Recession, Repression, Secession

Word is floating around the internet that, following a statement by Texas Governor Rick Perry after the Tax Day tea party held in Dallas, nearly half of Texas Republicans are in favor of Texas seceding from the United States of America. Is that patriotic?

In his address at the tea party, Governor Perry called his audience a group of patriots but then in speaking to reporters afterwards he said that Texas might want to secede from the union in reaction to the Obama Administration’s policies. There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between these two statements. How is it patriotic for an American citizen to suggest or support secession?

Growing up in a conservative congressional district in the suburbs of Dallas, I was always aware that a fundamental conservative, Republican value is patriotism to the United States of America — to the stars and stripes, the purple mountains majesties and the fruited plain. Until Governor Perry’s speech and this poll of Texas Republicans, I had always retained the belief that patriotism to the United States of America was a core conservative value. No longer, it seems, at least for 48% of Texas Republicans polled.

Is patriotism only an obligation when there is an Administration in office with which one agrees on policy choices? Perhaps American patriotism is less solid than would seem at first glance. After all, during the Bush Administration reports floated around the internet of liberals wanting to leave the United States en masse and move to Canada or elsewhere because of their disapproval of the policy choices of that Administration. Now, with the Obama Administration, conservatives, who have always heralded their own patriotism to the country as one of their hallmarks, are talking about “Going Galt” or outright secession. This isn’t patriotic talk at all, is it?

I’ve mentioned this elsewhere but I don’t mind being on record saying that “going Galt” (including secession) is not a solution to any policy issue; rather, it is a ridiculous and arrogant cop-out that evidences the worst kind of contempt for one’s fellow man and the needs of those less fortunate.

It would be much more patriotic to make good, effective rhetorical points against policies while still maintaining an obvious loyalty to the United States of America, its principles and indivisible national integrity than to speak of “going Galt” and secession.

Comments

  1. I’m no longer in Texas, but I’ll never forget my first week of church in Dallas when the woman offering the benediction at sacrament meeting ended by thanking the Lord for the freedoms of this great country and the great blessing of living in Texas.

  2. Living in Texas is great — a wonderful place to grow up. And if any state could and would succeed as an independent country these days, it would certainly be Texas (although that was not the case in the 1840s). I always thought it was cool that Texas had been an independent country at one point.

    But the question is whether it is patriotic to support the idea of secession from the United States. It would be a very circuitous and counterintuitive argument that would maintain that it is, in fact, patriotic to a country to suggest and support seceding from that country.

  3. I think this is a Texas thing — the illusion that Texas was and could be an independent nation. It’s silly, won’t happen and wouldn’t work.

  4. I do not support secession, rebellion, whatever, of course, but I think I understand how one can claim to be a patriot while simultaneously proposing something inimical to the nation.

    The Mormons did it for much of the early Utah period. In our view, the rest of the nation had gone astray, and we were the sole maintainers of the original, pure Constitutional principles. Therefore, we were the true patriots, and combatting or refusing to submit to the corrupt oppression of the nation was patriotic. (That is all said as if I were a 19th century Mormon and does not necessarily express my personal 21st century view.)

    I don’t doubt that many other groups and individuals have felt the same way.

  5. I think Thomas Jefferson himself expressed those thoughts on occasion.

  6. Is it true — I’ve heard but not verified — that the terms under which Texas joined the nation permit it, at its own discretion, to divide into as many as five sovereign states? To do that would dilute the single state’s current political power unless the smaller Texian states operated together, but it would certainly give Texans more power, more presence, in national government.

    If it’s true that that’s an option, *that* makes more sense for the governor to advocate, doesn’t it?

  7. John F, as a conservative, I don’t disagree with anything your write here. I think the Perry secession stuff is a red herring that will quickly fade into history, just as the many promises by liberals (Alec Baldwin and others) that they would leave the United States if Bush won the election faded into history.

