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Thursday, 2 December 2004

Election rambling

I remembered this post I wrote in August when I heard that the Democrat & Constitution party candidates were tied for a seat in the Montana Assembly.

I see several parallels between the Election of 2004 and the Election of 1856.

In 1856, the Whig Party had lost its moral compass and was more concerned with staying in power than in upholding the principles on which it was founded. In 1856, the Whig Party lost the Presidential Election, due in part to a third party which had appeared out of nowhere to energize the anti-slavery vote. That previously unknown third party went on to win the Presidency in the very next election, when it endorsed the most anti-slavery candidate in the field--Abraham Lincoln. Overnight, former Whigs became members of the new Republican Party, and the Whig Party passed from the stage of history.

In 1856, the country was polarized over the issue of slavery: specifically, were all Americans entitled to government protection from evildoers, or only Americans of European descent through legal issue? That question, which had never been settled by the Constitution, refused to remain unanswered, until the conflagration of war brought about an amendment to the Constitution forever settling the issue, at least in regards to that segment of the population.

In 2004, the country is polarized over the Right to Life issue: specifically, are all Americans entitled to government protection from evildoers, or only Americans who are "wanted" by those responsible for their welfare? That question was never even raised in the first century of America's independence, so it appears that the Constitution itself, with all the amendments that anyone can pass, is insufficient to answer that question. The question, however, refuses to remain unsettled. Would the election of a
Constitutional Party candidate in 2008, following another Democratic win with less than 50% of the popular vote, ignite another conflagration sufficient to answer this question for all time, at least in regard to the "unwanted" segments of American society?

Whatever else its aftermath may be, if Michael Peroutka costs Bush re-election this year, it will likely spell the beginning of the end for what was once known as the Republican Party, and the emergence of a new Second Party that will energize the anti-murder vote that is, in greater and greater numbers, looking for a new home.

Postscript: In general (even in Montana), it appears that Constitution voters realized that by voting for Michael Peroutka they would be handing the presidency to John Kerry, and voted for George Bush instead.

They aren't likely to do this again, especially if the next Republican candidate is a liberal like Senator Bill Frist.

ETA: Well, they did do it again (except in Indiana), and it still didn't make any difference (even with Indiana). For the first time since 1964 a Democrat president won a majority of the vote. But not a majority of the white vote.

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