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Charles Obadiah "Chuck" Baldwin (born May 3, 1952) is an Americanmarker politician and founder-pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacolamarker, Floridamarker. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election and had previously been its nominee for U.S. vice president in 2004. He hosts a daily one-hour radio program, "Chuck Baldwin Live", and writes a daily editorial column carried on its website, on News With Views, on VDare, and in several newspapers.

As a Republican Party member, Baldwin was state chair of the Floridamarker Moral Majority in the 1980s. However, during the 2000 campaign of Republican George W. Bush for U.S. President, Baldwin vacated the party and began a long period of criticism of Bush. Baldwin endorsed U.S. Representative Ron Paul for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, and Paul in turn endorsed Baldwin for the presidency in the 2008 general election.

Baldwin supports lessening U.S. involvement in the United Nations, reducing U.S. income taxes and repeal of the Patriot Act. He would withdraw troops from Iraqmarker, seek to end illegal immigration, and enforce stricter immigration laws. Emphasizing "America's Christian heritage", he supports the gold standard, the right to keep and bear arms, homeschooling, and pro-life legislation such as the Sanctity of Life Act

Family and education

Baldwin's father, Edwin J. "Ed" Baldwin, was born on March 1, 1907, in Lake, Michigan, to Zora Mary Baldwin (1889–1973) and Arthur Baldwin (1881–1962), a farmer, carpenter, and construction foreman. The family moved to Little Rockmarker, Arkansasmarker, before 1910, after which Ed's four siblings Ruth, Nina, Arthur (Bud), and Eugene (Gene) were born. Ed grew up to marry Sarah L. Baldwin, became a master welder, and was loyal to the Teamsters union and the Democratic Party; Bud was a master plumber and Gene a grade one machinist.

In response to the bombing of Pearl Harbormarker, the three brothers volunteered for World War II on December 8, 1941: Bud served the U.S. Navy throughout the war, Gene became a U.S. Marine and was wounded in the Pacific, and Ed was asked to serve at home and, in his son's retelling, was then selected to help construct the first atomic bomb. However, Ed had also lost his first wife due to his years of alcoholism.

After the war, Ed left Arkansas and found work in La Porte, Indianamarker (where he lived until his death in early 1993); he was the only one of the Baldwin clan (also including his in-laws) not to remain a lifelong Arkansanmarker. In 1947, while in poor health, Ed "gave his heart to the Lord" in a salvation experience, and reportedly never drank again. Ed had remarried, and conducted a successful volunteer chaplaincy in La Porte County Jail, Indiana State Prisonmarker, and other northern Indianamarker prisons for 35 years; he was regarded as an effective soulwinner and as having a special ministry to black inmates. Ed's life story was dramatized for radio by Pacific Garden Missionmarker for its "Unshackled!" series.

Ed's son, Charles "Chuck" Baldwin, was born in La Porte, Indianamarker, in La Porte County, on May 3, 1952. Baldwin graduated from La Porte High School in 1971, and attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michiganmarker, for two years. He met Connie Kay Cole there, and married her on June 2, 1973. Though he originally had planned on a career in law enforcement, Baldwin felt called to evangelistic ministry; he moved permanently to the south, and enrolled in, and graduated with a Bible diploma from, the Thomas Road Bible Institute (now the Liberty Bible Institute at Liberty Universitymarker). He then earned his bachelor's and master's in theology through external programs from Christian Bible College in Rocky Mount, North Carolinamarker. Baldwin has received two honorary doctor of divinity degrees, from Christian Bible College and from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Floridamarker.

On June 22, 1975, Chuck and Connie Baldwin and four other individuals held the first meeting of what would become the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacolamarker, Floridamarker; Baldwin was the founding pastor. By 1985 the church had gone through repeated building programs and been recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence. Its speakers have included Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan, and Judge Roy Moore.

The Baldwins have three children. Sarah is the oldest; she and her husband, structural engineer Allan Baker, are church youth leaders and have three children of their own, Emily, Jay, and Amy. Second is Christopher (Chris), who owns a plumbing business; he and his wife, contractor Jana Baldwin née McCoy, also have three children (the oldest is Charles). Third is Timothy, who is still single; he became a felony prosecutor for the Florida Attorney General after law school, and is also a church special music leader.

