On Violence

The piece posted earlier here at America’s Right by Randy Wills reminded me of something I wanted to address before I left for Europe. Following the passage of cap-and-trade legislation by the House, I received a number of e-mails showing that people were more and more considering violence as the way to re-take our government. There was nothing planned, of course, but mostly the messages were filled with questions like: “Jeff, when do you think it’ll be time to clean our guns and get to the streets?”

My response was pretty much the same to all of them: I don’t think we are anywhere near that level yet, I’m not sure we’ll ever need to get there, and anybody who acts out violently is only discrediting those who are working to advance conservative ideals and re-take our government at the polls as designed.

Approximately seven years before America declared its independence from Great Britain, colonists were reaching a breaking point due to the trade-related aftereffects of the Townshend Act, another side effect of an overreaching Parliament. In April of 1769, George Washington penned a letter to fellow Virginian George Mason addressing the rising tensions and tempers. Washington, it turns out, was one of the first colonists to openly address the possibility of taking up arms against the mother country, though he cautioned that doing so should only come as a last resort. From the letter:

At a time when our lordly masters in Great Britain will be satisfied with nothing less than the [deprivation] of American freedom, it seems highly necessary that something should be done to avert the stroke and maintain the liberty which we have derived from our ancestors; but the manner of doing it to answer the purpose effectually is the point in question.

That no man should scruple or hesitate a moment to use arms in defense of so valuable a blessing, on which all the good and evil of life depends, is clearly my opinion. Yet arms, I would beg leave to add, should be the last resource.

Substitute “Congress” for “Great Britain,” and the very same could be said today, couldn’t it? After all, it wasn’t until much, much later that it dawned on Washington that any uprising would be more about revolution than an effort to resume peaceful coexistence between Britain and the American colonies.

The difference now is that we don’t need a bold revolution. We need a reversion to governance rooted in common sense and that which is best for America and no one else. Armed insurrection is something done by banana republics, not constitutional ones and, furthermore, any change that would derive from violence would inevitable be short-lived, whereas the triumph of ideas can live on in near perpetuity.

It’s the classic give-a-fish or teach-a-fisherman scenario. Whether it be through armed insurrection or voting every single elected official out of Washington and starting over, the change from either would only last so long until human nature and the trappings of power took over. Lasting change will come from victory in the coming war of ideas. Our founders set forth, in our founding documents, the means by which we can recover our nation through principle.

There’s a reason for the Ronald Reagan quote at the bottom of this and every page at America’s Right. Reagan was spot on, and it not only applies to strife we see overseas, but the turmoil we see on our own doorsteps as well. It is, perhaps, my favorite quote from any politician, because it speaks of the triumph of ideas and core values:

The ultimate determinant in the struggle going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas — a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, and the ideals to which we are dedicated.

Preceding this statement by President Reagan by about 200 years, our founders were right about many things. They were right about human nature, they were right about the trappings of power, they were right about the ebb and flow of federalism, and they were right about the strength of American conviction. Above all else, however, they were right that our nation has been guided by Providence — and it is as true now as it was then, in the blood- and rain-soaked trenches at Bunker Hill to the frozen waters of the Delaware.

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Comments

  1. SAVE YOUR AMMUNITION says:

    CLEAN HOUSE 2010
    435 NEW congressmen

  2. the conservative resistance says:

    Fellow bloggers/commenters -
    I'm going to paste my entire blog entry from today here at America's Right. As you all know, I'm frequently here in the comments. It's just that the Messiah said something yesterday that really struck a chord with me – INACTION IS NOT AN OPTION, to which I dedicated my entry. I'm hoping anyone who'd like to decides to copy & paste it and sent it far and wide. I can't take much more of this.

  3. LONG OVERDUE? says:

    And your feelings on Thomas Jefferson feeling we would need a revolution every generation?

  4. the conservative resistance says:

    Sorry, folks – not only did I forget to post the entry, but it's too long for the comment box here. So, if you'd like, it can be found at my site: http://www.conrest.blogspot.com. If anyone cares to, please feel free to copy & paste it and send it far and wide.

