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Op-Ed: Why it’s time for the Constitution Party of Idaho

By • September 7, 2021

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” ~John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States.

Some say that it is impossible to bring in another party, but let’s remember history. In the 1850s there was a two-party system which consisted of the Whig and the Democrat parties. The Republican party upended them both. Conversely, I have not seen a lasting change to the Republican party in Idaho even though a small group of liberty-minded people have attempted bring it back to the constitution and party platform for years.

I’ve been working to further liberty since 2015. It has definitely been long enough to know that conservative values are not winning. We have 105 members of the legislature, and according to the Idaho Freedom Foundation rating, it looks like about 15 of them vote consistently for liberty. Interestingly, these are about the same 15 that showed up to the People’s Special Session in an attempt to respond to the concern of their constituents over the unconstitutional lockdown, suspension of rights, unlawful change of voter law and government overreach into private businesses lead by Governor Brad Little. Fifteen legislators defending your liberty will never be enough, and this number hasn’t changed much over the last few years.

There was a bill in 2015 that would have greatly limited my access to the treatment that was healing me and giving me my life back. I didn’t know much about parties or platforms when medical fascism came knocking on my door. I just knew that I didn’t want anyone dictating treatment for the autoimmune disease that was attacking my body through the removal of my holistic practitioners by the legislature. I decided to exercise my civic duty by letting the legislators know how this bill would affect me. I quickly realized that the Democrats were in favor of government regulation of natural health care, and most Idaho Republicans were as well. I read the party platforms in an attempt to understand the values of these two parties when it came to health care choice or bodily autonomy. I found strong language in the Republican party platform that would support my request for the bill to not be passed and respect my right to access whatever care I desired without government interference. I attempted to make my request known again to the legislature, this time focusing on Republicans, and reminding them of their party platform. To my dismay I was told over and over that they did NOT have to adhere to the platform and that they have the ability to vote the way they saw fit. Well, if they were going to vote against the party platform on this issue, I wondered on what other issues they were willing to stray from the party and the constitution. I was referred to the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s freedom rating, and there I found an overwhelming amount of C, D, and F ratings when it came to voting for freedom. I was perplexed as I again didn’t see a difference between the Rs and the Ds when it came to voting for freedom, or in this case, the lack thereof. Make no mistake, anyone with a C, D, or F on the freedom rating is stealing your freedom. The Republicans seem to be mildly better at stealing your liberty and giving some of it back to you as privileges, but privileges can be easily removed after you have surrendered your liberty.

Fast forward a few years to today. I see conservative values are considered “extremist” and those who seek to defend conservative values are considered “terrorists.” These views of conservatism are shared by most Democrats and many Republicans. Mentioning the constitution seems to be abhorrent, or at the very least, inconsequential to both parties. Idaho establishment Republicans are known as RINOS (Republican In Name Only) for good reason, they don’t vote according to the Republican party platform, but instead vote like Democrats. Why aren’t they honest with the voters in their districts and just run as Democrats? Because, in the majority of Idaho districts, they won’t win with a D by their name. If you want to take conservative Idaho and move it left, what better way to do this than from within what the majority see as the conservative party?

“Attached is an updated analysis of our Idaho legislators with their combined freedom index and spending index scores averaged. The questions remain: Is Idaho really red? The data says that Idaho is blue. This is an independent evaluation and analysis. Take a look at the data and you decide.

The combined freedom index and spending index gives a more accurate indication of where an individual legislator stands and gives a clearer picture of how conservative or liberal our Idaho legislature really is.

Keep in mind that this analysis and grading is an independent attempt, separate from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, to understand the political condition of the Idaho legislature.
Here are some facts from the data.

Only nine members of the House received an “A” grade, and one member of the Senate.

  • Only fifteen members of the House earned a score of 80% or better, giving them a rating of conservative. Only two Senators received an 80% or better rating, placing them in the conservative category. Depending on your definition of “conservative”, this rating may be up for debate.
  • Sixteen House members earned a “purple” rating, indicating they are “moderate” at best. This is the 60-79 percent category. In the Senate, only one earned the “purple” status with a score of 70%.
  • In the House, 38 members earned a 57% score or less, placing them in the liberal or Democrat category, and earning the failing grade of “F”. This is over 50% of our House members that actually legislate as liberal Democrats regardless of their party affiliation. The Senate has 32 out of 35 legislators earning a 45% or lower score, giving the Senate a 91% failure rate. Thirty-two Senators earned an “F” for failure.“With over 50% of the House members and over 90% of the Senate members scoring in the blue category and earning a failing grade to uphold conservative values and limiting the growth of government, I can only conclude the Idaho legislature is blue.” ~Tim Kastning

Does it appear to you like it does to me that the republican party has been hijacked by the left? The notion that we can change the party from within is a hamster wheel designed by the establishment to keep you busy running while they steal your freedom one legislative session after another. I’ve put blood sweat and tears into working bills at the capitol only to have a chairman put it into the drawer never to be voted on by their committees. I wonder what the committee member’s freedom rating would be if they ever got to vote on the pro-freedom bills that are put in drawers year after year. But that’s the beauty of being a chairman, you have the authority to protect the rest of the cronies from voting and being on the record by not allowing the bill to be heard, debated, and voted on. In my opinion a citizen bill should always be put to the front of the line, while lobbyist bills should go to the back. But good luck finding an establishment selected chairman to allow such a bill to be heard.