Political activity

Until he became a Republican in 1980, Baldwin had been a registered Democrat, like his father. From 1980 to 1984, Baldwin served as Pensacola chair and then state executive director of the Floridamarker Moral Majority, organized by Rev. Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg, Virginiamarker. Baldwin helped carry the state twice for Reagan electors; he says he helped Falwell register some fifty thousand Christian conservative voters. Even Baldwin's father Ed, a lifelong Democrat, expressed grudging admiration for what he saw as Reagan's honesty and courage. By the mid-1990s, Baldwin had a call-in radio show on the Christian Patriot Network.

In 2000, however, Baldwin left the Republican Party on grounds that the BushCheney ticket was too liberal. Baldwin has said that many evangelical minds, similarly to ministers in Nazi Germany, have seemingly given Bush "the aura of an American Fuhrer". He considered himself an independent affiliated with the Constitution Party.

At about this time, Baldwin began hosting a local daily one-hour current-events radio program, "Chuck Baldwin Live", which continues today nationwide on the Genesis Communications Network. He writes a daily editorial column carried on its website, on VDare, and in several newspapers. He has also appeared on numerous television shows and radio shows; in churches across the country; and as the keynote speaker for the 50th anniversary of D-Day at Naval Air Station Pensacolamarker.

2004 vice presidential campaign

In the 2004 presidential election, Baldwin was the running mate of Michael Peroutka of Marylandmarker, and was the candidate for U.S. vice president on the Constitution Party ticket, the Alaskan Independence Party ticket, and other tickets and qualified write-in slots in 42 states. The two ran on a platform of "For God, Family, and the Republic". The Peroutka–Baldwin campaign publicly spoke out against abortion, women in the military, and the Iraq War, and emphasized the Bible, traditional family values, and the need for Constitutionally limited government.

On August 14, 2004, the Clarion Call to Converge Committee hosted discussions of potential strategic merger among the America First Party, the American Independent Party, and the Independent American Party; invited Constitution Party chair Jim Clymer was unable to attend due to Hurricane Charley. While the Committee found the meeting favorable toward some party merger, AFP national chair Dan Charles saw other forms of party cooperation to be more likely. In the end, the four parties succeeded in uniting to endorse Peroutka–Baldwin as their 2004 presidential ticket.

Peroutka and Baldwin were also endorsed by many paleoconservatives, the Alaskan Independence Party, the League of the South (accepted by Peroutka at its 2004 national convention), the Southern Party of Georgiamarker, Samuel T. Francis, Alex Jones, Howard Phillips, and Taki Theodoracopulos. Pat Buchanan also stated there was a chance he would vote for Peroutka–Baldwin, counting them as "a Buchananite party", but eventually endorsed Bush. The ticket came in fifth with 143,630 votes (0.12%) and spent $728,221, somewhat less per vote than either George W. Bush or John Kerry. It was the only third party to increase its share of the vote in 2004.

Interim activity

In the Constitution Party's April 2006 national convention in Tampa, Floridamarker, a heated disaffiliation vote forced members to choose between one of two pro-life positions. The assembly voted not to disaffiliate the Independent American Party of Nevada over the more exceptive position of its gubernatorial candidate, Christopher H. Hansen. Baldwin voted in favor of disaffiliation, favoring the more conservative position. Baldwin remained with the party, but several conservative state parties subsequently voted to leave the national party, believing it to have unacceptably compromised its pro-life platform; rump factions have been orchestrated by the national Constitution Party in some of these states.

On August 30, 2007, Baldwin wrote an effective endorsement for Ron Paul for the GOP nomination: "Conservative Republicans have only one choice for President in 2008: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas"; more formal endorsement of Paul came in a December video. That same month, Baldwin complained of the false dichotomy of the two-party system:

Baldwin has been featured as a guest on The Political Cesspool.

