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With 2008 just concluded, today's column will be my analysis of the best and worst of the year just spent. First, the best: my wife, Connie, and our family. As the Constitution Party candidate for President, I logged more than 30,000 miles and visited more than 30 states. I traveled most of those miles alone--as costs prohibited my wife from traveling with me--and most flights were flown in the coach cabin. In fact, my wife and I were apart more last year than the previous 34 years of married life combined. Needless to say, I am not cut out to be a traveling salesman. The time away from home was extremely difficult.
I am grateful to God for giving me the outstanding family I have. Connie is amazing! And our three grown children (Sarah, Chris, and Tim) and their spouses (Allan, Jana, and Jennifer) are absolutely the greatest. Each one of them is a champion-patriot in his or her own right. They love God; they love freedom; they love their parents and each other; they are independent thinkers and courageous Christians. We are as close a family as one will ever find. They are my best and closest friends.
Those faithful members of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida who prayed for me, stood by me, and supported me during a grueling campaign certainly make it to my "best" list for 2008. When I first announced the invitation and opportunity that had been afforded me to become an Independent candidate for President to my church family, several families walked out the back door. Some of these folks were "friends" for many years. Fortunately, however, the vast majority of my church family remained steadfast and unmovable. Try to imagine a church anywhere else in America that would stand by and support a pastor, as he takes a "sabbatical" to run for President. Most churches today will not even tolerate a pastor who dares to take a stand for anything controversial. The faithful stalwarts at Crossroad Church make my "best" list.
Actually, there were many highlights of 2008. The many friends and supporters I met around the country have to make my "best" list, for sure. The many LDS folks who supported me in Utah and surrounding states were a real highlight. People such as Frank Fluckiger, Scott Bradley and Matt Moody, to name a few.
The great folks who hosted Connie and me in Spokane, Washington, (yes, Connie was able to make this trip with me) make it to my "best" list. I am talking about Bob Peck and his entire team. They were terrific.
The guys out in California, who helped provide the VIP tour of America's busiest immigration port near San Diego for me, also make my "best" list for 2008. In addition to the legal border crossing at San Ysidro, they also took me out into the California desert in 110-degree heat to take a firsthand look at the real border. However bad you may think our illegal immigration problem is, it is ten times worse than that. I was able to meet with Border Patrol agents and Border Patrol Auxiliary personnel, as well. It was a real education. Thanks are especially due to retired Air Force Master Sergeant (and retired Deputy Sheriff) Larry Breazeale.
Perhaps the most fascinating man I got to know last year was retired Air Force Brigadier General Charles Jones. What an amazing man! We have become fast friends. Getting to know the general was one of the "best" events of 2008, for sure.
From an organizational perspective, Thom Holmes, out there in Okalahoma, was probably the most indispensable and valuable asset to my campaign last year. He kept my travel and hotel itinerary intact for me. He was on top of every detail. I could not have done it without him. Of course, Darrell Castle was a terrific running mate and a first class gentleman. Joe Sanger in Michigan, and Lowell and Bethany Patterson in New Jersey were also able and indispensable associates.
Lou Dobbs makes my "best" list for 2008, as well. He was the one major television talk show host who was willing to have me as a guest on his program. It is not surprising that Lou Dobbs was about the only notable television talk show host during 2008 who was willing to confront the truth regarding a host of issues: from the North American Union, to illegal immigration, to Ramos and Compean, to the criminal international bankers. Thanks, Lou.
Close to the top of my "best" list is Congressman Ron Paul. What a terrific champion for freedom and constitutional government he is! I was able to get to know Ron quite well during the campaign, and was both humbled and honored when he publicly endorsed my candidacy. Thank you, Ron. You are the best man we have on Capitol Hill.
South Carolina senatorial candidate, Bob Conley, also makes my "best" list of 2008. Here was a guy who was willing to take on the neocon senator, Lindsey Graham. Had he had the support of the so-called conservative Christians, he would have won. But most conservative Christians are so myopic and uninformed today that they cannot think outside the box. And because Bob ran as a Democrat, they would not support him. What a shame! Bob was as solid a constitutionalist patriot as one will ever find. You did us all proud, Bob.
In the print media, Bob Dill, who publishes the Times Examiner in Greenville, South Carolina, makes it to my "best" list, as well. Bob represents the shrinking number of courageous publishers who know what's going on and are not afraid to print the truth.
Speaking of South Carolina, Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash also makes it to my "best" list for 2008. I first met Ray on the campaign trail in the Palmetto State and then invited him to be our guest speaker for our God and Country Day on Election Sunday, November 4. He brought a magnificent address. I was so impressed with his presentation that we made copies and sent them to every elected official in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida. You can view Sheriff Nash's video presentation at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/Sheriff-Nash.html .
