From time to time someone will come up to me and ask me what we can do to fix what’s wrong with this country. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the fact that these people care enough to want to know how to fix what is wrong, it’s just their use of the word we; as if people have to unite into some organization or group to fix what is wrong with this country.
Do you think Patrick Henry gave Thomas Jefferson a call and said, “Hey Tom, things are looking pretty shitty here in the Colonies, what can we do about that?” I don’t know, but I think there is some innate need, or at least desire, in people to belong to something; some group, some organization, some movement. But you see, patriotism is not defined by what group you belong to or what political party you associate with, it is defined by the principles you support and refuse to back down from.
I think most who know of Patrick Henry are familiar with his words, “Give me liberty or give me death” but are they familiar with the words that preceded them? The complete statement made by Patrick Henry was, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Henry didn’t wait until he’d gotten enough support for his ‘movement’ before opposing the actions of his government; he knew what liberty was, when it was being violated, and he opposed it as an individual. It just so happened that there were others of like minds that joined together in the cause, but had Henry been the only one who felt that way he would have stood his ground to his last dying breath.
This whole Groupthink ideology is part of the problem in this country; from what organizations you belong to or support to the candidates you vote for in an election. How many times have I heard someone say that I was wasting my vote when I voted for someone like Ron Paul; because he couldn’t win? People want to be on the winning team, or at least on a team that stands a chance of winning. What they don’t want to do is cast their support for what is right when what is right doesn’t stand a chance of winning.
When the Founders signed their names to the Declaration of Independence they were not certain that their cause would succeed; that they would be victorious in their effort to sever the ties which bound them to England. Yet did that stop them; the fact that they might not win? No, they were steadfast in their cause and had decided that they would either win the liberty they so desperately wanted, or they would die in the effort.
When people ask me what we can do to fix this country I often ask in return, “Are you willing to openly resist unconstitutional laws?” If they say no, then I tell them that they aren’t ready to do what is necessary to fix this country; because that is one of the things that our Founders did during the period of American History leading up to the Revolution.
What do people think the Boston Tea Party was if not an act of civil disobedience? What about the Son’s of Liberty marching to the home tax collector Andrew Oliver, then went on to ransack the house of their governor, Thomas Hutchinson? History paints our Founders as patriots and heroes – but only because they won. Had they lost they would have been painted as thugs, outlaws and rebels. Just look at how revisionist historians are painting the Confederate States of America; for they fought for the same things that men like Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams did. Yet they are the bad guys, while Henry, Jefferson and Adams are patriots.
Explain that to me if you can.
It has been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, but that is only partly true. You can watch something all day long, but if you don’t know what you’re watching for, then you are wasting your time.
I remember one time I was in Kuwait and the only things to watch that weren’t in Arabic were the sporting events on TV. But they didn’t have American sports on TV over there, it was mostly cricket. Seeing as how I did not understand the rules of cricket I could watch it, but I did not know what I was seeing on the screen. Then some Australian staying at the hotel explained the rules of cricket to me, and now I can watch a cricket match and KNOW what I’m watching.
The same goes for politics and government, if you don’t know the rules then you are participating in a system that is rigged against you; if you don’t know how the system is supposed to function, then will be unable to discern when infractions occur; if you do not know how your system of government came into existence, then you cannot tell how it was designed, from the get go, to produce the very government we have today.
Knowledge is key to understanding what is wrong, and how it went wrong. If you are not willing to put forth the effort to learn how our system of government came into existence; how it fundamentally altered the relationship between the States and the federal authority; how it was designed to deprive you of your liberty, then you are merely participating in a rigged game; never realizing that you are voting for your own masters time and time again.
People sometimes feel a sense of hopelessness when it comes to repairing the damage done to their liberty yet aren’t we the people the creators of, and therefore masters over our government? Although they may have the guns, the cops and the courts on their side, we have a powerful tool which we can exercise against tyranny; and most people do everything in their power to avoid using that tool.
The power that I’m talking about is jury duty; and most people I know would do anything to get out of serving on a jury. The voice of a jury is final; it is absolute, and no judge, no politician, and no majority of the people can reverse it. That is a very powerful tool, and if used properly could stop tyranny dead in its tracks.