2008 presidential campaign

Baldwin's vice presidential run, and Peroutka's withdrawal from the national Constitution Party, led to active 2006 speculation that Baldwin would seek the presidential nomination in 2008. Baldwin responded in October that "I have learned to never say never, but I have no desire to run. [It] would require several 'miraculous' signs of reassurance that, frankly, I cannot see happening. However, I am always open to God's will." He repeated this stance through March 2008.

Baldwin announced on April 10, two weeks before the national convention was held in Kansas City, Missourimarker, that he would make himself available for the party's nomination at the convention, while "not 'running'", but continuing to seek God's will. A Nolan Chart writer conveyed speculation that Baldwin's availability may have been responsive to the sudden candidacy of former ambassador Alan Keyes, who strongly favored the Iraq war; Baldwin, a noninterventionist, admitted others "have urged me to place my name in nomination." In a convention speech, party founder Howard Phillips endorsed Baldwin and controversially referred to Keyes as a neocon and a too-recent Republican.

Baldwin was nominated on April 26, 2008, after what was described as the most contentious battle in the party's 16-year history. He received 383.8 votes, ahead of Keyes, who drew 125.7 votes from delegates; Keyes had abandoned the Republicans for the Constitution Party (one month before the Constitution Party convention), much as Baldwin had done in 2000. Party members such as national chairman Jim Clymer said Baldwin's stands were more in line with party thinking. Baldwin asked the convention to nominate bankruptcy attorney Darrell Castle of Tennesseemarker as his running mate, and this request was honored.

After Ron Paul withdrew from the Republican campaign in June, he remained neutral about making a presidential endorsement. On September 10, Paul held a National Press Club conference at which Baldwin, Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney, and independent candidate Ralph Nader all agreed on four principles—quickly ending the Iraq war, protecting privacy and civil liberties, stopping increases in the national debt, and investigating the Federal Reserve—and on their opposition to the Democratic and Republican parties ignoring these issues.

Paul's advice at the conference was to vote for whichever third-party candidate one has the most affinity to, because "we must maximize the total votes of those rejecting the two major candidates." However, on September 22, 2008, Paul stated his neutrality was "due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members ... and I'm a ten-term Republican Congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more than one political party." Paul then gave his endorsement to Baldwin: "Unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate ... has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I'm supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate." Paul later clarified that though he would vote for Baldwin, he recognized the diversity of his support base and did not propose to bind anyone's conscience.

Baldwin has written specifically against the candidacies of Barack Obama and John McCain, and those of vice-presidential nominees Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

Political positions

Foreign policy

Baldwin supports American sovereignty and is a staunch opponent of what he sees as the new world order. He has stated that fighting against one-world government is his top priority. He believes globalism in government has led to many connected threats and issues, among which he lists illegal immigration, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organizationmarker, the North American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA, the North American Union, the Trans-Texas Corridor, the Iraq war, Chinamarker, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. He would also effect United States withdrawal from the United Nations and has pledged to push the UN out of its New York City offices.

Baldwin believes that "the invasion and occupation of Iraq was absolutely unnecessary" and has said his presidency would result in troop withdrawal from Iraq.

He has written that "the Mexican government is deliberately and systematically working to destabilize and undermine the very fabric and framework of American society." He strongly opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and would end illegal immigration.

Baldwin has suggested reopening the investigation into the September 11 attacks, believing that the 9/11 truth movement has a right to have alternative 9/11 theories investigated, including those that raise the possibility of U.S. government involvement in the attacks.

Economy

Baldwin says he would end all federal income taxes and phase out the Internal Revenue Service.

In an interview, he said, "What I would propose is an across-the-board, general 10-percent tariff on all imports and that would meet the Constitution's prescription for financing the federal government—duties, imposts, tariffs", which, he claims, would also help keep jobs in the United States. His website also says that "a tariff on foreign imports, based on the difference between the foreign item's cost of production abroad and the cost of production of a similar item produced in the United States, would be a Constitutional step toward a fair trade policy that would protect American jobs and, at the same time, raise revenue for our national government."

