Where are Today’s Sons of Liberty?

Sons of Liberty    by Diane Rufino

We talk a lot today about how the Constitution no longer means what it used to and it no longer protects individual freedom and liberty as it used to. We say this because a government of limited and defined powers has steadily and without apology become a government of broad and undefined powers.  When a state should happen to assert its sovereignty and challenge the usurpation of power, the federal government issues a letter threatening to take them to court. The government knows that what the Constitution won’t allow it to do, the courts will.

But the situation is far more serious than what we thought.  Yes, our Constitution is and has been under attack. And yes, the relationship between the individual and the government has been fundamentally altered. But the document that perhaps may be even more significant to us as Americans, the Declaration of Independence, is also under attack. The attack, if we want to be intellectually honest, started with the man the government touts as the greatest American president Abraham Lincoln.

Just as the Constitution was fundamentally transformed as the American people slept and as they became virtual strangers to their own history and heritage, the Declaration has been eroded because of the same reason.

John Adams once said: “A constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  The American people don’t know how close they are to losing the very gifts they have taken for granted for so long.  We here today will enjoy the last remnants of freedom, but through our actions, our neglect, our spite, and our ignorance we may condemn our children and grandchildren to repurchase it, perhaps with their lives. It may be too late.

What shame we should feel that the people we love most in this world – our children – will not be able to exercise liberty as fully and enjoy property as unconditionally as we did when we were young. The most important property of all – that which stems from our minds, our hearts, and our ambitions – has come increasingly under the control of the federal government, to be regulated for others rather than protected for the individual.

Our greatest shame should be in the reality that posterity will have to buy back a gift we were supposed to preserve for them.

The problem today is that we’ve too long forgotten what makes us uniquely American. It’s not the heritage we bring with us to add to this melting pot we call the United States.  No, it’s the very thing that Martin Luther King referred to in his “I Have a Dream” speech – the promissory note that all Americans are entitled to. “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as well as the guarantee that government would be protect those rights. That promissory note attaches to us at our birth and attaches to everyone who comes to America’s shores looking for freedom and the American Dream. In the United States, individual liberty is the product of natural law and God’s law and not a token gift from a benevolent government. In the United States, government doesn’t grant rights; it protects them. Our laws apply in times of good and bad; they apply to good people and bad people. The Bill of Rights has no exemptions for “really bad people” or even non-citizens. The Bill of Rights, as prefaced in its preamble as “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” on the power delegated to the government in the Constitution – is an important check on government power against any person. That is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our legal system. And at the core of what defines America is that grand moral proclamation so eloquently articulated in the Declaration of Independence.

For too many years, Americans have remained silent as precious liberty interests have been taken away from them. It’s been a slow, progressive erosion indeed.  We today are guilty too, if not more than any other generation. We don’t understand that our freedom and liberty is only as secure as the foundation that supports and protects it. And every bit of that foundation is being eroded or has been eroded, including the notion of individual sovereignty (as I’ve pointed out in my previous article – “What It Means to be Sovereign” –  http://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2013/07/30/what-it-means-to-be-sovereign/).

We no longer jealously guard what our Founding Fathers sought to accomplish when they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for and what our forefathers fought and died for. The spirit of the American Revolution is dead. Patrick Henry warned that we should never lose that spirit. Yet, when the Constitution was written and then presented to the Virginia ratifying convention in 1788 – only one year after it was written in Philadelphia – Henry took the floor and listed a series of issues he found with the document, all “tending to re-establish a monarchy” and subjecting citizens to the type of government that they had just dissolved their bonds of allegiance with. He accused the Virginians of already losing the spirit of the Revolution and being too willing to surrender their freedoms. He warned them to guard “that precious jewel,” which is liberty.

Before the Revolution, as we all know, the British Parliament imposed the Stamp Act – a tax on documents. The colonists did everything in their power, mostly through the Sons of Liberty, to frustrate its enforcement. They protested, hung British officials in effigy, organized angry mobs, threw rocks at the homes of officials tasked with collecting the tax, and otherwise intimidated such officials so that most resigned. In short, the Stamp Act could not be enforced. The colonists stood up for their rights (the right NOT to have a government in some far off land legislate for them and tax them without their representation).  As Benjamin Franklin (who was acting as the ambassador to England from Massachusetts at the time) tried to explain to Parliament: “The Stamp Act says we shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums; and thus it is intended to extort our money from us or ruin us by the consequence of refusing to pay it…. They (the colonists) think it extremely hard and unjust that a body of men in which they have no representatives should make a merit to itself of giving and granting what is not its own but theirs, and deprive them of a right they esteem of the utmost value and importance, as it is the security of all their other rights.” A member of Parliament then asked Franklin if the colonists know their rights, and Franklin responded that they know them very well indeed. Franklin went on to warn Parliament that if the Stamp Act was not repealed, the colonies would likely revolt.