The opportunity I had to speak at the 50th Anniversary of the John Birch Society in Appleton, Wisconsin also makes my "best" list for 2008. John McManus and Art Thompson were gracious hosts and have become good friends. The Birch Society is one of the bright spots in America today. No organization has been more unduly criticized as the John Birch Society. And yet, their commitment to liberty and constitutional government has never waned. My hat is off to them.
Speaking at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple (IBT) in Indianapolis, Indiana also needs to be included in my "best" list of 2008. It was a pleasure to be with Dr. Greg Dixon, his son, Pastor Greg Dixon, and Dr. Don Boys again. The IBT has gone through more tribulation than most churches can possibly imagine (at least those in America), and they are still going strong. What a great congregation of dedicated and determined believers! They remind me of courageous Christians from yesteryear. I was honored to speak before them.
Internet publishers such as Paul Walter make my "best" list, too. Paul publishes News With Views. He and people such as Jim Rudd at Covenant News have carried my columns for years. These are men who also know what's going on and are not afraid to print the truth. Thanks, guys.
Other web sites that were especially beneficial to patriots in 2008 were World Net Daily, VDARE, Freedom's Phoenix, Renew America, and Gary Shumway's Red Pills. In Pensacola, my friend, Mike West, at Gulf1, was the man who first got me thinking about publishing a column such as this. Thanks for the idea, Mike.
Without these (and other) great Internet news sites, the American people, for the most part, would not have convenient access to the truth. Most of the major media and major "conservative" radio talk shows today are little more than lackeys for New World Order Republicans, and are therefore worthless to the cause of liberty.
In addition to the mainstream media, and worthless talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity, I must include the majority of so-called leaders within the Religious Right as making my "worst" list for 2008. I include James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Tony Perkins on this list.
For all intents and purposes, the Religious Right has become nothing more than a gaggle of glorified hacks for the Republican Party. They have sacrificed virtually every principle worth defending. For the sake of sitting at the king's table, or not losing financial support from brain-dead contributors, these men have sold the cause of freedom and constitutional government down the river. Their mindless support for John McCain was inexcusable and embarrassing! In so doing, they have lost all credibility.
Also making my "worst" list in 2008 are the many pastors and church members around the country who continued to support one of the worst Presidents in American history: George W. Bush. This man has taken America to the precipice of financial ruin; he has created the foundation for a police state; he has trampled the Constitution and Bill of Rights like no President since Abraham Lincoln; he has used our bravest and best for his sinister plans of interventionist adventurism; he has set the wheels of global government and national socialism in motion, as has no other President (I'm sure Barack Obama will do more than his share to augment socialism in the United States, but remember, it is George W. Bush that has laid the foundation for the acceptance of national socialism). I'm not sure that America will ever truly recover from his Presidency. Yet, a majority of conservative pastors and church members continue to idolize George Bush. What an embarrassment!
Both the Democrat and Republican Parties make my "worst" list for 2008. In one year, both major parties nominated two men, neither of whom was constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States. Now, that's quite a feat!
The Council on Foreign Relations, international bankers, and other global elitists also make my "worst" list for 2008. When will the people of America awaken to the reality that our worst enemies are not "liberals" and "leftists," as much as they are the global elitists who control the Federal Reserve and other internationalist entities that are committed to dismantling America's independence and sovereignty?
Notable deaths that contributed to the down side of 2008 include veteran radio broadcaster George Putnam. I wrote a column eulogizing George shortly after his death in September. Read it at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2008/cbarchive_20080923.html
Other folks I hated to see leave us were Bob Jeter, cornerback from the championship teams of the 1960s Green Bay Packers; Ivan Dixon, from the old Hogan's Heroes TV sitcom; famed actor and NRA president Charlton Heston; Eddy Arnold, the great country-western singer; Dick Martin, from the old Rowan and Martin TV comedy show; the hilarious Harvey Korman; the great freedom fighter, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; the never-equaled voice of "In a world" announcer, Don LaFontaine; "Cool Hand Luke" Paul Newman; and actor Van Johnson, who starred in over 100 movies, and I don't think I ever saw a bad one.
Finally, my beloved Green Bay Packers make my "worst" list for 2008 for shoving Brett Favre out the door for what was certainly his last NFL season. As a result, the Pack went from a 13-3 playoff team to a 6-10 stay-home-and-watch team. Favre should have finished his hall of fame career in Green Bay. That he didn't is a shame.
There you have it: my best and worst of 2008. I trust that all of us will truly have a Happy New Year!
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© Chuck Baldwin