The Constitution Party is the current name of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, a fringe right-wing party. The name was changed last year because it was thought to better reflect their ideas on limited government and a strict interpretation of the constitution, despite the fact that several of the views expressed in their platform are blatantly unconstitutional.

The party was founded from a coalition of independent parties at the state level in 1992. Howard Phillips has been the only presidential candidate they have fielded. He was on the ballot in 21 states in 1992, and 39 in 1996.

Thanks to the Fall 2000 students in SLS 1101 section 55 at the University of South Florida for providing much of the factual information contained in these writeups.

The Constitution Party is among the most right-wing parties in the United States of America, and probably the most parochial. It's a party by and for the religious right. In Connecticut, it's known as the Concerned Citizens Party; in California, it's the American Independent Party; in Michigan, it's the U.S. Taxpayers Party; in Nevada, it's the Independent American Party.

The party has yet to elect a candidate to a state or national post: several Constitution Party members have been elected to local governments in rural areas.

But you're probably wondering: "What do they actually stand for?" Well, here's a summary of their platform, found at . You'll probably find a few points you like, and a few that make your blood cringe...

Economic Issues

The U.S. federal government is their biggest enemy. If the Constitution Party had its way, the Internal Revenue Service would be abolished, and the federal deficit would be paid for by the state governments, so that politicians would want to keep federal spending at a minimum.

No more most favored nations... international trade would carry with it heavy tariffs. Congress would retain all power to regulate trade with other countries.

The gold standard would come back, so say "welcome back" to Bretton Woods. The Federal Reserve would be eliminated, to keep control over the money supply in the hands of the government.

To keep federal spending down, the civil service system would be abolished, and all federal aid to state governments would be halted.

Wage and price controls would end. Federal lands (i.e. national parks) would be restored to private control. Energy exploration would be completely unregulated.

Defense and Foreign Policy Issues

According to the Party, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty is bogus and a national missile defense system is necessary. Disarmament is a Bad Thing. Women should be barred from combat training. The United Nations needs to pack up and leave, because we don't need to be in it. All international monetary agreements should be nullified, as should all international defense pacts. Foreign aid has to go.

By the Party's estimation, Taiwan deserves recognition; China does not.

Immigration would be halted, except under cases of extreme hardship, until all government subsidies for immigrants were wiped out. Then, companies and organizations would be allowed to bring in immigrants, provided that they guaranteed them housing and sustenance, and bore full responsibility for their actions. The practice of granting citizenship to all babies born on American soil would go bye-bye.

The National Security Act, Patriot Act, and other Fed-friendly laws would also go.

Social Issues

The Constitution Party wants to make abortion absolutely illegal under all circumstances, including rape and incest (saying the sins of the father should not lead to the child's death). They also want to make the transmission of HIV a criminal offense. The death penalty would stay, and it would be invokable for some offenses besides murder and rape.

They seek to abolish the Department of Education, end all federal education laws, eliminate student loans and other financial aid programs (with the notable exception of the G.I. Bill), and repeal compulsory education so that parents have total choice in their children's schooling.

Medicare and other government health programs would go out the window, as would the Food and Drug Administration, both of which "unfairly restrict" access to doctors and medicine. Social Security would be overhauled to take away its trust fund-like status and make it more like an IRA.

Welfare as we know it would say bye-bye in favor of church tithes and other charitable initiatives. Illegal drugs, according to the Party, should be punishable as a capital offense, but left entirely in the hands of state law. Subsidized gambling, such as state lottery programs and Native American casinos, would be banned.

Homosexuality, of course, would be totally taboo, and gay marriages would be illegal. Gun control would be minimized.

Finally, the Constitution Party supports freedom of religion:

We assert that any form of taxation on churches and other religious organizations is a direct and dangerous step toward state control of the church. Such intrusion is prohibited by the Constitution and must be halted.

We assert that private organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, can determine their own membership, volunteers, and employment based on their oaths and creeds.

How to Hold a Constitution Party
Take back America for the Americans


From the perspective of many Americans, the biggest threat facing the United States today is not Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, or looming financial crisis. No, these Americans understand that our nation was founded in terrorism, prospered in spite of far greater financial difficulty than we currently face, and has a rather duplicitous nature when it comes to WMD. Rather, in this period of great geopolitical, social, and climatological upheaval, some would argue that the gravest threat to America and its ideals is the gradual erosion of our civil liberties.

What's at Stake

Reflecting upon contemporary American affairs, it is hard not to be disillusioned by how far we have departed from so many of our cherished national values. What has happened to freedom of assembly? To due process? To humanitarianism? To peace? To Democracy? Political discourse? Separation of Church and State? Just what the hell is going on here?!

Perhaps, just possibly, Americans are losing touch with the spirit of their Union as envisioned by its heroes and Founding Fathers. Today, I posit that this trend may stem, in part, from the modern-day American's divorce from the very Document in which those ideals are set forth. As schoolchildren we are exposed to the Constitution; it's content is discussed, in a general way; some particularly conscientious educational institutions may even encourage their students to memorize their privileges as American citizens as embodied in the Bill of Rights. But it is not until we are wrongfully imprisoned that we appreciate the wisdom of habeas corpus. It is not until we are censored that we appreciate freedom of speech. And it is not until we are suppressed that we appreciate our most fundamental democratic right.

Constitution Party: The Concept

That's the problem; now what's the solution? To remedy this basic lapse in our national consciousness! So few of us comprehend our own democratic heritage... how that can we expect to spread democracy abroad successfully? And so I propose a a new American nationalism. Let's harness the power of the Internet. Let's start a grassroots movement. Let's show the American power class that we, as citizens, care about our country and the direction in which it is going. Let's inspire the youth with something other than Vote or Die. Let's reinvigorate the social conscience of a generation of aging Baby Boomers. Come, ye rock stars, actors, investment bankers, waiters, truckers, cabbies, teachers, computer programmers, and steel workers - you who make up the body, heart, and soul of this great nation.

We need more characterization of voting as a civic duty espoused in primary and secondary schools. Less naive veneration of our political leaders and more hard-hitting political criticism. More patriotism, but less jingoism. More political involvement, but less partisanism. More piety and less fundamentalism.

I want to see rappers quoting the Declaration of Independence. Politically dissident sports figures embraced rather than ostracized. Angsty teens directing less energy to snorting Prozac and more to helping sort out the bleak and depressing aspects of life on Earth. A national day of celebration, complete with fireworks and Constitution Parties, recognizing the piece of paper that makes America more than just a chunk o' land!

Forget the Messy Details

This seems like just a pipe dream. Give it five years, and things will work out... won't they?

No.It's up to you, it's up to me, it's up to Bush, it's up to luck. America is us.

Go on, kids! Go out and hold a Constitution Party, today!

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