Can you continue to align yourself with a party that is pro-abortion, pro-federal government overreach, anti-freedom of speech, anti-citizen activism, and is stealing your freedom year after year?

Can you continue to align yourself with a party that attacks those who vote according to the party platform while supporting those who continuously vote anti-freedom? I can no longer, in good conscience, have my name associated with the Republican party that has been taken over by the likes of Senator Martin, Senator Patrick, Representative Wood, Speaker Bedke, and Governor Little. The Republican party not only supports and promotes these RINOS with zero accountability for straying so far from the party platform that they are not even recognizable as Republicans by their vote.

So how do we make a change? I believe the Constitution Party is the solution. What better way to get the Overton window of the Republican party to shift than by an exodus from the Republican party. It’s the same principle of free market capitalism. If the people aren’t happy with the product, they will go elsewhere. For example, when the Boise Co-Op came to Meridian, I saw an increase in organic items at Walmart. Nothing tells the Republican party that they need to be more conservative like losing members, elections, and money to the Constitution Party.

Do not fear, you can vote your conscience and defend the republic without stealing votes from conservative Republicans at the primary elections. The solution is clear, vote as a Republican in the primaries. When you change your party affiliation after the primaries you will still have all options available to you on your ballot and be able to vote your conscience while also sending a message to the GOP that you want change. Some may argue that you may cost the Republican seat to the Democrat. To that I would assert that if we get the likes of someone like Crapo representing us in DC, we might as well have a Democrat. This is truly a low-cost high-reward endeavor. My favorite part being that I finally feel free to vote my conscience.

Is this a “radical” attempt to save the republic? Maybe it is. I can only hope to be as “radical” as our forefathers who risked their very lives for the beautiful experiment that we call America.

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Tags: Constitution Party of Idaho, Idaho Freedom Foundation, Idaho Freedom Index, Miste Gardner, Tim Kastning

14 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Why it’s time for the Constitution Party of Idaho

  1. I agree. The Republican party is largely RINO, led by the two US senator’s who recently voted with Uber RINO Romney to ignite out of control inflation. We are all feeling the brunt of this now. Time for a full Constitutional reset of the entire Fedgov.

  2. Kudos to you. As a new arrival to Idaho, I was shocked at how liberal the legislature was after reading the IFF’s performance index.

  3. Good Op-Ed Miste, thank you.

    A Great “coup d’etat” would be to convince the house and senate legislators with an IFF rating of 80% or more to join the Constitutional Party all the same day.

    The only reason many stay with the republican party is, as you note, to try and vote the many swamp rats out in the primaries.

    There is zero pride in being a Republican in Idaho. Idaho may well be the most liberal republican state in the union.

  4. The Rino swamp creatures are way worse than the democratic liberals. I have forsaken the Republicans as they let the election be taken illegally with no fight for Trump. They will never see another dollar from me. Constitution Party for me

  5. Well written article that reflects my own sentiments exactly! However I do have a question regarding one subject touched upon:
    How does one “change their party affiliation?” Is there somewhere I can go to make the change online? In person? Or some obscure box to check prior to voting on the form provided?

    None of the “alternative party” choices (Green party, Nader-related, etc.) have been enticing enough to me previously to really consider changing parties, but I was always frustrated with the choices that the so-called “conservative” Republican party offered. I now feel very much as if I will absolutely change my party affiliation, but just want to make sure that it actually happens when the rolls are taken.
    Thank you to anyone who might be able to enlighten me, and perhaps many others, on this subject.

  6. Recently Representative Dixon from North Idaho said publicly that Committee Chairmen have the recognized power to hold up bills from the citizens process. Who gave away this power to thwart the people? Where is it stated in statute or legislative rules? Or is this another rule that was made up by the Lord Siths of House and Senate and is now practiced without impunity?

    1. Inquiring Minds would like to know: How many Bills can be stuffed into a Committee Chariman’s/Chairwoman’s “Drawers” before their “Drawers” begin to Stink?

  7. Great article Miste. Thank you. I quit the Republican party in January of this year. I had had more than enough. It is way past time to get out of their corrupt organization. I’d rather face an enemy than be stabbed in the back.

  8. A question though:

    How does a new party – with a new name – change the dynamic in any way?

    What stops RINOs from becoming CINOs?

    Politicians are always frustrating. It’s been that way for centuries. If your platform is the same or similar, but you abandon one organization because you’re frustrated with the politicians there, only to start a new organization that will elect more politicians, I think we’ve missed the point.

    We don’t need a new party. We need new ways to activate and inform voters so that they can do a better job of holding their representatives accountable.

    1. Excellent point, Mr. Contos! The key word is “accountability”. BUT, if the CPI is a more conservative option to the GOP here in Idaho, I am definitely in favor of helping them give the GOP a run for their money. And that’s the other key word… “Money”. When the GOP see they are losing $$ because people are abandoning their party, as I have done (and others like me), then maybe THAT is a form of accountability in some small way.

  9. I emailed Kevin Miller on KIDO 580AM and told him he should invite CPI leadership onto his show to talk about the viable Idaho party alternative to the RINO GOP. No response… but I’ll keep trying!

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