Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., recently introduced a TV ad attacking his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, for a comment she made about the Second Amendment.
During an interview on the Lars Larson Show, Angle commented that if the government continued straying from the Constitution and could not be brought back into constitutional compliance by voters at the ballot box, she feared that people would resort to the Second Amendment as a means of correcting the nation’s course.
The Reid ad features a spokesman who identifies himself as a police officer, a Republican, and a member of the National Rifle Association. He declares his own support for the Second Amendment and then calls Angle’s statement “crazy.”
Of course, there was nothing crazy or extremist about Angle’s statement. If politicians disregard the rule of law under the Constitution, it is the peoples’ right and responsibility to force compliance; and the only viable means available for doing that is exercise of the right to arms.
Angle did not call for armed revolt or even indicate support for such; she merely pointed out a truth that the politicians in Washington would do well to recognize. The beauty of the Second Amendment, in theory, is that its existence is supposed to nullify its need. As long as the people have the ready means to rebel against a rogue government, they should never need to do so because politicians, aware of the people’s power, should be scrupulous about avoiding anything that oversteps their authority and might incite the people to rebellion.
Many of the Founders and subsequent great leaders commented on the Second Amendment as a guarantee of perpetual liberty, since the people would always have the means to overthrow a tyrannical government.
The current government has been acting as if the Second Amendment – and the threat it represents – simply does not exist. Indeed, they have been acting as if the Constitution itself is non-existent, or at least non-binding. The arrogance, disrespect, and indifference routinely displayed by this government toward the Constitution and the people have generated talk of armed revolt, even among reasonable and rational political observers.
While all but the most extreme agree that revolution would be a terrible thing to be avoided at almost all cost, and that the outrages of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi government have not reached a level to warrant armed rebellion (yet), they also generally agree that if the government were to continue down the current path unchecked, armed resistance is a likely result.
With his attack on Angle, Reid blurs the distinction between observation and advocacy. Observing the possibility of armed rebellion – and noting that it is the core purpose of the existence of the Second Amendment – is a far cry from advocating rebellion or even using it as a threat. Reid is engaging in distortion and personal attacks to marginalize a political opponent, a tactic which has proven extremely successful for Democrats in recent years.
That success is due in large part to the fact that, rather than fighting back against distorted and misleading attacks, the Republican Party establishment acts as if the charges are well-founded and accurate. Instead of supporting their candidate, or at least standing behind the principles a candidate correctly articulates, they distance themselves and the party from any candidate who dares to repeat a controversial position of the Founders. Sharron Angle is just the latest victim of the Democrats’ attacks and the short-sighted and unprincipled participation of her own party leadership in the slurs.
Last year in a campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates, a candidate – who was admittedly a bit far out in some of her views – quoted from Patrick Henry’s famous “Liberty or Death” speech and said something to the effect that if the voters didn’t take aggressive action now to turn the government back toward the Constitution by utilizing their rights to the ballot box, the only recourse left to them eventually would be their right to the bullet box.
The statements were captured on video by a Democrat operative, and edited clips were sent out to major media and posted on the Internet. Republican leaders in Virginia immediately pulled all financial and logistical support from the candidate, publicly disavowed her remarks and her positions, and canceled all joint appearances with her.
In effect, the Republican establishment endorsed her Democrat opponent and rejected the words of Patrick Henry, dismissing the modern relevance of the Second Amendment. The unprincipled move alienated a large segment of their political base – in that district and around the state.
There’s an old Capitol Hill joke that if the Democrats voted to shred the Constitution, the Republicans would vote for a compromise to phase the shredding in over six months. Accepting and parroting the Democrats’ attacks while allowing the principles to be marginalized proves the old joke. It also undermines all conservative candidates and the very foundations of the Republic. Now that’s crazy.