Friday, July 17, 2020

The ONLY Way to Secure Liberty is the American Way

I am not a conservative applauding the actions of President Trump in response to national rioting this morning. Whether or not it is legal for the a President to use the Insurrection Act to deploy federal troops in this manner, I believe if he does it against the will of a Governor or local leaders it is an unwise use of power that sets a dangerous precedent!!!

So NO, I won’t add my voice to others on the right praising him for his strength!! And to my libertarian and liberal friends, Yes!!! It concerns me VERY VERY much!!

Ok, now I’m going to level with you all!

I’m not entrenched in an opposition to the use of the military in a domestic crisis. Though I think the lines should be very clearly defined in law and even then we should be very slow to do it. — My primary concern right now is the way that Trump is posturing, telling governors that they better act or he will. Essentially it’s an ultimatum and it’s likely that he will be putting himself in an adversarial relationship with some governors and therefore escalating the chaos of the moment. I don’t want to see him lead this way, I don’t want to see any president lead this way. He may never carry out the threat, but what if he does, what if against the will of local governments he inserts the military. He’d be in much more than an advisory and support role at that point. This would NOT be good for American Federalism.

I have had heated disagreements with many of my liberal friends over COVID shut downs, because I believe the COVID mitigation orders by Governors as setting a VERY dangerous precedent that could have far reaching impacts on American liberty — I don’t believe Governors act legitimately when they suspend civil liberties, as they have with the excuse of COVID. — I’ve argued against this at nauseam over the last several months. It’s authoritarian and we shouldn’t trade our civil liberties for a little security!!!

On the other hand, when local leaders are weak in the face of violent criminal activity and destructive social unrest, and they do not act to secure the lives and property of law-abiding citizens, they fail to protect the civil liberties of their citizens! In all cases — in the COVID situation and the police brutality and criminal rioting — The first duty of the government is to protect the civil liberties of its citizens! And the illegitimate use of power is exercised in the suspension of civil liberties!

AND NOW, the President promises to use the Insurrection Act against the will of state governors — and people who yesterday were crying out against the authoritarian actions of their Governors — are applauding the President for his “strength.” IT’S seriously DISTURBING!! The hypocrisy is astonishing!!


The Insurrection Act was amended under a Democrat Congress and Senate in 2007 to “define its uses,” but as it is written what can’t it be used for in order to deploy the military into American streets? 

The Act enables the President to deploy the military “to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” The amended Act expands the language of the original Act to include natural disasters, epidemics, or other serious public health emergencies, terrorist attacks or incidents, or other conditions. Opponents of the amendment at that time, most notably all fifty governors, criticized the amendment as a presidential power grab aimed at suppressing the power of the states and increasing the role of the military in domestic affairs.

This is the kind of overreach that happens and libertarian voices warn Americans that expansion of federal power has consequences, but no one listens!! One party supports the expansion of executive power when their in power, and then they’re appalled when a future president, not of their party, uses that power.

This is a perfect illustration of why I speak out against authoritarian overreach in all it’s forms! Including the overreach that we have been seeing because of the COVID pandemic! Because, these actions have a long standing consequences, they will affect the future and what our society, court systems, governments except as a legitimate use of power! Restraint is not a characteristic of government power!!

I’m angry at people on the left who were illiberal when they didn’t speak out against the COVID response — the authoritarian overreach that suspended civil liberties and shutdown businesses, destroying livelihoods and crippled the free market. — The same leftist who a week ago were supporting Governors and local leaders arresting people for breaking stay-at-home, shutdown, and mask wearing orders; the same leftist who were outraged by protest against COVID authoritarian orders and who criticized protesters as irresponsible because they weren’t wearing mask or social distancing. — These same people are now perfectly OK with nationwide protests (no social distancing in urban areas most at risk for COVID outbreaks) and excusing rioters!!! Putting many lives and properties in existential danger!! The hypocrisy is astonishing!!

I see the inconsistencies on BOTH sides of the political divide. Everyone is picking their favorite authoritarian!! They are all behaving dangerously, and acting against the founding principles of our nation. The principles essential to the preservation of liberty are being casually set aside under the excuse of “security” — and it’s happening with partisan approval — ON ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER

I want Americans to oppose lawlessness with a unified voice and I want President Trump to leave peace keeping to the states — to offer help in a supportive role if requested — but otherwise to restrain the use of federal military power whatever they choose to do. They are accountable to the people of their states for it. 

BUT, if it goes too far, if the local authorities don’t stand firmly against lawlessness to protect the civil liberties of law abiding citizens. If the loose control of the situation and the violence does not subside. The President’s hard will surely be pressed to act, and he will use the insurrection act, which has historical precedent, when state leaders do not secure their citizens rights!! If we don’t want to see federal troops marching through the streets of America, if we value local authority and the liberty it preserves, we must defend law enforcement and stop criminals from ransacking our cities!!!

I want people on the left to stop excusing looting and stop supporting authoritarian actions against the lives and livelihoods of individual Americans in the name of COVID or in the name of rioters — I want people on the right to stop applauding the use of federal power over the states in the name of security!! I want people on the right to urge caution in preserving federalism.

I want liberty to be guarded with passion!! I want an American people who condemn rioters and practice civility! I want a unified people against all forms of oppression and abuse of power!! I want an American people brave enough to accept the risks associated with that liberty. I want an American people who don’t turn to government power and coercion to solve every social ill, mitigate every natural danger, or make up for every human failing.

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