    I also remember reading a poll that the vast majority of Texans are against secession, including conservatives. I would also like to point out that tea party participants chanted repeatedly “USA! USA!” Yup, they are definitely NOT patriotic.

    One quick story and then I’ll go away: people in the Florida Keys regularly have votes about seceding from the United States and forming a “Conch Republic.” In Monroe county (where the Florida keys are), there was a referendum, and something like 80 percent of the people voted for secession. Of course nothing ever came of it. I think there’s a big difference between the words of a blowhard politician running for reelection and the patriotic feelings of people when it comes to actually taking the steps toward secession.

  8. Here is the rasmussen results on the secession question in TX.

    I am not sure how differnt the poll results would be from other Southern states.

  9. Peter LLC says:

    Nice play on “Gripped by Fear.” 8)

  10. Blain, Texas’ economy is already on par with many independent nations. It has a large coastline and tons of territory and natural resources, as well as a huge population consisting of large professional class, mature and innovative technology and manufacturing sectors, established political, economic and legal institutions and the educational systems to support those, not to mention a huge workforce and its oil. I think it could be an independent country — but then it wouldn’t be part of the USA and the patriotism of those living there would be patriotism to Texas, something not shared by the citizens of the United States.

  11. Julie M. Smith says:

    Yeah, well, over 20% of them also think that Obama is a Muslim and when I accidentally catch local talk radio, I hear about wanting Texas to “succeed.” And the Great State of Texas recently became a little more pro-intelligent-design friendly.

    So there are deeper issues here.

  12. Thanks Peter — I figured you’d be the only one to catch that.

  13. re # 6, Ardis, that’s right. All of us who grew up in Texas learned about that in school. Still, it doesn’t seem very patriotic to advocate secession in the face of policies you don’t agree with. Instead, become a political activist and work within the system to overcome those ideas through persuading your fellow Americans that the policies are wrong. You might have to endure those policies for a few years while you get the system turned around. Liberals endured the Bush policies they abhorred for 8 years and, in the end, they got a government whose policies they more fully endorse. That is the pattern of getting your way in American politics, not Alec Baldwin’s vacuous promises or Perry’s irresponsible secession rhetoric.

  14. #11–Wait, so Obama’s not a Muslim? Huh. Next you’re going to try to tell me that he’s a citizen or some crazytalk like that. ;-)

  15. By the way, Ardis, I see your parallel to nineteenth-century Utah Mormons; however, Mormons were forced out ofthe United States at that time. They viewed themselves as American citizens who were the victims of religious persecution and forced migration, all in blatant violation of their basic constitutional rights and the precepts of the Declaration of Independence. In that sense of being forced out of the country and yet seeing themselves as true patriots, there is a major difference in that situation as compared to middle-class Texas Republicans, who declare themselves the “silent majority” (i.e. not a persecuted minority), advocating secession because they don’t want to pay higher taxes.

  16. Agreed. Besides, those advocating secession have no idea of the difficult issues they would have to deal with entirely on their own without current federal assistance.

    They would, for instance, have to deal with illegal immigration … from Oklahoma … Louisiana … New Mexico …

  17. John Mansfield says:

    Back in the Sagebrush Rebellion ’80s, I wrote a high school paper on why Nevada should secede. One piece of evidence I used was the proceedings of a convention in Worcester, Mass. around 1830 to promote the cause of expelling southern states from the union. I used this to point out that when a state wants to secede, there are plenty of people in the other states that want to see them go.

    If the Texans really want to go it alone, here’s how they can go about it: 1) Get President Obama to return Texas to Mexico as a way of seeking forgiveness for over a century and a half of arrogance, racism, general badness, etc., that have characterized America up until a few months ago. 2) Revolt from Mexico again. 3) This time around, don’t apply to the U.S. for annexation.

  18. Ardis, you don’t know how true that is, particularly with respect to Oklahoma — if there’s one thing red-blooded Texans hate more than Barack Obama, it’s anything relating to Oklahoma.

