Tentherism’s threats, hints of secession and even armed insurrection – “Second Amendment remedies” as they are euphemistically called (now broadened to include OWS) – are nothing new, sad to say. Just the other day Rand Paul endorsed an ad that not only lied about an imaginary “million rifle ban” but portrayed one of those rifles pointed at President Obama’s head. But the outright call for “armed revolution” in the event of an Obama victory in November from the Greene County, Virginia Republican Committee is more the stuff of a crazed right-wing militia than a major political party – or so you would think.
In the committee’s newsletter, “The Constitutional Conservatives” editor Ponch McPhee wrote the following in the “White House Watchdog”:
We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.
An individual who has come to power within a Nation which yields it’s strength over the entire world.
An elected leader who shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might.
In the coming days and weeks ~ we the people must come to grasp as a common force, our very soul’s, that our future as a sovereign nation is indeed at risk.
If every single individual that you know, would contact 25 other individuals ~ we can make a difference that will be heard across the Commonwealth and in Washington.
The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.
Some of us understand that there is a very real danger of armed insurrection (you can’t actually call it a revolution when its purpose is to reassert the conservative status quo – it’s more of a counter-revolution if the word is to be used at all) in the event of an Obama victory in 2012. The Homeland Security warning so unwisely rescinded was accurate. These people are well-armed and none too sane, as their behavior demonstrates.
Sadly, the spirit that fired on Fort Sumter in 1861 and the arrogance of Pierre G.T. Beauregard, who put the match to powder, is alive and well in the South. Most of us – Republican president Abraham Lincoln in particular, probably did not foresee the bloody Civil War as a temporary fix, but that is what it is shaping up to be. The battle lines have been clearly drawn for some time now, and just as Christianity was used to justify slavery (and still is), it is now being used to justify the subjugation of women and gays and lesbians, along with atheists, Pagans and other “undesirables” not worthy of the term “real” Americans.
It is not only religion-based bigotry but racism that drives the modern conservative movement in America, a reaction to loss of privilege both of conservative white males and conservative Christians.
Josh Glasstetter at Right Wing Watch wrote:
The Greene County GOP apparently realizes that McPhee and the newsletter are a potential liability, judging by the disclaimer on the back page claiming that views expressed are individual only. But that’s a cop-out. They should either stand behind McPhee’s insane views about armed insurrection or find an editor who represents their real views.
The Greene County GOP has apparently taken his advice…sort of. After the media heard about it, McPhee used the usual tactics of those caught in the act, playing the victim of the media, saying he was speaking metaphorically:
“all this rip roar Media hype….. is all about…..being armed with the voices of We the people…..you must arm yourself with a spoken word to be heard ~ just as the founding fathers spoke out during the revolution……So, Yes, arm yourself with many voices for the people and by the people….as your constitution allows….should the vote fail ….this November or at anytime……”
McPhee’s insurrectionist post was removed (along with the link) and then McPhee himself. In a “To Whom it May Concern” Gary E. Lowe, the new chairman of the committee wrote:
The referenced comment is included in an Editorial comment made by the former Newsletter Editor. It was written in March before a change in the Greene County Republican Coimmittee (GCRC) leadership, and clearly illustrates the needed change for leadership via recent elections. The newsletter also includes the following disclaimer - “Note: Content of the newsletter does not reflect the opinion of the Republican Party whole or in part, all contents offered are individual. GCRC is not addressing anyone living or dead in regards to this content.”
The Greene County Republican Committee denounces such language and does not subscribe to that thinking. The membership of the GCRC is composed of hard working, law abiding Americans who raise families, pay taxes, generously serve their community and respect the Presidency of the United States. As a editorial comment, it is the musing of one person, not the party.
Of course, Mr. Lowe goes on to say, in words which detract from the strength of his disavowal,
Perhaps the author was borrowing from Thomas Jefferson who wrote, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms, is as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” He also wrote, “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the right of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost over a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
While we believe this election is critical to the direction of the future of this great nation, we do not believe that if the results end up with the re-election of Barack Obama, that will necessitate what the author suggests.
“That will necessitate…” So all’s good as long as Obama loses, leaving open the necessity of an armed insurrection if he wins. Apparently saying you’re going to kill a bunch of people is okay if you say the likelihood of it being necessary is remote. More disturbingly and completely invaliding his previous words, since he smugly insists a call to armed insurrection is protected by the First Amendment, he is saying the editor can threaten all he wants. How “law-abiding” co-exists with a willingness to engage in an armed insurrection against a lawfully constituted government is anyone’s guess.
Not that any of this is surprising from a group that pretends Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were conservatives, when in fact they were radical liberals. And no sort of bizarre rationalizing should surprise us at this point. But threats of armed insurrection are not merely harmless ranting, and Americans must think about the possible consequences of an Obama victory beyond the triumph of Enlightenment values and the fulfillment of the Constitution for all Americans.
It is all too clear that they want a fight. It is equally clear that we must be ready to give them one. If we do not draw a line in the sand, if we are not willing to fight today, there will be no tomorrow. We cannot submit, we cannot abandon the Constitution for which so many Americans have shed their blood and given their lives. Our attitude mus be, can only be: “bring it on.” So if we must fight, let us fight now.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.