Jay Anderson: An Open Letter to the Members of the Constitution Party from a Roman Catholic Pro-Life Independent

There was a link to this blog post posted by the author on the CP Debate thread at Ballot Access News. Here is an excerpt. I’ll post the whole thing if I can secure Mr. Anderson’s permission.

Update: Having received the gracious permission of Mr. Anderson, his whole open letter is now posted below.

Dear Members of the Constitution Party,

In two days, I will attend the Constitution Party Presidential Debate in Lansing, Michigan. I am excited for the opportunity to see the candidates in action, going head-to-head in debating the important issues of the day. I also hope to have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the candidates about the opportunities this year’s Presidential election offers to the Constitution Party.

And make no mistake: you have been offered a HUGE opportunity this year by the GOP’s decision to, in all likelihood, nominate Mitt Romney as its Presidential nominee. People like me – independent pro-life conservatives who believe in the Constitution, but who have traditionally held our noses and voted for the GOP – have had enough, especially with the GOP’s nomination of easily the least conservative (i.e. most liberal) candidate since Gerald Ford, and are looking to cast our votes for someone we can believe in, even if that means casting a 3rd party vote for President for the first time ever.

Because of the stakes involved in this election, this has not been an easy decision for me (although I made up my mind many years ago that I would NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER vote for Mitt Romney) and, I suspect, for many other like-minded conservatives who have decided they cannot vote for the Republican nominee in 2012. The decision has been made all the more difficult by the fact that we face the prospect of the re-election of the greatest threat to our constitutional republic who has ever occupied the Oval Office. In a year in which the GOP, including many conservatives for whom I have a great deal of respect, have adopted the “Anybody But Obama” mantra, my decision to cast my vote elsewhere is one that comes under constant scrutiny and is one that I find myself constantly justifying. But no other choice is left to me. I left the Republican Party to become an independent many years ago, but continued to vote for the GOP in presidential elections (holding my nose to do so in most instances) because I believed the alternative in the other “major” party to be much worse. But the nomination of Romney makes the prospect of voting Republican completely untenable, and severs once and for all any ties that remained between me and my former party. This has been made evident by the mockery to which my social conservative and constitutionalist beliefs have been subjected by Romney’s supporters. My vote and my voice are no longer welcomed by the GOP, and I will oblige them by not voting for that party’s presidential nominee for the first time since I became eligible to vote over a quarter of a century ago.

And THEREIN lies the opportunity for the Constitution Party to reach disaffected voters like me who are “free agents” for the first time. I suspect that, as with any party, among your top priorities is increasing your vote totals from prior years and gaining additional respect as a viable 3rd-party option to the “major” parties, while still remaining true to your principles. And although I’m not at the moment a member of your party, I deeply share your principles. Your commitment to following the Constitution as adopted by our Founders, and more importantly for me, your commitment to being the only 100% pro-life party in the country, represent a set of values and a philosophy that I have held for almost all my life. That I choose to remain an independent for the time being is in no way a reflection of the esteem in which I hold the Constitution Party.

As an independent, I have no say in who you choose to nominate. And I cannot and will not try to tell you what to do. That is your choice to make as to what you see as the best direction for your party to take. I certainly cannot blame you for choosing not to take the advice of an outsider. However, if you will indulge me, I will share with you what it will take to receive my vote and, although I won’t flatter myself to speak for each and every such voter, what I suspect it may take to win over the votes of those who find themselves freshly disenfranchised from the GOP by the untenable prospect of having to cast a vote for Mitt Romney.

I have high regard for the office of the Presidency of these United States, notwithstanding the way in which the office has been degraded throughout the years by unconstitutional usurpations of power, and particularly debased by the current occupant of that office. The respect I hold for the office is a direct reflection of the esteem in which I hold the person whom the Founders had in mind when the office of the Presidency was originally designed. Our first and greatest President, George Washington, was a man who was in many ways uniquely qualified to fill the role. He had been a commander of militia in the French and Indian Wars, he had been elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses (the forerunner of the Virginia House of Delegates), he had been elected to the Continental Congress, he had been Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, and he had been President of the Constitutional Convention. George Washington is perhaps more responsible than any other individual for bringing this Republic into being. And although I do not believe we will ever see his like again, nor do I believe that every candidate seeking the Presidency should have the exact same impossible-to-duplicate qualifications for the office as did he, out of respect for the man and the office he originated, not to mention the grave duties and responsibilities commensurate to the office, I believe that the Office of the Presidency is not and cannot be an entry-level job into governance.

