A FREE COUNTRY?
by Thomas A. Droleskey

June 7, 2001

     We labor under the misapprehension that we live in a 
free country. We do not. Oh, there is a considerable 
degree of physical freedom in the United States of 
America to promote sinful behavior under the cover of law 
and in every aspect of our popular culture. However, 
those who dissent from the prevailing cultural and 
political orthodoxies are not free to express themselves 
publicly without coming in for a good deal of calumny, as 
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn pointed out in his famous June 
8, 1978, commencement address at Harvard University. 
Although formal censorship of politically incorrect 
thought has not yet reached the stage of the former 
Soviet Union or even that of Canada (where there are 
state-sponsored efforts to curb all criticism of abortion 
and sodomy), fashionable opinions are fastidiously 
separated from those considered to be reactionary and 
intolerant. Sadly, this is as true in the Church (where 
modernists seek to silence all those who dissent from the 
tenets of the New Age) as it is in society.

     Even the myths of free speech and the right of 
freedom of association are becoming more transparent with 
the passing years. This country is governed essentially 
by a one-party oligarchy, the Republicrats (as Howard 
Phillips calls the Republicans and Democrats), whose 
leaders believe that we exist to enable them to win 
office so that they can pick our pockets of our private 
property to resolve our personal problems better than we 
could if they did not pick our pockets. Naturally, this 
is designed to create an entire citizenry which is 
expected to depend upon the beneficence of the State for 
material prosperity and personal happiness. Citizens are 
expected to believe that we cannot exist without the 
established two-party system (wherein the leaders of the 
two parties disagree only on the degree to which statist, 
collectivist, redistributionist, relativist programs will 
control our personal and social lives). Indeed, citizens 
are expected to believe that minor parties are a threat 
to the benefits provided us by the myth of the two-party 
system, and must therefore be done away with in order to 
prevent nuisance candidates from clogging the machinery 
of government.

     Although I am critic of the Founding of this nation 
in that the Founders were products of the Renaissance, 
Protestant Revolt, the so-called Age of Reason and the 
subsequent rise of Freemasonry, some of the Founders did 
recognize the dangers that would be posed to the nation 
if established political parties formed and a class of 
professional politicians were to arise. George 
Washington, for example, knew that established political 
parties and professional politicians would result in the 
crushing of that legitimate dissent from anything that 
posed a threat to the power of those entrenched in 
government positions. Indeed, the two established 
political parties are so entrenched at the state and 
local levels that it is their hacks who control the 
election laws which make it so very difficult for minor 
political parties to form and to compete against them. 
Can't have any competition to the two-party system, 
right? After all, this is American, right?

     Even one who does not understand the flawed nature 
of the American Founding, however, has to admit that 
there is not one blessed word about political parties in 
the United States Constitution. The two-party system is 
not only not received from the hand of God, it is not 
received from the synthetic document which created the 
national government of the United States of America which 
went into effect on March 4, 1789. True, many of the 
leading lights of the Founding were involved in the 
organization of the first political parties in the 1790s 
and merrily participated in them. However, there is 
nothing in the context of the Founding of this nation 
which asserts that citizens must be restricted to 
choosing between the candidates of only two political 
parties, as though a political party is a true secular 
church outside of which there is no secular salvation.

     Alas, it is the flawed nature of the Founding which 
gave rise to established political parties and to their 
entrenchment in power. That is, if people do not 
recognize the primacy of the Social Kingship of Jesus 
Christ or the authority of His true Church as the 
ultimate governor on matters of fundamental justice, then 
individuals must invent their own means to solve social 
problems, believing in a very Pelagian manner that it is 
possible for human beings to solve social problems 
without a belief in or cooperation with sanctifying 
grace. We can resolve the problems of the world on our 
own by the use of reason alone, unaided by the light of 
Divine Revelation or the supernatural helps given us in 
the sacraments. And as the Protestantism of its nature 
asserts that believers are saved once they make a 
profession of faith (or that, in the Calvinist strain, 
they are predestined for Heaven, which is demonstrated 
tangibly on earth by the degree of material prosperity 
they have achieved), there is no need for government to 
be concerned about the fostering of those conditions 
conducive to the salvation of souls, No, government and 
politics can be reduced to the pursuit of commercial and 
economic goals, with political parties becoming the 
principal means by which the spoils of a nation may be 
divided.

