I Call 'em As I See 'em
By Reed R. Heustis, Jr. The Covenant News ~ March 28, 2006
In his March 17, 2006 article published in the name of the Constitution Party (CP), of which I am a faithful member and for which I am a passionate activist, CP National Chairman Jim Clymer responded to my March 9, 2006 commentary, "SD GOP Shows up Constitution Party", with a public rebuke that called my honesty and integrity into question.
In his article, "An Appeal for Calm and Clarity," Mr. Clymer writes, "I expect half truths, red herrings and deception from our enemies, but, frankly, I expect better of Mr. Heustis...." The statement insinuated that I engaged in intentional misrepresentation and deception in conveying my viewpoint.
I am hurt that Mr. Clymer, whom not only do I consider to be a friend of Constitutionalism, but also a warm-hearted, sincere and mild mannered statesman, would even question my honesty and integrity in the manner in which he did.
I acknowledge that some of my CP colleagues were offended by my article. However, in all sincerity my commentary stated my own views of the current controversy precisely as I saw them. My reasons for publicizing them stem from my love and passion for the CP, and my wish to see the CP do the right thing. I have no desire whatsoever to malign neither the party's accomplishments nor the efforts of its members.
Because of my devotion to the party's principles, I joined the CP in 2002. As long as the CP remains devoted to these principles, it will have my undying support. Pity me if I ever transform into that jaded my-party-right-or-wrong guy like so many Republicans and Democrats have become. It is my desire for the CP to pursue righteousness in all of its dealings. If ever the CP meanders from that path, then it is my right and my duty as a Constitutionalist, to call the CP on it.
As of today, I totally and unequivocally stand foursquare behind every word I penned.
Chairman Clymer contends that my "friendly fire" contained a few "blatantly false" statements. He then referred to (1) my portrayal of the “recent ongoing struggle” within the CP as “whether to pursue a truly principled pro-life avenue, or traverse the deceptively enticing road of compromise and Big Tentism...”; and (2) “party growth” as the rationale of those opposed to disaffiliating the CP's Nevada party, the Independent American Party (IAPNV).
I consider both statements to be inextricably linked. The idea of "party growth" indeed is about Big Tentism if principle is surrendered in the process. The way I see it, the "recent ongoing struggle" is absolutely without question about whether the CP will uphold principle or succumb to Big Tentism.
Not only that, but even more alarmingly, the outcome of this issue will set a major precedent for all future CP dealings.
In its nascent 14 years of existence, the CP National Committee (CPNC) faces its most difficult decision on the abortion question ever. As I wrote on March 9th, "Strong platform planks require strong actions to back them up, or they aren't worth the paper they're written on." I also suggested that now is the time to "walk the walk."
Chairman Clymer posits, "[T]he CP has not backed off the principled pro-life position of its platform one iota."
Not one iota?
Then I beg any person to offer a rational explanation as to how any party may legitimately consider itself to be pro-life if any of its state affiliates elect pro-abortion chairmen? Where is the line to be drawn in the sand as to when the CP ceases to be pro-life?
Just imagine if 50% of CP state affiliates elected pro-abortion chairmen. It does not require "half truth, red herring or deception" to illustrate how foolish it would be for the CP to proceed in any public criticism of Republican Party officers for appointing pro-aborts to public office when 50% of its own state parties are led by pro-aborts. But unless the CPNC acts righteously, this is precisely where it is headed. Hence, this issue is absolutely precedent-setting. Today will affect tomorrow. Half truth? Red herring? Deception? I think not.
Can Constitutionalists honestly sell the CP as being genuinely pro-life if 25 of its state chairmen are pro-abortion? What should be their sales pitch to recruit baby rescuers at abortuaries? "Hey, join the CP because we're 100% pro-life; just ignore those 25 pro-abort chairmen"? Not.
What about 10 state chairmen? Five?
Is the answer not plainly obvious? The line must be drawn at one! Even if just one state affiliate elects a pro-abortion chairman without repercussion by the CPNC, then the CPNC cannot ever honestly claim to be truly pro-life, regardless of what its platform says. Platforms are meaningless without enforcement. Any future press release, any public statement, any speech by its executive officers that claim the party to be America's only uncompromising pro-life party will be tainted with falsity.
The CP would then resemble the annoying neighborhood yipping poodle who is all bark and no bite. (Sorry dog lovers, but those pesky poodles are just asking to be slapped, aren't they?) Just imagine what Republicans will think if the CP then utters its walkless talk.
In his article, Mr. Clymer points to the 1998 passage of the San Antonio Resolution, properly labeled, "The Sanctity of Human Life Resolution", and suggests that it will be "strictly adhered to." However, he paraphrases the Resolution incorrectly when he writes that the CPNC would "not endorse or support in any manner any candidate for any publicly elected office who does not fully endorse the pro-life plank...." (emphasis added) Note that the phrase, "publicly elected office", is found nowhere in the Resolution!
In actuality, the Resolution reads, "The ... National Committee shall not endorse or distribute, allocate, contribute to or solicit funds for, or support in any way whatsoever, any candidate who does not pledge and act to defend and promote the inviolable right to life of innocent human beings, from the moment of conception to natural death -- without exception." (emphasis added)
As can be seen, the Resolution refers to any candidate without regard to "publicly elected office". Therefore, the Resolution applies to even those candidates who run for state party chief executive offices, such as the chairmanship of the IAPNV. Otherwise, the logic would allow state parties to elect pro-aborts as their officers but prevent them from endorsing pro-aborts for state office. Huh?
But so what? It doesn't matter. The San Antonio Resolution is a red herring anyway. The Platform's "Sanctity of Life" plank exists apart from this and any other CPNC resolution, and is even of higher authority. Even if the San Antonio Resolution never existed, the CPNC would still have a duty to ensure that each and every one of its state affiliates elect genuine pro-life chairmen, lest it surrender its legitimacy as a truly pro-life party. The Sanctity of Life plank says, "The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood." (emphasis added) Is it too much to ask that this should likewise be the CP's first duty?
South Dakota's state legislature outlawed virtually all abortions, even in cases where the fetus is allegedly conceived through rape. However, Christopher Hansen, IAPNV State Chairman, previously published his "Official Position on Abortion" that allows for the killing of rape-conceived babies; and in other publications, has contended that these babies can be considered "trespassers" on their mothers' bodies.
I was therefore correct. South Dakota's GOP indeed showed up the CP on this issue.
Thankfully, the CP still has time to right the ship. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult and painful. It is my hope that the IAPNV remain affiliated with the CP, but not at the expense of human life and certainly not at the cost of discrimination against innocent babies who have no control as to the circumstances by which they were conceived.
Again, I am sorry that some of my colleagues might become disgruntled at my viewpoint, but neither do I apologize for telling the truth as I see it, nor for trumpeting the clarion call.
As the umpire says after a controversial play at home plate, "I call 'em as I see 'em!"