Election 2016: Better Than Two Evils – Part Seven

2016 election banner(Guest Commentary) Mike Farris – Citizens for Self-Governance – Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies, co-founder of the Convention of States Project

One of the reasons we have accepted the premise of the “lesser of two evils” in our voting decisions, is that we don’t have clear ideas of what “good” looks like. This is the seventh in a series of ten short articles giving a coherent philosophy on what we should be looking for in a President.

We are so inundated with talk of the lesser of two evils, some fundamental analysis of a constitutionally and morally sound president seems appropriate.

7. We need a president who will defend life

In 1868, this nation made a commitment that it would guarantee equal protection and due process for every single American. The motivation was to ensure that race would no longer be a barrier to equality before the law. And we must be steadfast in our support of this original motivational goal.

But, the wording chosen “no person shall be denied life, liberty, or property without due process of law” was not limited to cases of racial discrimination. For example, we could not execute a Swiss tourist accused of murder without a trial. He would be entitled to due process even though he was not an American nor a member of a racial minority. All persons are entitled to due process in the protection of their right to life.

But what about unborn children? Were they considered “persons” for the purposes of the protection of their right to life when the 14th Amendment was adopted?

In 1868, both the law and science were clear and in accord. Unborn children were persons before the law for the purposes of the protection of their right to life. Abortion was widely banned just before the Civil War because the medical community had a breakthrough in its scientific understanding of when life began in the womb. Law and science were together and abortion was banned.

The Supreme Court claimed to be confused about the relevant history and the meaning of the 14th Amendment in its infamous decision of Roe v. Wade. There was no real confusion, that decision was cold, calculated, and deadly.

A Constitutional president will do everything in his power to return to the original meaning of the 14th Amendment’s protection of the right to life. This starts with the appointment of federal judges—not chosen by their moral views on life (although that is a bonus)—but because of their adherence to the original meaning of the Constitution.

Moreover, all spending that is anti-life needs to be vetoed. This starts with vetoing any spending bill that gives even $1 to Planned Parenthood.

Our State Department has to stop being the exporter of abortion practices and law. (And while we are at it, the foreign policy of the United States should never be used to coerce another nation to adopt the elite’s politically correct views on laws pertaining to homosexuality and marriage. We cannot be legitimate advocates for self-government and democracy if we demand that other nations march to the beat of American elitists on this point.)

A President’s duty is to defend our God-given and unalienable rights. The right to life is the first listed. The defense of life is the President’s solemn duty.


Mike Farris

Michael Farris is the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. During his career as a constitutional appellate litigator, he has served as lead counsel in the United States Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts, and the appellate courts of thirteen states.

Farris has been a leader on Capitol Hill for over thirty years and is widely respected for his leadership in the defense of homeschooling, religious freedom, and the preservation of American sovereignty. A prolific author, Farris has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship by the Heritage Foundation and as one of the “Top 100 Faces in Education for the 20th Century” by Education Week magazine.

Farris received his B.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University. He later went on to earn his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law, and his LL.M. in Public International Law, from the University of London.

Mike and his wife Vickie have ten children and 19 grandchildren.