Mr. Mawyer’s article in the April issue (“The Future of the Christian Right“) is absolutely correct in its analysis of the ills of the Republican Party. The congressional elections were one more indicator of the bedrock traditional values of most American voters. Nevertheless, the GOP leadership proved itself to be strongly though underhandedly liberal in its convictions and thoroughly ashamed of its pro-family supporters. It can fairly be surmised that it regarded Bill Clinton’s victory as a partial blessing insofar as it kept the Buchananite hordes from the castle keep.

It is also true, as Mr. Mawyer points out, that the “pro-family movement’s most visible leaders” betrayed their rank and file constituency by supporting Dole in the first place and then not requiring him to address the issues of burning concern to traditionalists: namely, abortion, homosexuals in the military, subsidized cultural decay, and national security. Mr. Mawyer is right: the only moral course of action left to conservatives of conscience is to construct a new party.

However, Mr. Mawyer failed to mention that the task has already begun. The U.S. Taxpayers Party headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, was founded in 1992 to return the American Republic to its biblical and constitutional foundations. Any conservative of Mr. Mawyer’s persuasion who reads the U.S. Taxpayers Party platform will discern the integrity of its philosophical grounding. It stands unequivocally for the defense of the unborn, national sovereignty, national security, constitutional restoration, and the dismantlement of the plunder state with its attendant class of anti-religious and anti-American agents. The U.S. Taxpayers Party, though underfunded and almost ignored by the media, battled formidable obstacles to gain ballot access in 21 states in 1992 and 39 states in 1996, when Pat Buchanan almost kicked the GOP habit to run for President on the USTP ticket.

The road ahead is difficult. Most conservatives still dream about saving the big tent party. But as time goes on, more and more of them will come to see that standing on principle is the only practical, as well as honorable, course to take. As George Washington said, “If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.”

        —Alan Potter
Secretary, Virginia Taxpayers Party
Gainesville, VA

Martin Mawyer’s April essay made one good point. I will put it my way: if the Christian Right remains in the hip pocket of the Republican Party, it should plan to get sat on a lot. He calls for a third party. I ask: If the U.S. Taxpayers Party doesn’t qualify as a pro-life, pro-Christian, pro-free enterprise third party, why doesn’t it? There is already a third party: the Libertarian Party. Mr. Mawyer is in fact calling for a fifth party. Even in a parliamentary system, this would not make sense.

There is no American example since the 1850’s of a successful third party. Teddy Roosevelt’s fling as Taft’s spoiler in 1912 was successful only from the point of view of Progressives in the Democratic Party. Harry Truman, as unpopular as he was in 1948, was not thwarted by two Democratic splinter parties. To think that an openly Christian national third party in America can do anything except absorb politically naive people’s time, money, and hopes is itself naive, unless you are expecting a social cataclysm in which the prevailing political order is either overthrown or disintegrates—which I do expect, by the way.

Without an unforeseen, “exogenous” event of this magnitude, any suggestion that three centuries of American political history can be overturned is as unconservative a proposal as one might imagine. The premise of conservatism is that social change should be slow and be extended by precedents except when outside forces beyond our control disrupt matters. American history has never embraced religious political parties, not even in colonial days.

The Christian political right is less than two decades old. It has barely reached the age of consent, let alone maturity. I find it difficult to believe that the same Christians who have yet to pull their children out of the local public school system are ready and able to replace the Republican Party.

When an openly Christian political party consistently elects mayors and congressmen, we can then begin to talk about a national third party. The Bible tells us to become successful at little things before taking on bigger things. Jesus’ parable of the talents is the proper standard: “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23). This principle applies to politics. We should not dream great dreams of national political triumph through a third party when we have yet to win a single county government out of 3,300.

        —Gary North
Tyler, TX