Saturday, November 3, 2012
Virgil Goode Jr. for president
By Rick Morris
Although FDH does not endorse candidates for office, I have always taken advantage of this platform to personally endorse presidential candidates. My track record here has not been sterling in terms of success (Fred Thompson in the 2008 primaries, McCain/Palin in the ’08 general and Rick Perry in the ’12 primaries), but I don’t second-guess for one moment my belief that the country would have done best by embracing my candidates. And so it goes this fall, as I endorse my biggest long-shot ever, former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode Jr. on the Constitution Party line.
This endorsement is for both negative and positive reasons. Let’s start with the negative, shall we?
Aside from having backed Paleocon Pat in the 2000 fall election, I have voted Republican for president every year since I came of age. In almost every instance, it has been couched in extreme reluctance and fear of the greater of two evils. Sadly, the GOP has clearly taken the reasonable nature of myself and a great many other voters for granted, as they have pushed one of their most unacceptable nominees ever on the general public (and that covers a boatload of sad Republican history!). My evisceration of Mitt Romney here need not be repeated in depth, but it’s worth examining how the Republican Party chose to hold up their end of the “bargain” in foisting arguably the worst major-party general election choice in history on the victimized American public.
In pursuit of raw, naked, endless power, Republicans sold out much of what they professed to believe in the Dubya years, expanding government spending by 70%, passing the No Child Left Behind boondoggle, passing an unfunded giveaway of prescription drugs to old people and refusing to pay for two wars (with the second one being, yes, a war of choice). If you’re a rabid Republican these days, then it’s just a tribal impulse, stemming from hatred of the rival “blue team.” There is no affirmative reason to be a Republican, not when they’re imposing a soulless nominee like Romney on the American people and not when they’ve refused to repudiate the pathetic Bush era. In my extreme youth, I myself was a partisan Republican, but that was because I saw the party as an instrument to advance the beliefs I have always had that created my motivation for being involved in the process. No sane, thinking person could see the GOP as such a device today.
If you compare the vapid, intellectually-insulting major party debates to the initial third-party event that involved Virgil and the three other candidates eligible to receive 270 electoral votes who were excluded by the debate commission, the contrast of the rich tapestry of the many issues we should be discussing vs. the stunted, talking-points back-and-forth is beyond depressing. The major-party duopoly is choking this country to death. During some political roundtables on our program, Original FDH Lounge Dignitary Chris Galloway – himself an elected public official – took a benign view of my comparison of the two major parties to Coke and Pepsi. To him, it’s all healthy competition and the problem is that the parties are not MORE empowered to keep the process orderly and the barbarians from the gate.
Chris and I have a long history dating back to my aforementioned College Republican days and I’ll always be proud of my footnote in history for having run his first political campaign – successfully – back then. But while we will never grow apart personally, the show has illuminated the extent to which we have grown apart politically – while still advocating many of the same public policies, no less! I do not share a scintilla of his “it’s all good” sense about what the duopoly has done to us and the sickening avalanche of inherently corrupt (in my opinion) money in our political process (while I continue to concede to him that I don’t yet have a constitutionally-valid answer to what we do about it, since the Founding Fathers never envisioned so many gluttonous institutions trying to get their fingers in the pie of an ever-expanding Big Government). I envy him his optimism, his sense that people like myself are wrong and alarmist about the damage done by false choices and narratives propagated by endless partisan warfare. I truly wish I could believe him, but I’ve seen too many false promises, too many excuses for bad policy and too many refusals to correct past mistakes. I am at the point of hoping, in the medium-to-long-term, that our diseased two-party system gets crashed by other legitimate players. And I firmly believe that, on that timetable, it will happen.
It could rightfully be said that it almost happened in 1975, when National Review Publisher William Rusher wrote a book calling for a conservative third party and was lobbying his friend Ronald Reagan to jump on board and challenge Gerald Ford from that outside platform. The GOP was quite vulnerable at that time, suffering the accumulated blows during the past few years of Vietnam, Watergate, the Nixon pardon, inflation and recession. If ever a brand name was ripe to be put out of his misery, it was in that moment. But Reagan deferred, believing that the nearly-impossible task of seizing a nomination from an incumbent president was the easier path. To his credit, he came achingly close to accomplishing that feat, more than any other politician in the last century, and he might have pulled it off had he not been betrayed by the Mississippi delegation led by Clarke Reed (the same folks who stabbed him in the back in ’68). But that decision seems very poignant to me in retrospect.
