Questions for presidential candidate Michael Peroutka:
1. Why have you decided to run for president?
Well thank you, I have decided to run for president because America needs a president who is committed to what I am going to call an American understanding of law and government. America needs a choice, and the Constitution Party (search) position, and my position, is that America doesn’t really have that choice now. The two major parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, from a pre-suppositional point of view, that is to say what they believe about law and government, both really are the same. They’ve actually merged together. So what we have really is one major party and no real alternative in America. So the Constitution Party and Michael Anthony Peroutka (search) hope to provide that opportunity to people.
When I say that there’s an American view, it’s just simply this: that the Declaration of Independence (search) recognizes that there is a creator, God. Thomas Jefferson (search) couldn’t have said “all men are created equal” without pre-supposing that there’s a creator God and that rights come from him. The purpose of government is to protect secure and defend those rights, not to re-distribute everybody’s wealth, which is pretty much the pre-supposition that exists in the major parties today.
• Click here for more on where Peroutka stands on the issues.
2. What in your background qualifies you for the presidency?
Well I am running for the presidency based on my understanding of the Constitution. Let me just say what qualifies me in my background from a constitutional standpoint is that I am 35 years old, I was born in the United States and I have been a resident of the United States for the last 14 years. From a constitutional point of view, that’s really the only qualifications that are called for. From the standpoint of my past, I have been in business and I have run my family and my law firm — now those aren’t national positions but I have come to be convicted that those in positions of authority in America generally have left the understanding of American law and government that I referred to earlier.
Someone needs to do this. I really didn’t dream that it would be Michael Peroutka that would do this, but I have been speaking on the Constitution, I helped to form an organization called Institute of the Constitution (search), and I have been speaking about these matters across the country for the past few years. That speaking and involvement led the Constitution Party to ask me if I would consider running.
3. Why have you decided to seek the nomination of the Constitution Party?
Well, I decided to seek the nomination of the Constitution Party because the Constitution Party is the party that is committed to these underlying principles that I’m going to say are the underlying principles of American government. Again, to understand what I mean you would have to understand that really a revolution has taken place since our founding. My candidacy would represent a counterrevolution. The founders of our country and the principles that they stood for, Jefferson, Adams, Washington; those men, if they were alive today, would be members, not of the Democratic or Republican parties, but they would be members of the Constitution Party. Because the Constitution Party would stand for the principles that they stood for, which is basically fidelity to that document and a limitation on centralized power and centralized authority. Our founders would have called that, not centralized power, but consolidated power, and consolidated power is what they feared the most. Today, we have a situation where the federal government in Washington, D.C., has the reach of their tentacles to actually tell you how big your toilet bowl can be and how much water your washing machine can hold. So we have a situation where federal power has gone far beyond what it was designed to be. There’s a consolidation there that’s really unhealthy for America. It’s unhealthy for the American people and the American culture.
4. Does the Constitution Party have the mechanics and manpower to support a presidential candidate or a president for that manner?
I believe the Constitution Party has the infrastructure to do exactly that. In any third party movement it is a difficult uphill battle. The campaign laws in all 50 states are determined by the major parties, it’s a difficult job to get major media coverage, just as it’s difficult to get ballot access. So, third party movements are difficult things by their very nature. I believe that as a third party, like the Constitution Party, which has fidelity to the Constitution and fidelity to an American view of government, I believe that those people who are qualified — and there are many qualified in the Constitution Party — those that are qualified will gravitate toward that principled understanding.
5. What is your religious affiliation and how will it affect your campaign and possible presidency?
Well, I was raised Roman Catholic. I began then to be influenced by a reform Presbyterian movement. I actually attend a Protestant church now. I don’t think the denomination is actually as important as we believe. I would bring to my office a Christian understanding and a Christian worldview, which is the worldview that America was based on. There’s nothing improper, in fact, there is something improper about not bringing your worldview and not bringing Christianity to the presidency and to the public office. We live in an age where because of the myth of separation of church and state and the myth that character doesn’t count … we live in an age where we have stopped looking at candidates' characters, and candidates' characters [are] the thing that our founding fathers looked at. It’s actually a lie to believe that a man’s private life and how he’s going to act publicly are two separate and distinct and compartmentalized things. If you go to scripture, 2nd Timothy lays forth what would be acceptable for a church leader. In those 17 characteristics mentioned, only one has anything to do with knowledge, the other 16 have to do with a man’s character. So character is the most important thing and certainly, historically in America, that’s what our founding fathers looked for in their leaders, and that’s what we should look for in our leaders.
6. What is you affiliation with former Justice Roy Moore (search) of Alabama?
I am proud to say that Chief Justice Roy Moore is a friend of mine. I have known him for a few years. I met him a few years ago when he gave a speech in Virginia that I attended. I have the privilege of being his friend. I admire him greatly. I believe that what happened to him in Alabama, where he lost his job, lost his position and is still actually fighting to retain it, is a very important issue in America. Because what we have here is a federal judge telling the highest elected judicial official in the state that he can’t acknowledge God, when his oath and the Constitution of the state of Alabama call for him to acknowledge God. If we haven’t turned the First Amendment on its head in that case, then my name is not Michael Anthony Peroutka; because we have a situation where a federal judge is making up something and calling [it] law. We need in America, I think, a renewal and a greater education among our people to understand what real law really comes from. Real law comes from God and the supreme law of the land is the Constitution of the United States. In the case of Chief Justice Roy Moore, it’s the Constitution of Alabama that he sought to defend and protect. He was faced with obeying a federal judge's order or his own oath. I think he did the honorable thing and I think he is an American hero.
