatives remain determined to support the Republican Party under the pathetic "lesser of two evils" mantra, they will continue to elect these neocons who will continue to betray our most basic convictions.
Dear Christian friend, try something radical this November: vote for the most principled constitutionalist you can find, no matter his or her party affiliation, and trust God with the outcome of your vote. As far as the abortion debate is concerned, the GOP has absolutely no right to call itself the "party of life," because it is not.