     The established political parties, therefore, have a 
vested interest in the maintenance of the status quo. 
Their capture of the levers of power at the state and 
local levels has given them the ability to limit the 
ballot access of all potential competitors. Laws have 
been passed by one state legislature after another to 
limit ballot access by placing all manner of unreasonable 
burdens on those who desire to provide voters with 
alternatives to our class of permanent rulers. Oh, 
various rationales are given by the permanent rulers to 
justify those laws (costs too much money to print long 
ballots, gets too cumbersome to count votes, unnecessary 
time and money are spent supervising the primaries held 
by "frivolous" parties). However, the plain fact of the 
matter is quite simple: the limitation of ballot access 
in most of the states of the United States of America is 
an effort on the part of the two organized crime families 
who rule us (the Democrats and the Republicans) to keep 
their monopoly on power.

     As I noted in a column just about two years ago in 
CHRIST OR CHAOS, the best way to limit the power of 
professional politicians is to eliminate all campaign 
contribution and spending limits (which are violations of 
legitimate free speech) and to eliminate all barriers to 
the participation of minor parties in the electoral 
process. Although there is no salvation whatsoever in 
electoral politics, it does provide us with a forum in 
which to articulate the primacy of the binding precepts 
of the Divine positive law and the natural law over us 
men and our civil societies. Indeed, more good can be 
accomplished by a failed candidate running for office who 
articulates our Lord's received teaching as it relates to 
the realm of genuine social justice than by a successful 
candidate who trims his sails in order to win a 
particular election -- and who therefore governs 
cautiously so as not to jeopardize his re-election two or 
four or six years hence. One of the reasons we are stuck 
with candidates committed to abject evil or those who are 
concerned only about their own electoral success is that 
voters are not provided with alternatives who could 
challenge their uncritical acceptance of the prevailing 
political and cultural orthodoxy.

     Ironically, the State of New York has been one of 
the few states with a fairly generous ballot access 
provision for minor parties. It has been the case for 
many years now that a political party needs to receive at 
least 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidate in a 
gubernatorial election year to secure a permanent place 
on the ballot for statewide and countywide elections. The 
Liberal Party of the State of New York formed in the 
1940s so as to try to move the Democratic Party to the 
left. It has maintained ballot access ever since. The 
Conservative Party of the State of New York formed to 
move the Thomas Dewey-Nelson Rockefeller Republican Party 
to the right. The New York State Right to Life Party 
formed in 1978 when it was evident that both of the major 
party candidates for governor that year (incumbent 
Governor Hugh Carey and his challenger, former Speaker of 
the New York State Assembly Perry Duryea). Its first 
candidate for governor, Mary Jane Tobin, received well 
over 100,000 votes, placing the Right to Life Party on 
the ballot, where it has been for the past twenty-three 
years. Other minor parties have come and gone. One of the 
newer parties is the Green Party, which secured its 
ballot access in 1998 when its gubernatorial candidate, 
the scatological Al Lewis (who played Officer Leo 
Schnauzer on CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU? and Grandpa on THE 
MUNSTERS), received enough votes to place the party on 
the line through the 2002 gubernatorial elections.

     The Liberal Party has had a degree of success over 
the years, although it has really wanted in influence in 
the last twenty years or so. Incumbent New York City 
Mayor John Vliet Lindsay, who died just a few months ago, 
won re-election to a second term in 1969 on the Liberal 
Party line, having lost a Republican primary to Staten 
Island State Senator John Marchi.

