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August 09, 2010

We Are The Revolution People

Some weeks back, our church's youth pastor began her children's sermon with the words "Happy Easter. Now the kids were confused, given that it was several weekends past the annual festival of colored eggs and chocolate bunnies that is so often confused with the actual celebration of Christ's Resurrection by the young and the unchatechized. She went on to offer the pointed reminder that for Christians, every day is about the Resurrection, for we are the Easter people whose whole reason for being is that joyous event and its celebration.

That reflection popped into my mind recently as certain liberal propagandists tried to argue that conservative sites and commentators are trying to instigate violent rebellion against the American government. The claims are as amusing as they are false -- thought they have caught on among the mind-numbed repeaters of talking points on the left. And sadly, they ignore the fundamental reality that just as Christians are defined by Easter, Americans are defined by revolution in pursuit of liberty and self-government.

Want proof? Consider this little blurb from one Thomas Jefferson in a document generally referred to as the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that. . . 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, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . [W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

American patriots, of course, recognize these words as an essential element of the American view of government, and that they are no less true today than they were in 1776 when Jefferson put pen to paper to declare the causes for which the thirteen colonies declared themselves to be sovereign and independent states that were no longer under the jurisdiction of the British crown and Parliament. Liberals such as those noted above, on the other hand, view those who would dare to put stock in those words today as nothing more than treasonous, anti-American, racist, secession-mongering neo-Confederate terrorists who needs to be arrested and shipped to Gitmo once the innocent Muslims persecuted and imprisoned by George W. Bush are released with profound apologies.

But a willingness -- even a preparedness -- to rise up against a government which has strayed beyond its proper bounds is precisely what Jefferson envisions as the proper attitude of a free people. Aside from the words of the Declaration itself, one of the most famous Jefferson quotes is this one.

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this 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."

In other words, the revolutionary spirit is necessary in each generation, with a willingness to overturn the existing order by means peaceable or otherwise an essential element of maintaining a free society. Who, then, is the more loyal American -- those who speak dissenting words declaring the need of the people to resist unrestrained government, or those who declare such words to be treasonous by virtue of their very utterance?

Are there any here among us who wish to see violent revolution in America, and the blood of friends and family running in the streets? I will dare to say that the answer must be acknowledged to be that there are not. But the reality is that we find ourselves faced with a train of abuses and usurpations akin to those facing the founders in 1776, and a disconnect between the people and those who rule over them. At RedState, Erick Erickson notes the following disconnects between the American people and the political ruling class.

Consider the Rasmussen surveys of late:

Then consider gay marriage. More than three-quarters of the states and a majority of the people in each of those states have prohibited gay marriage. But one judge in California has, through his own “fact finding” decided gender no longer, after 5000 years, plays any role in marriage.

There is a great and growing divide between those who govern and those who are governed. But those who govern are forgetting that they only govern by the consent of those who are governed. That consent is being revoked.

Erickson then notes the possibility of an Article V Constitutional convention to further bind the federal government within its proper limits as set by the will and consent of the governed. Yet I am pessimistic that such a solution -- that a peaceful, Constitutional revolution, if you will -- is likely to come to pass. Given the entrenched nature of the political class, will mere electoral victory be sufficient to allow for the American system to be put back on a proper course? Will the political class allow for an Article V convention that might make substantial changes to the COnstitution that would weaken its grip on power? Has the accumulation of precedential decisions decreed by unelected judges based upon their own policy preferences rather than the text or history of the provisions they purport to interpret so deformed our Constitution that an electoral strategy and tinkering around the margins through amendment are insufficient to the task of fixing a system that is broken and seemingly unanswerable to the people? I dare to say that it is.

Indeed, I'll take it a step further. Any effort by latter day framers of a new Constitution to follow the example of the great men who exceeded their mandate when they assembled at Philadelphia in 1787 by authoring a new document with a novel ratification scheme would be struck down by that same entrenched political class as illegitimate, even if the document itself clearly represented the interests and desires of a majority of the American people. At such a point, only a repetition of scenes like those in Manila in 1986, Moscow in 1991, or Bucharest in 1989 would be options for the American people, the Revolution people, to retain their liberty -- either that, or it will become the tragedy of the American people betraying their heritage of revolution and to continue in submission to the long train of abuses and usurpations that herald a descent into despotism.

Yet the glimmer of hope is there. The possibility of electoral success by those favoring smaller government with limited powers does exist. The possibility of an Article V convention does exist. And so we, the Revolution people, must continue to push for revolution by peaceful, democratic means. Therein lies our first, best hope of returning America to its proper path, without resorting to the sad and tragic course of watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

ADDENDUM: Dan Riehl takes a different tack than Duane Lester, who comments in a different vein than I do.





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Comments on We Are The Revolution People

Yes,we most certainly are the revolution people!I dare say this sorry bunch of traitors has not begun to understand what is headed their way,thanks to their treachery.We have been called to this day and we will not back down,ever.This evil will not stand.

|| Posted by Dolly Mama, August 9, 2010 01:45 PM ||

www.conventionusa.org is an interactive, virtual, Article V Convention on the Internet. Any citizen can register as a delegate. We have 20 states represented now and will call the convention to order when 34 states are on board.

An Article V convention is only for proposing amendments. We are not writing a new constitution.

We think a critical mass of folks with common sense will propose amendments which will merit the approval and suppport of substantially all Americans. We invite you to join us.

|| Posted by Thomas E. Brennan, August 11, 2010 03:20 PM ||

Great post, Greg. You might be interested in Democratic pollster Pat Caddell's take on the state of America. As he calls it - "pre-revolutionary." http://wolfhowling.blogspot.com/2010/08/todays-pre-revolutionary-america.html

We are indeed much closer to a critical mass than I think many in America realize. It would take a lot to push America over the edge - but the fact that reasonable people should even be mentioning such words is something I never expected to see in my lifetime.

|| Posted by GW, August 11, 2010 11:30 PM ||
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