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Is it Time for Civil Disobedience?

When the government rules by illegitimate means, is it legitimate to peacefully stand in defiance and disobey? The answer to this question is a reluctant “yes.”

I have thought about this question for a long time and, as a former police officer and federal agent who pledged his life to upholding and enforcing the law, I take this call to action very seriously.

In a piece out yesterday by Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka Tea Party, a group victimized by the IRS targeting scandal, she summarizes the despicable behavior of IRS officials since the inception of the congressional inquiry into the targeting scandal. Did you know that the IRS destroyed the backup tapes containing emails written by Lois Lerner and others, seven months AFTER the order to preserve the tapes was given? My life is political activism but, after the torrent of news emanating from the Supreme Court and from the overseas terror attacks, I nearly missed this stunning piece of information. Is this the act of a government worthy of our respect?

Combine this outrageous development in the IRS scandal with the recent Supreme Court rulings declaring that the Court has the power to unilaterally rewrite and reinterpret laws to further a destructive political agenda, and we now have a government free from any constitutional restraint, and American citizens living under the yoke of it. Although none of this happened overnight, the pace by which the liberty train is speeding away from the station is rapidly accelerating.

Fighting back strictly through the political process has proven to be effective only in delaying the day of reckoning and it is now clear that we must take from the new political aristocracy what they crave most: legitimacy and acceptance. We must pursue parallel tracks for change to restrain this out-of-control government both through the formal political process and public action.

If the far Left and their political overseers deem it appropriate to weaponize the IRS to assault their political opponents – to attack Christians for the sincere exercise of their religious beliefs, to use the machine of government to force free American citizens, against their will, to spend their limited financial resources to purchase government sanctioned health insurance at the expense of the health of themselves and their families, and to bankrupt the nation through a mathematically certain tax-and-spend formula for misery – then it’s time to consider open defiance to take back what has been lost.

It is time to fully embrace an Article V Convention of the States to reestablish the powers of the states and re-impose clear limits on the growing federal monolith.  Former Reagan administration official, conservative activist, and popular radio show host Mark Levin has been passionately advocating for this approach since the release of his bestselling book The Liberty Amendments.

The far Left worships at the altar of inescapable federal power because they fully understand that when states act as separate incubators of policy, that Americans will choose economic, healthcare, religious, and educational freedom. And the resulting exodus from deep blue states anchored to an anti-liberty approach will discredit their agenda and destroy the patina of a public imprimatur and their false air of legitimacy. Federal power prevents an easy escape from the far Left agenda and subjects all Americans to their destructive agenda, regardless of how much they resist. And, while I appreciate the passionate advocacy opposing a convention on the grounds that it could result in a “runaway convention,” I counter by asserting that we are already living with a government engaging in a de facto ongoing constitutional convention by ignoring the plain language of the law and the Constitution to impose an increasingly liberal agenda which is dissolving individual liberty and freedom.

Secondly, the likelihood of 38 states ratifying a radical amendment is low given the current political power of the Republican Party. As the Supreme Court made clear with their recent rulings on Obamacare, marriage, and housing, the country is already free from its constitutional moorings and is charting a dangerous new course towards rule by men, not law. History has proven, without question, that when government by discretion, rather than by law is allowed to continue unchallenged, that the result is a dangerous concentration of power in a zero sum battle for freedom.

In the short-run, now is the time for peaceful and responsible civil disobedience. The Obama administration has been engaging in non-civil, and constitutional disobedience for many years now through their usurpation of power and their weaponizing of the tools of government. And, with a largely feckless response from a frightened and shell-shocked Republican Congress, it is up to conservatives to blaze the trail forward. If our elected Republican leadership refuses to lead, then we will demonstrate to their timid souls what bravery and sacrifice look like.

It is now incumbent upon conservatives to take every opportunity to respectfully and peacefully protest the attacks on our liberty and freedom. When told to sit down at town hall meetings, refuse to do so until your questions are answered. Continue to boldly question the politicians supporting this new post-constitutional path forward even as you are dragged out in protest.

As a Secret Service agent I witnessed firsthand the power of a small group, unafraid of the legal consequences, to influence and change policy by refusing to be silenced. Pastors and spiritual leaders need to stand in defiance of the ongoing attacks on people of faith and speak boldly and proudly. Let the government further discredit itself by asking an already discredited IRS to silence the millions of American voices of faith crying out to be left alone by the power-hungry, Washington DC cocktail party crowd.

