Even before our candidates declared their intent to run for office, the motto of our Constitution Party of Maryland has been “principles over party”. We assumed this would not be disruptive to our party, since all potential candidates and officers are vetted on their adherence to our seven main principles; LIFE, LIBERTY, FAMILY, PROPERTY, THE CONSTITUTION, STATES RIGHTS AND AMERICAN SOVEREIGNTY. We also assumed that as advocacy groups viewed our positions, they might endorse us, or throw us some print media. We figured that the one percent in the governor’s race, which we needed to maintain ballot access for the next election, should be doable. It was not! It may take a few days to process our loss at the polls, but I think I got the message: We just were, not enough.
Take our first principle, “Life”. We just were not pro-life enough. Even though our party’s executive committee questioned each potential candidate, and rejected half for their weak life position. Even though each of our candidates professed before our Executive Committee that: they believe that life starts at conception, that the rights of each human life should be protected using our constitution, and that Roe v Wade should be taken for what it is: not a law, just an opinion. Maybe you didn’t notice the accolades? There weren’t any. Our governor candidate, Eric Knowles, challenged a life-long career pro-abort, and a flaming liberal incumbent. We just weren’t pro-life enough? Not one of our pro-life candidates, were endorsed by Maryland Right to Life; not even our chairman, Mike Dawson, who ran for Delegate in 34b. He is arguably one of the best pro-lifers in Maryland, but the Maryland Right to Life failed to endorse him. Even Janet Baker, who writes regularly in Defend Life, and her blog, could not give our governor candidate a nod. This became perfectly clear as we sat at the Annual Pro-life Appreciation Dinner at which 500 people gathered for a great evening to celebrate those who support human life. Our table of ten, (half of them candidates), was placed next to a complimentary candidate information table, dominated by Harris propaganda, and bordered with “Ehrlich/ Harris” lawn signs. We just were “not pro-life enough?”
How about our second principle: “Liberty”. Liberty is the new word that the GOP just recently learned to say. After the 2008 defeat, the GOP was lifeless, and in dire need of support. Following George [Patriot Act] Bush, the GOP needed to tap into the grass roots energy, which their ostracized Congressman Ron Paul seemed to garner. So, they practiced some of his commonly used words like: the “constitution”, “free markets”, and “liberty”. Many of our candidates had a background, or an association, with Dr. Paul’s liberty effort, Campaign for Liberty. We were part of this movement. But, when we asked the Campaign For Liberty state leadership to survey the candidates for Governor, as to their liberty positions? “No can do.” The highest office in the state, the Chief Executive, the person responsible to interpose against a run amok federal tyranny on behalf of our residents, was just not important enough?
Oh, and then there is “Family”. Family is the main reason I have been active in the Constitution Party and this campaign. I loved my childhood family of my nine brothers and sisters in my little Catholic community. I knew that if the Catholic community were aware that a pro-life, and pro-family ticket was on the ballot, the 1 % should be chump change. That’s why our chairman, Mike Dawson, insisted that the Maryland Catholic Conference, against their original intent to just use the earlier two party primary survey, resurvey all the candidates for the general election. I personally assured that our governor candidate filled out this survey. In fact, he was the only gubernatorial ballot candidate to complete all questions in the survey. His answers were in agreement with Catholic family life on abortion, marriage, and embryonic stem cell research. This, you would think, should be big? Well, the Voters Guide Supplement to the Catholic Review, which presented Eric’s completed answers on one line, separate from the questions, required a bit of puzzle solving ability. Compare this one line listing of Knowles’ answers, to the full page, and photo, that took up a third of the supplement, on each of the pro-aborts, the one who promotes the gay agenda, and the one who fired Bob Smith for quoting the Catechism. We just were not pro-family enough?
Let’s not forget the issue that encompasses the constitution and states rights: our beloved second amendment. All of our candidates are supportive of our right to bear arms. Eric Knowles is a veteran and a huge supporter of a person’s ability to carry an arm for defense. Early on, Maryland Shall Issue, a guns rights advocacy group, presented themselves as interested in hearing from, and evaluating our candidates. Maryland Shall Issue is associated with the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore along with some 20 gun clubs. After the surveys were filled out, and great speeches were delivered, the table was set for encouragement. When the recommendations were published, the Legislative Committee for the Associated Gun Clubs passed-over third party candidates. When questioned on this, we were told, “Candidates must be electable, not just pro 2nd Amendment.” So why even bother filling out the survey and making a speech, if the gatekeeper has already deemed third parties as not electable enough?
We expected this from the two main parties, the controlled media, the Republican Party disguised as Americans for Prosperity, and maybe even groups like the “non-partisan”, Jewish council who sponsored the WJZ debate, which excluded all third party candidates, but advocacy groups? Where were the people, the members, and the Boards of these advocacy groups that discounted constitutional conservatives who tried to hold the line? I also did not see surveys from the Christian Coalition or the National Riffle Association.
I think we will all soon suffer from not doing enough.