In response to my two previous Rightful Liberty Posts, ‘Rightful Liberty and Standing Up!‘ and ‘Rightful Liberty: The Utility of Violence,’ I have been asked to provide solutions. Fair enough – it’s all very well to highlight a problem, but it is better to do so with solutions.
So, let’s look at history. One doesn’t need to be an original thinker when great men have paved the way before. I suggest a Continental Congress. At least as a starting point. Let’s take it out of cyber space and have some face to face meat-space dialogue. It would certainly cut down on the trolls.
This initial post is a conceptual one. It’s not designed to look at the nitty gritty details. Let’s think about the mission here:
1) What is the desired end state of the Rightful Liberty Movement?
Comment: I think the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are fine documents. It is the law of the land. If you swore an oath, it was to the Unites States Constitution and the upholding of it. The problem is that this law has not been adhered to. Administrative law has ‘gone off road’ and circumvented the Constitution in too many areas. In response to criticism that the Constitution failed to prevent what we have now, I posit that this was a human failing, a failure of guardianship. If it is felt that the Constitution needs to be modified, that should happen at a Constitutional Convention after the original is restored. Throw out the Statist crap before amending the original.
2) The original Continental Congress petitioned the King and was rebuffed. What is the purpose of the second Continental Congress?
3) It is pretty certain that such a petition would be ignored. What next?
4) Remember that among all this, the Constitution states that if a law is unconstitutional, it is in effect no law. Which means it was, in effect, never in existence. How to gauge this? By the measure of Rightful Liberty – does it contravene the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or at the very least natural rights? Rights that are taken as self evident by free people.
The original Congress had delegates. I have no idea how to elect delegates. I think it would simply be a case of whoever showed up would the the delegate for that State. Perhaps if enough showed up then the persons from each state would elect delegates from within their numbers? But everyone who showed up could take part, as a form of open forum. Very much Like Rousseau’s vision of the village meeting and deciding law under a tree.
Where to have it? Philadelphia? I think not. It needs to happen in the most free and Constitutional State that can be found. Kentucky? West Virginia?
Of course, the devil is in the detail, and it would be very easy for an endeavor such as this to be dragged down multiple rabbit holes, and derailed, by people bickering over details.
Now, apparently some poeple tried to do this already, in 2012. HERE is the link to their article on it. I have no idea who these guys are. However, it is interesting to note in the comments that the whole thing was apparently brought down by cyber trolls and hacking. From that page, concerning the right to petition the leviathan:
The Petition for Redress of Grievances is specifically authorized in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and intended to go beyond the rights to assemble and speak freely. It was envisioned that the Petition Clause would be utilized if the government stopped listening to the people. In the 18th century, a Petition for Redress of Grievances was viewed as a formal legal document or writ based upon a long line of historic precedents including the Magna Carta , the Petition of Right of 1628, the Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Writ of Habeas Corpus. Familiar with this history, our founders, whatever their faults, knew the need for a mechanism to formally petition the government if it started to ignore the will of the people. The founders themselves attempted to avoid further bloodshed after the battles at Lexington and Concord by sending King George III the so-called Olive Branch Petition listing their grievances and proposing reconciliation in July 1775. Obviously, the King ignored the petition and eight years of war ensued.
In 1789, having borne witness to the terrible price paid during the Revolutionary War, the founders made certain that the Bill of Rights contained a specific provision allowing citizens to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Like the other checks and balances in our Constitution, the petition clause is a power specifically reserved to the people rather than the states or federal government. The Supreme Court discussed the petition clause last year in Borough of Duryea , Pennsylvania, Et . Al., Petitioners v. Charles J. Guarnieri, 131 S.Ct. 2488 (2011): (A quote follows).
However, it is clear that if you read that page, they really had no expectation that the petition would have any effect. It would just be ignored. Just like the Olive Branch Petition was ignored by King George. That is why you have to have a plan for that.
Here is an example. Looks familiar?:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –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, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But 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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these United States; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present Leviathan is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States and We The People. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Leviathan whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyranny, is unfit to be the government of a free people.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the free people of united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Leviathan for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these States, solemnly publish and declare, That We The People are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent; that, because the Leviathan has committed treason against the binding law of the land , the United States Constitution, We The People are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Leviathan, and that all political connection between We The People and the Leviathan , is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, We The People have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
How about them apples?
You may note that I make no reference to current systems of government or representatives. Simply because I find them to be corrupt, unconstitutional, and a waste of time. No one has fixed this yet. It is time that We The People acted for Rightful Liberty.