Chuck Baldwin: ‘I’m the Abraham Lincoln of this generation’

In a recent Utah Herald News article, Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin likened himself to America’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, and the Constitution Party to the nascent Republicans of the 1850s.

“Sooner or later, an independent party, a third party, is going to break into the national limelight and is going to take that spotlight off the Republican Party and elect a president of the United States,” Baldwin said. “I would like to think it’s gonna be 2008, and I would like to think that I’m the Abraham Lincoln of this generation.”

Baldwin, of course, was talking strictly about Lincoln and the Republicans’ role in supplanting one of the two major parties, not about Lincoln or the Republicans’ actual agenda. However, many would consider his invoking of Lincoln a poor choice.

Many paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians consider Lincoln to have been the worst president in American history. Ron Paul, whose “Revolution” Baldwin claims to continue, included Thomas DiLorenzo’s scathingly critical The Real Lincoln in the suggested reading section of The Revolution: A Manifesto.

Paleos criticize Lincoln for his nationalism, which seems to dovetail with Baldwin’s repeated assertion that the issue of the day is whether one is an “American” or a “globalist.”

Lincoln and the early Republicans were also adamant in their opposition to free trade, a view the Constitution Party shares, though Baldwin insists he’s with Ron Paul, perhaps the world’s most steadfast advocate of free trade, on this issue (Baldwin considers a 10% tariff to replace the income tax consistent with Paul’s views).

And of course, Lincoln was a centralist and an ardent opponent of “states’ rights.” Here, Baldwin and the CP depart with Lincoln for the most part, but not when it comes to one key issue: Abortion. In an interview with IPR, Baldwin stated his support for a national ban on abortion, but did not indicate where in the Constitution the power of Congress to enact such a ban was authorized.

It should also be noted that Chuck Baldwin is a member of the League of the South, an anti-Lincoln organization.

74 thoughts on “Chuck Baldwin: ‘I’m the Abraham Lincoln of this generation’

  1. Deran

    While I agree with critcizing Baldwin and the CP as jingoist nationalists. I can tell you with some confidence, that here in Seattle in 1999, the opposition to the WTO was not nativist, jingoistic, let alone nationalistic America First crap.

    The CP is not representative of the majority of organized opposition to globalized Neo-Liberal capitalism world wide.

  2. G.E. Post author

    I am also opposed to the WTO and I’m not a nationalist… nor do you and I see eye to eye, I would guess.

    I think Baldwin is probably the best candidate on the ballot in my state. But if Barr had said the same thing, I would have written this same article.

  3. darolew

    This is ridiculous. Baldwin meant he was like Lincoln in the sense that Baldwin represents a third party who could sweep in and replace one of the major ruling parties (just like Lincoln and the GOP did to the Whigs back in the 19th century).

    I highly doubt Baldwin meant to endorse the views and policies of Abe Lincoln.

  4. G.E. Post author

    Ridiculous?

    What if a candidate said he hoped to be the Adolf Hitler of this generation, but meant it in strictly the sense of leading a mass movement to overthrow the existing political system?

    I did not imply that Baldwin meant anything other than what he said. It was an incredibly poor choice of words.

    Long-term, Lincoln was responsible for more death and destruction than Hitler.

  5. Trent Hill

    GE,

    This is a rediculous article. Baldwin was clearly saying that LIKE Abraham Lincoln, he wants to be the first presidential candidate to win as a third-partier, like Lincoln did in 1860.

    Please, for your own good, pull this one down.
    Baldwin is a member of the LoS, a violently anti-lincoln organization.

  6. Trent Hill

    GE,

    You clearly have a bone to pick in this article,and its ruining your journalistic integrity.

  7. G.E. Post author

    I don’t pull down articles. If this is truly “ridiculous” then let me be crucified.

    All I’ve done is post his quotes, clearly stating that he hopes to be like Lincoln and the CP like the old GOP in the sense that you and darolew are saying; and then pointing out that Lincoln is not well-liked by the paleo Right; and then drew some points of likeness/dissimilarity between the old GOP and the CP.

    We can’t hammer Barr for every miststep and let slips by Baldwin go just because one of our writers is his Youth Coordinator, Trent.

  8. G.E. Post author

    Added this paragraph for clarification:

    Baldwin, of course, was talking strictly about Lincoln and the Republicans’ role in supplanting the one of the two major parties, not about Lincoln or the Republicans’ actual agenda. However, many would consider his invoking of Lincoln a poor choice.