Next came the tax on tea. The King and Parliament were mindful of the rising passions of the colonists and their “revolutionary spirit.” In order to impose a tax yet not burden the colonists, Parliament secured a great surplus of tea from the East India Company. Because it was a surplus, it would be sold to the colonies at a lower price. On top of that, there would be a tax imposed of 3 pence per pound. It was no doubt, a minute tax on the tea. With the reduced price plus the tax, colonists would still be paying less for tea than they had paid before. There was no burden. Yet, we know what happened. We know that about 100 members of the Sons of Liberty dressed up as Mohawk Indians and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest that minute tax. They protested, not because the tax imposed a hardship, but because they were smart enough and liberty-minded enough to recognize the violation of their rights which was at the core of that tax. They would not submit.

Today, we stand idly by even while the government destroys chunks of our liberties. When the 2011-2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed, the Obama administration added a new clause (to the original Authorization of Military Force, AUMF, which Bush requested to hunt down and prosecute the perpetrators of 9/11). Instead of targeting the perpetrators of 9/11, the federal government added a clause to target US citizens, on American soil, who are engaged in hostilities against the United States (undefined terms, of course). Once targeted, they are stripped of their Bill of Rights and can be interrogated, tortured, and held indefinitely without a formal charge or without a trial. The Supreme Court created a special term for these Americans (reviving a term used by FDR in WWII) – “enemy combatants.” The US Constitution already addresses these types of people – they are called “traitors” – and appropriate action is clearly spelled out, so as not to punish without recognizing inherent human rights. But our government needed a way to by-pass constitutional rights and so, we have the NDAA and the ability of the Executive Department to unilaterally attach the label of “enemy-combatant” to an American citizen. But what did the American people do when their rights were taken away? Most said: “Well, the government needs to do what it needs to do to keep us safe.” And where was the outrage when the Supreme Court found that Obamacare was constitutional and the federal government can use the taxing power to compel human behavior in ways that in and of itself are unconstitutional (federal government has NO right to get involved in healthcare; it’s not an enumerated function). Again, too many people were just happy to know the government will be ensuring that they have healthcare coverage than to appreciate the enormity of the violation of fundamental rights that underlies that decision. The debate over whether the government needs to restrain gun rights in order to stem violence in our schools is another issue. Sustainable development policies are another. The “Wall of Separation” and growing hostility of government against religion is another….

The list goes on and on. We just sit back. We don’t protest, we don’t do all we can to frustrate the enforcement of unconstitutional federal laws or policies or even court decisions….  We’ve lost the Revolutionary spirit. We’ve lost the spirit in our hearts and minds that compels us to stand up for our precious liberties.

And the sad thing, we’ve already lost so much.

So the question is this: Why don’t we care?  Why aren’t we doing more?  And where are today’s Sons of Liberty?

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Unite in Freedom!

Freedom - eagle

by Diane Rufino, January 13, 2013

A message to the Tea Party, 9/12 groups, the Republican Liberty Caucus, Ron Paul supporters, and other Liberty-minded groups and individuals….  

In this article, I hope to convince grassroots conservatives to unite in the coming year to re-assert founding values and strengthen principles of Liberty and to reject the contorted view of the Constitution that President Barack Obama is pushing on the American people.

First, let’s view the results of the 2012 election, as much as it pains me to do so –

1).  Obama received a majority of the electoral votes –  332 to 206

2).  He won the popular vote: 50 – 48%

3).  Independents made up 29% of the vote this time, and Romney beat Obama by five points among those voters. This was an increase over 2008 when McCain didn’t capture any of the independent vote.

4).  Surprisingly, Mitt Romney received less votes in November than McCain got in 2008. Romney received 2-3 million less votes than McCain.  Romney lost the 2012 election not so much because he got fewer votes than Barack Obama but because he got fewer votes than John McCain in 2008.

5).  Obama received 60.6 million votes in 2012, almost 9 million less than he received in 2008. Again, if Romney could have had even a slightly better showing than McCain had in 2008, he would have won the presidency.

6).  Outside the South, President Obama defeated Romney 55 – 45%.  In the South (minus Virginia and Florida), Romney took the lead 60 – 40%.  As the Daily Beast put it: “Romney got elected president of the old confederacy.”

