In a recent Utah Herald News article, Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin likened himself to America’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, and the Constitution Party to the nascent Republicans of the 1850s.
“Sooner or later, an independent party, a third party, is going to break into the national limelight and is going to take that spotlight off the Republican Party and elect a president of the United States,” Baldwin said. “I would like to think itâ€™s gonna be 2008, and I would like to think that Iâ€™m the Abraham Lincoln of this generation.”
Baldwin, of course, was talking strictly about Lincoln and the Republicans’ role in supplanting one of the two major parties, not about Lincoln or the Republicans’ actual agenda. However, many would consider his invoking of Lincoln a poor choice.
Many paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians consider Lincoln to have been the worst president in American history. Ron Paul, whose “Revolution” Baldwin claims to continue, included Thomas DiLorenzo’s scathingly critical The Real Lincoln in the suggested reading section of The Revolution: A Manifesto.
Paleos criticize Lincoln for his nationalism, which seems to dovetail with Baldwin’s repeated assertion that the issue of the day is whether one is an “American” or a “globalist.”
Lincoln and the early Republicans were also adamant in their opposition to free trade, a view the Constitution Party shares, though Baldwin insists he’s with Ron Paul, perhaps the world’s most steadfast advocate of free trade, on this issue (Baldwin considers a 10% tariff to replace the income tax consistent with Paul’s views).
And of course, Lincoln was a centralist and an ardent opponent of “states’ rights.” Here, Baldwin and the CP depart with Lincoln for the most part, but not when it comes to one key issue: Abortion. In an interview with IPR, Baldwin stated his support for a national ban on abortion, but did not indicate where in the Constitution the power of Congress to enact such a ban was authorized.
It should also be noted that Chuck Baldwin is a member of the League of the South, an anti-Lincoln organization.