A Fork in the Revolutionary Road

[This essay was first published on the author’s personal blog]

Mitt Romney was officially made the GOP’s nominee last week and now the Ron Paul revolution is over. After nearly thirty years in public office the good doctor is gracefully retiring from politics, and while it’s not following a term in the oval office, he’s no-less started what may be the greatest mental brushfire in American history. And now with millions of people inspired by the message of liberty, the obvious question is “what’s next” for the remnant?

A number of writers and activists have weighed in on this topic and below is a collection of these valuable essays and commentaries with some of my own thoughts for the Paulbots and revolutionaries.

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of the indispensable Antiwar.com, had this to say regarding the true nature of the republican party and their rules:

As for the rules governing the political process – they can be changed at a moment’s notice, and bent any which way, in order to facilitate this seizure. Ron Paul’s supporters in the GOP learned that the hard way, as the Romneyites used their control of the party bureaucracy at the state and national levels to retroactively change the rules in order to unseat duly elected Paul delegates. In Maine, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Oregon, Oklahoma, and elsewhere, the party bosses have disenfranchised Paul voters – closing down party caucuses, rejecting as delegates anyone under 50, and calling the cops when all else failed.

This description of how the convention was governed – and the primaries leading up to it – is precisely how the state works in general. It’s evil and corrupting, and ultimately founded upon violence and coercion. The GOP’s rules are in essence no different from the “Pirate’s code,” which is “more what you call guidelines than actual rules,” to borrow from the famous movie line.

Details

True Believers Will Not Be Tolerated

Nowhere will you find more bipartisan cooperation between the political parties than in the protection of incumbents. These fraternities of political elites guard their domain with all legal and in some cases illegal means at their disposal.

Both parties look with disdain at “True Believers”. Oh, they will use them and talk their language but they never will become one themselves. “True Believers” think that what is needed is limited government, term limits and the Tenth Amendment, all the things that would limit the powers of incumbents and political parties. These “True Believers” are cajoled, flattered and made to feel that what they want is what the parties want also, but to the parties they are nothing but “useful idiots.”

As Tip O’Neill was reported to have said – “All politics is local.” And when it comes to running for state or local offices nothing could be more true. You want to run for political office then you had better make your intentions known and ask for the parties blessing. You will be required to court all the “right people” and to kiss the ring of the party chairman.

The Party will tolerate a lot of the Tea Party small government nonsense as long as they know you understand that if elected you will do what the Party leadership demands. But what they will not tolerate is you running against one of the parties faithful, an incumbent. But if you actually believe in small government and want to run against one of their own, that is blasphemy and will be fought against with everything in their power.

These “Political Party Incumbent Protection Plans” are put into high gear during the primaries. There will be no deviation from the party line and preservation of the status quo is paramount. This happens all across America but the most blatant example is what is happening in South Carolina. 179 Candidates Thrown Off Ballot for Minor Technicality since then even more Tea Party, limited government, Tenth Amendment Constitutionalist and other candidates going up against established long time incumbents in both parties were thrown off the June 12 Primary Ballot. Because of a poorly written law concerning paperwork filling the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled, …“if challengers do not file correctly, they risk invalidating their candidacy. However, if incumbents file incorrectly, they are fined $100 and continue with their campaigns.”

Details

Even When You Win You Lose

The degree to which someone will tolerate federal tyranny depends on if it is directed at them or someone else.

Both the left and the right use the power of government to push through their political agendas but nowhere is that more evident than at the federal level. With each new election no matter which side wins, the balance of power always tilts in the direction of more restrictions on individuals and diminution of the states.

In recent years, both parties have effectively used the federal government to cajole, bribe or force the states into submission with unconstitutional laws. But one issue has eluded the left, the elimination of the laws concerning marijuana and medical marijuana in particular. With repeated assurances from candidate Obama, that he would respect state laws legalizing medical marijuana the left felt that the War on Marijuana was over. Then with the election of President Obama and Democrat majorities in both houses of the Legislature, they knew that they had won.

Or had they?

The best-case scenario was the elimination of all federal marijuana laws or at the least non-enforcement. But what has transpired in the last year is the just the opposite, enforcement on all fronts. The more states implement new more lenient possession laws and legalize use for medical conditions the harder President Obama’s DOJ comes down on providers.

The left could not depend on conservatives or those that professed belief in limited government and expanded individual freedom. They knew that those professed beliefs were only for public consumption especially when Election Day was fast approaching; otherwise, it was Big Government Nanny State as usual. But how could the President not only abandon them but also become their biggest foe?

Details

The Futility of Federal Office

Years ago I made my first speech with the Tenth Amendment Center in a location far East of Los Angeles, where the urban sprawl ends and the desert begins.  The evening started off with much enthusiasm as a leading member of the group announced that she would be running for Congress.  Later, I heard one of the best compliments of my life- that I had caused a Federal candidate to re-consider her decision.

“After listening to you, I feel like I would make a bigger difference here in CA…” she said, with a solemn tone.

I agreed.

