While I’m extremely grateful for all the good things in my life – like family, friends, a roof over my head, and Sarah, the love of my life – there’s a BUT that can’t be ignored.
I’m pretty sure you know this as well as I do. For those of us who believe in liberty, everything we hold dear is in grave danger. However, there is a path forward.
GOOD NEWS and BAD NEWS
Let’s start with the bad news.
I know you don’t need me to list all the federal programs that violate the Founders’ Constitution. In fact, there are so many that I could never fit them into a single article. Not even close.
While this is really bad, it’s not actually the “bad news.” In fact, I’m sure you’re thinking, “That’s not news at all.”
Well, you’re absolutely right.
In the last few weeks, Pres. Obama and his allies have been ramping up their threats – saying they’re going to find a way to implement more federal gun control measures even if Congress won’t pass what they want.
Just over a week ago, a federal judge “decided” that federal mass spying programs fit just fine within the 4th Amendment. This overturned a previous “ruling” that ordered the NSA to stop collecting phone data from everyone. In response, the NSA simply ignored that order to stop, continued to spy on everyone, and waited till another judge told them it was ok.
These are just two of many similar situations. They show us how things play out on the federal level. And they prove to me that the federal system of checks and balances is completely, utterly, and totally broken.
Even if you were to “vote the bums out” of Congress, a President will simply do what they want, when they want.
Even if you were to get a President dedicated to the Constitution, you’d still have decades of federal court precedent that is under no threat of being overturned. And you’d still have a system where almost all federal judges will keep that status quo.
On top of it, there are many federal departments and agencies – like TSA, EPA, FDA, HHS, and others – that make their own rules as they see fit. This is a system of government by bureaucrats – and it’s nothing close to the system the Founders created.
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS
Believe it or not, there actually is some good news these days.
In recent months, we’ve seen reports of sheriffs saying they will not help enforce federal gun control, governors saying they’ll refuse to participate in a federal refugee program, and bills introduced for 2016 taking on programs like mass spying, the EPA, Common Core, raw milk and industrial hemp bans, health insurance mandates, and much more.
But it’s not just talk. Things are happening in practice and effect too. Plus, they’ve been ramping up steadily in recent years.
On November 4, 2014 – when the people of Arizona voted to approve Proposition 122, I knew something historic was in the works – something I never could have imagined happening just a few years ago. Here’s part of what they approved:
PERMITS THE STATE TO EXERCISE ITS SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY BY RESTRICTING STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO PURPOSES THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
State-resistance to federal power – something the Tenth Amendment Center set out to educate people about just over 9 years ago – has now been approved by a majority of voters in the state of Arizona. Similar measures will likely be considered in a few other states in 2016.
While this one vote will not turn things around on its own, it’s a powerful step forward. More importantly, all these actions tell me that our message and tactics are really starting to get into the mainstream.
In 2006, when I registered the TAC website, these kinds of things weren’t being pushed. They weren’t in the media, and you never saw so many governors talk about resisting a federal program – even if it were all bluster.
People are learning about the power of the 10th Amendment, they’re talking about. And more importantly, they’re actually using it too.
POWER TO THE 10TH
So much has been happening that we recently published our 2nd Annual “State of the Nullification Movement Report.”
More than 2 dozen states are taking steps to circumvent and effectively nullify unconstitutional FDA regulations that keep potentially life-saving medications from terminally-ill people.
11 states have passed bills that set the foundation to protect the 2nd Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms, whether the feds want us to or not.
MOST STATES will consider legislation in 2016 to push back on the surveillance state – whether it’s drones, or stingrays, or the collection of all your data – we’re pushing back as hard as we can.
8 states are nullifying the unconstitutional ban on industrial hemp farming.
Multiple states are taking on the federal reserve. Texas took the biggest step in 2015, but others, like Utah and Oklahoma have set a foundation with more to join them soon.
People and states are opting out of Common Core. Without participation, the whole program will come tumbling down.
2 states have taken the first step to nullify the federal militarization of local police.
And that’s far from all of it.
These things aren’t happening on their own. And while I know that many people have done great work, I also know that our work has often been the engine driving the movement.
It takes a lot of effort on our part, but I’ve dedicated my life to changing things no matter how difficult the odds might be.
I know, as James Madison taught us, that the way to stop the federal government is by employing a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.” I know, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe taught us, that “without local enforcement by compliant local authorities, the will of the central government is not much more than hot air.”
In other words, we need to nullify.
Whether that nullification comes on a state level or a local level, we need to nullify. Whether that nullification gets done by a state legislature, a sheriff, a jury, or an individual, we need to nullify.
Whatever your issue and whatever your goal, this is the path to liberty.
It’s pretty straightforward. Refuse to comply, and nullify.
A TIMELESS GIFT
I’ve sacrificed many creature comforts of modern American life so I can afford to do this work full time. I don’t have health insurance or cable tv. I’ve only taken one vacation in the last decade. And like most years, I’ve had to skip a Thanksgiving trip to visit family this year.
I work endless hours – 8am to 1am for 5-6 days at a time is not unusual – and have been personally attacked and smeared by the media for my beliefs and what I do.
While I’d love to earn a great salary, go on trips, and buy stuff for my friends and family, I know that doing something good for other people is much more rewarding for me.
With you as my partner, the gift I’d like to share with the world is the path to liberty.
Some people tell me this is impossible. But, for me, the only way forward is to do what’s right – no matter what.
The greatest gift I could ever give is showing someone the path to liberty. Once armed with that knowledge, they will have the freedom to use it or not.
While it’s not possible for me to give this gift to many others on my own, together as partners we can get this to hundreds of thousands – and then millions.
It’s my belief that we’re setting the foundation for liberty. Someday, even if it’s not in our time, people will reap its many rewards, and generations to come will remember this great gift…forever.