The Constitution Party, the 2nd Amendment, and Liberty
Freelance writer Mark Chesnut Interviews Constitution Party National Chairman James N. Clymer for Firearms News
August 19, 2021
The Party of “Integrity, Liberty, & Prosperity!”
At a time when the Second Amendment is under fire like never before, many feel it is becoming more and more obvious that America’s two-party system is broken. While we can always count on Democrats to attack the Second Amendment and try to further infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms, Republicans in Congress and many state legislators can’t always be counted upon to stand in the gap and fight the good fight.
That’s why many Americans have chosen to scrap both parties and become Independents. Others have joined one of the smaller parties that have come on the scene over the last few decades. However, many Americans believe those small parties just aren’t viable alternatives to the old way things have been done since our country’s founding.
James Clymer would disagree with that assessment. Clymer, the national Chairman of the Constitution Party, recently agreed to answer a few questions for Firearms News readers.
Firearms News: In a nutshell, what is the Constitution Party’s central belief?
James Clymer: That we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe that our Constitution was framed in adherence to the principle that rights come from God and that the foundation of our jurisprudence should be reflective of the moral code of the Bible and as applied in the Common Law. Thus, we believe in strict adherence to the Constitution in accord with the original intent of its framers.
FN: What is the Constitution Party’s stance on what the Second Amendment really means?
JC: It means quite literally what it says. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, certain rights are recognized as being bestowed by God and governments are instituted to secure those rights. The right to keep and bear arms is recognized as one of those rights and the Second Amendment is designed to make sure that right is secured to the people. It is a right that “shall not be infringed” by any governing authority.
FN: What about citizens owning machine guns without restrictive regulations? Artillery?
JC: At the time the Second Amendment was adopted, the average citizen had available pretty much the same type of arms as the military of the governing bodies. Quite clearly the drafters intended that the militia, that is the armed citizens, have the necessary arms to avert the nefarious actions of a government bent on tyranny. That would include whatever types of arms that would be available.
FN: Where do you see the current administrations taking the right to keep and bear arms?
JC: It is clear by both words and actions of this administration that it is intending to look for any opportunity to infringe on the right that the Second Amendment is intended to secure.
FN: With the seeming rapid deterioration of the two-party system into one giant failed disaster, what’s that mean for the Constitution Party?
JC: It presents a magnificent opportunity! I see the Constitution Party as the ark for those who desire to preserve our Republic. Although there may be a few in the Republican Party who are trying to stay the plunge into tyranny and socialism or worse, the dominant forces within that party have no commitment to restoring Constitutional government.
Question: What do you think keeps most Americans from embracing a third party like yours and clinging to the old system?
JC: It is the perception that we cannot win. The belief is prevalent that to accomplish anything, it must be done within one of the major parties. Unfortunately, perception is too often reality in politics and that is the hurdle we have to overcome.
FN: What is your party’s plan to overcome the two-party system?
JC: We need to find a way to get out the message. Our plan is to do that through a multi-faceted approach that includes (1) recruiting good candidates for many different offices, focusing primarily on races where we can distinguish ourselves from the candidates of the major parties and races where there is only one candidate on the ballot; (2) doing a better job at achieving ballot access so people see our party on the ballot; (3) recruiting articulate spokesmen who can articulate the positions of the party on many different media outlets; and (4) identifying groups who may be promoting one or more issues that are strong issues of the Constitution Party and work with them and their members.
FN: Are you recruiting your members to run for local, state and federal offices?
FN: How long do you believe it will be before the Constitution Party has a real chance at winning the presidency?
JC: If we could recruit someone with a national presence on the order of Donald Trump or Ross Perot (although Perot certainly would not have fit with the beliefs of the Constitution Party), it could be achieved very quickly. The dilemma otherwise of course is the extreme cost of competing on the national stage.
FN: What are the current roadblocks for that to happen?
JC: Raising the tens of millions of dollars (or even hundreds of millions) that it would take for anyone (other than someone with a lesser national prominence than someone like Donald Trump) to become nationally known with an opportunity to get out the message of restoring our Constitutional Republic.
FN: Is former Constitution Party presidential candidate Don Blankenship assisting with any funding OR support of the party?
JC: He has assisted with funding and is giving support to the party but not in a big way.
FN: What encourages you about the future of the party?
JC: The Americans who still believe in the principles that have undergirded our institutions of government in years past and who have a fervent desire to restore those principles to our governance.
FN: What keeps you going every day knowing it’s an uphill battle?
JC: I draw inspiration from George Washington’s statement during the debates at the Constitutional Convention when agreement on a Constitution seemed almost hopeless. “If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disbelieve, how can we afterward defend our work. Let us raise the standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hands of God.”
FN: What do Americans need to do right now to save our country’s future?
JC: Become informed. Research and read original documents, especially the Constitution, rather than relying on what others say about it. Seek discernment. Challenge our public servants in a civil but firm manner to honor their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Get involved in the political process by investing time, treasure and talent in either supporting those who are running for office, not for personal aggrandizement, but to promote the liberty attained through Constitutional governance or in running for office for that purpose, or both.
To learn more about the Constitution Party, what it stands for and how to become involved, visit the party website.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications, LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.