7).  Romney won North Carolina by 2% of the vote

8).  Obama only received 39% of the white vote – the worst showing among whites since Mondale. Yet outside the South, whites didn’t turn out as strongly for Romney either.  In fact, the share of votes cast by whites was at its lowest (at 72%) since 1992.

9).  Romney won among white voters by 20 percentage points.  That was up from John McCain’s edge of 12 percentage points in 2008.  Of all those who voted for Romney, 88% were white.

10).  Non-whites made up 28%  of the electorate, up a bit from 27% in 2008.  This group largely backed Obama: 71% of Hispanics (up 4 points from 2008) and 93% of blacks (down 3-4 points from 2008).

11).  Romney, on the other hand, received only 2% of the black vote and 29% of the Hispanic vote.

12).  Young voters were important to giving Obama his first term.  Voters under age 30 showed up again this time:  They represented 19% of all voters, one point higher than 2008.  But this time, they didn’t back Obama as strongly this time.  In 2008, they backed him 66%, but in November their support dropped by 6 points.

13).  Seniors backed Romney by 56 to 44%, mostly unchanged from 2008.

14).  Married women backed Obama by 11 points (down from 2008) while married women backed Romney by 7 points (a far better showing than McCain got).

15).  Men, in general, backed Romney (by 7 percentage points), but married men backed him by an even wider margin (almost 2-1).

16).  White Catholics went for Romney by a margin of 59-40%.

17).  Romney apparently didn’t fare as well as he could have among Mormon voters.  George W. Bush received more support from the Mormon community in 2004 than Romney did in November.

18).  While Romney won the presidential debates, the attention that Obama received in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, particularly with bloated NJ Governor Chris Christie, helped him in the polls in the days leading up to the election. (Never mind that the government has yet to provide any assistance to the victims). 42% of voters said Obama’s handling of the hurricane disaster influenced their vote in a positive way. The Benghazi scandal, on the other hand, which far exceeded any wrong-doing that Richard Nixon did in the Watergate affair, seemed to have no negative impact on voters.  4 Americans serving their country in a hostile part of the world notified the State Department that their lives were in danger from radical extremists and requested additional security, but were denied. Hilary Clinton watched in real time as Ambassador Chris Stevens, computer specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were overcome by a terrorist assault on the US Consulate and a safe house.  An urgent request from the CIA for military back-up and air support during the attack was denied. US forces were told to stand down and 4 Americans were left to be slaughtered.

19).  Republicans lost 6 seats in the US House

20).  Republicans lost 3 seats in the US Senate

The fatal mistake that we made was in thinking that voter turn-out would be like that of 2010 when Republicans made historic gains in state government and in Washington DC.  The single cause of Romney’s defeat was the failure of Republicans and conservatives to get out the vote.  3 million Republican voters stayed home on Election Day.  If those Republicans had voted, Mitt Romney would have won the popular vote by 180,000.

Why did Republicans stay home?  The only conclusion is that they weren’t motivated by the Republican party’s election message.  They weren’t inspired by the Republican party.  They weren’t convinced that Mitt Romney was a better alternative than Barack Obama. They didn’t see a clear-cut difference between the candidates.

On the bright side, however, thirty (30) Republican state governors were elected.

On Saturday, January 5th, Pat McCrory was sworn in as the new Governor of my state of North Carolina.  The last time NC had a Republican governor was 24 years ago. And for the first time in 144 years, a Republican Governor will meet a Republican Legislative Majority.

The NC General Assembly picked up an additional nine Republican seats (for a total of 77 out of 120 seats) and an additional two Republican Senate seats (for a record total of 33 out of 50).

But unfortunately the NC GOP could not get an outstanding slate of conservative candidates elected to the NC Council of State.  Ed Goodwin, Mike Causey, John Tedesco, Mike Royal, and Debra Goldman all lost their races. How could that be?  Many, including the candidates themselves, believe that the failure of the state GOP to provide adequate funding to their campaigns, when it could have done so, was what cost them the victories.

So let’s look at where we are now that the 2012 election is over and what the challenges are ahead.

On Monday, January 20, Obama was sworn in again as President.  I could barely summon the fortitude to watch  the event. I’ve changed the diapers of my four children with no problem, and endured their episodes of projectile vomiting, but I couldn’t stomach to listen to this man.  Just like a mother knows from the sounds her infant makes what vile mess awaits her, that’s how I feel about Barack Obama. The notion of a socialist/Marxist, globalist as the President of the greatest republic in the world, premised on the greatest respect for individual liberty and property rights, offended me to the very core. The lessons of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia are playing out right now here in the United States.  An ignorant and uninformed electorate, sufficiently devoid of morals and personal responsibility, more concerned in classifying themselves as a particular ethnic or social group than unifying into one common culture, was swayed by the charisma and promises of “hope” by a demagogue. We’ve given this man great political power and now we wait to see what he will do with it.  It struck me how our country, in all its greatness and with its supposed dependence on the Rule of Law, is not insulated from the seeds of tyranny.

