Despite a continual degradation of liberty in these united States, the patriot blogosphere continues to be energized with sentiments such as "keep your hands off my Constitution", "let's restore the Constitution", "if you don't like my Constitution then you should get the hell out", or "I can't wait to kill all the people who don't like my Constitution". Or variations of this same theme.
While such emotional reactions probably feel good to the reactionary spouting them (who is, by the way, trying to articulate perfectly legitimate concerns about something having gone terribly wrong in this country), they ignore some simple facts about the Constitution itself. Without going into all the details about the facts which support a Hamiltonian power grab (Boston T. Party does a fine job of this all by himself in his
"Hologram of Liberty"), splitting hairs about "of" or "for", or devolving into yet another academic Spooner tug-fest, we can let the Constitution speak for itself.
First, however, I would like to slice and dice some of the founding documents so that we can see Constitutional reality. For our purposes here, the founding documents can be divided as follows:
a. The Declaration of Independence (DoI).
b. The seven articles of Constitutional power.
c. The Bill of Rights (BoR).
d. The remainder of the amendments to the Constitution.
Pop Quiz (which should be a breeze for those Constitutional scholars so confident of their patriotism that they would easily exile or execute those with whom they disagree, freedom of speech notwithstanding):
Question 1: Of these four divisions, two are about liberty, one is about centralized government control, and the remainder patches holes discovered in that power over time. Can you name which is which?
Question 2: Of these four divisions, which is the one that most patriot types have in mind when considering ideas such as "oathkeeping" versus "oathbreaking"?
Question 3: For the division given as the answer to the previous question, what enforcement provisions exist to ensure the rights described therein are protected?
Question 4: Other than individual cases which don't amount to a hill of stacked crap, when throughout the entire history of the nation have those rights been protected in any crisis of any magnitude (hint: Katrina), crises being the only time in which preservation of rights is essential?
OK, I could go on and on, but I run the risk of losing some of those who are starting to get a nagging, uncomfortable feeling. Let's get rid of the nagging and make sure it is a full-bore deliberate uncomfortable feeling instead, and grade those papers. Get out your red pens, gang.
Answer 1: This first question should be easy. Only the DoI and BoR are about liberty. I think we can all agree that the concepts in those two documents are essential to a free people. In contrast, the seven articles of Constitutional power delineate the power structure established by, and powers granted to, the central government. The other amendments primarily patch holes in that framework when too much actual liberty threatens to squirt out at the seams.
Answer 2: Again, an easy question. Most patriots, especially military veterans, have in mind the BoR when thinking warm fuzzy thoughts about Constitutional oaths. But you can be sure that high office holders are instead only thinking about all that power vested in their offices when they take an oath. Both groups are correct, but only one of them carries the day in any meaningful way, which brings us to...
Answer 3: There is no enforcement language whatsoever for the Bill of Rights. Any prohibition without enforcement is merely a suggestion. Or propaganda, depending on your point of view. And so ...
Answer 4: Whenever your rights bump up against the power of the high office holders or their mid- to low-office minions, you lose. Every time. Wherever or whenever you think Americans have been free in the past, it is just because the feds (read as "enforcers for the elites") hadn't gotten around to walling that place off yet. The tyranny has always been lying there dormant, waiting to be used, and leaks through the cracks in times of crisis. But now, it's all crisis, isn't it?
Now, the usual patriot answer is that "wee the people" have somehow let down "wee the people" by not marching on DC with our NRA-sanctioned sporting arms and straightening out "thee the people" in those high offices. Again, this sounds good, but the fact it has NEVER happened, and NEVER will, is due to one simple provision in all of that power stuff we usually skip over while paging one-handed over to the good stuff in that Bill of Suggested Rights If They Aren't Too Inconvenient When They Matter Most.
Care to guess which one provision totally pulls the rug out from under any patriot movement based on purely Constitutional principles? For additional credit, what other provisions support this view?
(tick tock tick tock)
Don't feel bad, it took me years to get this one, too...
(tick tock tick tock)
Hint: It's in Article II...
(tick tock tick tock)
Another hint: Look in Section 2 of that Article.
(tick tock tick tock)
Let's read it together:
"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States..."
Oh, you know, that little part where it says that if you want to have a militia, that the President owns it? And, by extension, the only valid militia is that of your State, which the President owns, too (check history, the real one, not what you learned in public school, for numerous examples before you argue the feel-good patriot-fantasy to the contrary). So, in effect, my patriot friends, by swearing to the sanctity of the Constitution, you have handed over your one means of enforcing compliance with that Bill of Rights fantasy. See also that militia stuff buried within the Article I, Section 8 laundry list, as well as in Article IV, Section 4.
These provisions of centralized Constitutional power are why there has never been, and will never be, any meaningful resistance to increasing national control and encroachment of every issue of life for each one of us. We are on a one-way path to oblivion, since our best means to resist has been carefully crafted to be meaningless from the start. Sure, form a militia, which, by the way, is the absolutely and ethically correct (albeit unlawful) reaction to our circumstances. But, after doing so, then all of your oathkeeping Constitutionalist buddies, you know, the ones in the officially sanctioned police and military militias, will demand that said local and/or private militia then answer to the President, and by extension to the elites who actually run this country. Said powers, will of course, demand that said militia disband and go home.
Despite Second Amendment propaganda, you have no Constitutional recourse of last resort to oppose with force the laws of the (capital letter) United States, including laws such as NDAA (and now HR 347). Which means, of course, that any local militia opposition fantasies are strictly un-Constitutional, by definition.
Checkmate on the first move. Well, actually, before you even get to move.
