"Well said. The CP and LP have many similar stances. We ought to focus on our shared beliefs and work together to win elections, rather than debating and opposing each other because of issues we disagree on..."
Absolutely right, Mr. Dodge. However, many people are confused as to the differences between the two parties, and this post will hopefully clear it all up.
"On the surface, the LP and the CP appear to be quite similar. The very name of the Constitution Party appeals to the libertarian-leaning voter looking for a political party dedicated towards returning to a government strictly bound by the Constitution--as the Libertarian Party wishes for also. Additionally, the LP and the CP are very close on issues like foreign policy, Second Amendment rights, economic policy and health care."
But...the CP is very much different from the LP on issues like gambling, pornography, the judiciary, and gay rights.
"One might remember the saying in grade-school geometry that 'all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.' Well, the same can be said of libertarians and Constitution Party members. Many Constitution Party members are libertarians, in some way, shape or form. However, there are very few Libertarians--if any at all--that would comfortably identify themselves as ascribing to the Constitution Party platform.
"There is a simple explanation for this: Christian members of the Libertarian Party recognize that the basis of their religion is the idea of free will and volition, and that their morality does not need to be reinforced or supported by government laws or coercion. The Constitution Party, for whatever reason, finds that government should be a model for morality--that is, Christian morality--and all semblances of behavior and lifestyles contrary to this behavioral model should be eliminated through "Constitutional" government methods."
There you have it. The similarities to the two parties are fine and dandy, Mr. Dodge, but you have to realize the differences as well. The Libertarian Party is the only true way to achieve a free and prosperous society, and the Constitution Party is almost (let me make sure you get that: ALMOST) promoting a quasi-theocracy. Christians should be testaments to the power of the Christian message of Jesus and should evangelize to all people of the earth. However, none (at least those who believe the Christian libertarian philosophy) believe this call to evangelize can be replaced by a call to legislate morality through the government.
I'd like to close with an excerpt from the LP's platform and some basic differences between the CP and the LP.
"As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.
"We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
"Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power."
Libertarian Party founded in 1971.
Constitution Party founded in 1992 (changed name in 1999)
Libertarian Party Avg. Vote Since Founding: 368,000
Constitution Party Avg. Vote Since Founding: 117,460
Libertarian Party Highest Presidential Vote Total: 921,128 (1.1%)
Constitution Party Highest Presidential Vote Total: 189,820 (.2%)
(Special thanks to Andrew Davis for the basics and the quoted words.)