When I walked away from a position I loved as a special agent with the United States Secret Service I left behind a lifetime of financial security to fight back by running for office. I didn’t prevail but I never gave up that fight and when my wife and I, as a result of our decision to walk away, came across difficult financial times we knew the sacrifice was worth it.

Faith teaches us that sacrifice is the only ticket to the second creation and we are all going to have to sacrifice something. Small acts of disobedience in the face of the existential threats we face to our constitutional republic are a small price to pay to defend the most blessed and prosperous country in mankind’s history. We were gifted this country by prior generations who sacrificed their lives, limbs and treasures to ensure we remain that shining light on the hill. It’s up to us to ensure that the light never dims.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the Conservative Review.

State-level Civil Disobedience

The difference between the Article 5 convention and nullification is like the difference between a pop gun and a machine gun.

Nullification has stopping power. Article 5 is a genuflection to the federal power. It is simply writing more amendments for the Fed to ignore, absurdly pretending that the federal government is made up of sincere individuals who will obey the will of its citizens.

On the other hand, when a state nullifies a federal law, it is not asking the feds for anything or treating them as a body of sincere individuals. It is demanding, with a gun to the head of the unruly federal government. And that is the only way the fed can be made to back off.

Now some have reasoned that there are legal limits to nullification. However, if individuals have the right to civil disobedience, then so do the states. This goes further than mere nullification of a law by a state court. This is one step before insurrection, and judging by their actions in the past, particularly the way they backed off in the Bundy ranch standoff, the feds would not dare to go into a state and enforce their law at gunpoint because they know that such would lead to a new American revolution.

The Feds would then no doubt do what they are doing to Russia, ie, impose sanctions. But the state that used the “civil disobedience” approach could also fight back by withholding funds to the feds, much in the way that Russia is imposing sanctions of its own. They could, for example, temporarily release their citizens from the obligation to pay federal taxes, enjoining them to pay the funds to the states instead but reducing the overall amount.

There is no doubt that this would work, though causing some temporary hardship. It is all up to the American people. They need to wake up and realize that Washington is the enemy, by definition, and that desperate times demand desperate measures.

One very important use of civil disobedience would be for states to man up and refuse to admit anyone into their state who entered the US illegally, regardless of federal laws to the contrary. Initially, this would constitute nullification in the original sense, where the state would decide, on the basis of Article 4, Section 4, that the federal government was acting unconstitutionally to award legal residence to invaders.

The argument is straightforward and logical: The Constitution was a contract signed by the state representatives. By analogy with contract law, both parties must comply with each clause under penalty of dissolution or partial dissolution of the contract. The state could rightfully argue that it was induced at the founding of our nation to enter into a contract that provided protection but that the protection had been unlawfully withheld, thereby leading to dissolution of all or part of the contract.

Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution enjoins the federal government to protect the States against invasion. By refusing to allot sufficient funds and manpower to the protection of the southern border and by restricting the ability of the Border Patrol to arrest lawbreakers, by releasing apprehended illegal border crossers back into the US, by releasing convicted illegal alien criminals back onto the US streets after they have served their time rather than deporting them, and by rewarding lawbreakers with temporary or permanent residency using a variety of tricks such as allowing them to serve in the military in exchange for residency, the federal government has not only failed to protect the states from invasion as mandated by the Constitution, but has in fact aided and abetted the invaders and has thereby rendered itself an outlaw government that need no longer be obeyed but must in fact be resisted.

In case any reader should doubt that the massive immigration from the southern border constitutes an actual invasion, they need only read the article in Business Insider showing that of the 13 most dangerous street gangs in America, a full 10 are Hispanic. The most dangerous and violent of these is Mara Salvatrucha. To get a graphic portrayal of this gang’s behavior, you need only view the below video. But be forewarned. It is brutally violent and not for the weak hearted. And what you see there is a direct result of unconstitutional federal policies.

If the Supreme Court decided that, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary (only a smattering of which is presented at the linked sources), the massive influx of illegals does not meet the definition of an invasion, and that this was a wrong interpretation of the Constitution by the state in question, then it would be up to the state to implement “state-level civil disobedience,” averring that, in this decision, the Supreme Court represents only the federal government, a narrow interest group – thereby denying the states and their citizens equal protection under the law –  to the detriment of the states.

State borders would become sovereign again, as they should have been in the first place.