In fairness to the Gipper, today’s social media world was a distant gleam in the future and a direct challenge to the system would have been infinitely harder. But as someone who grew up in the latter days of the Cold War, I would never have believed that our two-party system was more durable than the Berlin Wall. And yet the Wall fell. Ross Perot, despite many nutjob tendencies, put up a heck of a run in 1992 in the time just before the Internet was playing any role whatsoever in the process. And although the Arab Spring may not be in the long-term national interests of the USA, objectively speaking, the leveraging of modern tools of organizing in that example serves as a valid model of how to accomplish what many consider unthinkable. Is two-party dominance inevitable until the end of time? In my opinion, of course not. The demise of our ruling class may not begin in the healthiest of manners, as we will probably be dependent on a sane version of Perot (or multiples of them, perhaps) to provide the raw capital and media platforms to mount the assault (and indeed, I may not be very happy with what the first successful third party looks like), but make no mistake that the day will come and sooner than most think.
Having said all of that, in ruling out Romney and advocating for a more open system, it falls to me as a voter and others who agree with me to advocate the best possible candidate and party. It is important to lay down a marker of what positive governance would resemble.
I feel very strongly that Virgil Goode, Jr. would make an excellent president. He served in Congress as a Democrat, Independent and Republican, refusing in all instances to toe the line of Clinton or Bush enforcers (you can check out plenty of information about him on Wikipedia). As he noted in the initial third-party debate, his conservative belief system was the one constant, as he searched for the most effective platform for advancing it. His quest led him this year to the Constitution Party, an institution I have long admired as a firm and consistent voice for sound public policy. He is a man truly admired by the people who know him in Virginia, as you will note in several of the videos below. In terms of challenging the orthodoxies that are choking this country, his most valuable contribution has been his journey of discovery from Bush-era neoconservatism to the sound paleocon doctrine I like to call “common-sense non-interventionism.” Ever since the Iraq debacle first began, Republicans have been trying to obfuscate the range of options in this country, pretending that it is limited to their militarism (Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran!) or Democrat pacifism. There is another, better, more reasoned path, and Virgil’s occupation of that place on our political spectrum is a microcosm of how he would steer us away from false choices and towards the policies that would deliver peace and prosperity to our hurting country.
I am proud to join fellow FDH Lounge Dignitary Nate Noy in supporting Virgil for president. We are truly putting our money where our mouths are, because we are both residents of the most critical swing state of Ohio. If you are of a conservative inclination and cannot abide the thought of voting for the most mathematically viable alternative to Barack Obama, then I urge you to think yet again about where you live. Unless you’re in one of the handful of swing states, the Electoral College determines that you are free to vote your conscience as at least 38 of the 50 states are completely guaranteed to go to one candidate or another. If at all possible, cast your vote to support a party that presents a real voice of positive change and a candidate you can be proud of, one that would make you smile at the thought of him taking the oath of office. Don’t be brainwashed by the system. You don’t have to vote for the less smelly of two dung piles. You can vote for a great American, Virgil Goode, Jr., for president on Tuesday. I certainly will.
To help familiarize people with Virgil’s campaign, I am posting several videos to provide perspective on what he hopes to accomplish.
Here’s an AP profile of Virgil’s campaign.
Here’s a Washington Post interview with Virgil.
Here’s another interview with Virgil.
Here’s Virgil’s truly great segment with John Stossel.
Here’s Virgil entertaining questions about the first Obama-Romney debate.
Here’s Virgil taking questions from the voters.
Here’s a comparison of Virgil’s positions and the ones of Obama and Romney, which are quite similar to one another in a number of ways.
Here’s a web ad for Virgil.
Here’s a stump speech from Virgil.