    Also added: It should also be noted that Chuck Baldwin is a member of the League of the South, an anti-Lincoln organization.

  9. sunshinebatman

    GE, have you read old quotes of Schwarzenegger? That’s basically how he compared himself to Hitler.

    Now, when Gov. Arnold secedes Calif from Pres. Baldwin, will Baldwin kill millions of Americans in a war?

  10. G.E. Post author

    And was Arnold criticized for this?

    My guess is yes.

    Is Arnold a genocidal racist? No. But were his comparisons to Hitler a horrible choice and “newsworthy”? OF COURSE.

    If Barr said the same thing, would this article have been written? Yes.

    So why should slip-ups by Baldwin be ignored? They shouldn’t.

    I plan to cast my vote for Chuck Baldwin. The notion I have a “bone to pick” is off mark.

  11. G.E. Post author

    This is just like Baldwin’s citation of the Pledge writer without denouncing him.

    Notice that when Baldwin cited FDR in his anti-China press release, he distanced himself from him. But not from Lincoln here.

  12. Fred Church Ortiz

    And was Arnold criticized for this?

    My guess is yes.

    I think he made a substantial contribution to the Weisenthal Center, in the name of researching his father’s activities in nazi Austria, and the whole thing went away.

  13. G.E. Post author

    darolew – Thanks for calling me on it. I did not intend to “smear” Baldwin, for whom I intend to cast my vote. I just was trying to provide the lift-off point for discussion, as is the purpose of a blog.

  14. Chris Cole

    Comparing the Constitution Party (or any other current second-tier party) to the Republican Party before the Civil War is highly misleading. The Republicans didn’t “supplant” the Whigs. The Whigs had self-destructed over slavery, and the anti-slavery faction merged with other abolitionist groups, such as the Free Soil Party and the Liberty Party, to form the Republican Party. So, while the Republican Party was new in 1850, it wasn’t BRAND new. Such a realignment could still happen: the Republicans seem to be headed for a meltdown, but it isn’t where things stand NOW.

  15. RedPhillips

    Is Baldwin a member of the League of the South? Peroutka is. Peroutka is speaking at the National Convention this year. I hope Baldwin will speak there also.

  16. Trent Hill

    Red,

    To my knowledge–yes, Baldwin is a member of the LoS, although he’s been highly critical of the racial-baiting elements within that group.

  17. Arthur Torrey

    Agreed, though in some ways it seems like a bit of a Freudian type slip… The CP claims to follow the Constitution, but at the same time seems to want to cram certain religions down our throats as if they’d never seen the 1st Amendment, let alone the 9th or 10th.

    Quite aside from his starting the War of Northern Aggression, Lincoln was also noted for his Income Tax, suspending Habeas Corpus, engaging in military slavery, suppression of a free press, and multiple other offenses against the Constitution – I have to wonder how many of those Baldwin would come up with…

    ART

  18. Steve

    GE –
    Lincoln responsible for more deaths than Hitler? I’d be interested in how you came up with that figure. No doubt Lincoln was bad but I have a hard time believing he killed more people than the Holocaust or World War II.

    Chris Cole –
    I hope today’s Republican party can go the way of the Whigs. In a best case scenario the defeats this November cause such a split that traditional conservatives leave the neo-cons and join with the Libertarian and Constitution parties in a new political alignment.

  19. Trent Hill

    Steve,

    I wonder too. We can all agree Hitler was bad and so was Lincoln–but were the two anywhere near each other? Im not so sure.

    Hitler’s count is 5 million jews, and another 1 million handicapped, gypsy’s, and blacks.
    Of course, then you have to take into account all of his Army’s deaths in WWII and number of civilian deaths in his country, the number stands around 13 million. This does not account for the number of people his army killed…

  20. Trent Hill

    Whereas the Civil War killed about 600,000 people total.

    (this figure includes KIA and disease-deaths). One could probably argue that the civilian deaths brought the total as high as 2 million.

  21. RedPhillips

    Arthur, the 1st amendment, as originally intended, applied ONLY to Congress. “Congress shall make no laws…” I suspect very few CP supporters have an issue with that. It is the unconstitutional extension of the 1st amendment beyond the original intent that they rightly object to.

    I think one reason the LoS likes Peroutka so much is because he is one of the few political figures who has publicly embraced them. I would like it if Baldwin could address the LoS National Convention, but I don’t know if an invite has been extended.

