SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Oct. 15, 2010) — Most of the loudest applause at Tuesday’s candidate forum went to Republican Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville, who is challenging 17-term Congressman Ike Skelton for his seat in the House of Representatives.
Constitution Party candidate Greg Cowan speaks at the Waynesville-St. Robert Senior Citizens Center candidate forum.
However, a third-party candidate, Greg Cowan of Lebanon, received considerable applause from the audience for positions such as eliminating what he called the “unconstitutional position of czar” in the executive departments, cutting foreign aid, getting the United States out of the United Nations, repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution which allow a federal income tax and direct election of senators, creating a process to allow the recall of members of congress, drilling domestic oil to make the United States self-sufficient in energy, creating term limits for all elected officials, and eliminating congressional retirements and pensions.
Hartzler has advocated only a few of Cowan’s positions, but some of her loudest supporters at the candidate forum were happy to hear views advocated by a candidate considerably more conservative than the Republican nominee.
Cowan, a retired lieutenant commander in the Navy who served 23 years in uniform after enlisting as a seaman and later rising through the ranks before his 2004 retirement, said his military experience will help him in Congress.
“I know how to get things done in really big organizations. There is nothing that is done in congress that is any more difficult than anything I did in the Navy,” Cowan said.
So why run as a member of a minor party that has little chance of actually winning?
Cowan said it’s important to remind people what the Constitution actually says and elect people who will do what the Constitution says rather than being professional politicians.
“I believe it is time to fire them all, not just a few,” Cowan said.
“They’ve created an elite political class with two political parties excluding all others, and they seem to rule over us rather than govern us in accordance with the Constitution,” Cowan said. “They want us to believe that they have found their copies of the Constitution and finally read it. They want us to believe that somehow they care going to create jobs where none exist anymore. Government doesn’t create jobs; government creates an environment where businesses stay and grow or close and go.”
Noting that many from the conservative “Tea Party” movement support a third party in American politics, Cowan said the two existing parties don’t offer viable solutions.
“As we said in the Navy, if the flooding puts out the fire the ship is still lost,” Cowan said. “The Constitution Party is that viable third party.”
According to Cowan, bad policy decisions are turning America into a third-world country, not only unable to place a man on the moon, as was done in 1969, but even to deal with flooding and hurricanes and oil rig leaks. Free trade is sending American jobs overseas while leading to uncontrolled illegal immigration, he said, and the government is failing in its primary task to protect human life by allowing abortion.
“Basically our government has abandoned the legal American citizens in southern Arizona; they still tax them, though,” Cowan said, urging repeal of free trade laws from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, while aggressively enforcing immigration laws and passing a “sanctity of life” amendment to the Constitution banning abortion. According to Cowan, the federal government should deploy the military to protect its borders, but state governments should protect their own borders if the federal government won’t.
“In the course of 30 or 40 years, free trade legislation destroyed our manufacturing base and left millions of Americans without work,” Cowan said.
According to Cowan, the United States has lost 42,000 factories since 2001, with 2.4 million jobs going to China alone.
“Remember when there were factories that employed thousands of people in the Fourth District?” Cowan asked. “Think about what has happened in the last 40 years to our country. If we send another Republican or another Democrat, the question has to be, ‘Will we get more of the same?’ I believe the solutions are in the Constitution.”
“Let’s put America first and put America back to work,” Cowan said.
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