  19. I think the term “patriotic” is overused. And often overused in wrong ways.

    Which is more patriotic, standing up for Constitutional principles, or standing up for the flavor of the week policy from the wonks in Congress?

    Thomas Jefferson stated that every good Republic needs a revolution about once a generation. We haven’t had a real internal struggle that has caused real change since Reagan. So, perhaps here is our new revolution.

    Is it patriotic to seek to uphold the Constitution for your people, even when the national government wants to do something else? Is Patriotism tied to an idea or a government? If tied to an idea, such as to the Constitution, then any or all people can gather around it and pledge loyalty. If to a government, then we suddenly get into nationalism, which has never truly inspired better things out of its people. GWBush moved us into nationalism and away from the Constitution in many ways, demanding a patriotic fervor for that nationalism. Now, the Democrats have taken up the same nationalistic standard, by claiming to be solving the issues in our country, but totally ignoring the Constitutional principles that made this nation great.

    Perhaps Texicans have a good idea in secession, IF it is based on the goal of protecting and defending the Constitution. In such a case, I’d say they are definitely patriotic.

  20. If what Julie says in #11 is true, shouldn’t we encourage Texas to secede? It would ease the tax burden on the rest of us a lot. Perhaps, in a gesture of truly good will, Texas should be returned to Mexico.

  21. Margaret, I wouldn’t go there, even in jest. But that’s just me (I happen to be aware of an equally ridiculous movement that advocates such an absurd suggestion of “giving back” Texas and much of the rest of the American southwest to Mexico).

  22. Julie M. Smith says:
  23. To keep some political balance in the remaining U.S.A., if Texas becomes part of Mexico again, California should too.

  24. Mark Brown says:

    According to this table, Texans get back 97 in federal benefits for every dollar they pay in tax. Maybe they should quit freeloading.

    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/Publications/What-Came-to-Your-State-in-2005.html

  25. Its interesting how the strongest cries for secession come from states that get the most back from the Fedaral government as compared to what they put in, as alluded to in #19. Let them go, America would be a better place without them. Plus we wouldn’t have to worry about building that wall along the Rio Grande. Too bad Austin couldn’t be transplanted somewhere up north, though.

  26. Mark Brown says:

    .97. Sorry, missed the decimal point.

  27. John Mansfield says:

    Mark Brown, go ahead, take those massive military bases and bombing ranges, and put them somewhere in the Northeast. As one who from a state where 87% of the land is federal property, I’d say give us our state back and you can keep your federal money.

  28. Julie M. Smith says:

    “Too bad Austin couldn’t be transplanted somewhere up north, though.”

    Uh, yeah. Please don’t leave me stuck behind the Cowboy Curtain.

  29. Mark Brown says:

    John, my point is that $0.03 on the dollar isn’t really a lot to pay for the living in America. But I guess lots of people have an entitlement mentality….

  30. Please don’t judge Texans by their governor. He couldn’t even get 40% of the vote in the last election.

    He’s facing a serious challenge from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and he’s trying to pander to the ultra-right faction that might support him in the primaries.

    I’m not kidding when I say that many Texans in 2000 had to think twice about voting for Dubya, knowing that if he won, Perry would be governor.

    No thinking citizen in Texas wants to secede. (In fact, if you visit Texas Independence Hall in Washington County, they make it very clear that Texas always wanted to be part of the US and never wanted to be its own independent country, which is an interesting take on things.)

  31. #6 Ardis – Nate Silver at fivethiryeight.com hypothetically breaks up Texas into five states and examines how that would effect their power nationally. He concludes it would help Republicans in the Senate but hurt them in the electoral college.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/messing-with-texas.html

  32. Can we kick Texas out? Florida too?

  33. “The United States” exist today because a group of determined men and women seceded from their homeland.

    Taxes are not the sole basis for the cry of secession from certain Texans. Some of them are aware that our current tax program goes against everything that the founding fathers established, and so does the amount of control the US government has over the people living in this country. The founding fathers warned continually against the type of government that some would like to see established in this country, and they saw it as a very real threat to the kind of liberty and freedom they were building.

