Right after writing this morning’s article, I saw an email from a former spokesperson for the Michigan Republican party. Here is its conclusion:
If government can mandate that I pay for something I don’t want, then what is beyond its power? If the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday paves the way for unprecedented intrusion into personal decisions, then has the Republic all but ceased to exist? If so, then is armed rebellion today justified?
God willing, this oppression will be lifted and America free again before the first shot is fired.
Is armed rebellion justified? Growing up, I heard from time to time that someday the government would “crack down” and armed rebellion would be necessary – and justified. I fully expected there to be an armed insurrection someday. This is a big part of why we were such supporters of the second amendment, and of the NRA. We children all knew where the local armory was, as this is where we were told an armed insurrection must start.
As Ed recently pointed out, for the right wing I grew up ensconsed in, everything is the death of freedom.
On Planet Wingnuttia, we are perpetually on the brink of losing our freedom. Each new step toward equality, each new advancement in taking care of those who need it the most, is the lynchpin that destroys the republic and turns us into a dictatorship. And every time they’ve been wrong. Every. Single. Time. And that does nothing to keep them from making the same arguments all over again, disappearing their past predictions down the memory hole.
After Obama was elected, a friend of mine sent me a facebook message: “Are you ready for four years of hell?” He spoke of concerns about being carted off to jail by the end of Obama’s presidency because of the erosion of our freedoms. The irony is that it seems to me that the greatest threat to our government today is not Obama’s attempt to reform our healthcare system but rather the increasing control big business has over our our elections and our politicians. I say that this ironic because the right wing is generally in favor of Citizens United, the recent Supreme Court decision that is allowing unprecedented amounts of corporate money to flow into politics.
The government is supposed to reflect the views and needs of the people via direct representation. This is why all the talk of the need for armed insurrection is so disingenuous. Our country was set up so that wrongs would be righted at the ballot box, not through force of arms. When our country was only a few years old, farmers in the back country of Pennsylvania were upset at taxes they felt were unfair, and they rose in armed rebellion against them. Washington himself led his troops out against them, making clear in word and deed that armed rebellion was no longer acceptable. Why? Because aggrieved citizens now had recourse to the vote.
Ideally, as long as the government is actually a reflection of the will of the people we need not be concerned about tyranny or discuss the potential of armed revolution. Why? Because while we may not agree with the will of the people, it is still the will of the people – not some sort of dictatorship – that is being carried out. And if we don’t like the will of the people and want to change things, we need to prevail upon the court of public opinion and bring about change through the ballot box.
But if our politicians are bought and paid for by big business, who owns our government? The people or big business? That, not Obamacare, not “abortion on demand,” not welfare or income taxes or property taxes, is what any “freedom-loving American” should be concerned about. The right seems to think that “tyranny” and “oppression” and “slavery” are terms to be used any time the government does something they don’t like. The reality is that these are not terms to be used when you disagree with the actions of a representative government, but are rather terms to be reserved for a time when the people no longer have a voice in their government. And it was the later scenario, not the former, that our founding fathers were responding. And on this Independence Day, I wish the right would remember that.