For that reason, whenever I have in the past considered voting for a 3rd-party candidate for President, I have shied away after considering said candidate’s qualifications for office. Don’t get me wrong: some fine men and women have chosen the 3rd-party route to seek the Presidency; but, for me, voting for a Presidential candidate is more than just about agreeing with someone on the issues and principles; it is also about voting for the person who is best qualified to represent and put into effect those principles as President. And some modicum of a track record of experience is important to me when making that decision.

That is why I was excited to learn in February that Virgil Goode had announced his candidacy for the Presidency under the Constitution Party banner. Here was a candidate that I knew personally from my days of living in his congressional district. Here was a candidate with experience in the Virginia House of Delegates Senate, with the experience of a run for Governor, and with experience in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here was a candidate who had served honorably and with integrity as a Democrat, as an independent, and as a Republican. Here was a candidate with a record of conservatism, who shares my pro-life and limited government principles. Here was a man for whom I could vote for President on a 3rd-party ticket and not feel like I was settling for someone without the experience and qualifications that I believe the office merits. I do not intend this in any way to detract from the fine qualities of character that the other candidates for the Constitution Party have; instead, I write this to point out that Virgil Goode’s background uniquely qualifies him among all of those candidates to offer Constitution Party voters an experienced alternative to Obama and Romney, with an appeal outside of the party to a broad cross-section of disaffected Democrats, Republicans, and independents longing for a viable 3rd-party option. With Virgil Goode on the ticket, my belief is that voters who might not normally vote 3rd party, in general, or the Constitution Party, in particular, will see that they do not have to sacrifice experience and electoral viability by voting for a 3rd-party candidate. THAT is the opportunity presented by Romney’s nomination by the GOP, by Obama’s fecklessness and blatantly unconstitutional power grabs, and by the decision of Virgil Goode to seek the Constitution Party nomination.

Again, the choice is yours to make, and I only offer my view on the matter as an independent voter who shares your ideals and goals. Take it for whatever you feel it’s worth. But it is my sincere hope and prayer that Consititution Party members and delegates make the most of this opportunity and nominate someone with the experience and leadership and track record of independence and commitment to constitutional conservatism that Virgil Goode has to offer.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,
Jay Anderson
Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate

24 thoughts on “Jay Anderson: An Open Letter to the Members of the Constitution Party from a Roman Catholic Pro-Life Independent

  1. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    Shouldn’t the disclaimer “Paid political Ad By virgil Goode” be added somewhere on this thread. The whole thing is leading to Goode to the exclusion of all other CP candidates.

    Limiting donations to a maximum of $200. per doner assures Mr. Goode won’t be a major player. There just ain’t enough CP doners to make $200. work in a big league way. Jerry Brown tried it ($100.00) in the D race a few years back. He stayed too underfunded the entire Primary season to seriously compete. It’s not that the CP won’t have TV ads (they won’t), it’s Goode may have trouble raising enough travel expenses much less banners, signs & lit., etc. to run any kind of campaign. A few $5,000 doners mixed in with all the $200 would make things much easier.

    The Obama Legacy- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=gQD9IaGoLWk

    Barack Obama and the Chamber of Secrets: http://reason.com/archives/2010/10/13/barack-obama-and-the-chamber-o

    How Obama is Invading Your Home: http://cei.org/op-eds-and-articles/how-obama-invading-your-home

    “Yes, we can” turns deadly: http://urbandissent.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/yes-we-can-turns-deadly/

  2. Jay Anderson

    Mr. Phillips,

    Please do feel free to post it in its entirety.

    Thanks!

    As for the claim that it is a “paid political ad” for Virgil Goode, that is an absolute falsehood, and no “disclaimer” is warranted.

    I blog my opinions. Period. In my opinion, Virgil Goode is the best person running for President in ANY party. That this fact doesn’t sit right with the person claiming my post was a “paid political ad” is his problem, not mine.

  3. Jay Anderson

    One more thing: My post had two purposes. The first purpose was to emphasize the opportunity presented to the Constitution Party to get my vote now that the GOP has nominated the completely unacceptable Mitt Romney, and has essentially told me that my vote and my views were no longer welcome.

    The second purpose was to indicate the sort of candidate for whom I’d be willing to cast my first 3rd party vote in a Presidential election. I look at this as the real deal, not some protest vote. If you want a candidate to be taken seriously in a general election, then that candidate needs to be someone the media can’t dismiss even more easily than it dismissed Sarah Palin. And along those lines, I’m not interested in casting my vote for the Presidency of the United States for vanity candidates checking an item off of their bucket list who view that office as an entry-level job in governance..