In his inauguration speech, Obama laid out his agenda in stark terms: More spending on the same failing big government programs and another push for his global warming agenda to drive up energy prices and take away more of our freedoms in their name of sustainability and wealth redistribution. More centralization of power and more centralized planning over people’s lives and property. We were treated once again to a lecture on Obama’s interpretation of the Constitution and the meaning of our founding principles. And once again he talked about the transformation of America to meet the needs of a new day.  It’s clear once again that he is willing to trample on the Constitution anytime it interferes with his ends.  We are seeing it right now with his gun control initiative.

We have many challenges ahead and I hope they will serve to make our resolve stronger and unite the many conservative groups on common goals. These challenges include the mounting fiscal showdown, the government’s outright declaration of war on the wealthy and its wealth distribution polices, the administration’s open support of a gay rights agenda, Obamacare and its implementation, the re-interpretation of our Constitution, and the rising storm against Gun Rights.

We already see the start of the same old fight.  House Republicans are insisting on spending cuts in exchange for agreeing to a 3-month deal to temporarily raise the debt ceiling. But President Obama has already warned that he will not negotiate. He wants the rich to pay and pay and pay so that he doesn’t have to make any cuts in government programs.  Only in America can the rich people – who pay 86% of all income taxes – be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all.

Welcome to 2013 where the gravest problem threatening the nation is spending, where our Democratic president refuses to make spending cuts, where the Democratic Senate lawlessly refuses to pass a budget, and where Democrats frustrate congressional GOP efforts to enact spending and entitlement reform, yet the public is conned into believing that Republicans are the problem. Almost all polls show that the American people blame Republicans for the fiscal mess (either because they refuse to give in or because they haven’t aren’t standing strong enough).

The question is whether the debt ceiling deal, the “No Budget, No Pay” bill that the US House passed and just recently the Senate, which will delay pay to members of the House or Senate if they don’t approve a budget by mid-April.  According to Section 2 of the bill, a payroll administrator would withhold Congress members’ pay after April 15, 2013, if one or both houses of Congress couldn’t agree on a fiscal year 2014 budget. The money will be held in an escrow account and given back to Congress members when a budget is passed or at the end of the current 113th Congress in January 1, 2015.  Of course the deal lacks any meat since the 27th Amendment, our most recent constitutional amendment, would most likely prevent the holding of Congress’ pay.  The 27th Amendment essentially prohibits a sitting Congress from adjusting its compensation.

Obamacare is moving forward. By November, the exchanges will be open and those without an employer health plan can start enrolling in the government scheme. And next year, the Individual Mandate kicks in. To fund this massive socialist entitlement plan, the government will deep further into our pockets.  This will be in addition to the “American Taxpayer Relief Act” which Congress recently passed to allow the expiration of the payroll tax cut to have more money taken out of people’s paychecks. (The mean increase, by the way, is $1,635).  Embedded in Obamacare are approximately 6 new taxes which will hit everyone, while 21 new taxes will hit the wealthy (mostly affecting small business owners).  Personal and real property will become less and less valuable to us and our children (perhaps even becoming a liability). Because poorer Americans will be exempt from the Individual Mandate and the insurance fee and the wealthy will have no problem paying the “penalty,” Obamacare will be the largest tax increase on the middle class in this country’s history. As Rand Paul said: “Just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court declare something to be “constitutional” does not make it so. The whole bill remains unconstitutional..”   The four Justices who dissented wrote: “The values that should have determined our decision today are caution, minimalism, the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers, and federalism.  But the Court’s majority undermined those values at every turn.  The decision creates overreaching taxing power and undermines state sovereignty. The adherence to those core values is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril.  Today’s decision should have vindicated, should have taught, this truth;  Instead, our judgment today has disregarded it.”

What the Court has done is to clear the way for  a very broad use of the tax power, even to the point of coercing people into doing what the government wants them to do and punishing them for their inactivity.  We think we have free will, as human beings, but according to the government, we may have to be burdened with taxes to enjoy that luxury. Under the precedent set by the healthcare decision, government can now impose pretty much any mandate of any kind.  It could force people to purchase broccoli or cars or other product.  It could force people to join a gym and exercise, take contraceptives, limit families to two children, or any other government initiative.  We must continue to fight this bill in every way we can.

The Obama administration has succeeded in updating the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which continues to include the offensive provisions which allows the President, and the Defense Department and Homeland Security personnel he surrounds himself with, to target American citizens as belligerents, thereby detaining them indefinitely, interrogating them, and stripping them of their constitutional (Bill of Rights) protections. He have already seen Obama’s willingness to use the NDAA against Americans.

Last August, a 26-year-old former marine and citizen of the state of Virginia, Brandon Raub, wrote the following posts on facebook: “The bill of rights is being systematically dismantled.”  ”Your leaders are planning to merge the United States into a one world banking system. They want to put computer chips in you. These men have evil hearts. They have tricked you into supporting corporate fascism. But there is hope. BUT WE MUST TAKE OUR REPUBLIC BACK.”  For those words, the government showed up at his home, arrested him, and committed him involuntarily and indefinitely to a mental hospital. The government made the decision to take his rights away. (Luckily, his mother and a sharp lawyer were able to fight the unlawful arrest). But having the mental institution on his record might prevent him from exercising his Second Amendment rights.

Also last year, the FAA, at the behest of Congress, made the decision to allow low-flying, unmanned drones to patrol the US skies to aid local law enforcement. By the end of the decade, there will be as many as 30,000 drones in our skies. Drone manufacturers are currently working on prototypes that would be equipped with fire power. These drones are so sophisticated that they will be able to read license plates, lettering on envelopes, faces, and at night, to detect activity through heat emission. Routine aerial surveillance would profoundly change the character of public life in America.  It is said that at any given time, every American is likely breaking between 3-8 laws each day — simply because there are so many laws that we can’t possibly know them all. The only reason we aren’t arrested or stopped or cited is because police themselves can’t keep up with all the laws and plus, resources are limited in most localities. But imagine with the extra tools to spy on citizens??  Remember, you can be denied a license to carry guns if you are convicted of breaking the law.

In 1996, Congress overwhelmingly passed the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the benefit of children and society.  But the Obama Administration has disregarded this law and neglected its duty to defend DOMA in court.

In March, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in two crucial marriage cases: One involves the constitutionality of DOMA and the other involves the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which is California’s voter-approved constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The potential impact of these two cases on the future of marriage can be potentially be disastrous.  The question is whether we trust the Supreme Court to do the right thing?

Years ago, the government had an interest in the education and morality of its children to ensure the best America possible. I remember the days when every student stood to salute the flag, acknowledged God, and then got a good, solid education, based on the time-honored principles of competition and responsibility. I remember when the family was the most important structure in society. I remember when church bells rang throughout my town and everyone’s lives somehow centered around the church and its activities. Now the government proclaims that it has no business legislating morality. Now the government has an interest in our youth for the primary purpose of indoctrinating them with the mindset that traditional social policies are unfair and discriminatory and should be challenged.

In 2001, Congress passed No Child Left Behind and now we have different standards set for different students and education has never been so bad in the United States. If a child doesn’t get enough sleep, he qualifies for a disability.  If he doesn’t want to study hard, he qualifies for another disability. Children learn that in life, they all get to play by different rules.  Administrators don’t want to spend their energies disciplining children so they put the responsibility on the teachers so that valuable education time is spend managing problem children, at the expense of those who want to learn. Teachers don’t want to spend time disciplining, so they dumb down their lessons, requirements, assignments, and tests. Teachers and school administrators don’t want these troubled, bad students to keep returning so they move them along, often by setting lower standards so they can pass the classes. They use group assignments, often pairing smart students up with those who struggle. They share one grade.  But diversity and tolerance is promoted… which all too often seems to be the aim of the public school agenda. Academic excellence continues to yield in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice.

Currently, the Obama administration is bribing the states with federal dollars to implement his “Common Core” program, which is the administration’s radical make-over of our children’s public school core curriculum. Michele Malkin says the program should be called “Rotten to the Core.”  Grammar classes will be deemed irrelevant; literature classes will de-emphasize the classics because too many of the classic authors are white.  History lessons covering western civilization and our Founding Fathers will be attacked as being racist. With respect to the math reforms alone, Stanford University has concluded that the Common Core scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries.

Remember, America’s downfall began with the entitlement generation and it will continue with the proliferation of the “low-information voter.”  And that, of course, starts right in our schools and in our homes….. It starts with the no-knowledge student.   The same can also be said about the voter without morals and values.

Probably most offensive to us, as Americans, are the 23 Executive Orders that Obama signed into law on January 16 to regulate gun rights. We knew Obama was coming for our guns. The school shootings just provided him the opportunity.  We all know that psychopaths are attracted to schools precisely because they are gun-free zones and because they want to vent their anger in the most audacious way. We know that firearms are merely instruments. They don’t shoot themselves. It’s malevolent souls, like those who shoot helpless children in their classrooms, who are the problem, not the Second Amendment.

We don’t have a God-given right to the Second Amendment, but we do have a God-given to self-protection and self-preservation. And that’s what the Second Amendment is all about. It protects our right to Life, and by extension, Liberty and Property.  If we are denied the ability to protect those basic rights, then we are not truly free. The Second Amendment was not written to protect the rights of hunters, it was written to protect the rights of the hunted; whether those that are hunting us or our family are common criminals or a tyrannical government that no longer respects the Constitution, the Rule of Law, or our God-given rights as human beings.

Requiring Americans to register themselves and their firearms, have a photograph taken, have fingerprints on file, and submit to psychiatric evaluations when the government defines what classifications of free speech are considered dangerous is a prerequisite for government monitoring and then confiscation, which then is the prerequisite for subjugation and totalitarianism. In the extreme cases, it is a prerequisite for the extermination of political enemies.

Everyone concerned for their Second Amendment security should contact their state representatives, their County Commissioners, and their local Sheriff’s department (the enforcement agency closest to the individual) and inquire whether each intends to honor their oath to support and defend the US Constitution (and state constitution, which also contains a Bill of Rights).  Please urge your representatives and local officials to adopt resolutions which declare the intent to preserve and protect the rights to have and bear a firearm.  Resolutions are being adopted all over – from the state of Wyoming to Beaufort County in North Carolina.  Model resolutions are available from the NC Tenth Amendment Center. (http://www.northcarolina.tenthamendmentcenter.com)

We need to start treating abuses of the constitution as felonies.

The unconstitutional, fiscal, social, educational, moral, and criminal problems we suffer today are not the problem. They are the symptoms and the consequences of a people who have turned from God and become a society that encourages the “instant gratification” nature in many of us. It’s the American people who need fixing before we can hope to fix the country and our government.  A good and moral people require few laws and therefore a small government is possible. And a small government allows for the greatest exercise of freedom.  People who can’t control their conduct are one of the reasons we have an out-of-control government and a judiciary that thinks they need to deconstruct the Constitution in order to fashion new social norms for these types of people.

As Tea Partiers, we constantly refer back to the Constitution and our founding principles. It’s our respect for the Constitution and Founding Fathers that gave rise to our movement.  Governments are an extension of Natural Law – to address the social nature of man and to keep us in ordered societies and to protect our God-given rights. Constitutions, on the other hand, are not of divine origin. They are man-made instruments that restrain the government and prevent it from oppressing the people it is supposed to serve and protect. Laws restrain people but Constitutions restrain government.  Luckily for us, our Constitution was divinely-inspired.

The brilliance of our Constitution is the separation of government powers, each branch jealously guarding its sphere of authority, and the complex system of checks and balances, which includes the states (under the Tenth Amendment) and an engaged and vigilante electorate. Without these effective checks and balances, we would cease to have a constitutional republic. We would, in effect, have a democracy, the one thing our Founders wanted to avoid.  The rule of a constitutional majority would simply become the rule of the numerical majority – where the majority would be able to use the full resources of the federal government for its selfish purposes.  In times of stress, such as our economic depression and rising unemployment, the rule of the majority can easily become the rule of the mob – with the majority taking what it wants from the minority.  Again, this is precisely what our Founders struggled to avoid.  Freedom is God-given, but it is up to us, as men and women, to make sure it is secured from the evil tendencies of government.

The attacks on our freedoms and our property rights are a symptom of a deep problem – an unfortunate shift in the political wind and a calculated re-engineering of American society. Those in power get away with it because we let them.  And there are several reasons for this:
(a)  a fundamental disrespect for the Bible and our Constitution
(b)  a failure to stick to our traditional American values
(c)  a failure to hold our representatives to their oaths of office..  (we keep electing them);  and
(d)  a failure to find candidates to represent the party who are not afraid to ask the tough question: “What would Thomas Jefferson do?”

We are facing an unprecedented level of central planning over our lives, our fortunes, and our Pursuit of Happiness. What are our rights worth if the government regulates us so much that we can’t exercise them freely and safely?  What President Obama implied in his inaugural speech, as he so heavily relied on the memory of Abraham Lincoln, is that the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of equality of result. Not the equality of opportunity, but the equality of result. He implied that would do what he could to use the government to make everybody more equal, in terms of their income and their life’s work. He didn’t talk about the rightful reward for effort, sacrifice, and achievement. He didn’t talk about the reward for success, which is the natural incentive and which keeps a civilization moving forward and becoming more successful.  It was an income-leveling speech… which signals the death of our John Locke foundation of government and the nation’s view of Natural Rights.