    Please.

  5. OFF TO MAKE A STATEMENT says:

    Speaking of violence, pray for me. I am taking my 'got birth certificate?' t-shirt out on a trip to town. And this is Obama & John Tanner territory. Stay tuned to CNN for my funeral arrangements.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Agreed – except that Jesus didn't use the analogy of teaching anyone to fish…

  7. cher-pa says:

    No one wants to take up arms,but this administration in just 6 months has done so much damage.I fear that waiting till 2012 will be to late.The Democratic party has lined their ducks all in a row to insure a win.Their are so many examples I dont know where to begin.
    ACORN,SEIU,GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF THE U.S. CENSUS,REDISTRICTING,STIMULUS(political paybacks),IMMIGRATION,PLAYING THE RACE CARD ANY CHANCE THEY GET AND THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA BIAS.
    These are just a few of the hurdles conservatives must address.

  8. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Anonymous said…
    Agreed – except that Jesus didn't use the analogy of teaching anyone to fish…

    Thanks for pointing that out. At 3:30 am, when I wrote this, everything sounds like Jesus. Even Chinese proverbs.

    I have so much to do today in advance of the trip, that I had Randy's piece ready to go before bed, as well as my response.

  9. TO THE PORT SIDE! says:

    He did tell em which side of the boat to throw a net off once. Not ripping, Rix, just going on memory again.

  10. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE says:

    WOW, that was close. The cashier at Wal-Mart asked me about my t-shirt; a white male cashier, therefore I am here to comment once again. Sad so many know nothing of the deception going on hiding a $12 certificate.

  11. Blad_Rnr says:

    Jeff,
    The problem is PEOPLE NO LONGER UNDERSTAND WHAT THE CONSTITUTION IS ALL ABOUT (sorry for the all-caps). They don't. They are ignorant politically and morally. This would be like the Russian Revolution all over again. People running around not knowing what it is they are fighting for. Thank God above we still have the right to bear arms, because that must be playing in the back of many a politicians' minds. But woe to us if we ever start using them. Jeff, we can't even find a conservative who can't keep his pants on. Ron Paul is the only one I trust. He gets it, and I curse my own vote in the primaries for not voting for him. Maybe a Palin/Paul administration would turn this country around. But I get more and more depressed every day thinking it will never happen. We have come too far. We have lost our faith in God, our moral compass and even our best politicians have turned against us.

    Here's my solution: Palin or Paul gets into office in 2012, aligns with the military and literally jails every U.S. congressman and senator. She/he gives the power back to every state governor to hold open elections to reinstate new senators/representatives, then retracts every bill ever signed by this administration. Sells off Alaska and Hawaii to pay off the national debt, closes down the Federal Reserve, and puts us back on the gold standard. Done.

    Then, God help us all.

  12. SELL RHODE ISLAND says:

    DO NOT SELL OUR TWO MOST BEAUTIFUL STATES, AND ONE WITH ENERGY OUT THE YA YA.

  13. Rix says:

    For a few months, I am advocating a tax revolt as a sound, bloodless alternative to violence. Private companies should organize and stop transferring money to the IRS. The Usurper and his brownshirt cohorts will ignore and ridicule our pleas and protests and tea parties but shortage of tax money will hit the governmental liberals in the only place that counts, which is their pockets. Leaving the money in hands of those who actually earned it, instead of those whose only claim to it is their undeserved voting privilege, is not a theft but an act of justice! The government is physically incapable of jailing everyone who participates, and if they choose to unleash the oppressive machine of the federal establishment against the People, may the first blood will be on their hands, not ours.

    I am sure most private businesses will participate if properly organized. Noone understand the woes of today's America, noone stands to lose more to the oncoming Socialist regime, and noone can apply a larger leverage that the business community.

  14. STARVE THE BEAST says:

    Right on Rix.

  15. Gail B says:

    If Obama's health care denies quality care to the elderly, don't think the seniors won't be on the warpath to campaign for not funding the federal government.

    As far as a revolution is concerned, I think that Obama will start his own if/when he declares martial law.

