It can be downright terrifying and morally decimating. Usurpations continue as rights are whittled away and the constitutional principles eroded. The demands on citizens and states from a supposedly “limited” and “defined” federal government are now innumerable . The Union looks more and more like a consolidation of states instead of a federal republic.
So, what do we do? What are the options to fight this reversal of the founder’s vision?
Political philosopher and economist Murray Rothbard contemplated this very question.
“We face the great strategic problem of all “radical” creeds throughout history: How can we get from here to there, from our current State-ridden and imperfect world to the great goal of liberty?”
Some Wacka-doo’s recommend taking up arms in resistance. Only death will result. The strongest and most heavily armed will ultimately earn the victory. Freedom cannot reign when the request for your volition is at the point of a gun.
So how about a good protest? We can march on D.C. We can carry poignant signs. Maybe we can sign a petition. But they don’t listen. And ultimately, aren’t we just begging the federal government for their acquiescence? Why ask permission where none is required?
Another option lies in hoping those black-robed federal employees at the Supreme Court will finally hand down an opinion limiting federal power in keeping with the intent of the founders. But somehow, throughout more than 200 years of American history, they’ve voted in favor of the federal government most of the time. And even if they do get one right, that doesn’t make us safe. Judges can even overrule their OWN opinion! Heck, they don’t even have to listen to a case, just like they did with the NDAA this year! Is this your last hope? That’s not what the founders believed. The last arbiter of constitutionality is the people of the states, not nine black robed mystics of the Constitution.
Or, you can look for hero to save you.
Maybe if you just vote in the right guys, we can take back our country. I mean, why would this bum fail you? He has all the right qualifications! He’s that no-name stooge with a D or an R next to his name.
Look: we’ve tried all of this ad nauseum. Our political strategy brings to mind the definition of insanity often attributed to Albert Einstein: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. We’ve protested. They ignore us. We’ve voted the bums out. We get new bums. We counted on the courts. They failed us.
What can we do?
First and foremost, stop acting like a Disney Princess!
No one is coming to save you. The hero you are looking for…..is YOU!
Americans have broken and twisted the founders’ message. Those who formed this country preached liberty, self-government, decentralization and self-sufficiency within communities. Today, the federal government wants you to be dependent on them for everything. including your safety, your health care, the products you buy, the things you grow and the decisions you make.
Time to change that message.
Rothbard pointed the way toward the path to liberty.
“On one point there can scarcely be disagreement: a prime and necessary condition for libertarian victory (or, indeed, for victory for any social movement, from Buddhism to vegetarianism) is education: the persuasion and conversion of large numbers of people to the cause.”
We’ve seen the power of everyday people getting involved at the grassroots during the recent gun debates.
Early this year, the Obama administration called for “common sense” gun laws to prevent another mass shooting after Sandy Hook. These “common sense” laws include banning so-called “assault rifles,” creating a national registration, minimizing magazine capacity, and even restricting collectable, antiquated firearms. The pure evil that caused the deaths of children and teachers was deplorable, but it shouldn’t be used as a tool to criminalize law abiding citizens.
As a preemptive tactic, the Second Amendment Preservation Act was introduced in 31 states in an effort to hold the federal government within its constitutionally prescribed role. Eleven states passed the act through one of its legislative chambers, while four pass it through both houses. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act into law on April 16. Alaska and Missouri are expected to have their bills sent to their governors soon.
The Kansas bill had no easy journey, but with grassroots support, the bill made it all the way to the governor’s desk. He signed it without hesitation. And when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder threatened the state, Brownbacks’ response was simple and tactful.
The State of Kansas is in receipt of your letter in which you place Kansas on notice regarding the view of the Obama Administration concerning the state’s Second Amendment Protection Act.
The right to keep and bear arms is a right that Kansans hold dear. It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights. The people of Kansas have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed their commitment to protecting this fundamental right. The people of Kansas are likewise committed to defending the sovereignty of the State of Kansas as guaranteed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution”
In the wake of Kansas’ stand, local action to nullify unconstitutional federal gun laws is spreading like wildfire in the state, as well as in Missouri, Colorado and even Alabama. In fact, many cities across the Union have introduced and passed local legislation. With enough resistance from cities, towns, counties, and states, federal gun control will become unenforceable. Through this effort, citizens in every locality are educating their communities and garnering support from sheriffs, representatives and neighbors.
