I live in NY, USA. I live under tyranny.
Oh sure, perhaps we haven’t seen the worst of it yet, but it is coming. My right to exercise my religion, my right to decide what I wish to purchase and what not to, and my right to protect myself and my family are under constant attack and already greatly diminished.
Say what you want, but it is tyranny. When fundamental rights are diminished or dismissed in hurried secret meetings by secret legislative and executive cabals, you live under tyranny.
For when tyrants no longer fear ballots, they come after your bullets. Tyrants are not stupid. They must remove any lasting threat. Your ability to join with your neighbor to say ‘no’ and to defend that action with force is the only thing that threatens them.
So if liberty is not to completely die in this country, what must happen?
First let me say, secession is a fool’s errand. As attractive as it may seem, it comes with a lot of unnecessary baggage that distracts from the cause.
What needs to happen is for several states to simply say no. No more. The federal government has broken the bonds of legitimate authority and states are no longer obliged to go along. States have rights too.
States need to simply say no. When the feds pass laws that abrogate the rights of its citizens, the states need to simply say no. Not here. Good luck enforcing it. And not just for intrastate commerce, across the board. HHS mandate, sorry not here. Citizens of this state can buy or not buy what they want. We will prosecute any federal employee who tries to enforce the penalty. Try us.
States also need to say no to the spending. They should pass amendments to their constitutions that prohibit sending more the 15% of the state GDP to the Feds and then withhold the money. The Feds will certainly respond by cutting off programs and other measures, but the States must take it on the chin. If enough of them do it at the same time, the Feds will be stuck. They can play that game and win with a few states, but if 10 do it simultaneously? Perhaps not.
They also need to say no to unfunded and funded mandates. They should reject the Federal money and decide for themselves which social programs they want and which they don’t.
Do not get me wrong, this would be messy, imperfect, protracted and would likely have myriad unintended consequences. But if liberty is to survive in this country, the states must rebel. But this time don’t leave the Union, save it.
January 16, 2013 at 7:31 am
I agree entirely with premise. Just because you reject the Fed and cause constitutional problems does not necessitate the rush to the cannonade. I agree that if states – if governors and legislatures had enough fortitude to do this it would work.
However, I would say two things – first, it would require at least one big state (looking at you Texas) to do it. 7 Mississippi's aren't going to cut it.
To accomplish this, another practical thing would need to change – these states would seriously need to curb term limits and probably change term lengths for their governors and/or legislators. This is going to be a difficult and protracted fight – you have to prepare by not having people come to office for 2 years, so that when the Feds wave billions of dollars in their faces, they can cave and slink into the night.
January 16, 2013 at 8:08 am
States don't have rights, people do. States have powers. Any level of government that is thwarting the rights of the people has to be opposed by another level of government, or by the people themselves. This is why States have the duty to stand up to the federal government when the rights of the people are being oppressed, and why the federal government has the duty to stand up to a State when that State is oppressing the rights of the people. Our rights come from God, are basic, and all levels of government MUST defend them.
January 16, 2013 at 11:00 am
I will also add that given the current selfishness of the electorate, it will not be enough to reject federal programs. People want things done for them, so the states will have to step in and fulfill these roles. Otherwise, it will be the state govts which are massacred as getting in the way of the feds handing out programs to the people.
In other words – we need more neo-conservatives at the state level, where they should stay, no matter how effective a governor they are.
January 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm
What Lisa Graas said. We killed 600,000 people over states' "right" to slavery, and we were damn right to do it. Now the central government is abusing its power, and it needs to be brought to heel in its turn. I was not aware that any work of human hands was guaranteed to function properly in perpetuity; I believe Bill Buckley referred to that delusion as "believing we can immanentize the eschaton".
January 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm
but State powers doesn't rhyme. Way to focus on a word rather than the point.
January 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm
"I believe Bill Buckley referred to that delusion as "believing we can immanentize the eschaton". "but State powers doesn't rhyme."
"to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity." from The Preamble of the Constitution, the purpose of the state. The Constitution may change. The purpose of the Constitution remains forever constant because it is predicated on the unalienable rights endowed by God Himself to the sovereign person who constitutes the state from the very first moment of existence. States' authentic power, authentic authority and authentic rights is to preserve the virginity and innocence of the newly created, begotten sovereign person, dispense and purvey Justice and protect the peace for the people to prosper. Only TRUTH has freedom of speech, press and peaceable assembly. Talking with God, assembly for God and the exercise of freedom by the citizen, everyone, especially the citizen, to petition Divine Providence for the common good in good will. Freedom may only be exercised in good will. Without good will it is called as Patrick Archbold has posted, tyranny.
January 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm
Secession maybe a "fool's errand", but the federal government might make it the only option available if it keeps shoving unconstitutional laws down the throats of the states without allowing any redress.
January 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm
These are politicians you are talking about. They have to be more afraid of their constituents than they are of D.C. Their motivation matters- many have spoken, but none of them have actually made themselves federal criminals for the higher cause. Additionally, when they say no more, they have to say no more- and prosecute people who try to implement and/or impose the federal law. These states that legalized pot, for instance- that isn't really enough, because any time the feds want publicity and/or treasure they can just go raid the places. It isn't a good idea to invite the marginalized to become more visible and then let them be destroyed.
Secession is not necessarily a distraction. Somehow, it needs to dawn on people that a 300 million strong republic is a joke. Republics, historically, were small- cities, not nations, and they tended to be slave owners, which reduced the number of voters even further as a segment of overall population. We gloss over the fact that the American Revolution was really fought against Parliament- the king provides a convenient boogeyman, but he wasn't driving the policy. Democracy, at this level, is even more laughable- this might be effective with under 200 people.
Now, from a practical perspective, unless you have defendable land and a reasonable belief D.C. won't just drop bombs on you, actually seceding is probably a bad idea. But, in terms of bringing home concepts like subsidiarity, and pointing out the structural defects of taking a government designed for the white male property owners of thirteen colonies and stretching it out beyond recognition today- well it is helpful.
If nothing else, what you've just written here indicates a secession of the mind. You are learning.
January 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm
We must remember that the Constitution formalized a voluntary association, and firmly declared limits on the powers granted to the central body. To expect the FedGov to honor the 10th amendment is not unreasonable, but to expect them to enforce it is just silly — that is the states' job. The states must rein in the FedGov, now and always.
January 17, 2013 at 12:01 am
Money is the the key here. The Feds give enough money to states, then they cave.
State and their governors will have to somehow say no to the bribes that get money in to their states to fund programs. Fund programs that are popular. If not, then they get a new Governor cuz the residents want a new X, Y or more Z… Gonna be a challenge… 🙂
January 17, 2013 at 3:39 am
My home state of Missouri has already said No to the federal government. Last year, our legislature passed and overrode the governor's veto on legislation SB749 that was a direct affront to Obamacare, to implementing a health care exchange, allowing people to opt out of contraceptive coverage in their health insurance, etc. The law just got tied up in court because of its conflict with federal law. When the governor tried to create a health care exchange by bypassing the legislature, the people voted directly to prevent that from happening. Missouri defunded Planned Parenthood years ago. Now it seems the same fight is gearing up over guns.
January 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm
"Money is the the key here. The Feds give enough money to states, then they cave." Taxes belong to the taxpayer even as taxes are administered by the administration. Thank a taxpayer not the government. There ought to be no strings attached to any money from the Feds. When the Feds impose tyranny for money the Feds do not own, it is tyranny in body and soul.