Senator Remington Jeffries is the father of Colin, our hero in Human X, and plays a much bigger role in the follow up novel, which I am currently writing. Since he’s is so important, both in the life of our protagonist and in the story to come, I thought you’d like to meet the man.
Beware, the following does get a bit wonky (politically nerdy, that is)…
Washington, D.C. — Senator Remington Jeffries is best known outside the Beltway as the man who orchestrated a revolt within Republican ranks, some might even say a revolution, leading to the formation of the insurgent Constitution Party. Before that, however, he served two terms in the Virginia House of Representatives before taking over his father’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. After eight terms in the House, he was elected to three terms in the Senate.
Unlike other conservative uprisings of recent times, the Constitution Party came from the center and not the far right. The change in the political landscape has shocked many experienced Washington observers from both the left and the right. The Republican Party has been reduced to an also ran in the Senate, while settling for a three-way tie in the House.
The Constitution Party’s relatively small delegation in either house is offset by it’s ability to form a majority with either party, giving it’s leadership a surprising amount of power during negotiations.
As the new election year of 2040 dawns, the senior Senator from Virginia sat down with this author to discuss the future of his party and his hopes for a possible Jeffries Administration after this November.
Senator, why was the Constitution Party necessary? What was the issue that caused your break with the Republicans?
I tried for several years to re-introduce the concept of centrist conservatism, of ideological diversity to the party. Sadly, there was so much dead weight on the far right, that those of us in the center were getting hernias trying to drag the party back in our direction.
The sad truth is that the United States no longer had anything resembling a center-right party. We had a center-left party in the Democrats, but only a dysfunctional far-right party on the other side. The gap between the two was wide enough that there was plenty of room for us to slide in between them.
So there wasn’t any one single issue that led to the split?
Everyone who joined us had their own reasons, but many of were frustrated with the Republicans’ doctrinaire immobility on taxes. Others were fed up with the social conservatives and their addiction to “culture war” issues.
You also have a small share of Democrat defectors. Can you say what their reasons were for joining the party?
You’d have to ask them, but I know that before we came along, the Democrats had attracted a small caucus of conservatives who felt they no longer had enough in common with the other party. But I think they also realized, as we did, that one party can’t be all things to all people. The country needs at least two fully functional political parties, and the Constitution Party is necessary to keep the Democrats from becoming too powerful as the GOP imploded.
There was already a Constitution Party when you came along.
Yes, dating back to the early 1990s, but it existed mostly as home for disenchanted Republicans who thought their party wasn’t conservative enough. It never really coalesced into a national party of any staying power. By the time we came along, they were mostly moribund. No one was really using the name, so we took it.
Why the Constitution Party? Why that name?
It gets back to our party’s shared definition of conservatism, the one that the Republican party lost sight of. We believe the U.S. Constitution places bright-line limits on the power of the government, and the government can’t be allowed to exceed that power by legislative or executive fiat.
It’s a strict constructionist party then?
Well, I hate to use that term for one reason. Our constitution contains the mechanism to adapt itself to changing times and needs. We can amend it to allow the government to function in a more complex world.
What sort of amendment would the party support?
Well, the Democrats are pushing hard on health care again, suggesting that the old Affordable Care Act is no longer adequate. They want to open talks on either a public option plan or even a single payer plan.
And the Constitution Party would go along with this?
If we were convinced that it was the best way to rein in health care costs in this county, we would be open to that conversation. But the party would insist that the U.S. Constitution does not give the government the power to go into the insurance business. If we had to go down that road, we would need to amend the Constitution to do so.
That would be a steep hill to climb.
As it should be. Expanding the scope of the government so dramatically should always be done reluctantly and with care.