Action opens the door for education, which leads to more action.
Rothbard went on, “Education, in turn, has two vital aspects: calling people’s attention to the existence of such a system, and converting people to the libertarian system.”
The implementation the REAL-ID Act by the feds was an uphill battle from the beginning back in 2005. States across the Union stood up and said no, refusing to implement a program meant to nationalize ID cards. Even some states without laws flat out refuse to abide by its directives.
Missouri was one of the states that passed a law (HB361) nullifying the REAL-ID act.
This bill prohibits the Department of Revenue from amending procedures for applying for a driver’s license or identification card in order to comply with the goals or standards of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005 and from selling any data derived from a person’s license or permit application for commercial purposes.
But all laws need constant vigilance, especially nullification bills. The people of Missouri found this out when some politicians decided to sneak Real ID in through the back door. Missouri First spread the word when the Missouri Department of Revenue made a deal with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The scandal first broke when a Missouri citizen refused to allow his biometric data be released to DHS. This sparked a lot of controversy leading to a DoR Senate Hearings with Senator Schafer.
Ron Calzone, of Missouri First, captured audio at the hearing as Department of Revenue officials committed perjury. It came to light that the DHS was issuing grants to the DoR to collect biometric data on citizens and some conceal-carry permit data was also sent to the feds.
With grassroots pressure and a few vigilant representatives leading the way, a bill was introduced allowing the firing of any department director for corruption or violation of the law. Later on, the director of the Department of Revenue stepped down, but the scandal continues. Letters from DHS to the governor thanking him for implementing Real ID have also been released to the public. Further activism for liberty must continue.
Rothbard asked the question: how do we best move toward liberty? All-or-nothing, or many step goals? He answered in two parts.
“(1) that, whatever the transitional demands, the ultimate end of liberty be always held aloft as the desired goal; and (2) that no steps or means ever explicitly or implicitly contradict the ultimate goal. A short-run demand may not go as far as we would like, but it should always be consistent with the final end; if not, the short-run goal will work against the long-run purpose, and opportunistic liquidation of libertarian principle will have arrived.”
The fight against the Obamacare mandate went full-tilt in the state of South Carolina, and it was not just a partisan battle between Democrats and Republicans. This bill led to infighting between grassroots liberty factions. One group wanted an all-or-nothing approach. If penalties were removed from H3101, these associates of liberty wanted the bill killed. On the other hand, the Tenth Amendment Center, and many others, believe noncompliance bills serves as a good first step and will effectively thwart the implementation of Obamacare, even without penalties. Killing the imperfect bill, would work against Rothbard’s warning.
A lot of my friends stay out of politics. The main reason why is because politicians are corrupt. You can point to countless stories, and understand their point of view. However, staying ignorant of politics is a poor lifestyle choice. If we leave politicians to their corruption, we are not in control of our lives. We need to be informed, and we need to look past the two party model of ideas. We need to question every bill rolling through Congress.
As we have seen with many bills passing through state legislatures, it is much easier when the grassroots engage in with their representatives in the state. Without grassroots support, good bills often die before they even get a hearing. They won’t even make it to the floor of either House. However, there is still a lot of resistance to nullification out there.
The next strategy, hit the streets locally. We need to reach not only those in our “liberty” circles. We need to spread the message throughout our communities including our sheriffs, neighbors, friends, family, and even strangers. This is the way to keep with Rothbard’s strategy for liberty. The Tenth Amendment Center is trying provide for local activism by providing coalitions a barebones tool kit for educating, activism, and a focus on the goal. With enough local communities saying no to the Federal Government, getting more states to pass liberty focused legislation will be easier. Also, our nullification effort will be stronger. Our numbers have increased since prior years, but to we need to be a force to be reckoned with. We must take back the responsibility of our liberty.
We need you to engage! You hold the keys to liberty! Educate, be active, and focus on the goal!