Why I’m Not Voting for Michael Peroutka
The reader should understand from the outset that I support the Constitution Party. I had the privilege of attending Michael Peroutka’s announcement gala in Baltimore, and I heard him give his nomination speech in Valley Forge. I have been deeply impressed by Michael’s personal dedication to the same principles of truth and justice that I espouse. I must also say that I like Michael personally. I know we worship the same God.
Nevertheless, I am not voting for Michael Peroutka in the general election this year. And here’s why.
Membership in a political party – any political party – too often requires blind support for its candidates. I stress this because I believe it’s important to guard against making a god out of one’s party affiliation. Any political party – and whatever candidate that party may support – is merely an instrument for influencing political decisions.
All human beings are fallible. The mouthing of high ideals by a candidate is therefore never a substitute for sound policies. Consequently, it matters very little to me that Michael is in this race. To be sure, I am glad that he is (the same goes for his running mate, Pastor Chuck Baldwin), but Michael’s responsibility is to represent the platform of the Constitution Party. If he did not do this – if he lacked the integrity to promote the ideals of limited constitutional government under God – I would not have supported his candidacy, pure and simple.
I strongly believe that too much emphasis is being placed this year on the candidates – what they think the nation should be and do, what they believe about foreign affairs, even their hair styles! – and too little emphasis on the platforms of their respective parties. Principles are always more important than persons. A person’s principles ought never to reflect his or her own personal beliefs only, because principles must be based on something (or Someone) higher than ourselves. God can never smile upon a person or group that compromises His principles.
I insist, simply, that God wants His children involved in politics, not to follow a man, but to support sound, biblical public policy. Of course, good public policy is enhanced when politicians are willing to take an uncompromising stand for truth and justice. But it is the truth that matters in the end, not the candidate.
I have noticed in recent days a growing feeling among many of my friends that something is innately wrong about participating in a political process where compromise and even dishonesty is the name of the game. I see a new breed of citizen who realizes that the intoxication of public attention makes otherwise sane persons silly with delusions of their capacity to speak the truth unerringly. The only solution to this problem is to see that our public officials remain faithful to the principles they claim to represent.
In the fifteenth century a man named Machiavelli lived in Europe. He was an advocate of a brand of utilitarianism that says the ends justify the means. The “Machiavellian” approach to politics has come to label any method devoid of basic principles. Its advocates are willing to say anything and do anything, ethical or not, to achieve success. Today, many in public life follow this method. They get away with it because their followers fail to hold them accountable to a higher standard. Not so in the Constitution Party. If Mr. Peroutka should ever disregard the ageless teachings of the Scriptures or the U.S. Constitution, be assured that a hue and cry would quickly ensue. That is how Michael would want it.
Nothing can be politically right that is morally wrong. This must be the conviction of every one of us who votes this year. The candidate matters not. The truth is everything; and it for the truth that I am voting this year.
October 11, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book is Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon.