Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm a proud tea-drinking extremist

I read over the Homeland Security Assessment: Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. I have a long post for you today but then an interesting observation occurred to me.
Reading the DHS assessment and making notes, it occurred to me that if you take yourself back in our history and imagine England mulling over the Boston Tea Party and the "taxation without representation" things, the assessment seemed like it could have been written by 10 - 12 Ministers in the Court of King George III of England opining about those pesky, irritating, up-start colonials who "do not know their place."
Then, washing dishes before sitting down to type this missive, it occurred to me that - oh my goodness - we may have a few Justices on the Supreme Court who could loosely fall under the ambiguous identifiers as "right-wing" extremists.
We have one who likes to hunt; one who believes in the role of the Supreme Court to interpret laws in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and what it says and not what European laws say; we have a few who believe in upholding the Second Amendment along with the First Amendment; and, oh my goodness, we have one great Associate Justice who has - dare I say it - black skin. If you recall his confirmation he was lambasted by the "left-wing" extremists because he was a strict constructionist when it comes to the U.S. Constitution. I know all about the "high tech lynching" stuff, just the other "extremists" in action.
So before I get into the body of this post, let me affirm that from our Founding Fathers who fashioned our nation's Constitution against tyranny at great risk of their own lives and fortunes to today's law-abiding citizens on the Supreme Court or those waving flags at the Tea Parties on tax day, April 15, 2009, we're all right-wing extremists now in some form or fashion but we're in extraordinarily good company - we fellow, proud, patriotic Americans.
Our "crime" - we speak out and express opposing views, and we believe in our founding principles. And our unforgivable sin is that we do not share the same views with our fellow Americans who cast themselves as progressives and don't know what to do with us except maybe put out reports that will shut us down.
I recommend to you: First they went after....
I urge you to read the assessment and print a copy for yourself because it is truly historical.
If you read the report and you take a look, you may have it sort of hit you, "Hey, this is a manifesto identifying all law-abiding Americans who believe in freedom, justice, the American way of free-market capitalism, the sacred nature of human life during all of its stages, and essentially every American across all political party-lines who believes in the limitation of the powers of the centralized government and the U.S. Constitution's direction that the limited powers not specifically enumerated to the central government constitutionally fall into the responsibility of the States and the people.
Again, we are a government of "the people, by the people, for the people" and if you hold that value, you are, according to the DHS assessment a "right-wing extremist." God knows you can't be a Conservative, a Christian, a Muslim, a Libertarian, a gun owner, and many other sub-categories. Actually, the assessment pretty much covers all of us even including that there are studies on "left-wing" extremists too. Look for your own links on that please.
But you have to read this particular assessment to get the full impact of the reach of the report. I know we have to fight "terrorists" but my goodness, this assessment is far-reaching.
As One Big Dog said his post, I Am A Right Wing Extremist, was written in honor of the Tea Parties... I urge you to read his post. I know you'll find yourself in there someplace and you may find a tear come to your eye for that honorable man.
Reading Federal agency warns of radicals on right again, I naturally just started making lists of law-abiding Americans that can loosely fall into the very ambiguous guidelines for being "right wing extremists."
Read the assessment so you can see how these lists of law-abiding Americans with common agreements - even single issues - can stand together as Americans setting aside the superficial differences we have been taught to believe separate us and stand together for one simple thing: to ask our central government to do its job in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and leave us alone. There I go fitting the description as a "right-wing extremist." In this case one to really watch as I believe in States' Rights.
Right-wing extremists:
1) value the protection of our borders, believe we are a nation of laws and illegal immigration violates our laws. Who are the "extremists" here:
  • members of the Minutemen, assisting the Border Patrol,
  • Congressman Tom Tancredo,
  • law-abiding Americans who support legal immigration by people seeking citizenship legally respecting and following our laws;
2) believe in the value of human life at all stages and in the life of the pre-born (generally the pro-life choice Americans) which include - this is not an all inclusive listing:
  • pro-life Christians including practicing Catholics and Mormons,
  • all persons practicing spiritual Islam (I believe I'm correct on this one),
  • and folks practicing Judaism although I am not as familiar with the Jewish stance on abortion or partial-birth abortion. [These are known in the assessment as single-issue people to keep a watch on. I will admit that there are some violent folks out there who need to be watched but 99.99% of us don't fit that category.]
3) Gun owners and those with military training: these folks believe in the right of law-abiding Americans to own guns. [As a note, "gun registration" is currently a matter of law left to the various cities and local governments of the several states. It is not a central government enumerated "power".] The NRA rightly has a motto: legislation, registration, confiscation. Hope I got that right.
In this category of right-wing extremists or potential right-wing extremists, I have included patriotic Americans who also have specialized military or paramilitary training. The DHS assessment does mention its own activities at Ruby Ridge and Waco so the folks who wrote the report indirectly did identify the several possible activities that led to some unrest among the general population.
So the folks who fall into this gun owner category and could be classified as right-wing extremists include:
  • all law-abiding Americans who might own a gun or are gunless still belonging to the NRA;
  • all Americans who have served in our combat or special forces;
  • all Americans who may have specialized training in our clandestine services;
  • all Americans who are actually serving or have served in the Border Patrol, our local and state police departments, those who serve in certain departments of Homeland Security, ICE, and all the alpha-bet soup groups who exist to protect us...and
  • citizens who oppose gun-control and gun registration legislation
Look over the lists - which are not all-inclusive - of law-abiding American citizens across all political parties and look at some of the issues that bring all of us together as one people.
And finally, as One Big Dog said, I too write this as a proud American Conservative - identified in one way or another now as a right-wing extremist simply because I exercise my remaining constitutional rights of expression and assembly, not calling for violence but calling for our U.S. Constitution to be followed and upheld by those who have sworn to do so.
When reading the Homeland Security Assessment, including the footnotes, the words and charts of Ross Perot kept coming to mind. As he told us, jobs have gone south, Mexican trucks are flooding our highways carrying who knows what cargo.**Read update here. According to the MinutemenHQ, approximately 12,000 American citizens are killed on our highways every year by drunk drivers here illegally.
Another single-issue which again makes me a "right-wing extremist" is this: children are born here to illegal immigrant parents and those children have the right of American citizenship but I believe the constitution is being mis-interpreted. In any event, those children should be returned to the nation of origin of their parents to keep the families together and when the children reach the age of majority, they can choose their citizenship, not dual citizenship, but only citizenship for one nation. Families do not have to be separated but the common sense solution is to send to entire family home where the children's extended family lives, not import the extended family.
Back to my main point... The National Tea Parties
Law-abiding American citizens met together across ideological lines yesterday at Tea Parties across America. Perhaps it is the right time for us - greater mines than mine - to work to create a third political party that has staying power based upon the values and principles which brought us all together yesterday. Sure we may not win the first few elections.
Again, I leave that to greater minds but I would suggest the major unifying forces on April 15, 2009 centered around three common themes:
1) an all-powerful centralized government vs the U.S. Constitutionally defined enumerated or limited powers of the centralized government giving to them the main role of protecting us from invasion so that the various States and local governments, the people, could get about doing the business pertaining to "we the people". That should keep some of our money at home in our local cities. The powers and responsibilities of the centralized government were defined by our Founding Fathers - no accident there. The rights of we the people were not defined so that we would be free under the Bill of Rights designed to protect us. We've been non-violently striving to keep these protections every since.
One point here. The U.S. Constitution was written by men who never conceived of government-employed "elected" representatives/elected representatives and senators who act as lobbyists in some cases. Our Founders believed in citizen-statesmen who had by law, as a minimum, to meet only one day a year to do the nation's business. Yes, it is in the U.S. Constitution. I suspect a docket of 5,000 bills a year not to mention 1,100 page bills no one read before voting on it would astonish our Founders.
2) fiscal responsibility by the governments at all levels and let's not blame radicalization on citizens when this current crisis has been in the making since legislation passed in 1977 - the Community Reinvestment Act.
3) and broadly, the common thread of the Tea Parties seemed to be the basic difference in the ways of life found in a capitalist society vs a socialist, government-dependent society.
In the 1990s, we had the "Contract with America" set forth by the Congressional Republicans before many of them decided to play dress-up and imitate far-left liberal Democrats on the Hill. Perhaps the time has come for a greater, open public debate that does not shutdown debate through citizens being classified as "right-wing" or "left-wing" extremists. Yes, those reports exist too. Elections come and go; we have one of some sort every two years. But this is a debate we need, as a people, removed from emotions.
I propose that several "think tanks" such as Heritage and others get together and give the American people options for a third political party that will follow the U.S. Constitution. The Tea Parties demonstrated that we need change we can believe in and a central government that believes in us.
There is one tiny bone I would pick with Janet Napolitano and that is her use of the term, "man-made disasters" because I believe the use of that term weakens our acknowledgment of what happened to our nation and who did it. You'll see what I mean by example.
I am humbled to say:
  • to all of you who lost loved ones in the "9/11 man-made disaster" (to quote Janet Napolitano's new phrase reclassifying the Islamic terrorists' declaration of war against our nation);
  • to all of you who serve our nation fighting for our freedoms;
  • to all of you who protect us as unsung heroes fighting those planning "man-made disasters" such as the "Oklahoma City man-made disaster";
  • to all who serve as Border Patrol guarding our borders to protect us from kidnappings in Phoenix, AZ and other "man-made disasters" resulting from drug and human trafficking; and
  • to my local city police who keep an eye on my home if I go on vacation and who risk your lives for me, may God bless you, your families, and keep you safe.
If I left any group out, I am sorry. I would suggest we all fit in there someplace. Since the founding of our nation, Hamilton and Jefferson are examples, the direction of how much power over our lives the federal government should have has been going on between the big federal government guys and the limited-power federal government guys who feared the growth of a centralized government and favored States' Rights and local governments accountable to the people so this is nothing new. It is just that it is happening once again and has been happening all throughout the 1900s. This time, however, the power grab seems to be happening very quickly with legislation being passed without being read and without discussion. That is worrisome to me. It should be worrisome to us all.

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