From the close of Tenther Radio, Episode 119
Nullification is dangerous!.
At least that’s what supporters of centralized government will tell you.
They swear nullification will lead to chaos.
That raises an interesting question. What exactly do you call what we have now? $16 trillion plus in debt. Groping at the airport. Illegal wars. NSA peeking and spying. The specter of federal kidnapping.
Sounds pretty chaotic.
Calling nullification dangerous assumes what we have now is the nice stable norm. Clearly it isn’t. In fact, we have a federal government completely untethered from its constitutional limits. It does what it wants. When it wants. To whomever it wants.
Nullification is the last hope to restore some constitutional order!
Anti-nullifiers like to paint us as extremist rebels. But again – compared to what? Compared to today’s federal politician, I suppose we are. But compared to the founders, we sit comfortably right in the mainstream along with Jefferson and Madison. Even Alexander Hamilton, who liked the idea of a powerful national government, would probably be shocked by the massive, intrusive federal monstrosity we have today. The fact that the modern political class views us as extremists indicates just how far off the constitutional path America has wandered.
The so-called mainstream people the real rebels!
Look, the whole “nullification is dangerous line” is just meant to scare you into inaction. This becomes clear when these people really ratchet up the rhetoric. They’ll inevitably bring up the Civil War and then raise the specter of tanks rolling down Main Street.
First off, the Civil War was a response to secession, not nullification. Nullification has always been viewed as the moderate middle road between unlimited submission to the federal government and outright rebellion. It is a legitimate process by duly elected representatives of the people meant to serve as a check on federal power. And the idea that the feds will march armies into states refusing to cooperate with federal officials is just silly fear-mongering. California has been nullifying federal marijuana laws since the mid-90s. When was the last time you saw M-1 tanks cruising the Hollywood strip?
Now I’m not saying it will be an easy road. And I’m not saying that the federal government won’t push back against nullification efforts. They may yank some funding. They may send in their agents to enforce their unconstitutional acts. But the bottom line is they don’t have the resources to enforce all of their so-called laws without state cooperation. They know it. The centralized power brokers know it. And that’s why they want you scared. If they can discourage you, they can keep you under their thumb. If they can frighten you into inaction, they can go right on growing their own power.
And that’s the real danger – unchecked centralized power. History bears this out. Centralized authority gave us slavery. It gave us the Nazi concentration camps. It gave us the Soviet gulags.
Nullification just gives us a little more liberty.
Don’t be scared. Don’t be discouraged by the nay-sayers. Stand up to the federal bully.
As Samuel Adams said:
“Despondency becomes not the dignity of our cause, nor the character of those who are its supporters. Let us awaken then, and evince a different spirit, – a spirit that shall inspire the people with confidence in themselves and in us, – a spirit that will encourage them to persevere in this glorious struggle, until their rights and liberties shall be established on a rock.”