The Patriot Post® · The Next American Revolution
What is the Authority for Rebellion?
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” – Thomas Jefferson
(PUBLISHER’S WARNING: The following essay may cause heartburn and knee-jerk reactions, especially in those who are predisposed to “give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety.” But as Benjamin Franklin concluded, they “deserve neither liberty nor safety.” For such feeble souls, Samuel Adams advised, “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” For those who are not cast among that faint-hearted lot, please read on.)
I receive hundreds of messages every day from Patriots across the nation. For the last three years, one thematic question has emerged with ever-increasing frequency. To paraphrase that question: “What is the authority to rebel against the central government?”
That question is most often asked by those who have taken their oath of allegiance to our Constitution, particularly active duty, reserve and veteran military personnel. Typical is this note from a disabled combat Patriot this week: “Please clarify for me when my solemn oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign AND [his emphasis] domestic,’ kicks in.”
Such questions were once deemed too radical and discordant for consideration in civil discourse. However, as Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution has been all but completely usurped by the rule of men through the Left’s so-called living constitution, the frequency and tenor of questions about the future of Essential Liberty for our once-great Republic is propelling them into mainstream debate.
The unfortunate ascension of Barack Hussein Obama and his socialist cadres had a silver lining: It revitalized the spirit of American Patriotism in tens of millions of our countrymen. The imminent threat to Liberty posed by Democratic Socialism is the catalyst driving this great awakening and it is spreading.
To the question of the authority to rebel against government, we turn to the Constitution’s guiding document, our Declaration of Independence. It clearly affirms the “unalienable rights” upon which our Constitution was instituted, and those rights supersede the authority of the Constitution itself as they are the inherent rights of man.
This authorizing language reads as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
So, is it time for another American Revolution?
The answer to that question depends upon the answer to a more fundamental question: Is it too late to restore authority of our Constitution? Moreover, will the current dire circumstances result in a sunset or sunrise on Liberty?
In my enthusiastic analysis, the degraded state of the union presents a great opportunity for restoration of Rule of Law, and this sunrise on Liberty is already in progress under the broad heading of the Tea Party movement. Further, having been in close proximity to revolutions on foreign soil, I am intimately aware that restoration (or revolution without shots fired) is a far more desirable path than the violent one – not that the latter must ever be excluded as an option.
But behind every sunrise is a sunset. As Ronald Reagan warned thirty years ago, when the “Reagan Revolution” temporarily restored our nation’s course toward Liberty, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”
Make no mistake; there are formidable obstacles to the restoration of Liberty. The most daunting of these impediments is complacency, the result of either a false sense of comfort, institutionalized ignorance or both. The votes of some 43 percent of Americans have already been co-opted Barack Obama socialist programs and policies. Nonetheless, I still believe that the ballot box is a viable alternative to the bullet box at this juncture. Every effort to work within what remains of our Constitution’s framework to restore its Rule of Law, as outlined in The Patriot Declaration must be exhausted.
If the 2012 election cycle does not provide sufficient momentum toward the goal of restored Liberty, there are substantial measures of civil disobedience that can ratchet up the pressure – measures which will find support among true conservatives in both the House and Senate.
Either way, we face a long, uphill battle. It has taken many years to degrade Rule of Law, and it will take many years to fully restore it.
As for timing, Obama has already dropped a debt bomb on our economy, the goal of which is to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” The greatest systemic risk to Liberty that this act of economic violence poses is the destruction of free enterprise by way of taxation, regulation and insurmountable debt. Accelerating the Left’s effort to crush free enterprise, Obama and his Senate majority rejected the House’s Balanced Budget Amendment as part of the recent “budget deal” to increase U.S. debt. The result: As of this date, our nation’s total outstanding debt is now in excess of our total annual gross domestic product (economic output), for the first time since 1947. Then, most of the debt was associated with WWII. Now most of the debt is associated with socialist spending programs for which there is no constitutional authority.
It should, of course, be the highest aspiration of every Patriot to restore our Constitution’s Rule of Law, a fundamental principle of which is the separation of economy and state. But is there still time, and are we sufficiently resolute?
Leading the forces arrayed against us are the statist extremists, the “useful idiots” on the Left who now vilify as “terrorists” those seeking to restore Rule of Law.
In a closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting this week hosted by Veep Joe Biden, Demo Rep. Mike Doyle said of the recent budget negotiations, “We have negotiated with terrorists. This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.” Biden, to his everlasting shame, concurred: “They have acted like terrorists.”
Biden, Doyle, and the Kool-Aid-drinking legions of the Left are formidable. But history shows that Barack Obama’s model for prosperity, is a blueprint for economic collapse, a model that is antithetical to prosperity and ultimately at odds with Liberty.
Patriots, we have an obligation to secure Liberty for our posterity, and in the words of John Adams, “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to James Madison dated January 30, 1787: “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. … An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”
Today, Tea Party “terrorists” should expect no such accommodation, as “honest republican governors” are few and far between.
That same year, Jefferson famously wrote more pointedly to John Adams’s son-in-law, William Smith, “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. … What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that the people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
Short of the bullet box, it is my fervent prayer that on 6 November 2012, an unprecedented army of American Patriots will use the ballot box to further alter the course of our nation toward Liberty and Rule of Law.
That notwithstanding, American Patriots remain well aware of both the authority for rebellion and more importantly the obligation to overcome tyranny, as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. There may come a time to fight, and our Founders wisely extended to us the means for rebellion. We also fully understand the cost outlined in its closing: “For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”