This information provided by The Federal Observer, http://www.federalobserver.com
By Steve Farrell
Not every person who calls himself "patriot" deserves the badge he or she so proudly parades in front of his fellow man. Some modern "patriots" ought to be ranked "rebel," "foe," "redneck" or "blockhead."
Just who do some of these "patriots" think they are? I refer to the trigger-happy ones, whose swift and single solution to every government wrong is to raise their trusty rifles - draped in red, white and blue - and in "righteous" indignation blurt out the only quote they ever memorized: "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God!"
Mind you, Thomas Jefferson said it, but wake up, Jefferson's depth and breath didn't start with "powder" and end with "ball." Armed conflict, he thought, was in most cases illegitimate, unwise and immoral.
Particulars mattered: the form of government; the opportunities for redress; the political, social and religious traditions; the present educational and moral climate; the chances for success; the costs of conflict; the trustworthiness of political and military leaders.
The real Jefferson asked probing questions before even dreaming of picking up a gun. For example: Is revolution our first and best recourse?
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes."
"I do not believe war the most certain means of enforcing principles. Those peaceable coercions which are in the power of every nation, if undertaken in concert and in time of peace, are more likely to produce the desired effect."
What will be the cost of rebellion?
"Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war. Were the money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little town, or a little territory, the right to cut wood here, or to catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making roads, opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts, and finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much wealthier and happier. This I hope will be our wisdom."
And, "The evils which of necessity encompass the life of man are sufficiently numerous. Why should we add to them by voluntarily distressing and destroying one another? Peace, brothers, is better than war. In a long and bloody war, we lose many friends and gain nothing."
"I abhor war, it is the greatest scourge of mankind."
Would a little patience, a little compromise work?
"[In order to ensure] a successful reformation of government, ... I [would urge] most strenuously an immediate compromise to secure what the [present] government was now ready to yield, and trust to future occasions for what might still be wanting."
"Truth advances and error recedes step by step only; and to do our fellow-men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step."
Does conservatism have its uses?
"Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible."
Are some revolutionaries agents provocateurs?
"War ... is not the most favorable moment for divesting the monarchy of power. On the contrary, it is the moment when the energy of a single hand shows itself in the most seducing form."
Do self-serving men masquerade as "holy rebels"?
"The generation which commences a revolution rarely completes it. Habituated from their infancy to passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are not qualified when called on to think and provide for themselves; and their inexperience, their ignorance and bigotry make them instruments often in the hands of the Bonapartes and Iturbides to defeat their own rights and purposes."
What percentage of the people is united behind the changes that need to be made?
"It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united."
Where stands the public virtue?
"If Caesar had been as virtuous as he was daring and sagacious, what could he, even in the plenitude of his usurped power, have done to lead his fellow citizens into good government? ... [S]teeped in corruption, vice and venality, as the whole nation was, ... what could even Cicero, Cato, Brutus have done, had it been referred to them to establish a good government for their country? ... No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and their people were so demoralized and depraved as to be incapable of exercising a wholesome control."
If the public virtue wanes, what then?
"Instead of that liberty which takes root and growth in the progress of reason, if recovered by mere force or accident, it becomes with an unprepared people a tyranny still of the many, the few, or the one."
Is civil war the "Jeffersonian" solution to big government?
"I can scarcely contemplate a more incalculable evil than the breaking of the Union into two or more parts." "It is time for all good citizens to ... frown into silence all disorganizing movements. Strong in our numbers, our position and resources, we can never be endangered but by schisms at home."
"I regret that I am now to die in the belief that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776 to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be that I live not to weep over it. If they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves and of treason against the hopes of the world."
Are payment of taxes that we have consented to a just cause for revolt?
"[C]ontributions to public purposes in proportion to everyone's circumstances are certainly among the duties we owe to society."
Do we see the forest or the tree?
"Right, shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground."
Shouldn't self-government, be a check against revolution?
"In a country whose constitution is derived from the will of the people, directly expressed by their free suffrages; where the principal executive functionaries, and those of the legislature, are renewed by them at short periods; where under the characters of jurors, they exercise in person the greatest portion of the judiciary powers; where the laws are consequently so formed and administered as to bear with equal weight and favor on all ... it would not be supposed that any safeguards could be needed against insurrection."
What's the remedy under our Constitution?
"[I]n cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the General Government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy."
That is, by election, impeachment, amendment, checks and balances, trial by jury, free speech, free press, free assembly, education, lawsuit, criminal charges, sacrifice (of time, talents and resources), and every other legal, peaceful remedy.
"Come forward, then, and give us the aid of your talents and the weight of your character towards the [preservation] of republicanism."
What is the best corrective for constitutional abuse?
"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
Is not man higher than the beast?