He has said that as president he would streamline the federal government, and tap oil reserves in Alaska, the Dakotasmarker, and the Gulf of Mexicomarker. He believes the United States should return to the gold standard.

States' rights

Baldwin believes that "the South was right in the War Between the States", and that the leaders of the Confederacy were not racists. He bemoans George W. Bush's failure to rescind executive orders by Bill Clinton that appear to undermine states' rights and private property rights.

Individual liberties

Baldwin believes that "America was deliberately and distinctively founded as a haven for Christians" and he supports the public display of the Ten Commandments in government buildings.

He says that freedom of association in health care is important: "I strongly support the freedom of choice of practitioner and treatment for all citizens for their health care .... The government should not have the power to force people to receive immunizations or vaccinations." He also would eliminate the Food and Drug Administration as unconstitutional.

Baldwin supports freedom for homeschooling and private schooling and wants to disband the U.S. Department of Education; he says that he would be the best friend homeschoolers have ever had in the White Housemarker.

Baldwin is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and he believes that the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed by the government:

A Baldwin Administration will uphold the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms and will oppose attempts to prohibit ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and, further, will stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition ....
Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the Declaration, once said, "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
Just as the right to bear arms is necessary in the defense against tyranny, so [too] is that same right vital for the purpose of self-defense ....
Firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives ....
The vast majority of the time (92%), the mere presence of a firearm helps to avert a major crime from occurring.
That is what Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) concluded after extensive research.
According to Rep.
Bartlett, the number of defensive uses is four times the number of crimes reported committed with guns.


Baldwin had already begun promoting militia movements on his radio show as early as 1995. He says that in his opinion, people like Morris Dees, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, try to "pander the market of fear, trying to convince everybody that anyone with a gun, any person who wants to own a gun and anyone who would consider themselves part of a citizen militia is a threat to our government and to our society."

Baldwin opposes the Patriot Act and related legislation and orders, saying that it "deprives the people of their rights secured under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments under the guise of 'combating terrorism' or 'protecting national security'". In relation to airplane captain Don Carty profiling a customer's credentials and behavior, Baldwin stated that "profiling of all sorts is a very necessary tool for effective law enforcement. Only morons would try to hamper a lawman's ability to bring criminals to justice by removing this tool from them."

Baldwin firmly opposes abortion and Roe v. Wade. He favors Ron Paul's Sanctity of Life Act and says his presidency would end abortion.

Personal views

Baldwin has several beliefs typically distinctive of Independent Baptists, such as the primacy of the local New Testament church, premillennial dispensationalism, counting homosexuality as a moral perversion, avoidance of drinking and smoking, and strict diet and exercise. He believes that America has evolved to "a matriarchal society" and that it is losing the "inner toughness" of masculinity. Baldwin says his only organizational memberships are to his church, the Constitution Party, Gun Owners of America, and the National Rifle Associationmarker.

While Baldwin invites anyone to ask the minority members of his church freely about his own behavior toward minorities, he regards black pastor Martin Luther King, Jr., as an apostate for King's having renounced the deity, virgin birth, and physical resurrection of Christ, as well as the authority and inspiration of the Bible. Baldwin also considered King a poor role model to have spent the night before his murder with two women, and then to have physically fought with a third; Baldwin added that because "King's coziness with communists and Marxists is undeniable .... the plight of black families today reveals that his legacy is one of destruction not healing."

He has also compiled a booklet, "What Every Christian Should Know About Islam". Baldwin summarizes Muslim persecution of Christians by saying, "Only communism rivals Islam in sheer numbers of people persecuted and killed."

In one column, Baldwin listed his personal heroes:
In the same column, Baldwin scored Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson as being America's worst presidents due to collectivist, big-government tendencies.

He enjoys hunting, freshwater recreational fishing, and watching the Green Bay Packers. Among his favorite movies are The Passion of the Christ and Gods and Generals, stating that the latter "has the power to change the hearts of millions of people who disdain the Old Confederacy, who misunderstand Southern slavery, and who hold Christianity in contempt."

Bibliography



References



External links

Constitution Party
Constitution Party Candidates



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