How many more times do we need to see good people battered on the rocks of Mount DC before We the People change course?

Recently, the founders of the Patrick Henry Caucus all ran for Federal offices.  How many of them even GOT a chance to be a lone difference maker in a sea of disgusting greed and self-interest?  One. Four out of the five lost their bids, aced out by candidates and a political establishment that knows how to steal your message like a Mockingbird.

I found it ironic that the founders of a caucus to break down the power in DC would be so eager to campaign for Federal office in the first place, but if one assumes the purity of their intent…then four candidates who represent the antithesis of centralized power couldn’t even get in the door.

Details

Religious Nullification – Part I – HHS Mandate

For the better part of a year, I have personally wanted to start a series on the religious history of Nullification, both in America and worldwide, even before the beginning of America and in some cases before the existence of Christianity. The recent showdown over the US Bishops and the Obama administration over the HHS mandate regarding abortion and contraceptive funding in health insurance plans has opened up that door with a modern day example.

While the Catholic Church has been the most visible player on this issue, Orthodox Christian, Protestant and Jewish leaders have voiced their solidarity with the Catholic Bishops in their opposition to the HHS mandate.  There were also examples in my research of Muslim leaders joining in interfaith protests against the mandate, and brief mentions in the media of Muslim organizations joining in, but I personally found little on Muslims generally supporting or opposing the mandate.

While perhaps not every Tenther is opposed to abortion and contraception, to force religious employers, or even non-religious employers whose personal convictions forbid one from paying for things that conflict with their conscience, is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and unjust in general.

One’s religion is much more than what one does for an hour or two on Sunday, Saturday or any other day of the week. Most religions have rules governing not just how their adherents worship, but also how they carry themselves in day to day life. And in some cases, the violation of some of those rules results in de facto and/or public excommunication from that religion.

Details

A Question of Supremacy

In the latest attack on States passing resolutions or bills they perceive as unconstitutional actions by the federal government, Benjamin Wittes article Does the Virginia Federal Assembly Understand the Supremacy Clause in LawFare state, “I’ve been doing my best to ignore to the hysterical, paranoid, delusional howls of rage on both the Right and the Left about the NDAA, but they are starting to reach critical mass in a way that one ignores at one’s own peril.”

What seems to have prompted this article was the recent passage by Virginia of a bill stating that officials of Virginia would not comply with Articles 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA passed by Congress which does not exclude citizens from possible arrest and indefinite detention by the Military on orders of the President.  He goes on the state, “I have one question about this bill—which passed the House of Delegates on 96-to-4 vote and passed the Senate on a 38-to-1 vote: Do any of the members who voted for it remember that the federal Constitution contains a Supremacy Clause—which elevates an act of Congress just a wee bit over ‘any regulation of the Virginia Administrative Code’?”

His argument seems to be based solely on the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution which states;

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. (Emphasis added)

Since the “Supremacy Clause” is used to justify numerous actions by the federal government and to oppose any assertion by the states that they could nullify those actions then let’s focus solely on that argument.

Details

Virginia Taking a Stand Against EPA

Virginia House Delegates Robert G. Marshall and Anne B. Crockett-Stark recently introduced  HB 27. The Residential energy efficiency standards exempts certain homes from federal cap & trade legislation,  and would limit the power of the EPA to set the standards for home construction in Virginia, as stated in the bill’s brief description.

Residential energy efficiency standards. Exempts any residential building or manufactured home in Virginia from being subject to federal legislation relating to residential energy efficiency standards if such building complies with the Statewide Uniform Building Code. Except to the extent required by the Statewide Building Code, the owner of such building or home cannot be required by the federal government to (i) have an energy efficiency analysis conducted on his residence, (ii) have his residence meet federal energy efficiency standards, (iii) participate in a building performance labeling program, (iv) make modifications to the residence in accordance with federal legislation, or (v) post a label showing the energy efficiency of his home prior to its sale. The bill also prohibits any state agency from assisting any federal agency in the implementation of global warming or climate change legislation.

We at the Tenth Amendment Center believe strongly in the wisdom and views of two of Virginias’ most respected statesmen on the duty of the  states under the US Constitution; “and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said  compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”- James Madison, Virginia Resolutions, 1798;”whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force”- Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798

Details

Baby Boomers: From Selfish to Selfless

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb One thing that’s certain about this movement to save the republic from our own centralized state, is that the fruits of our labor are far, far off.  You cannot reverse decades of centralization in one…

Details

Is SOPA Constitutional?: A Layman’s View

I’m no degreed scholar- I don’t even have a 4 year education, so why is it that I can dive into the ‘murky waters’ of the constitution and feel confident about what I find?  Because the Constitution was crafted to be understood by AVERAGE people- not to be the exclusive territory of academia. Many times…

Details

Rand Paul Reads TenthAmendmentCenter.com

Or, at least, we think alike. The junior Senator from Kentucky recently said that to believe in a “right” to health care one must support slavery: I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. He’s right of course. As I pointed out nearly two…

Details