The Federalist Party: A New Conservative Coalition?  

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I've gone on for eight very powerful posts on the platform of the New Federalists.

What other options are there? Well you have anarchism taken to the extreme in the Libertarians, and you have the kind of religious extremism President Bush is often falsely accused of coming from the Constitution Party. These parties are clearly to the right of the Republicans, who only provide lip service to the ideals that made America great, while actually enacting policies similar to those of the Democrats, albeit of lesser degree.

However, these parties have many strong points about them, and if their membership could be persuaded to accept a few minor adjustments to their platforms, teaming up with Federalists like myself could provide considerable advantages in both the long and the short run.

Here's a little bit about each party:

The Constitution Party

This party is not appropriately named. While the Constitution does have strong ties to biblical philosophy, this party's platform is based almost entirely upon what is right and wrong based on scripture, and not what actually appears in the Constitution. Calling it the "Biblical Law" party would be extreme, but in essence more accurate.

Here is a kep excerpt from their platform ...

The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.
Notice the restoration to Biblical foundations listed first, and the limit to constitutional boundaries listed second. This ordering of the priorities would suggest that the Biblical implications of the party's positions would take priority over their constitutional implications. While a good case can be made that the two go hand in hand, I would submit that a more successful philosophy would place the Constitution first for purposes of maintaining constitutional federalism in America. Religion is a very important part of American discourse, and the recognition of a higher power, whether that power is called God, Allah, Yahweh, Buddha, The Creator, Providence, or something else, is essential to maintaining the proper balance within the American federal system. However, as Americans, we simply recognize a higher power, and each American chooses how that power manifests itself. The common ground is the Constitution. The Constitution must come first, at least insofar as our earthly endeavors are concerned.

This being said, it is obviously important to the Constitution Party that religion should hold a high priority in any platform to which they would agree. Every position advocated by this party has as its source a deep reverence for God. I also see no reason why this cannot be accomodated to a reasonable degree.

The Libertarian Party

This party basically wants the government out of people's lives and people out of other people's lives. If it ain't happenin' in your house, it ain't your business. This sounds pretty good on the surface.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
This is, of course, limited only to those people who have been born. Oh, and protecting those very rights from persons abroad that would harm us is off limits, too.

But the idea of personal autonomy is not at all inconsitent with the ideals of the Founding Fathers or, for that matter, the New Federalists or the Constitution Party. All three platforms emphasize federalism and the need to do away with big government. All three parties support economic freedom. All three parties support an emphasis on the Bill of Rights and strict construction when it comes to the Constitution. There is a lot of common ground here.

Bringing us all Together

In looking at the New Federalist platform and these two, the biggest chasm to bridge would likely be abortion. The New Federalists hold that killing the child is only justifiable if the mother did not consent to the sex act, or to save her life. The Constitution Party holds that in cases of rape and incest, the child should not be punished for the crimes of his father. The Libertarians hold that it isn't anyone's business if a parent wants to kill his/her child.

Does anyone agree that a woman should not be able to force a father to unwillingly provide for a child he does not want? This would be completely consitent with the idea that a woman should not be forced to have a baby she doesn't want. The solution, IMHO, is that consent to a sex act should be considered consent to any resulting pregnancy. This position is both pro-life, in that it protects the lives of the unborn, and pro-choice, as it protects people from being forced to live with consequences of decisions they did not make for themselves. The safeguard against rape and incest is built right into it. In fact, the Libertarians might want the incest part taken out so that people who consent to incestuous relationships aren't subject to it. I'll bite, but the Constitution party is right to call unborn children human, and there is constitutional justification for that position ("for ourselves and our posterity"). Yes, do protect the unborn, but protect the victim of a crime as well. Perhaps these two parties would meet us in the middle at the place where we New Federalists stand?

The Constitution and Libertarian Parties are also pretty far apart when it comes to assisted suicide. I agree with the Libertarians that of someone wants to die, they should be able to do so. However, it makes no sense that it should be legal to allow or force a doctor to violate the Hippocratic Oath in aiding someone to commit suicide. If someone wants to off himself, I say let him. Perhaps allowing suicide to be legal, but assisted suicide to be illegal could be a fair meeting point. This way, people who want to commit suicide can do so, but we don't have to pervert an entire profession so that they may do so. In other words, let them exercise their rights on their own.

Personally, as a Federalist, I will take the Constitution Party's position on the military over that of the New Federalist platform. It is much more sensible in that regard. The Libertarians might want a more limited scope of the military, but all parties would certainly agree that the purpose of the military is to secure the rights of the people from foreign infractions.

The most important goal of all three of these parties should clearly be to roll back the socialist policies advocated by the major parties. If the Republicans really want to retain their power, they should consider the growing number of Americans who have had enough of the last hundred years' worth of socialism. After all, they DO pay us lip-service. The number of people who support the socialist policies of the Democratic party is falling at an astounding rate, and to try to put a stop to it, the Donks float out loonies like John Kerry, Cindy Sheehag, Michael Moore-on, and my favorite, Weird Howard. These nutcases have become the voice of the American socialist movement, hastening the completion of the fall of the Democratic Party. The Republicans have no choice but to listen to and heed the Federalists, Constitutions, and Libertarians. America wants no part of big government, and if it takes the Federalists, et. al. going our own way, so be it.

Of course, the Republican Party still has a chance to make good on the lip service it pays to conservative ideas. With the Donks fading ever more quickly into obscurity, it will be very important that the Republicans do this, or they may suffer the same fate.