     The Conservative Party achieved a few successes over 
the years, the most significant of which was the election 
of James Buckley to the United States Senate in a three-
way race. Indeed, Buckley's victory convinced 
Rockefeller, who won his fourth term as New York governor 
in 1970, to forge an alliance with the Conservative 
Party, alluring its leaders with patronage positions so 
as to coopt it from being a real threat to the Republican 
Party. The strategy worked, which is one of the reasons 
the Right to Life Party was formed. The Conservative 
Party signed on to pro-abortion Perry Duryea's candidacy 
in 1978. And though the party ran New York University 
professor Herbert London against Mario Cuomo and the 
Republican's hapless Pierre Rinfret in 1990, it merrily 
backed the thoroughly pro-abortion governor/lieutenant 
governor ticket of then State Senator George Pataki and 
Elizabeth "Betsy" McCaughey in 1994. The Conservative 
Party also backed the pro-abortion Rick Lazio in 2000. 
One of its most colorful moments occurred in 1965 when 
one of its founders, William F. Buckley, Jr., was its 
candidate for Mayor of the City of New York, running 
against Democratic Abraham D. Beame and the 
aforementioned John V. Lindsay, then a member of the 
United States House of Representatives.

     The New York State Right to Life Party has been a 
thorn in the side of the major parties for a long time. 
It was the votes received on the Right to Life Party line 
that gave then Town of Hempstead, New York, Presiding 
Supervisor Alphonse M. D'Amato his razor thin margin of 
victory in 1980 over then Representative Elizabeth 
Holtzman and incumbent Senator Jacob K. Javits (who ran 
on the Liberal Party line after losing to D'Amato 
unexpectedly in a Republican Primary) for a seat in the 
United States Senate. The party also gave D'Amato his 
margin of victory in 1992 when he was challenged by New 
York State Attorney General Robert Abrams, which is why 
he wanted to receive the party's nomination in 1998, 
believing that he could grab the nomination once more 
without being challenged on how he had worked against 
life in the Senate and had helped to create and to 
promote the career of pro-abortion politicians in the 
Republican Party.

     More than that, however, the Right to Life Party has 
been an instrument in keeping the life issue alive during 
the course of elections. Nassau County District Attorney 
Denis E. Dillon, then a Democrat, got a lot of attention 
for the life issue in 1986 when he challenged his fellow 
Democrat, Mario Cuomo, in the general election that year 
on the Right to Life Line. (What was the name of his 
running-mate? Just can't recall right now.) Henry Hewes 
ran a very credible campaign for Mayor of the City of New 
York in 1980 against pro-aborts Rudolph W. Giuliani and 
David N. Dinkins. George Marlin ran against Giuliani and 
Dinkins in 1993 before he succumbed to the allure of 
political expediency by joining the camp of George Pataki 
in 1994. And Bob Walsh, the party's gubernatorial nominee 
in 1994, helped to defeat the Republican pro-abortion 
candidate chosen by Suffolk County, New York, machine 
politicians to replace the pro-abortion Rick Lazio in the 
United States House of Representatives. Finally, a 
certain chap helped to keep the focus on the life issue 
in 1998 when he challenged D'Amato unsuccessfully in the 
first-ever statewide Right to Life Party primary.

     Minor party candidates in New York have participated 
in debates with the major party candidates. Indeed, I 
thoroughly enjoyed debating then United States 
Representative Stan Lundine and Ulster County, New York, 
District Attorney Michael Cavanaugh in a lieutenant 
governor candidates' forum held at THE NEW YORK TIMES on 
October 14, 1986. And many people I know have run for 
office locally on the Right to Life Party, doing 
exceedingly well in televised debates. There is no 
telling how many souls have been influenced by stands 
taken by those who do not accept the premise that even 
one innocent human life is negotiable. Former New York 
City Mayor Edward Irving Koch, a thorough-going pro-
abort, told a caller to his WABC Radio program in August 
of 1998 that he had nothing but admiration for the man 
who was challenging D'Amato in the Right to Life Party 
primary that year, stating that the man had the right to 
stand up for what he believed in no matter the 
unlikelihood of winning the primary. If nothing else, 
candidates who have run on the Right to Life Party line 
have kept the most pressing moral issue of the day alive 
at a time when the major parties want it dead and buried 
forever.