  22. G.E. Post author

    Peter – Charles Jay will not be on the ballot in Michigan. Last I heard, only two people had signed up to be electors and fifteen are needed. (The two people being the chair and vice chair of the Michigan BTP).

    Steve/Trent – Hitler was responsible for millions of deaths in the 1930s and 40s. Lincoln was responsible for 600,000+ deaths in the Civil War (adjusted for population, that’s around 6 million today). But that’s not why I say that. I say it because Lincoln crushed the Republic and created the American Super State. And that Empire, from the Spanish-American War through the Conquest of Iraq, is responsible for far more deaths than Hitler and Stalin combined.

  23. G.E. Post author

    Red – I agree with your assessment of the 1st amendment and I, as an atheist, also object to the unconstitutional application of the 1st amendment to the states, etc., as an instrument of grand tyranny.

    Question for you: What do you think of Baldwin’s national abortion ban?

  24. G.E. Post author

    Peter – Correction. He won’t be on the ballot AND he won’t be an official write-in. Not unless the Michigan BTP can find 15 more electors.

  25. Steve

    I kinda figured that’s how you meant it GE, but I still think its a reach too far. Yes, Lincoln was terrible for destroying the Republic, but I don’t think we can hold him personally and wholly responsible for every misguided military adventure undertaken in the last 150 years. Comparing any murderous tin-hat dictator, whether it be Lincoln or Hussein (bad as they were) cheapens the horrors directly caused by Hitler in the Holocaust and WWII.

  26. Steve Rankin

    To expand on comment #17: The Republican Party was founded in the summer of 1854, by which time the Whigs were not quite dead. The Republicans had the largest number of any party in the U. S. House that met in 1855 (impossible for a new party today because of asinine ballot access restrictions).

    The Republicans had their first presidential nominee, John C. Fremont, in 1856.

    The Republicans were NOT a third party in 1860, when Lincoln was elected mainly due to a North-South split in the Democratic Party. Vice President Breckinridge was the Southern Dem; John Bell of Tennessee was the Constitutional Union nominee; and Sen. Stephen Douglas, the Northern Dem, finished fourth in electoral votes.

  27. RedPhillips

    I am not sure what the point of all this historical nit-picking is. The essence of Baldwin’s statement is still true, and it is especially true for the majority of people who are historically challenged. Many people understand the admittedly simplistic narrative that the Republicans overtook the Whigs in the election of 1860. The finer points outlined above are know to only the interested few.

    The general point that it is possible for a third party to overtake one of the big two is still applicable.

  28. G.E. Post author

    Another point: Adolf Hitler was an admirer of Lincoln, for his “belligerent nationalism, aggressive war, protectionism, and suppression of states’ rights.” Anyone who thinks its unfair to compare the two men is, consciously or subconsciously, serving as an apologist for the U.S. Imperial Regime and the millions of deaths its caused.

    BTW: Of the four criteria above, the CP scores highly on #1 and #3, and is far from perfect on #4 (see abortion). They’re good on #2, though — much better than the LP.

  29. Warbler

    Lincoln was NOT anti-slavery. He did not see blacks as equals to whites in any sense of the word. The Emancipation Proc. was a made as a last sitch effort to boost army morale which was falling like a rock due to major defeats, poor leadership and inter-general fighting.
    It ‘freed’ all slaves in bondage in any lands not in control of the Union army. The slaves in the north, and the west and in MD (which went back and forth between the two) were not freed.
    The South suceeded, therefore it was no longer part of the US and it was no longer under Lincoln’s jurisdiction. Thus, the EP was a foolish cover-up. It also switched the REASON for the war from freedom from tyranny to freedom from slavery, and made the cause of the north a “moral” one.
    –little bird in PA

  30. G.E. Post author

    Warbler – I must have missed something. I didn’t see anyone saying Lincoln WAS anti-slavery.

  31. paulie cannoli

    In a best case scenario the defeats this November cause such a split that traditional conservatives leave the neo-cons and join with the Libertarian and Constitution parties in a new political alignment.

    I hope the LP has nothing to do with that, although I suspect they would – and it would be time for me to exit, perhaps belatedly.

    BTW, the Republicans became a major party back when parties printed their own general elections ballots.

  32. Trent Hill

    GE,

    And Lew Rockwell is just as wrong. Even more so, Rockwell leads the casual viewer to think Baldwin wants to govern like Lincoln. Im about to send him an email also.

