Directly after the terror attacks on American soil on September 11, 2001, it became a mortal sin to question, let alone criticize, the United States government that immediately earned one the unflattering and dangerous label of “un-American” and “enemy of the state.” All that abruptly ended on January 20, 2009 with the inauguration of Barack Obama as President when it became a source of conservative pride to condemn the American government as overbearing and tyrannical on the one hand, and a source or patriotic necessity to make threats against, not only the new African American President, but the United States government as well.
Americans just witnessed an incident in Nevada where a racist rancher summoned armed militias, including fellow Mormon, John Bircher, and Posse Comitatus acolyte Richard Mack, to wage war against the federal government. Now, another member of Mack’s extremist organization, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), implied “the second coming of an American Revolution” is on the horizon. The latest sheriff to threaten America with armed rebellion is Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr who addressed the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting last week and drew praise from right-wing media including patriotic gun cheerleaders at Fox News.
Conservative pundits were beside themselves with adulation for Clarke where he gave a speech to gun-fanatics at the NRA and proposed appending the 2nd Amendment with the words “keep your hands off our guns dammit” to wild applause from the patriot crowd. Clarke’s speech was succor to conservative pundits and advocates for revolution alike, leading Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocey to assert “He is one law enforcement officer doing more than protecting you on the streets, he’s standing up for all of our constitutional rights as well.” That is just not true; militias and rebellion-minded so-called patriots affiliated with Posse Comitatus, the John Birch Society, and Oath Keepers do not support and defend the 14th or 1st Amendment, but they do champion the 2nd and 10th Amendments as the entirety of the U.S. Constitution.
What Fox failed to mention during their love-fest for Posse Comitatus acolyte Clarke was his warning that, “If you’re going to stand with me, you have to be willing to resist any attempt by government to disarm law-abiding people by fighting with the ferociousness of a junkyard dog. It says in the Declaration of Independence that it is our duty to throw off such government and to provide new guards for our future security.” What Clarke, and every NRA gun-fanatic in America, fails to acknowledge is that Jefferson’s words were aimed at a foreign government declaring the American colonies’ independence from English rule. Gun-fanatics and rebellion-minded conservatives cannot comprehend that the U.S. government is not a foreign power, or that the Declaration of Independence was American colonists’ official separation notice from Great Britain.
Clarke and revolution-minded NRA traitors also fail to acknowledge is there have been no attempts whatsoever to disarm people; law-abiding or otherwise. In fact, there have been no new gun safety measures in America since 1994’s Assault Weapons Ban passed by a Republican Congress during the Clinton Administration. Clarke knew he was inciting NRA anti-government gun-zealots to rebellion against the government that the NRA has advertised for five years while a Black man has been in the Oval Office.
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association that Clarke, like Richard Mack, belongs to is a right-wing extremist group that adheres closely to Posse Comitatus philosophy dating to the post-Reconstruction era to aide former Confederate states reject federal government oversight and laws. The central tenet of Posse Comitatus is the belief that the county sheriff is the ultimate legal authority in the United States, and it is why Richard Mack, like Cliven Bundy, does not recognize federal or Supreme Court authority over “sovereign citizens” and why Mack persists in claiming “nullification” is a legitimate solution to federal laws.
Besides inciting NRA fanatics to rebellion against “government disarming” Americans, he made similar comments last year during an appearance on Alex Jones conspiracy theory radio show addressing “the Obama Marxist types who want to start a civil war in this country by confiscating guns. I believe that if somebody tried to enforce something of that magnitude you would see the second coming of an American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison.” It is not the first, or likely the last, time Clarke references the American Revolution when discussing today. At the CSPOA convention, Clarke called attendees “the modern founders” and alluded to revolutionary times saying, “What’s happening today is what was happening then and a courageous group of grassroots individuals, that’s what they Founding Fathers were, they were grassroots people, who said enough and started to push back. And that’s what I started to do and that’s why I started to become more outspoken” against “the common enemy of the people; the government.”
It is becoming a regular occurrence to learn that some teabagger, Republican, gun fanatic, or disgruntled conservative is calling for civil war, race war, rebellion, or 2nd revolutionary war against the government and more often than not it is about government confiscating guns or disarming citizens. On conservative and liberal websites it is not uncommon to see banner ads asking “should Republicans fight Obama’s gun laws.” Exactly where does the preponderance of claims Obama, Democrats, or government tyranny to confiscate Americans precious guns originate? It comes from the NRA, Republicans, Fox News, and every disaffected Oath Keeper and CSPOA member hoping to incite other conservatives to rebel against the government, and after five years they have idiot yokels and so-called patriots ready to rebel against the government and not one gun has been confiscated.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.