As columnist Keith Koffler wrote: “Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Franklin trusted the people with a Republic. Liberals say the people can no longer be trusted alone with such things…..   Jefferson wanted to guarantee the pursuit of happiness. Obama wants to guarantee happiness. The former is the philosophy of capitalism. The latter is Socialism, which uses government to reduce freedom, not create it. This is not what the Founders intended.”

It was unthinkable to hear the leader of the United States, the nation founded on the recognition of man as an inherently free creature, and a former Harvard-educated constitutional lawyer, argue during his speech that America has evolved to the extent “our founding documents” no longer require us to “define liberty in exactly the same way.”  The truth is that Obama’s ideology contradicts the Constitution he is sworn to uphold and he is putting his ideology above the one thing that protects the freedom our Creator has endowed us with – the Constitution. Because of this president, we can expect the ideological divide to grow wider over the next four years and time-honored social foundations to be sufficiently eroded.  Put on your seat belts folks….   The carnage we can expect as a result of his divide-and-conquer policies and his policies of national transformation will be immense.

As if this all isn’t enough, the rumor that Obama might seek to repeal term limits for the Presidency so he can run again in 2016 is coming true.  On January 4, Democratic US House rep, Jose Serrano (NY), introduced a piece of legislation – Joint House Resolution 15 (H.J. Res. 15) – proposing “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.”  It is currently referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

What is it about “tyrant” and “dictator” that is attractive to people? And why is the government trying so hard to make it a reality for this particular president?

But while the pendulum of political ideology swings back and forth, tipping right now at the far left, we have to wonder if the momentum will ever bring it back over to the right. History shows a recurrent movement back and forth  in our country, between idealistic big governmental activists and their conservative counterparts who oppose centralized government and believe that government is best when it governs least. These historical cycles have usually lasted for one generation, approximately 20 to 25 years.  It’s been 25 years since Ronald Reagan left office.  It’s been 25 years since we last enjoyed a president who actively sought to turn back “big government.”

Let’s hope there is a political equivalent of the laws of physics: “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.” What goes around comes around.

What will the Republican Party offer in 2016?

I got a call from the GOP sometime before Christmas, asking for money. It was a call from a Washington DC number.  Still being in a funk over the results of the presidential election, I wasn’t in a donating mood. But the guy wouldn’t stop asking so I asked him what the GOP plans to do going forward to energize the conservative base?  This is what he told me  –
1).  It will have to support some kind of amnesty – to attract the Hispanic vote  (An analysis of the Hispanic community, however, shows that  Hispanic voters are not voting for Democrats because the Democratic party is for amnesty or for open borders. The reason they vote for Democrats is the same reason other groups vote for Democrats.. for the hand-outs).
2).  The GOP platform can continue to show its support of the Right to Life and the rights of the Unborn but it should not pursue policy to limit or take any abortion rights or funding from those who believe otherwise.
3).  The GOP platform can continue to show its moral disapproval of Gay Marriage but it should not pursue policy to deny rights to gays/lesbians.

In other words, the Republican Party intends to sell out its principles and abandon the hope of restoring moral principles to this once moral nation.  It is planning to pander to social groups.  What party does that remind you of?

The Democratic Party.

If the GOP doesn’t believe in the Rule of Law, if it believes there are special rights for special groups, and if it is willing to concede our founding principles for a more fair outcome, then it has ceased to be Republican party. It is just another liberal party and should waive the white flag of surrender. If you think it is acceptable that our choice in 2016 will be the party of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the party of unprincipled conservatives, then our country is lost. If you believe that we should resign ourselves to a culture  that lacks the moral courage to discourage envy and covetousness, then you have rejected the American ideal of “Equal Opportunity” in favor of the French model of “Equality of Outcome.”

We have to stand the course and fight as best we can issue by issue, at this point. If we still believe in the notion that we have a government of the people, by the people, for the people, then we have to put the power back in the foundation where it came from – us.  We the People.  That’s what the Declaration of Independence proudly proclaims.

We have 4 more years with a President who fundamentally stands for everything we oppose and who is as ambitious at transforming America as Kim Kardashian is at finding a husband…. or as ambitious as Chris Christie is at finding a donut shop.  Obama has made, perhaps, one too many a mistake by going after our Gun Rights. That might be the issue we can hope to build stronger coalitions against this administration. We HAVE to win more seats in the House and Senate in 2014, and we HAVE to figure out, once and for all, the winning strategy for 2016.  Or we may never see a Republican in the White House again.

