ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Our View: Constitution Party: No endorsement

In 1856, the Republican Party chose California Gov. John C. Fremont to be its first ever presidential candidate. Four years later, the party captured the White House behind Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln.

In 1856, the Republican Party chose California Gov. John C. Fremont to be its first ever presidential candidate. Four years later, the party captured the White House behind Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln.
In 1998, the Constitution Party gained "major" party status in Minnesota when Patricia Becker garnered 5.9 percent of the vote in the race for state auditor. Now, the party has two candidates for the U.S. Senate, Derek Schramm and David Swan, competing in next Tuesday's primary. Schramm says the Constitution Party is in the same situation as the Republicans were in 1856 -- four years from becoming the major conservative party in the nation.
That's quite a leap of faith -- particularly when one considers some of the positions that Schramm and Swan have adopted. Schramm wants to abolish the IRS and reform the Miranda warning so suspects aren't "corrupted by lawyers." Swan wants to abolish the taxes on payroll for Social Security, income, inheritance, capital gains and corporations. He also wants to withdraw from the United Nations.
Most Americans have had at least once in their lives a secret wish to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service (usually around April 15). Then reality sets in and they realize that somehow they need to finance all of the services they request from their government. Neither Schramm nor Swan seem to have a comprehensive plan for financing the government.
As for the United Nations, there may be some injustices about how it is financed, and some disagreement about President Clinton's policies on U.N. military action, but it still seems better to have a forum for the nations of the world to talk to each other instead of just trying to shoot each other.
As for the Miranda warning "corrupting" suspects, most law enforcement agencies in this nation are so well trained in it that Miranda is no longer a major issue in most cases. All Miranda does is outline each American's constitutional rights. If we would no longer have a right to an attorney, it would encourage Third World police tactics where citizens disappear into the gulag.
If the Republicans move more toward the center, there may be room for a new conservative party -- but views such as those held by Schramm and Swan suggest that the Constitution Party is not it.
We cannot bring ourselves to endorse either candidate in the Constitution Party primary Tuesday.

What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.