  33. G.E. Post author

    Trent – Your guy made a major verbal slip up. Don’t expect everyone to just look the other way. That’s not how this works.

  34. Trent Hill

    Yes,you clearly were. I wasnt the only one bitching. Deran, who agrees with your contempt for the CP, is a leftist and criticized your article and the way in which it was written. He is right–your journalistic integrity suffered.

    Besides, you didnt even frame the original article in terms of a slip-up.
    You even went on a tangent at the end of the article about things that had NOTHING to do with Baldwin’s “slip-up”.

    “And of course, Lincoln was a centralist and an ardent opponent of “states’ rights.” Here, Baldwin and the CP depart with Lincoln for the most part, but not when it comes to one key issue: Abortion. In an interview with IPR, Baldwin stated his support for a national ban on abortion, but did not indicate where in the Constitution the power of Congress to enact such a ban was authorized.”

    “But did not indicate where in the Constitution the power of Congress to enact such a ban was authorized” — would you say that is yellow journalism GE?

  35. darolew

    Candidates should be judged on principle, not ability to avoid verbal slip-ups or other such trivial matters. I really don’t have a problem with it being pointed out that Baldwin might not have made the best choice of words, but it’s bad journalism to spin something like that to misrepresent a candidate’s principles.

    The current IPR article is fine, in my opinion .Rockwell’s one sentence mention on his blog probably doesn’t really count as journalism, but it’s still wrong for misrepresenting Baldwin’s position.

  36. G.E. Post author

    Fred – The “problem” is that anything that portrays Baldwin negatively is “yellow” journalism. Baldwin is “above the law” in the eyes of some; just as banning abortion in Vermont must come before the Constitution.

    Trent – Comparing and contrasting Baldwin/the CP to Lincoln/the GOP isn’t unfair or unprofessional.

    Baldwin has still not explained where the power to ban abortion on a national scale is authorized in the Constitution. How is this “yellow” journalism to point it out?

  37. darolew

    “Rockwell said exactly what Baldwin said. What’s the problem?”

    It’s out of context, for one. (Yeah, there was a link, but one wonders how many people clicked on it.) “Well, that’s exactly what he said” has been the excuse for all sorts of deceitful journalism.

    “The “problem” is that anything that portrays Baldwin negatively is “yellow” journalism.”

    Nonsense. The issue here is that the negative portrayal stems from a misrepresentation of what Baldwin was trying to say. Baldwin is hardly “above the law”, many of his positions and statements deserve criticism. His poor choice of words, such as in this case, might deserve criticism. But no candidate should have his words distorted — be that candidate Baldwin, Barr, or Brian Moore.

    That’s why I objected to the original wording of this article and to the wording of Rockwell’s blog post.

  38. G.E. Post author

    Yes, and I said I appreciated your criticism of my original writing, which led to the correction. My INTENT was never to distort.

    Re-reading Trent’s post, I guess he may have thought I was saying I wasn’t “wrong” at first. I made a mistake. That doesn’t go to my credibility unless you think I intended to smear Baldwin, which would make absolutely no sense.

  39. Fred Church Ortiz

    It’s out of context, for one. (Yeah, there was a link, but one wonders how many people clicked on it.) “Well, that’s exactly what he said” has been the excuse for all sorts of deceitful journalism.

    That’s what gaffs are. Baldwin gaffed, and kinda hard. He didn’t even bother to qualify what he said. The statement itself is the news, not the cliché we’ve all heard and used a thousand times that isn’t even that accurate to begin with.

    His poor choice of words, such as in this case, might deserve criticism.

    Rockwell didn’t even criticize. I think anyone worried enough one way or the other clicked the link, but the likely reason they cared one way or another in the first place is because they recognized the problem in his words for what it was. No one, GE or Rockwell included, has suggested Baldwin’s going to launch a military campaign on the South or suspend habeas corpus.

  40. Fred Church Ortiz

    On a side note, what bad timing for this when he’s about to fight it out in court against arch-Lincolnist Alan Keyes. This kinda stuff is great fodder for snide remarks.

  41. Trent Hill

    Wrong in the first place. The current article makes sense, although the last paragraph is still a pot-shot,rather than anything that belongs in the article.

  42. Trent Hill

    That is mostly a Hoppe assertion, although iv heard Rockwell make positive comments on it.

    As for monarchies making nationalism difficult/impossible, HAH. World War I anyone?

  43. G.E. Post author

    But let’s just say the assertion is true.

