The 10th Amendment Rally, the Limits of Government, and the Bounds of Discussion in the Public Square
I was late to yesterday’s 10th Amendment rally held on the front steps of the Rhode Island Statehouse because – I kid you not – I had to finish putting my income tax information together for a meeting later in the day, so the samples of audio linked below represent targets of opportunity I was able to record, more than anything else.
Be warned, depending on your sensibilities, you may be shocked by what you hear.
- Sean Gately rewrote the famous quote attributed to Rev. Martin Niemoller, to apply it to his view of current circumstances, then ended with…
… “The revolution has begun, and we don’t have to fire a shot, and we don’t have to drop a drip of blood“…You read that right; 10th-Amendment supporters are invoking crazies like Martin Niemoller IN PUBLIC! (By the way, while there is some debate on the exact words used by Rev. Niemoller, no one disputes his meaning.)
- The next speaker I caught was Lieutenant Governor Candidate Robert Healey…
“The 10th Amendment says that if it isn’t written into the United States Constitution…the rights return to the State, and if the state doesn’t have any sovereignty in that issue, they return to the people”…Yes, as the audio clearly shows, the Rhode Island Statehouse was host yesterday to the shocking spectacle of a crowd listening to the distinctions between the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, quotations from documents authored at the time of Rhode Island’s original ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and the use of language like “certiorari” IN PUBLIC!!
- I also heard a speaker by the name of Sue Berg. Anyone who thinks rallies like yesterday’s are partisan affairs hasn’t talked or listened to the likes of Sue Berg…
“The task of undermining freedom in America has been a bipartisan effort. Republicans and Democrats are both to blame”…The except above ends with a discussion what she sees as problems with the Federal Reserve system. Ms. Berg then went on to discuss how she believes a couple of Constitutional Amendments have had deleterious effects on liberty.
“One we get rid of the Federal Reserve, there will be no more need for a Federal Income Tax, and the Sixteenth Amendment can be repealed as well”; her remarks cover the Seventeenth Amendment as well.
But the fact that these issues don’t have slam dunk answers, even amongst the conservative/libertarian side of the American political axis, doesn’t mean that it’s out of bounds to ask IN PUBLIC questions about whether every modification to, and every end-run of, the U.S. Constitution that has increased the scope of Federal power has been for the better.
So with that perspective in mind, let’s boil what it is that’s going on right now with the Tea Parties and other related protests down to its essentials. On one side, there is a growing movement of Americans saying there needs to be limits on government that are agreed upon, codified, and most importantly respected. On the other side, there are a number of Americans saying that all this dissent and discussion on limitations on government is becoming dangerous, so let’s not do so much of it in public, and just agree that the Federal government has the power to do anything that it wants to that is not expressly forbidden by the Constitution.
Which side will you choose to take?