BALDWIN ADDRESSES OHIO
CONSTITUTIONAL PARTY ANNUAL CONVENTION
By Pastor Chuck Baldwin
May 19, 2004
(This is an edited version taken from the speaker's notes; it was not taken from the verbal delivery.)
Part Three: Restore The Constitution
Recently, I wrote a column entitled, "You Know Things Are In Bad Shape When Jay Leno Makes More Sense Than Either Kerry Or Bush." I was referring to something comedian Jay Leno said in his opening monologue on The Tonight Show. He said, "They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys. It's worked for over 200 years, and, [heck], we're not using it anymore." You know something? Leno is absolutely right!
Neither President Bush nor John Kerry has any intention of obeying the U.S. Constitution. Neither major party has any fidelity to the Constitution. Therefore, it really doesn't matter which of the two major parties are in power, the Constitution continues to be ignored or even expunged.
For example, both Republican and Democratic presidents have demonstrated a propensity to send our troops to war without a Declaration of War from Congress. The Constitution is very clear: only Congress is authorized to declare war. Only Congress is authorized to lead America into war.
Our president is not a monarch; he is not a dictator. His responsibilities are clearly enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. He has no authority to wage war without a formal Declaration of War by Congress.
Therefore, because Congress refused to declare war against Iraq, this war is unconstitutional and illegal under our laws. In plain terms, the war against Iraq is G.W. Bush's war; it is not America's war! Unfortunately, it is American military personnel particularly and the American people generally who will pay the price for Mr. Bush's war. This is a monstrous tragedy.
As a result of the recklessness of both President Bush and members of Congress, the war in Iraq has quickly turned into a giant nightmare! This is a quagmire that we will not be able to extricate ourselves from anytime soon, if ever. If anything, this unconstitutional, unwarranted, and unwise invasion of Iraq will escalate into a conflict of global proportions. It could very easily become Bush's Waterloo and America's second Viet Nam.
Americans would be well advised to heed the words of John Quincy Adams who, in 1821, said, "America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors of patriotism and usurp the standards of freedom." Amen!
Beyond that, through policies and laws such as The Patriot Act, President Bush is promoting legislation that destroys freedom here in the states even as he sends troops abroad under the rubric of freedom. His words say he wants to give the Iraqi people freedom, but his actions say he wants to expunge the freedoms of the American people. In fact, more freedoms have been lost under G.W. Bush in less than four years, than were lost under Bill Clinton in eight!
The Patriot Act is emphatically unconstitutional! It virtually eviscerates the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Bill of Rights. It grants egregiously unconstitutional powers to federal police agencies (which are themselves largely unconstitutional in nature) and sets the wheels in motion to turn the United States of America into a socialist-style police state.
Consider also President Bush's announced desire to grant millions of illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico, amnesty. Could anything be more unconstitutional than that?
Article 4, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution states, "The United States shall protect each State against invasion." But, ladies and gentlemen, that is exactly what is happening. The southern borders states are being invaded, and President Bush wants to grant legal status to the invaders! It's insane!
This was illustrated just recently when our U.S. soccer team played in Zapopan, Mexico. As "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played, thousands of Mexicans shouted, "Osama! Osama! Osama!" I wonder how many of those Mexicans shouting support for bin Laden will be living freely and legally in the United States in just a few months as a result of Bush's "Guest Worker" program? The truth is, Bush's amnesty proposal should be regarded as treasonous!
Another area that seriously violates the Constitution is "free trade." First of all, there is no such thing as free trade. Trade, by its very definition, requires the exchange of commerce. Therefore, in any trade exchange, there are purchasers and sellers. Someone pays the bill in each and every trade deal. The only thing free in these modern "free trade" agreements is the free ride that the internationalists receive from our federal government, which is being paid by American workers with lower wages and the loss of American jobs. NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, and now President Bush's proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) are not only blatantly unconstitutional, they are downright harmful to the security and interests of the United States.
Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution plainly gives Congress the responsibility to "regulate commerce with foreign nations." That Congress has willingly ceded this responsibility and that the President has wrongfully assumed this responsibility means that both Congress and the President have violated their oaths of office to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.
With the collusion of President Bill Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, NAFTA was passed (during the middle of the night, by the way). Now, President G.W. Bush wants to extend NAFTA with his push for FTAA. The result of FTAA would mean that instead of American jobs and industries moving to Mexico, they could move to even cheaper and more backward countries such as Bolivia and Peru. And let's not overlook China.
America's trade deficit with China is staggering! According to a recent Washington Times report, "The trade deficit jumped 17 percent to a record $489 billion last year, propelled by an explosion in trade with China.
"America's $124 billion deficit with China is now twice its trade gap with Japan, three times its deficit with Mexico, and substantially above its $100 billion deficit with all of Western Europe."
"Free trade" has all but expunged America's manufacturing industries. Our textile plants have mostly vanished. The same is true for our electronics industry and even our steel industry. The vast majority of America's giant corporations are now importing goods from overseas. The cost of this insanity in terms of American jobs, wages, and strain on American families is incalculable.
Most American families are working two, three, or even more jobs just to try and make ends meet. Combining meager wages with an ever increasing tax burden means that most American families are barely able to keep their heads above water, while many others are languishing in obscene debt.
While average America fights to tread water, the CEOs, CFOs, and other high level executives of the multinational corporations are raking in monstrous profits. Multinational corporations accomplish this by hiring slave or cheap labor from these third world and socialist countries and then import their goods back to America practically duty-free. All the while, these same countries require the U.S. to pay huge duties for our exports.
So-called "free trade" is not only unconstitutional, it is perverse! It makes America more and more dependent upon foreign nations, which makes us more and more vulnerable to those who seek to harm us.
Ladies and gentlemen, please let me read the sage advice of George Washington as written in his Farewell Address on September 17, 1796. "As avenues to foreign influence, in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming, to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford, to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens), the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom the actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop."
Now, let me conclude with a few remarks regarding political parties in general. It seems that many people, including Christian people, have forgotten that parties are supposed to serve the best interests of the nation, not the other way around.
It seems that the only time people become exercised over the abuse or misuse of power by a Chief Executive of member of Congress is when the person is a member of the party opposite. When someone within our own party is guilty of unconstitutional, unlawful, or even immoral conduct, we look the other way. When the guilty party is a member of the other party, however, we become filled with righteous indignation and holy zealousness.
It really does appear that many Americans are so extremely partisan in their party allegiance that the definition of patriotism depends upon who is in office. When my party is in office, patriotism means defending them no matter what, but when the other party is in office, it means attacking them no matter what. What utter foolishness!
President Theodore Roosevelt spoke cogently to this topic when he said, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
George Washington, too, warned us against an over-infatuation with political parties. In his Farewell Address he said, "Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
"It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments, occasionally, riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus, the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
"There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This, within certain limits, is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchial cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume."
It is time that the American people got back to the wisdom of George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. It is time that the American people got back to truth, got back to right and wrong, got back to the Constitution. It is time we started looking out for what is best for the United States, not what is best for a particular political party. In short, it's time we started being Americans again!
Perhaps Thomas Jefferson summarized it best when he said, "In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." That is exactly what Michael Peroutka and the Constitution Party are all about.
Thank you very much.
© 2004 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved
Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.
Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet http://www.ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.
"It is time that the American people got back to the wisdom of George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. It is time that the American people got back to truth, got back to right and wrong, got back to the Constitution."