    Baldwin’s view: Elites = bad, nationalism = good.

    Very contrary to the Menckenian view.

  44. Trent Hill

    Ohk GE, let’s ask you.

    According to Hoppe’s interpretation and Mencken’s understandings—are monarchies better than republics?

  45. G.E. Post author

    Well, the latest Lew Rockwell show was the first time I’d really given that real thought. Hoppe makes some very strong arguments. I added Democracy: The God That Failed to my Amazon wish list.

    Of course, there is a lot of paradox here. Monarchy is the traditional conservatism (not that I want to go down that road with you again, Trent). Hoppe is the “most conservative” of the Mises crowd, and yet this “conservative” argument is the type most likely to be rejected by CP-style conservatives.

  46. Trent Hill

    Monarchy is one of the largest forms of governance GE. Unless, of course, you buy into Hoppe’s idea that a monarchy CAN be benevolent and CAN BE restricted.

  47. Trent Hill

    If it doesnt, then I’v proven my point. =)

    You’ve now come to the point where you are defending what is traditionally conservative and tyrannical (monarchy) against what is classically liberal (small, self-governance).
    Point proven.

  48. darolew

    I’ve read an essay by Hoppe where he advances that argument. He does make some pretty good points. Nonetheless, it’s all irrelevant. Whether or not monarchy was a preferable to republicanism was an issue for the 18th century. Either way, now it’s too late, we’re not ever going back to monarchy.

  49. G.E. Post author

    darolew – Hoppe’s point, at least my interpretation of it, is NOT to suggest we “go back to monarchy,” but merely to condemn democratic republicanism. Clearly, monarchy is not worth “going back to.” But Hoppe’s point is that republicanism is even worse.

  50. darolew

    That’s probably a pretty good interpretation. Being ranked below monarchy on the freedom scale does kinda kick dirt into the face of republicanism.

  51. Steve Rankin

    #63: “Does Peroutka think he’s the John C. Fremont of the 21st century?”

    Congressman John Schmitz (R-CA and father of Mary Kay LeTourneau), 1972 third party presidential candidate, used to compare himself to Fremont.

    Schmitz was the only GOP member of the state legislature that Gov. Reagan could not convince to support a tax increase. When Schmitz came out of his meeting with Reagan, he said, “The next time I have to spend 45 minutes with that actor, I’m taking a bag of popcorn!”

    Free Citizen

  52. Trent Hill

    Steve,

    That is one of the reasons I am so interested in John G. Schmitz. Despite his bad reputation, the man WAS a genuine conservative and enemy of the state. He despised spending and tax increases,and fought ANYONE who attempted to raise either.

  53. G.E. Post author

    I hate taxes… But the dude had children out of wedlock with a crazy woman who tried to castrate his son. Then his daughter rapes a young boy… And then his sons go work for the Bush regime and, even worse, Blackwater.

    Worst father ever?

  54. langa

    I’m not condoning what LeTourneau did, but at the same time, I don’t really think the word “rape” is appropriate, considering that they got married almost immediately after she was released from prison.

  55. Steve Rankin

    Schmitz, who represented President Nixon’s congressional district, was very critical of Nixon’s overtures to Communist China. Consequently, Nixon sent Murray Chotiner and pumped a bunch of money into the ’72 GOP primary to ensure that Schmitz lost his House seat.

    Schmitz beat Lester Maddox for the ’72 American Independent presidential nomination. He actually rated an appearance on ‘Meet the Press,’ which I watched.

    In the ’84 GOP U. S. House primary between Schmitz and Bob Dornan, the main issue was IUDs.

    At the end of his life, Schmitz ran a vineyard in Virginia. I watched on C-SPAN a speech that he made in the late 1990s on the importance of third parties (“Just think if we had all the sheriffs…”).

  56. Trent Hill

    “Worst father ever?”

    He probably ranks up there.

    Best congressman ever?

    He probably ranks up there. His racism was pretty much apart of the larger scene at the time–but his courage in the face of growing government was impressive and a certain rarity.
    Of course, im referring ONLY to his time as a congressman.

  57. Steve Rankin

    What evidence is there of Schmitz’s “racism”?

    Of course, I’m still waiting for evidence of Jesse Helms’s “racism” during his Senate career.

    Free Citizen

  58. Trent Hill

    Im not going to get into a syntax debate Steve–but I abhor Mr. Schmitz’s work with the Institute for Historical Review.

Leave a Reply