7. What do you say to those who think that voting for a third party is throwing away your vote?
I get this question a lot. I am asked, “Michael why would you do this if you don’t have a chance to win?” And I say I don’t believe in chance, I believe in God’s providence. And when people say, “Isn’t this a wasted vote?” I would respond to them, what could be more of a wasted vote than to vote for somebody who has demonstrated that they are not going to obey the Constitution. When you listen to either President George Bush, in the State of the Union address when he talks about more funding for education, which is not authorized by Article I Section 8 of the Constitution. When John Kerry (search) or other Democratic candidates in their debates talked about a whole range of programs including national health insurance, more spending on education or things that were not and are not authorized by the United States Constitution, you are listening to people who are telling you that are going to break their oath of office even before they take it.
So, I would ask people who ask me that question, what could be more of a wasted vote than to vote for somebody who is not going to uphold an American view of law and government, who is not going to have fidelity to the Constitution, and who doesn’t believe what you believe. If you do believe that we need to return to constitutional government, if you do believe we need to acknowledge God, honor God, defend the family, and restore the republic, if you believe those things then it’s a wasted vote to do anything else than vote for a candidate who does expound upon and believe those particular things. Please, I ask people, do not waste your vote on Democrats and Republicans who have demonstrated their infidelity to the Constitution.
Questions for former Chief Justice Roy Moore:
1. Please explain, in your own words, the conditions under which you were removed from office in Alabama.
I was removed from office by the court of judiciary who felt that the failure to obey an order of a federal district judge constituted an ethical violation. They did not inquire into the reasons I did not obey the federal district judge. Indeed, to obey an unlawful order is a violation of the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
This federal judge usurped his own jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the state of Alabama when he entered an unlawful order forbidding the state from acknowledging God as the sovereign source of law, liberty and government. He said, in his own words, in closing argument, the issue is can the state acknowledge God? And he said no.
Indeed, the state of Alabama acknowledges God, as well as does virtually every other constitution of every state in the union, in its preamble. When it says that we the people of the state of Alabama in order to establish justice … it goes on to say invoking the severance of almighty God.
So the acknowledgement of God in the state constitution is clear and evident. It also is contained in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution when it says that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press or right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
The first part being the clauses relating to religion, that word itself, defined by the Supreme Court in 1878, 1890 and as late as 1947 was the duties, which we owe to the creator and the manner of discharging it. The word itself recognizes a creator God.
For this judge who said he could not define the words in the First Amendment, the word religion, he said that the court did not have the expertise to define the word. Indeed, thought it was dangerous and unwise to define. When he fails to define the words, he can’t interpret the statute, which is the role of the judge.
The role of the judge is not to make law, but to interpret law. Now this judge, quite frankly, made law and said that we could not recognize God. So it’s an unlawful order, to which I was not bound to obey. In fact, it would have violated my oath to obey such an order. That ruling of the court of the judiciary is now in appeal to a special body of selected justices, and appellate justices in the state and is awaiting a ruling any day now.
2. Are you making progress or trying to become reinstated?
I am appealing the decision of court of the judiciary, and if we do not get an acceptable ruling by this specially-appointed court then we will proceed, probably to the United States Supreme Court (search) on a matter of the First Amendment and religious provisions in the Alabama State Constitution.
3. What is your affiliation with Michael Peroutka and the Constitution Party?
I have known Mr. Peroutka for several years. He has been promoting the Institute on the Constitution, which is a study of the Constitution, and its underlying principles. I support his efforts to do that. He has spoken at various places around the country at which I have also been a party.
I know him to be a man of great integrity and a scholar on the Constitution, which is greatly needed. I see a very great deficit of understanding in the present political climate of our country. People do not understand what the Constitution means or what it stands for. Indeed, if we are to remain a free and prosperous nation we’ve got to understand that the Constitution of the United States is a document that has provided those liberties and freedoms that we greatly cherish, and we will lose if we don’t understand what the Constitution means or says
4. Will you be voting for Michael Peroutka in the presidential election?
The way I vote is my private conviction. Now, I will say that I consider Michael Peroutka a very worthy candidate and one of the highest integrity and understanding of the Constitution, which I find lacking in both major political parties.
5. Tell me, in your own words, about the Foundation for Moral Law (search)?
The Foundation for Moral Law exists to promote the foundation for moral law. The understanding that our nation is predicated on the organic law of our country, the Declaration of Independence (search), and what that means, what the words "law of nature" and "nature’s God" means. Our forefathers used those words in the Constitution; they had a particular and direct meaning relating to scriptural precepts and the natural understanding of God. Today, that very understanding is being undermined by federal courts that say we can’t recognize a God. So I think that the Foundation for Moral Law exists to promote the moral values of our law.
6. Will you or the foundation be officially endorsing Michael Peroutka for President?
In my capacity, I cannot endorse a particular candidate. I would probably support his running for president. The Foundation for Moral Law can’t take part in a political campaign. What I do privately, in my personal capacity, has nothing to do with what the foundation does. Everybody’s got a private capacity and I am affiliated with the foundation — it doesn’t have anything to do with what I personally do.
7. What do you say to those who think that voting for a third party is throwing away your vote?
You have to vote with your principle. You have to stand on principle. What’s the old song? "You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything?" If you don’t stand on principle what do you stand up on? George Wallace (search) once said that the difference between political parties sometimes is not worth a dime. And sometimes that’s true. If we don’t stand on the principles that underline the Constitution, you’ve got nothing left.