  4. Jay Anderson

    That last comment was overly harsh to the other candidates, and I apologize for it. Specifically, I apologize for the manner in which I characterized their runs for the Presidency.

    I violated a cardinal rule of mine to not blog/comment when angry, but my being upset at how the previous commenter had characterized my blog post (and, by extension, how he characterized me) is not a valid excuse for disparaging the motivations of the other candidates. (Good Lord, I hate politics! It brings out the worst in people, especially myself.)

  5. Webb T. Ferrari

    Jay Anderson,

    From your perspective – one that I think I understand in general terms, but do not share – why was McCain an acceptable candidate? And, why was Bob Barr not an acceptable candidate?

  6. Jay Anderson

    McCain WASN’T an acceptable candidate. I had made up my mind not to support him, but changed it at the last minute after he named Palin as his running mate. My vote for the ticket was a vote for her, not him, especially because, in my opinion, the magnitude of the relentless attacks against her were because she had not killed her Down Syndrome child. I still like Palin, but, in hindsight, I regret casting that vote and vowed never to support such a candidate again. (In my view, however, Romney is MUCH WORSE than McCain – I vowed that I would never vote for Romney should the occasion ever arise the very first time I ever laid on him during his debate with Ted Kennedy in 1994.)

  7. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    Care to detail your adventure(s) of laying on Romney ? Should be interesting to all – lol !

    Jokes aside friend, April one is over where I live, I’m glad you plan to vote 3rd Party for the first time. I hope you will even donate to the Goode cau$e with a nice donation.

    Explaining the left-right paradigm to a co worker!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kw7j4lbDB4

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” – Carroll Quigley -(Bill Clinton said Quigley was his mentor during 1993 Inaugural Address), Quigley is speaking of the (CFR) Globalists’ American political strategy since the early twentieth century.

    ” When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence. ” – Gary Lloyd

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” – Noam Chomsky

    “One party has totally dominated American politics for at least a century: the Socialist War Party. No matter who wins the elections, America gets endless socialism and endless war.” Doug Newman.

    Kleptocracy and You, How things really work!- http://ldrlongdistancerider.com/images/Kleptocracy_and_You.jpg

    David Rockefeller’s Shocking Confession – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8zWLOnNe6o&feature=related

  8. Jay Anderson

    Oh, and I did make a contribution to the Goode campaign not long after I found out he was running. Not a particularly large one, but one that I could afford, and still the biggest campaign donation I had ever made to any candidate before then.

    Should Virgil win the CP nomination, I am sure I will contribute even more to his general election campaign.

  9. RedPhillips Post author

    Mr. Anderson, I’ll post the whole thing when I get access to a different computer.

    T-Rex can speak for himself, but I think he was just making the point that your post comes off as a piece of pro-Goode advocacy, which I think it is although I by no means question your sincerity by saying that. I don’t think he meant you were literally paid or were a hack or whatever.

    That out of the way, I disagree with your premise, and I intend to expand on this separately because it is important and comes up every four years. A third party candidate does not need to be qualified to be President because he is not going to be President. A third party candidate needs to be able to represent and advance the party and its principles well. Someone who is running for the nomination of a third party is not running to be President, and if he thinks he is he is deluding himself. He is running to be the nominee of the third party. There is a big difference. Therefore I think it is important for a credible third party candidate to have some sort of “standing” (we can debate what constitutes adequate standing) to run, but it is not necessary that they be literally up to the task of being President. I’ll have more to say on this separately.

  10. Jay Anderson

    Paulie,
    Because of Bob Barr’s commitment to the pro-life cause, had I remained firm in my original decision not to vote for McCain (again, something I regret changing my mind on), I would probably have voted for him in 2008. That said, I believe my principles are probably more in line with the Constitution Party than they are the Libertarian Party.

    Mr. Phillips,
    I’ll plead guilty to supporting Virgil Goode now that I feel like the GOP has left me no choice but to cast my vote elsewhere. And while I have a fairly good sense of humor in most instances, it tends to be non-existent where politics is concerned. So, I hope you and T-Rex will forgive me if I didn’t pick up on the tongue planted firmly in cheek regarding the “paid political ad” comment.

    ;-)

    Your assessment of what a 3rd-party candidate needs to be seems to me a perfectly reasonable calculus from the standpoint of someone within a particular party wanting to establish that party’s principles and define what that party is going to be and then driving that party’s agenda forward. (Of course, from what I’ve read, given his active role in the CP for the last few years, Mr. Goode seems to be well situated in that regard, as well.)

