If you'd like to cast a ballot for a conservative this year, forget George W. Bush and don't even blink an eye at the liberal drip from Massachusetts who's the hero of the week. Ralph Nader, believe it or not, actually has some interesting (not necessarily good or right) things to say, but it would be preposterous to claim he's a conservative.
The only conservative in the presidential race this year I know of is a gentleman named Michael Peroutka. Take a look at him.
Mr. Peroutka is the nominee of a small "third party" called the Constitution Party. I put the name in quotation marks because there are now probably about 50 "third parties" on the ballots in this country, at least in those areas where they are allowed to be on ballots. The Constitution Party is not on all of them but you can always write it in.
The party was founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party and fielded its first presidential candidate in that year—Howard Phillips, a veteran and principled conservative activist and founder of the Conservative Caucus. After running again in 1996 and 2000, Mr. Phillips decided to take a break.
That's when Mr. Peroutka rose to international celebrity.
I am not going to try to persuade you that Mr. Peroutka and his party will win the election, and expecting to win has nothing to do with why you might want to vote for him.
If you are of the view that casting your ballot for a candidate who is not going to win is "wasting your vote," you probably should stop reading now.
As long as you think that, you cannot expect to be able to vote for any candidate other than those approved by the One Party that now dominates American government and politics.
The point of voting for Mr. Peroutka is not to win but to help create an alternative to the One Party.
Of course you could do that by voting for Mr. Nader, but that would not be a conservative alternative. Mr. Peroutka is. The party's platform (available on its web page at http://www.constitutionparty.com) spells out exactly what it's for, much more explicitly than anything that will come out of the GOP convention.
The party defines itself as an explicitly Christian party, dedicated to preserving the Christian and biblical foundations on which the American republic and the U.S. Constitution were based. Hence, many of its positions—on abortion, pornography, "gay marriage," morality in general—are fairly predictable.
But it also supports a strong nationalist position. It's opposed to the mass immigration that today is probably the greatest single threat to the nation and the survival of its people and civilization. It favors what is fair to call a policy of "economic nationalism," and it strongly supports protecting national sovereignty.
On immigration, its platform explicitly endorses a moratorium on legal immigration and opposes amnesty for illegal aliens and the H-1B and L-1 visa programs that allow foreign workers to take jobs from Americans. It opposes welfare for illegal aliens and U.S. citizenship for children of illegal aliens born in this country.
If I had written the plank myself, it couldn't be better.
On foreign policy, the platform states,
"Since World War II, the United States has been involved in tragic, unconstitutional, undeclared wars which cost our country the lives of many thousands of young Americans. These wars were the direct and foreseeable result of the bi-partisan interventionist policy of both Democrat and Republican administrations.
"The Constitution Party is opposed to the continuation of the same interventionist policy, with that policy's capacity to involve our country in repeated wars."
The platform doesn't mention the Iraq war specifically, but the foreign policy plank as well as what Mr. Peroutka said in a meeting I attended in June make his position clear: He thinks it was a blunder to go to war there and that we should get out as soon as possible.
It was obvious to me and everyone else in the meeting that Mr. Peroutka is a charming and decent man of deep conviction and principle, and unlike some presidents I know, he can express himself in English. He has a ready grasp of the principles he supports and knows how to explain them.
If he has a flaw, it is that he tends to talk a bit too much about principles and not enough about the actual issues.
Compared to the flaws of the presidential wanna-bes, that's not a problem, but he might do better to talk more about what most voters are worrying about.
Should you waste your vote on Michael Peroutka? No, you shouldn't, as I just told you.
But if you consider the alternatives, voting for him will not be a waste.
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Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control. Click here for Sam Francis' website. Click here to order his monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future. His review essay on Who Are We appears in the current issue of Chronicles Magazine.