     Well, using all of the specious arguments listed 
before, a move has begun in Albany County, New York, to 
"pressure" (as if any pressure is needed) the state 
legislature to raise the number of votes required for a 
party to stay on the ballot for a period of four years 
from 50,000 votes to 100,000 votes. The Right to Life 
Party has reached that plateau in 1978, 1986, and 1990. 
It got just over 50,000 votes in 1982, and slightly more 
than that in 1994 and 1998. The professional politicians 
want to get rid of the life issue once and for all˝and if 
that means doing away with other parties to provide them 
the cover for doing so, all well and good.

     As I have written endlessly in CHRIST OR CHAOS over 
the last five years, the only language that career 
politicians understand is votes. How ironic it is that 
the pragmatic, expedient-based leadership of both major 
political parties in the State of New York is composed of 
Catholics. Indeed, there have been successive elections 
in the State of New York in which totally pro-abortion 
Catholics have been the gubernatorial nominees of both 
major political parties (Cuomo versus Pataki in 1994; 
Pataki versus New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone 
in 1998). This is the future of *national* politics, 
ladies and gentlemen, which is why I have spent so much 
time detailing this matter. The defenseless unborn need a 
voice in the forum provided us by electoral politics. And 
they are not going to have a voice in electoral politics 
in this nation if the Right to Life Party goes under.

     Sure, it is possible for the Right to Life Party to 
meet the 100,000 vote barrier in next year's 
gubernatorial election. However, it is going to take a 
lot of good Catholics to make a break from thinking that 
a pro-abortion Republican is less dangerous than a pro-
abortion Democrat. It is going to take a lot of good 
Catholics to understand that the New York State Right to 
Life *Committee,* which supports abortion in alleged 
threats to the life of a mother (as does the National 
Right to Life Committee) would have found some way to 
have endorsed Hillary Clinton if she had been a 
Republican. It is going to take a lot of good Catholics 
to understand that we must love the good more than we 
fear the evil. For the more and more we enable the so-
called lesser of two evils, the higher and higher the 
dosage of the so-called "lesser" evil becomes over time.

     Mind you, I do not believe that there is a secular, 
religiously indifferentist way to end baby-killing, which 
has its roots in all of the many factors I outlined in 
summary form in "From Luther to Clinton to Gore" in the 
late-December/mid-January issue of CHRIST OR CHAOS. We 
must work to plant the seeds for the establishment of the 
recognition of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ and of 
the authority of His true Church as the ultimate arbiter 
on matters of fundamental justice. To that cause I have 
dedicated my life and my career, marginalizing myself 
very much in the process. So be it. I did not invent the 
papal encyclical letters on the state, which merely 
summarized Catholic teaching on the right ordering of the 
civil order to the reality of the Kingship of Christ and 
the authority of His true Church. However, it is 
important to plant the seeds to remind Catholics of these 
truths, no matter the lack of initial fruit or tangible 
success.

     Nevertheless, a political party dedicated to the 
restoration of legal protection for all innocent human 
life without any exception whatsoever serves a vital 
purpose in helping to remind voters that there are people 
who have not surrendered to the prevailing cultural 
orthodoxy. The very simple symbol chosen by the New York 
State Right to Life Party, an unborn child in the womb, 
conveys a great deal to voters when they cast their 
votes.

     Thus, regardless of the efforts underway in the 
State of New York to raise the number of votes required 
for a political party to stay on the ballots, pro-life 
voters across the nation must understand that the time to 
stand up and make the break from professional, careerist 
politicians has long since passed. As I demonstrate in 
"No Rational Basis," we are not getting anything but 
symbolism from President George W. Bush. And we are 
getting outright opposition from his political allies in 
the State of New York.

     May our Lady, the Mirror of Justice and the Seat of 
Wisdom, pray for us so that we can understand the 
necessity of giving voice to the voiceless unborn, whose 
little lives were sanctified when Life Himself sanctified 
her virginal and immaculate womb.

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Dr. Thomas Droleskey, speaker and lecturer, is a 
professor of political science, the author of CHRIST IN 
THE VOTING BOOTH and THERE IS NO CURE FOR THIS 
CONDITION (www.hopeofstmonica.com), and editor of the 
"Christ or Chaos" newsletter.

This column is distributed and archived by Griffin 
Internet Syndicate, http://griffnews.com. All rights 
reserved.

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