"The cocks of the henyard kill one another up. Bears, bulls, rams, do the same. And the horse, in his wild state, kills all the young males, until worn down with age and war, some vigorous youth kills him, and takes to himself the harem of females. I hope we shall prove how much happier for man the Quaker policy is, and that the life of the feeder is better than that of the fighter; and it is some consolation that the desolation by these maniacs of one part of the earth is the means of improving it in other parts. Let the latter be our office, and let us milk the cow, while the Russian holds her by the horns, and the Turk by the tail."
Jefferson, like his fellow founders, was no redneck rebel, no power-hungry blockhead. He loved his country, loved peace and knew the best solution for bad government was eternal vigilance from educated, moral citizens, who fight for liberty within the bounds of inspired law. Our Constitution, indeed, needs to be saved today. But those "patriots" who justify their penchant for a violent revolution to restore the Constitution, and who do so by quoting Jefferson, reflect their ignorance, their dishonesty and their false motives. They are among this nation's worst enemies. They are rebels, not to be trusted.
Today we hear the words of Founder John Adams as he presents the American perspective on "rebel or not."
Kindling with indignation, Adams employed the fruits of his long study of British law, the Constitution and natural rights to vindicate the true sentiments of the colonists - saying, among other things, that the British overthrew established law, thus invoking the law of nature and the right to self-defense and independence.
Said he: "My friends, human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. The people can understand and feel the difference between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice. To the sense of this difference the friends of mankind appeal.
"That all men by nature are equal; that kings have but a delegated authority, which the people may resume, are the revolution principles of 1688; are the principles of Aristotle and Plato, of Livy and Cicero, of Sidney, Harrington, and Locke, of nature and eternal reason.
"If the parliament of Great Britain had all the natural foundations of authority, wisdom, goodness, justice, power, would not an unlimited subjection of three millions of people to that parliament, at three thousand miles distance, be real slavery? But, when both electors and elected are become corrupt, you would be the most abject of slaves to the worst of masters.
"All America is united in sentiment. When a masterly statesman, to whom she has erected a statue in her heart for his integrity, fortitude, and perseverance in her cause, invented a committee of correspondence in Boston, did not every colony, nay every county, city, hundred, and town, upon the whole continent, adopt the measure as if it had been a revelation from above?
"Look over the resolves of the colonies for the past year; you will see that one understanding governs, one heart animates the whole. The mighty questions of the revolution of 1688 were determined in the convention of parliament by small majorities of two or three, and four or five only; the almost unanimity in the colonial assemblies, and especially in the continental congress, are the clearest demonstration of the cordial and indissoluble union of the colonies.
"If Great Britain were united, she could not subdue a country a thousand leagues off. But Great Britain is not united against us. Millions in England and Scotland think it unrighteous, impolitic, and ruinous to make war upon us; and a minister, though he may have a marble heart, will proceed with a desponding spirit.
"I would ask by what law the parliament has authority over America?
"By the law in the Old and New Testament it has none; by the law of nature and nations it has none; by the common law of England it has none; by statute law it has none; the declaratory act of 1766 was made without our consent by a parliament which had no authority beyond the four seas. "If Great Britain has protected the colonies, all the profits of our trade centred in her lap. If she has been a nursing mother to us, we have, as nursed children commonly do, been very fond of her, and rewarded her all along tenfold for her care.
"We New England men do not derive our laws from parliament, nor from common law, but from the law of nature and the compact made with the king in our charters. It may as well be pretended that the people of Great Britain can forfeit their privileges, as the people of this province. If the contract of state is broken, the people and king of England must recur to nature. It is the same in this province. [He is saying, the colonial charters had been broken, and thus voided]
"The two characteristics of this people, religion and humanity, are strongly marked in all their proceedings. We are not exciting a rebellion. Resistance by arms against usurpation and lawless violence is not rebellion by the law of God or the land. Resistance to lawful authority makes rebellion. Hampden, Russell, Sidney, Holt, Somers, Tillotson, were no rebels.
"This people, under great trials and dangers, have discovered great abilities and virtues, and that nothing is so terrible to them as the loss of their liberties. They act for America and posterity. If there is no possible medium between absolute independence and subjection to the authority of parliament, all North America are convinced of their independence, and determined to defend it at all hazards."
John Adams was right. Britain's law, which did "bind the colonists in all things," and its enforcement by cannon and ball dissolved the legal relationship that under colonial charter had for a century and a half guaranteed self-government, local taxation by consent, trial by jury, and all other rights and privileges of Englishmen under British, natural, common and religious law.
This made the British attack an act of war against an independent sovereign, possessed of the right of self-defense. And so we are left to conclude: Under the law of nature, fighting back made the Americans not rebels, but patriots.
More next time.
Reference: Bancroft, George. "History of the United States, Volume IV," pg. 124.
About the Author:
NewsMax.com pundit and Federal Observer contributor, Steve Farrell, is the author of Dark Rose, an inspirational novel critics are calling "a modern classic." To get your autographed copy, click hereiUniverse.com..