    It's plain that he wants to kill as many of us as possible anyway.

    However, one judge who will have a case hearing on July 16 just might throw a monkey into the ObamaWorks.

    Jeff, I'm sure that it will be all over the news in Poland and that someone will be able to translate for you. They might even have "reverse-translated" videos with their language on screen underneath, that you can hear and understand.

  16. Jan says:

    A tax revolt is a solid suggestion. Besides, who would we be taking up arms against? Every liberal out there? I can't. Some of them are my very own family. They are staunch democrats because they have been since birth. They don't even realize the meaning behind it anymore. They would vote for a purple polka dotted kangaroo if it were running on the Democratic ticket. Just who are we going to "fight" in this revolution? Just the politicians? Rix, I'm with you. This is a much better way to make a much more profound statement.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "…not bombs and rockets, but a test of wills and ideas…" President Reagan-
    Hmmm…sounds a lot like what the Tea Party movement is intended to do. It is said that the 2010 elections will be centered around this movement…as far as the GOP is concerned, anyway. It will be ignored by the democrats, but at their peril, I'm sure.
    And, even though we who are involved in this grassroots effort rarely get any coverage, whether it be from the MSM, conservative blogs, or even Fox, we're rising in numbers day by day. On July 4th 37,000 people attended the Tea Party at Southfork Ranch. Although known as the place where the show "Dallas" was filmed, it is little known that the ranch itself is actually 40 minutes outside of Dallas. To get there one has to go through two subburbs (from downtown Dallas) and several miles out into the country. It's really going out of the way considering all of the holiday events taking place in and around the Dallas metro that could have been attended instead. One would really have to care about the cause to make the effort to attend. I was there, and I can personally say that it is exactly what Pres. Reagan would have considered as a "testing of wills" and "fighting for our values".
    And we thought it was a big deal when Hannity garnered 25,000 people to the tea party in Atlanta. Fox had nothing to do with this round of tea parties…gee, wonder why…and yet, 37,000 people attended this one outside of Dallas…way outside of Dallas. Something is happening that isn't going to slow.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, tax revolt, Rix? Wish I could get on-board with this idea, however, what happens when all of us conservative tax revolters are in FEMA camps and the liberal yahoos are running the country with absolutely no opposition? It seems that way now, I know, but seriously folks. Some of us have to be around to try to undo the damage as best we can. We've got 2010 quickly approaching. Screwing that up would be a bad deal.

  19. Anonymous says:

    And, Rix, the government is not physically incapable of jailing everyone who should revolt. If they can deport 12 million Mexican illegals, although they refuse, they sure can round up a couple thousand souls who'd refuse to send taxes. And, that's about all you'll get in the "don't pay taxes" camp. People who have worked long and hard to build a business are not likely to throw "caution to the wind" in a tax revolt. Besides, successful, smart, and hard working people are far too common sensed oriented. Also against this notion is the fact that it in ingrained (sp?) into our American psyches that this is just what we do and it is highly unlawful to do otherwise…AND, the IRS will shower any attempt to do otherwise with threats of jail, penalties, interest, and the taking of private property. AND, as if it weren't bad enough already, people are actually becoming afraid of the federal governement, so I doubt this would have any effect other than sending a message of sorts.

  20. COWS TO THE SLAUGHTER says:

    Alas, no more Patrick Henry's.

  21. Rix says:

    > Yeah, tax revolt, Rix? Wish I could get on-board with this idea,
    > however, what happens when all of us conservative tax revolters are in
    > FEMA camps and the liberal yahoos are running the country with
    > absolutely no opposition?

    USSR, where I lived for two decades, featured popular elections every four years. It never helped, and somehow the people who voted (or worse, publicly rooted) for second party candidates often found themselves in concentration camps. That's precisely what happens to people who believe in election process in a non-free society, which we are quickly becoming. Americans are already scared even to give honest answers to phone polls (check robocalls vs live polling statistics for Rasmussen polls). If a law like EFCA is on the agenda, the next law might require an open voting booth or a signed ballot – "to avoid election fraud", of course.

