I have no intentions of joining a third party. In fact, I don't like when my conservative friends do. I've tried talking them out of it. It creates a release valve for the pressure that builds among grassroots conservatives, and the Party Establishment is relieved when we leave as they smile and say "Buh-bye".
The best way to defeat a pro-abortion or liberal Republican is to run a serious campaign as a Republican primary challenger. Of course, it is rarely successful when the opponent is an incumbent, but it can be done. Even more rare, are third party victories.
Nonetheless, there are times when there is just no choice for a pro-life Republican but to vote third party. Like for instance, when the local chapter of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world, endorses the Republican candidate, and when the Republican Party makes it impossible to challenge the candidate.
My friend, and popular Catholic blogger, Paul Mitchell (AKA: Regular Guy, Paul) threw his hat in the ring for just such a legislative race in the state of Illinois. He declared himself an "independent" candidate and then a few days later, joined the Constitution Party. I can't really say that I blame him. I don't agree with the move, but I support his candidacy, and if I lived in Illinois, I would definitely vote for him. In fact, I endorse him and encourage you to support him. Especially, if you live in Illinois. Although this is a small local race, I think he can make a serious impact on the pro-life movement. He is talking straight about abortion, and proposing that the state level is where the battle for Life must be fought and he is ready to fight it.
All that said, I do hope he returns to the Republican Party. And I hope that grassroots Republicans start realizing that we are losing more and more of our members because we tolerate politicians who don't stand for our principles just because they have an "R" next to their name. OPEN YOUR EYES! And I hope that conservatives who are tempted to go and join a third party will think better of it.
A great conservative icon passes today; William F. Buckley, Jr.
The editors and columnists at National Review Online, the institution he founded---his "lengthened shadow", have an array of tributes to the man, his influence, his witt and humor. Reactions can be found all over the net. Michelle Malkin's post has an exerpt from a speech from Reagan at the National Review's 30th Anniversary with comments about him, and Rod Dreher has a few very touching thoughts on Buckley's hospitality and friendship.
Here are a few highlights of Buckley's gifted writing on abortion:
I am proudly Pro-Life! I believe that protection of human life is essential for the well-being of our country.
That is a rare statement from a local Republican, since the WSRP usually advises candidates not to campaign on life issues. You can read more about him on his website, especially his issues page and see previous coverage of Tim, right here at Life of the Party.