My name is Jeff, and I’ve been with the Tenth Amendment Center for almost a year now.
I’d followed TAC on Facebook™ for a while and had signed up for their newsletter. In early May ’13, after moving back to my home State from Missouri a month earlier, I joined the 2A Kansas group in the wake of the Second Amendment Protection Act being passed there. By mid-May, after sending in a comic I had done, I filled out a volunteer application; and by early June, I had completed a short series of test posts to demonstrate my abilities as a blogger. Coincidentally, just a few hours after submitting the last of these trial blogs, I would meet Michael Boldin.
I should take a moment to explain something: Up to this point (and for a little while afterward) I was under the impression that the Tenth Amendment Center was some moderately large, reasonably well-funded think-tank. I had watched the videos and read as many of the articles as I could, had seen them referenced by countless others, and pictured them as having offices and big-time donors and a team of writers and journalists and all the usual things that I’d associated with advocacy groups—I was wa-a-a-ay-y off!!
As I would come to understand it, the “Tenth Amendment Center” is actually a small group of geographically disconnected volunteers, working with (primarily) their own funds, in their own homes, in their spare time, under their own steam, with minimal donations; coordinating through telephone and social media a massive grass-roots effort to restrain federal tyranny by means of blog posts, clever memes (to which I’m partial), the occasional festival, a self-produced documentary, a handful of books, a stack of pamphlets, and some home-brew legislation; all of which had originated a few years earlier—in response to the usurpations of the Bush administration—as a Word Press™ blog in Boldin’s LA apartment.
So, as it turns out, while I was giddy and grateful and overjoyed for being accepted by Michael Maharrey (who’d conducted my “entrance exam”) into this massive think-tank, they were just happy to have another volunteer involved with their modest grass-roots effort!
After submitting the last of my trial blogs, I hopped in the car and headed to Topeka for the Kansas Celebration of Liberty Event, honoring the signing of the first nullification bill I’d ever paid attention to, where Boldin was a keynote.
To be honest, while having a vague understanding of the principles of nullification, nothing really hit home so much as when Boldin belted the phrase, “Dogs beg!” in response to his own comments regarding “federal supremacy.” I’d never witnessed anything like that in all my life. Here was “some dude” shaking his fist strongly in the face of government and demanding, not asking—and certainly not pleading—to know what right they had to impede on his liberties in violation of their own charter. I was floored.
A short time later, I found myself shaking his hand and babbling compliments like a confused—albeit smiling—idiot. I had no idea what was going on, but I was getting involved, dammit! As Edmund Burke had famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing;” and I was going to do all I could!
By mid-July, I had a handful of articles under my belt (that I had been stealthily sneaking comics into), and had even seen a couple of them picked up by other blogs and shot across the web! At about that time, one of the standard staff-calls went out through the usual TAC channels for a series of much needed articles to be written. I volunteered to grab what I could and made mention of my desire to write more than one-per-week. It was then that Boldin chimed in and suggested I write less—saying that my help could be best used elsewhere.
While you may not have read anything else of mine, you’ve certainly seen my work: I’m the TAC graphics guy. Those memes you ‘like’ and ‘share’ on the TAC facebook page: I build the bulk of them, 10 to 15 a week. A little over a year ago, I was doing nothing.
Sure, I’d gripe on Facebook™ and get into discussions about “this piece of legislation” or “that politician,” but I never actually did anything. I listened to talk radio and ‘shared’ posts with my friends, I occasionally gave money to grass-roots groups or bought their stuff, but that was about it. I always just assumed that someone else was picking up my slack and that some symbolic support on my part was enough to keep them going. That just isn’t true and it certainly isn’t enough—we’re not, unfortunately, at a point in history where passive support can cut it any longer. More and more of our rights are being stripped from us every day, and not just at the federal level either. There’s so much work to be done that it cannot be listed.
The point is this: If anything is ever going to change, YOU need to be involved. YOU need to take part. YOU need to stop supporting passively and step into the proverbial trenches with the rest of us. Our passivity is what paved the way for tyranny to triumph as it has, and the ONLY thing—the ONLY THING—that will stop it, is YOU.
I’ve been with the Tenth Amendment Center for almost a year now. My efforts range from 30-minutes to several hours a day, depending on my schedule. I have a regular, full-time job, and all the usual responsibilities that come with a girlfriend, a car payment, a dog, a niece and nephews, and a lawn. There’s nothing exceptional in my day-to-day routine that allows me to fight, but I make the time and do it any way. What’s your excuse?
I’m just some guy who’s drawing pictures to help combat tyranny: what will you do to help?