    But that is not my calculus in deciding whether to support a 3rd-party candidate for the first time, and I know from speaking to similarly situated voters – mostly disaffected former Republicans who feel disenfranchised by the GOP’s selection of Mitt Romney – that they are thinking along the same lines. To a person, they are each committed to NOT voting for the GOP nominee, but they are on the fence about voting for a 3rd party. Some are leaning Libertarian because it is a more “established” party that selected a nominee in 2008 that had the sort of “experience” they (and I) want in a presidential nominee. Others are leaning Constitution Party because it more closely represents their principles, but don’t want to feel like they’re “throwing their vote away” – and REMEMBER that is what they are hearing from their friends and associates in order to try to get them to vote Republican yet again. After announcing that I was going to support Virgil Goode, I have had a number of people in that situation tell me that they would consider voting for the Constitution Party if Virgil were the nominee. They know who he is, they know his record, they know his principles. They’ve never heard of the others, and are reluctant to vote for an unknown. Again, a completely different calculus than what someone who has been a member of the Constitution Party is making.

    Again, as I wrote in my blog post, people in my situation, we are the outsiders. We have no claim to deciding the direction of the Constitution Party. That is for the members of that party to decide, and if they go with the calculus that you mention in your previous comment, then they probably aren’t interested in hearing our reasons for voting or not voting for a given 3rd party. That is their right, and I can’t blame them for that.

  11. Bubba Blue

    Barr is an ex-Congressman who is not necessarily in line with the Libertarian Party on all issues, but he is a conservative who did get fed up with the compromising ways of the Republicans just as Virgil Goode now has. Chuck Baldwin was better on the issues but he has never been elected to office. If you don’t think being elected to office is that important Baldwin was more strictly constitutionalist.

  12. Pingback: Jay Anderson: An Open Letter to the Members of the Constitution Party from a Roman Catholic Pro-Life Independent | Conservative Heritage Times

  13. Peter Gemma

    @ #1:
    Supporters limited to a $200 investment will handicap Goode severely. The media might make some passing reference to his noble stand, but potential Goode voters won’t hear about that – or anything else the CP offers – because the campaign will be extremely (and unnecessarily) underfunded.

  14. Timothy Yung

    @16 That is not necessarily true because someone could still contribute to the Constitution Party National Committee and their state party. The #1 expense for third parties is ballot access issues not traveling or campaign expenses.

  15. Paulie

    It’s hamstringing the campaign in an unnecessary way that will not earn much in the way of bonus points. I agree with Peter Gemma on that.

  16. Jay Anderson

    Believe me. Virgil will get PLENTY of free publicity from the media trying to play up the 3rd party angle in order to deprive Romney of conservative grassroot support in the general election. That, and the fact that the MSM knows who he is will assure that Virgil’s name gets out there.

    Just look at the fawning coverage he has already received from The Atlantic and The Washington Post, neither publication known for being particularly sympathetic to the philosophy espoused by Virgil or the Constitution Party.

  17. Common Tater

    I honestly don’t think most people have any clue who he is. Maybe that will change a little but I am skeptical it will change by much this year.

  18. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    @19 Mr. Anderson I am afraid you will learn that the major media is NOT a friend of any third party candidate who is not a member of the insiders club. They will give some coverage, so they can deny blackballing, but in comparison (to the D & R coverage) it (Third Party coverage = <1%) will equal to a less percentage than what the 3rd Party candidates receives in actual vote % !

    Obama and Romney are owned and controlled by the same people. Those people own and control the major media also. Sounds "kooky" to you I know, but check the records of the money-backers. It tells the story ! I wish you well and certainly hope you enjoy your trip into third party politics !! Don't get discourage by the injustice you find , most of us have withstood it for decades. We understand the enemy and continue to fight on because it is the correct thing to do!

    Federal Records Show Romney Campaign Bought And Paid For By Big Banks – http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2011/10/federal-records-show-romney-campaign-bought-and-paid-for-by-big-banks/

    Who Donated to Mitt Romney – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zq7sOjLvhI&feature=related

    Kleptocracy and You, How things really work!- http://ldrlongdistancerider.com/images/Kleptocracy_and_You.jpg

  19. Feltan

    Mr. Anderson,

    Thank you. I am in the exact same position as you, with very similar feelings and concerns. I felt as if you were speaking for me.

    Well done.

    Regards,
    Feltan

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