If you believe, as the Republican Liberty Caucus believes and as many Tea Party groups believe, that with hard work and determination we can wrestle the GOP from the grips of those who would sell its soul and restore her, then I beg you to please take to heart what you will hear and learn here today.

Again, we have to get involved to make a difference.  The success or failure will rest with us…..   working together.

APPENDIX

I.    Obama’s 23 Executive Orders to Regulate Gun Ownership:

1). Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background-check system.

2). Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background-check system.

3). Improve incentives for states to share information with the background- check system.

4). Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5). Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6). Publish a letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7). Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8). Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9). Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10). Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11). Nominate an ATF director.

12). Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13). Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14). Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15). Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16). Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17). Release a letter to healthcare providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18). Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19). Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20). Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21). Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within Affordable Care Act exchanges.

22). Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.

23). Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Reference:   http://www.newsmax.com/headline/obama-guns-executive-orders/2013/01/16/id/471689#ixzz2JgW48lwc  (“Obama’s Executive Orders to Address Gun Violence Reduction?)

Also see:  Scott Coffina, “Gun Control by Executive Order,” National Review Online, January 16, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337789/gun-control-executive-order-scott-coffina?pg=1

II.    Obama’s First Term by the Numbers 

At the beginning of January 2013, the RNC Research arm released a list of how much President Obama’s first four years cost in terms of deficits, regulations, stimulus spending, and the underemployed and unemployed individuals. The following are a few of those figures:

  • $25.4 Trillion: Projected federal debt in 2022 due to Obama’s binge spending (Office of Management and Budget, 7/27/12).
  • $16.4 Trillion: Current national debt (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $9.2 trillion: Amount Obama’s FY2013 budget would add to the debt through FY2022 (OMB, 7/27/12).
  • $5.8 Trillion: Added to the national debt since Obama took office (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $2.6 Trillion: True cost of ObamaCare once fully implemented (Office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Report 1/6/11).
  • $1.75 Trillion: Annual cost of federal regulations (Small Business Administration, September 2010).
  • $1.18 Trillion: Total cost of Obama’s first stimulus with interest (CBO, 1/31/12).
  • $1.17 Trillion: American debt held by China (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $1.090 Trillion: Federal budget deficit for FY2012–Fourth Highest in U.S. History (CBO, 10/5/12).
  • $833 Billion: Price tag of Obama’s first failed stimulus (CBO, 8/23/12).
  • $820 Billion: Amount of taxes in ObamaCare (CBO 3/13/12).
  • $518 Billion: Amount of regulatory burden since Obama took office (American Action Forum, 1/14/13).
  • $447 Billion: Price tag of Obama’s second stimulus (The White House, 9/8/11).
  • $236.7 Billion: Amount of regulatory burden in 2012 (American Action Forum 1/14/13).
  • $188 Billion: Taxpayer funds for Fannie May and Freddie Mac (ProPublica, Accessed 10/10/12).
  • $28.5 Billion: Outstanding government investment bailouts of the auto industry (Treasury Department, 1/10/13).
  • $24.3 Billion: Amount government expects to lose on bailouts of auto industry (Treasury Department, 1/10/13).
  • $535 Million: Stimulus loan to the failed solar company Solyndra (The Oakland Tribune, 11/4/10).
  • 46.2 Million: Number of Americans receiving food stamps (Department of Agriculture, 1/4/13).
  • 22.7 Million: Americans unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 12.2 Million: Unemployed Americans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 2.6 Million: Unemployed workers that have given up looking for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 757,000: Unemployed veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 226,000: Unemployed post-9/11 era veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 89,000: The number of stimulus checks sent to dead or incarcerated people (The Wall Street Journal, 10/7/10).
  • $53,224: Your share of the national debt (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $18,804: Increase in your share of the national debt since Obama took office (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 45,696: Pages of new rules added to the federal register during Obama’s first two years in office (Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2011).
  • $15,500: Annual cost per household from federal regulations (Small Business Administration, September 2010).
  • 61%: The amount by which new offshore leases for oil and natural gas drilling has declined under Obama (FactCheck.org, 10/19/12).
  • $3,065: Amount of increase of average cost of family health care premiums since Obama took office (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012).
  • 7.8%: The current unemployment rate, which is the same as when Obama took office (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • Since Obama took office, the unemployment rate for women has increased from 6.9% to 7.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).
  • In December 2012, the unemployment rate for women spiked from 7.6% to 7.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).
  • Since Obama took office, the African American unemployment rate has increased from 12.7% to 14.0% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).
  • In December 2012, the African American unemployment rate increased from 13.2% to 14.0% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).

Reference:  Figures compiled by the Republican National Committee