My friends, despite what you want to believe about this nation, no form of government which criminalizes the right of any person to band together with his neighbors for armed mutual defense, against enemies foreign or domestic, can hold any validity in the mind of a free man.
Forget arguments about anarchist this, or Constitutionalist that, or any other ist you choose, this prohibition is the central nugget. By placing militias under the control of the Chief Executive, and providing for the use of that force to enforce compliance with laws, even, or especially, those laws which blatantly violate the Bill of Rights, we all lose.
Within two years of taking office, the first President showed exactly what central power was all about, by raising an army of 12,000 men to put down tax resisters in the Whiskey Rebellion. Review that little bit of history at your leisure. Note that the same founders who were aghast at a tea tax, and threw that famous Tea Party, didn't take too kindly to the same behavior being applied to their tax against Appalachian corn tea out in the sticks (Yeah, I know, there's that whole "no taxation without representation" slogan. But, who do you think gets more representation? You out in the sticks, or the elites with their checkbooks? If you think your vote actually means anything, or lets you make a meaningful or informed decision, you haven't been paying attention to reality lately).
As you may recall, the private militias which had formed in the hinterland for mutual defense against that first major national tax were labeled as treasonous and enemies of the state. And the rest of the nation just lapped that rationale up. Just as the North lapped up a similar labeling of the breakaway South. And just as contemporary citizens lap up the idea that militia types are somehow dangerous to law and order as more than half of them wait for their government checks. See the pattern?
Your absolutely correct and noble desire to form a local militia to protect yourself against unconstitutional behavior is itself unconstitutional. Embrace that fact. The first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem, and we, my friends, have a big problem right there in black and white.
This is the document to which the Constitutionalists swear, and then wonder about the results in endless frustration. Lacking a constant brimming threat of imminent militia action, the national government has run amok, and will continue to run increasingly amok, all within Constitutional bounds.
As it was designed to do from the start for reasons you'll discover once you open your eyes to see reality for what it really is.
Sadly, we are taught, and many of our Constitutionalist brethren believe, that the only alternative is anarchy and chaos. Anarchy and chaos is, of course, the natural end result of the path we are on. And sadly, there is no way back the way we've come, for a variety of reasons too numerous to list here. It is going to go all the way down, like it or not. Eventually, the US will run out of blood (regardless of even an inevitable draft someday) and treasure (regardless of how many nations from which we "democratize" valuable natural resources) necessary to pay the bondholders who own this country. Eventually, that little thing known as "the full faith and credit" runs completely dry no matter how many drag themselves up to wearily salute the tattered flag of the banksters' state.
The question is, what then? What do we put in place to make sure the same juggernaut won't be revived the next time around?
We've learned from this little quarter-millennial experiment that only a system in which universal local militia service is codified can protect you in any meaningful way or preserve civilization in any recognizable form. Only the Constitutional prohibition of the universal local militia renders immune from the consequences of their misbehavior tyrants at all levels, from the greenest cop to the highest office holders, including the generals who will one day come to crush your own private Whiskey Rebellion. It is for this reason that the proponents of the Bill of Rights struggled to check what they saw back then as a Hamiltonian juggernaut aimed at the throats of the individual citizen. A struggle which has now proven to be in vain.
As I said before, no form of government which criminalizes the right to band together with his neighbors for armed mutual defense, against enemies foreign or domestic, can hold any validity in the mind of a free man.
But that freedom comes with a price. And one facet of that price is that the individual citizen would have to participate, to man and woman up, to not delegate their responsibilities to unknown, faceless others. In a world in which even an invalid grandmother can spot targets out her farmhouse window and call for fire, the typical sandal-wearing 911-dialing man-mouse would become an endangered species. And civilization would thus lurch forward for the better as it crunches over the bones of those who gladly trade liberty for insecurity. Including those bones of those nobly misguided patriots who fear the prospect of local or regional warlords (read as "militia leaders") so much that they eagerly not only accept, but actively promote, the yoke of the greatest warlord class in history in exchange for protection from those lesser shadows.
Does this mean our situation is hopeless? No, our situation is hopeless only so long as self-defined patriots think that restoring the Constitution, as written, is a viable path. As I have said many times, there is nothing broken with the Constitution that needs restoring; it is working fine and dandy, just as it was designed to do, which is to protect the elites from the rabble, foreign and domestic, who might otherwise take exception to unremitting theft and corruption under the color of twisted law.
The only valid path for us now is to stand aside while it all crumbles away. Let those who continue to fantasize about a republic which never was throw themselves into that self-defeating breach. Save them if they are willing to learn, but let them go if they won't. Eventually, evolution will do what it always does, which is to correct error and reward, in its painful way, reality and truth.
A day will arrive when the last gasping pure Constitutionalist, bewildered to the end while defending his oppressors, has been crushed in the gears of the machine designed to feed the elites. Only then will those elites be stripped of the power to protect themselves from their victims. Stripped how? By local militias who refuse to yield more blood or treasure to their service. Universal service in militias under local control, my friends, is the only way forward. We've seen where the road leads without those local militias.
So, plan for that inevitable outcome. Organize your patriot militias, not to vainly restore the perfectly intact Constitution, nor to defend it for the benefits of the elite who have owned this country from inception, but to replace it when this house of cards finally collapses under its weight, preserving yourselves and your neighbors within that storm. Then, on the other side, let's work together to restore the principles of liberty and put teeth into the rights of man with meaningful consequences enforced by local militias, unfettered by those who rightly fear them.
Update, 3 April 2012 regarding the asinine statements of the President regarding Supreme Court powers...
Our guide to practical tractor ownership