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The Unrepentant Traditionalist
February 3, 2010

A Pro-life Manifesto: Part IV
by Frank Creel

ARLINGTON, VA — Success in eliminating abortion from American life will require a degree of political sophistication not heretofore witnessed among the leaders of the pro-life movement.

One of the most effective charges against pro-lifers is that they are single-issue voters. Indeed, I argued in Part II that such a single-issue focus would be necessary to “get the ball rolling” toward the creation of a new party firmly grounded in pro-life principles.

That new party, however, must quickly blossom beyond that focus and develop a comprehensive political program if it hopes to achieve majority status.

Such a program can be built around a renewed understanding of America’s providential and historical mission. That mission must be in harmony with the virtues that made America one of the most successful nations in human history, namely, our steady commitment to self-reliance, constitutional government, and political, religious, and economic liberty.

Taking into account as well some of the things that have begun to drag us down (the breakdown of the family, the debasement of popular culture, rampant hedonism), we might also see a cultural and moral restoration as a necessary precondition of recovery.

In short, the mission of America must be to give the world a sterling example of economic dynamism, political stability, and cultural sanity. Our new pro-life party must build its program around these ideals.

Specifically, the new party must dedicate itself to the principles of limited government, the lowest possible rates of taxation, local and parental control of education, constitutional government at all levels and in all branches, and steadfast protection, both legal and cultural, of that unit essential to the survival of all human societies: the traditional family.

Members of this new party must promise, not to create new burdens with new legislation, but rather to begin repealing the vast corpus of unnecessary and burdensome laws already on the books. They must promise to repeal the federal personal income tax in its entirety, gradually shifting the onus to corporations. They must promise to begin deconstructing the military-industrial complex about which Eisenhower warned us. They must promise to reverse — using Article III Section 2 powers if necessary — the baleful constitutional interpretations of the past century, such as restrictions on religious liberty in the name of church-state separation; Kelo v. New London’s absurd construction of “public use” for the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause; the First Amendment’s protective mantle over obscenity, blasphemy, and commercial pornography; and many, many others.

The new party’s platform can include these issues, add to them, or subtract from them. The point is that the party must develop a comprehensive program appealing to broad swaths of the American population. Although tens of millions of Americans are cool, even hostile, to the pro-life perspective, many do not place the issue atop their list of priorities. These voters might be persuaded to support the new party if they think their tax burden will be less, or their jobs will be restored, or their children will be better educated.

Let me further develop, however, two points touched on above.

My suggestion to eliminate the federal personal income tax might at first appear naïve or counterproductive. Wouldn’t such an elimination hobble businesses, which would then shoulder the entire burden? Wouldn’t it drive corporations overseas?

First, our corporations are already being driven overseas by the fact that America is among the few industrialized countries without a border-adjusted value-added tax (VAT). The VAT simultaneously adds to the cost of our exports and subsidizes imports into our market. The advantage, considered legal under the World Trade Organization rules, amounts to almost 20 percent of the value of the good.

David Hartman has advocated for many years what he calls a business transfer tax (BTT), introduced at a low level and gradually replacing the existing tax structure until it reaches approximately 20 percent. This would satisfy the needs of government. Even a lower percentage would suffice if our new party gained power and delivered on its promise to shrink government. Finally, the BTT would be border adjustable, protecting our businesses from unfair competition.

No, it would not be naïve to do this. It would help us, rather, to keep our manufacturers, and the jobs they provide, in this country. In the present economic downturn especially, a new party able to tell voters that it is serious about the total elimination of federal taxation and the restoration of the nation’s manufacturing base would send a powerful, almost irresistible, message to tens of millions of voters.

I have saved the most important for last: The new party must reject the siren call of imperialism, the temptation to assure our security with a far-flung military establishment capable of asserting global dominance. Succumbing to that temptation, even on a non-global scale, has been the ruin of the Persian, Roman, Ottoman, British, Japanese, and Russian empires, not to mention the Nazi Third Reich. There is no reason on this blue planet to assume our fate would be different.

Economic dynamism. Political stability. Cultural sanity. And peace—beginning in the wombs of our young mothers.

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The Unrepentant Traditionalist is copyright © 2010 by Frank Creel and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Frank Creel, Ph.D., a columnist and author, was an English teacher in the Peace Corps in Turkey. He is fluent in the Turkish language and in Arabic script.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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