The dissatisfaction of some voters with the presidential nominees for the 2012 election has led to a few candidates running on the independent party label. Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) is among one of these candidates.
The unlikely possibility that Goode wins Virginia — which has thirteen electoral votes— could represent a loss for Romney (‘spoiler’ effect) has the Republican Party urging Goode to drop out. It could be a repeat performance of Florida 2000 when Ralph Nader (Green Party) who took 2.74% of the popular vote — in preventing Al Gore from winning Florida.
Third party candidates often face an uphill battle when running against presidential nominees because of a lack in name recognition and financing for their campaign. Goode is not supported by any PAC and relies on small donations of less than $200.
According to Geoffrey Skelley, political analyst at University of Virginia’s Center for Politics —third party candidates often perform better on national polls than they do on Election Day. This is not good news for Goode who polled at 2% in September.
Prior to running as an independent candidate, he served in Congress as a Democrat, Independent and Republican and is now listed on 25 ballots (despite a petition fraud investigation launched by the state Republican Party) has successfully managed to get on the ballot as September 4th.
Here is where Goode stands on the issues:
Goode — an ultra-conservative candidate is in favor of energy independence, balancing the federal budget now, against foreign trade and foreign aid. On the education front, he would eliminate the Department of Education and voted “no” to requiring states to test students. Students like Jonathan Shearrod would have a problem with this. He was profiled in a CNN story yesterday regarding the decision by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan to file a lawsuit on behalf of the failing school district in Highland Park, Michigan. They conclude that the state had failed to teach students basic literacy skills. On an exam where the test subject was the Civil War, he passed in large part — due to his “…grandmother and PBS.” Considering the criticism of government funding to PBS, this shows how critical the show is. The new superintendent wants to implement is mandatory testing of literacy skills — the very subject matter that Goode would be opposed to.
Immigration. Goode wants to implement a near complete ban on the issuance of green cards until the unemployment rate is below 5%. He thinks that the U.S. is too liberal with its current immigration policy and if elected, would curtail immigration — legal or illegal. Coming from New York, I can’t imagine this extreme position resonating with the masses. Mayors Rahm Emmanuel and Michael Bloomberg want to develop their respective cities to be as immigrant-friendly as possible.
He blasts the positions of both candidates — Obama in particular for his DREAM Act directive. Goode wants to protect manufacturing jobs for Americans — and sees himself as the lone protector of American interests.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, an advocacy group — manufacturing comprises 11.7% of U.S. GDP and ranks as the world’s largest manufacturing economy. Goode’s isolationist approach can’t work in a globalized economy. It’s unrealistic to expect one nation to be able to produce all the goods for the entire world.
Goode has been known for his controversial 2006 letter criticizing the use of Rep. Keith Ellison’s (first Muslim member of Congress) use of the Quran during the swearing-in process, Goode expressed:
"The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran."
"I think having so much immigration is a negative for the United States ... I'm sure the Muslim groups like diversity visas. So many come in — it's just a lottery system, you can jump to the head of the line with diversity visas."
Not only is this statement an affront to religious freedom, a right guaranteed in the Constitution but he also holds some misinformed notions on the number of caps placed on green-card issuance. The New Yorker asserts that caps placed on green cards have not changed since 1990 even though the US economy is now 66% bigger.
The irony, though, is that Canada — our northern neighbor that openly courts skilled immigrants announced yesterday that it is tightening its borders against Americans who might leave the country after November 6.