You see, politicians my write the laws, the cops may arrest people for violating those laws, the courts may try those charged with violating those laws, but it is the jury that ultimately decides if a person is found guilty or innocent of any crime. If just one juror stands their ground and declares the law a defendant is charged with violating to be unconstitutional, then the defendant cannot be found guilty – JUST ONE PERSON CAN STOP TYRANNY DEAD IN ITS TRACKS!
Now this power should not be used for trivial or frivolous purposes, but if used to support and defend individual liberty then it is a powerful check upon our government’s ability to punish those who violate the unconstitutional laws they enact routinely.
Judges do not want jurors to know about the power they hold in the palms of their hands; they will even find people in contempt of court if they even mention jury nullification in their courtrooms; but that power has existed since the earliest period of our country’s existence and it remains within the power of every person to find a person innocent if they believe the law itself violates the Constitution or a person’s rights.
You do not want to advertise that you know anything about jury nullification, as that would ensure that you never serve on a jury; but you should be aware that it is within your right to declare the law itself unconstitutional, and therefore no crime was committed when a defendant is accused of violating that law.
In 1789 the very first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, stated, “The Jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” But to exercise that power one must know what the Constitution says, they must know what individual and natural rights are, and they must be willing to stay the course against a tide of opposition to their position.
As I can attest to, most people don’t know the first thing about what the Constitution says; most people don’t know the nature of their rights and how no government can infringe upon them; and most believe that whatever the government says is the law, is in fact the law; therefore anyone who violates it MUST BE GUILTY.
The Sixteenth American Jurisprudence states, “Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection and justifies no acts performed under it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”
Yet the courts, if anything, are places that serve, not justice, but the law as dictated by your government. Go to any lawyer’s office and you will most likely find bookshelves full of legal books…but not a single book on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or Natural Law. That is because the law, as exercised in courtrooms is based upon the decisions, or opinions of judges. Legal books are full of Supreme Court and district court precedents, but for any law to be binding it must, let me repeat that, IT MUST be in accordance to the powers delegated to the government by the Constitution. Anything less and the enactment of the law itself becomes a criminal act.
But again, all this relies upon having an informed and educated public. Madison did say that knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and if there is one thing that I have discovered it is that people do not want to spend the time pouring over old historical documents and reading dry treatises on rights.
Our government knows this, and they take advantage of the ignorance of the general populace by promising that the laws they are enacting will make them safer, make them more secure and more comfortable; or provide them with more jobs or benefits – and the people fall for it time and time again.
Hell, all one has to do is watch the election process in America to realize that. Americans keep voting for the same old tired party hacks over and over again; voting for the same broken promises and failed ideologies that got us into this mess in the first place; and then they wonder why things don’t get better.
All the while your government puts on the show of governing, of partisan bickering with the occasional bipartisan effort; all designed to keep you believing that there is a fundamental difference between the two parties. Well the only difference I can see is how they seek to exercise their tyrannical power over me. People may as well be choosing between socialists and fascists for all the good voting does.
Liberty only comes to those who understand what it is, and to those who are willing to defend it against all attacks. Knowledge is the first step towards reacquiring that liberty, then the willingness to oppose tyranny no matter the cost to you or to your standing in society.
I have lost friends because of my beliefs. I have come under attack and been accused of hate speech or saying things that offend others. But if one stands fast, clings to the truth with all their might, they will be vindicated; either in this life or the next. Of that I’m certain, and so were men like Patrick Henry. Henry wasn’t concerned about what others thought about him, he was only concerned with defending God’s gift to all men – Liberty.
The truth, and the pursuit of it is my life raft; and I cling to it with all my might in an ocean of ignorance; for were I to let go I would lose all hope and falter. It is the pursuit of the truth that keeps me going when I am ignored, scorned and ridiculed. It is the truth that keeps me strong in the face of verbal attacks and charges of being radical and unpatriotic.
The truth will set you free, but you have to seek it out first before you can ever hope to obtain the freedom that it promises. Oh, and one other thing; no one ever said the trip would be easy; for it won’t, it will be tough. But if you stay the course and remain strong to the end, the reward will well be worth the effort. As Thomas Paine said, ” Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
You see, when you get down to the basics, it’s not about left versus right; Republican versus Democrat, it’s about freedom versus servitude. If you vote; if you obey the laws enacted by your government; if you blindly support those who enforce those laws, then you are showing me that you prefer servitude.
Freedom doesn’t come without a price. Our Founders were willing to pay that price, are you?