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.