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The Constitution Party is a far-right fundamentalist political party in the United States, originally called the US Taxpayers Party. It was founded in 1991 by Howard Phillips, a major figure in the New Right who was part of the paleoconservative break away from the New Right at the end of the Cold War. Despite its deceptive name, the party is very authoritarian and has little regard for the principles of US Constitution, and promotes unsupported historical revisionism, asserting that the US was founded as a Christian nation.
Its platform, in brief, consists of:
- A total opposition to abortion in all cases, with the possible exception of those saving the life of the mother. This is so central to its platform that it has been taken out of alphabetical order and made the first plank. A dispute over whether people who supported exceptions for rape and incest should be allowed in the party led to a schism and the disaffiliation of several state parties from the national body.
- Repeal of federal and state laws that they believe violate the right to keep and bear arms.
- An amendment to nullify court rulings that they feel abuse the power of eminent domain, and that they fear will lead to arbitrary seizure (stopped clock).
- Revision of the First Amendment to affirm Triune Christianity as the officially established religion of the United States.
- Revision of the Fourteenth Amendment, to deny automatic citizenship for those born to illegal immigrants.
- Repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which permits the taxation of all forms of income by the Federal Government.
- Repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment, which requires popular election of Senators.
- Assertion of the rights of states to secede without interference from the Federal Government.
- Removal of compulsory school attendance laws (the better to allow parents to prevent their children being taught reality and indoctrinate them with creationism and fundamentalist homeschooling).
The above footnote also applies to all the text through the next footnote.
CP members support reducing the role of the United States federal government through cutting bureaucratic regulation, reducing spending, and abolishing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in favor of a tariff-based revenue system supplemented by excise taxes.
They favor a non-interventionist and isolationist foreign policy. In such, they advocate reduction and eventual elimination of the role the United States plays in multinational and international organizations such as the United Nations, and favor withdrawal of the United States from most current treaties, such as NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO. The party takes paleoconservative positions in supporting protectionist policies on international trade. However, most of the party's membership supports the existence of the State of Israel as a springboard to the fulfillment of the Book of Revelation. They also, consequentially, opposed the War in Iraq and many of the civil rights abuses of the Bush administration.
The party opposes illegal immigration and also seeks a more restrictive policy on legal immigration.
Also in the "too good to make this up" department, from the party platform verbatim: "We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity to maintain a degree of separation between that which is truly speech and that which only seeks to distort and destroy."
Although they pretend to be in favor of the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution, this does not apply with regard to certain hot-button issues of theirs; the 2004 Constitution Party presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, stated that if he won the election he would stop all abortions immediately by executive order.
The Constitution Party has only managed to get one person elected to a significant public office running on their ticket, Montana state representative Rick Jore. In Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, the party fields candidates under the name "Independent American Party" -- which shares a lot in common with, but is a different party from, the American Independent Party.
The Colorado affair
In 2010, they scored a coup in attracting former Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo to run for governor of Colorado on the Constitution Party line. Running in a three-man race against Republican Dan Maes and Democratic Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, Tancredo was favored above Maes by media and pollsters to acquire more votes against Hickenlooper. Much of Tancredo's campaign success had to do with a significant number of gaffes that Maes made during his campaign, which included record fines brought against his campaign, statements about his background that were not true, and calling the bike share program in Denver a step towards the UN takeover of the United States. The Colorado GOP demanded he step down and withdrew their support. Maes did not, so Tancredo was the only viable conservative candidate left.
There was some worry that Tancredo might split the conservative vote, but the votes tallied in favor of Hickenlooper with an elective majority of 51.01% of votes, thanks to constituencies in the largely moderate Front Range and mountain counties. Tancredo carried the most votes (but in most cases not actual 50% majorities) in the conservative eastern plains counties, northwest oil-country counties, and the conservative hotbed of Elbert County.
The name "Constitution Party" has previously been used twice for right-wing political parties that never got off the ground.
During the mid 1990s when the current Constitution Party was still known as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, the Constitution Party name was used by filmmaker Aaron Russo when he tried launching a new party with a libertarian platform. Russo went on to become a perennial candidate, first as a Republican and then joining the Libertarian Party, and made a tax protester film called America: Freedom to Fascism. Russo ran for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2004 which sent some of the party regulars into headless chicken mode to "stop Russo", among other reasons because he differed from the Libertarian platform on the matter of oil drilling in ANWR (Russo against, Libertarian Party for).
- Chuck Baldwin
- Society for the Practical Establishment and Perpetuation of the Ten Commandments
- The Church at Kaweah
- Considering the above five items, one wonders what Constitution they're really talking about if they think we need to change so much of it.
- This section of bullet points was lifted verbatim from Wikipedia, some links were removed and others added to adapt to the RW environment.
- End of GFDL copying out of laziness. Again, links have been adapted to RW.
- Maes calls Tancredo a fraud, Hickenlooper a liberal - After legalized marijuana, Maes asks if prostituting daughters are next
- Maes backs off claim of 'undercover' work in Kansas
- Bike agenda spins cities toward U.N. control, Maes warns
- Republican Party ditches GOP nominee for Colorado governor
- Maes needs to drop out now
- Colorado 2010 Gubernatorial Election Results on that other wiki
- Russo's Next Production: A New Party, Los Angeles Times. November 29, 1994, Irene Lacher
- Russo Defeated for Libertarian Nomination, Burnt Orange Report
- Diamond, Sara. Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States, p. 87.