  22. REALITY CHECK says:

    What would have been accomplished if MLK and that movement sat around in fields and bbq'd and drank cold beers?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hey Reality Check…
    What would be accomplished if everyone just sat behind their computer screens, read blogs, whined, complained, and wasted time thinking up clever criticisms in the comments section aimed at those who are actually trying to do something? Perhaps taking the information that you learn here, and putting it into action is the intention of Jeff's blog? No?
    Some people are just impossible to please. I mean, really. You sound like the person who sits around and barks about Americans being too complacent and uninvolved, and then when Americans do get involved, well then, that won't do any good. Damned if you do and damned if you don't…LOL…I guess there are naysers in every camp. There are the hangers-on who will benefit from those who did the dirty work.

  24. Hugh says:

    I have thought for some time that one of the chief differences between the French Revolution and the American Revolution was the impact of the Great Awakening some 35-40-years before our independence. The French had resorted to anarchy. Our founders wrote out their grievances to King George III, called on the Supreme Judge of the Universe for help, and went to War with the British Empire. God answered their prayers!

    We the People Congress has sent have sent our President, our Congress and Supreme Court at 17 or 18 petitions for remedies against grievances since at least the mid 1990’s without any formal response.

    Edwin Vieira, Jr. in his “Fending off the Egyptian Power Structure”, dated November 4, 2008, says: The Declaration of Independence sets out three “self-evident” “truths” deducible from “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”: namely,
    (i) that “to secure [unalienable] rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”;
    (ii) 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”; and
    (iii) that “when 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.”
    In his Constitutional “Homeland Security”: The Nation in Arms, Vieira says that there is no immunity for the action of voting for an unconstitutional statue, “and the ultimate untoward affects of a statute so enacted…” There are Congressmen and Senators who should be in jail now!
    Article IV, Section 4 provides that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government. Just because we elected Representatives and Senators does not really guarantee the they are actually representing We the People.

    Any move toward Martial Law must be resisted.

  25. YOURE THE WHINER says:

    And I am also a little busy caring for a WW II HERO, a**hole.

  26. QUIT SCRUBBING NATHAN says:

    Youre lucky he scrubbed my last post, too bad it contained a lot of info.

  27. Anonymous says:

    These threads are pointless when over moderated.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Screw this blog. Censorship sucks.

  29. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Anonymous said…

    These threads are pointless when over moderated.

    Anonymous said…

    Screw this blog. Censorship sucks.

    Oh, gosh, I'm sorry. I've only rejected one comment today, and that from an anonymous commenter who told another person to "shut the fu** up."

    Perhaps you should consider formulating an argument without telling someone to "go fu** themselves."

    The only time I reject comments are when they:

    (a) contain enough offensive language to shock even me, or

    (b) threaten bodily harm to anybody in public office.

    Other than that, I'm pretty darned laissez faire. If you can't play by those rules, then please feel free to keep your comments to yourself.

    – Jeff

  30. Gail B says:

    Whoever you are with the chip on your shoulder–

    Everyone else at AR probably joins me in telling you that if you can't be decent and polite while you are offering your opinion, regardless of your view, we aren't interested in what you have to say.

    Don't forget that you are a guest at AR when you leave a comment, so how about conducting your comments accordingly?

    We are interested in other views, but thankfully, Jeff does not allow anyone to subject us to abusive language or threats of physical danger.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Well, I don't know for sure, but it may have been me that got told to "shut the f up". I think I'm also the "a-hole" who "Youre the whiner" is referring. It's hard to know for sure with the censored post not fusing the whole thing together; however, I'm just gonna venture a guess and figure it was me just for the sake of the matter.
    Okay then…in the name of "peace", I'm just gonna let it go. This person sounds overburdened personally, and is probably reacting out of that as well as being upset with what is going on in this country. Understandable, and no need to say anything further.

  32. elspeth says:

    Not in support of the guy who ticked everyone off, but I stopped using a Username because my comments were not being posted. And, I dont' 1) use offensive language, nor 2) threatened bodily harm or violence.

    Now I only post under Anonymous, and all have been posted.

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