    The tea parties were held on “tax day” because of the symbolism it holds for those who are frustrated with the way government is behaving, but their motivations go far beyond simple tax increases and involve deeper fears about the losses of many of our civil rights as well as the protection of the Constitution.

    If the government continues to ignore the voices of at least half of its voting citizens, and continues to act in unconstitutional ways, secession of one or two states will probably the least things we have to worry about.

  34. Mark Brown says:

    Let we forget – Texas has already been down this road before as part of the Confederacy, and we all know how well that turned out.

  35. Here’s my question: Is this an extension of the ‘real Americans’ language we saw in the last election? Is that the direction of the Republican party? Are there enough ‘real American types (I’m looking at you, avisitor) to make them politically viable?

  36. A few points:
    1) It is true that Texas is the only state that joined the union with a right to secede.
    2) Patriotism is not blind allegiance to one’s country. As #33 noted, all of our patriot “founding fathers” were sucessionists. #4 gives another example of being Patriotic without embracing the nation’s leaders.
    3) Every Texas I’ve ever met considers themselves Texan first and American second.
    That said, Texas will never secede. Secession is just too complex. (Unless they take some lessons from the Czecks. )

  37. Bro. Jones says:

    #32 I can’t post images here, but I recently saw an animated .GIF captured from an old Loony Toons cartoon, featuring Bugs Bunny sawing off the State of Florida and sending it floating away on the currents.

  38. avisitor:

    Texas was one of the early states to ratify the 16th Amendment; in fact almost three years before enough other states did the same to where it became part of the Constitution.

    If your perceived change in US taxation policy is the straw that breaks Austin’s back then Texas has to blame itself for being part of that change.

  39. avisitor, wouldn’t the protest against anticonstitutional behavior by the government have been appropriate, say, a few years ago? Or is it just taxes that count? Pfffft. Seriously, reread that last paragraph of yours — you sound like a traitor. Go ahead, take up arms already! Storm the White House!! Nutter.

  40. Okay, I’ll say it. Apart from losing Austin, would I miss it all that much? I’ve been to Dallas during the annual cricket migration where the dead ones piled up outside a nice restaurant in Richardson/Plano like dead leaves in New England in October. If they are so unhappy about paying taxes, let them pay for their own military, border security, federal highways, not to forgetting the NEA grants for art, National Public Radio, Medicaid/Medicare, etc.

    Actually, I think they would find that they are far too intertwined with the rest of the US economy to really do this. Or as John Stewart said on “The Daily Show” last night, this is just “More S*** That Isn’t Going to Happen.”

    However, in a slightly more serious tone, as to patriotism, it is possible to have such allegiance to certain principles and values to want to correct your nation or society when you think it goes astray. This secession talk, though, isn’t trying to solve the problem, but as I perceive it, posturing to make a point. As to whether the 48% of Texas republicans who are in favor of secession are acting on the right values, I don’t think I’ll offer an opinion. But I am concerned about the perception that Texans are more patriotic to Texas than the United States. And as Mark said about the previous secession effort, how’s that working out for you, Texas?

  41. Last Lemming says:

    It is true that Texas is the only state that joined the union with a right to secede.

    Texas explicitly renounced its right to secede after the Civil War as a condition of rejoining the Union.

    http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/secession/15march1866.html

    You might remember that there was a minor stink about Todd Palin’s former membership in the Alaska Independence Party, but it was overwhelmed by his daughter’s pregnancy and his wifes …uh… incoherence.

  42. kevinf – As a long-time resident of North Texas, I’ll agree with you and say that Dallas is terrible. Fortunately, there’s a lot of North Texas that’s not Dallas.

  43. Deep thought: The Republican party is pro-America.

  44. Queno,

    I love Austin. My favorite city in Texas. Hills, the music on 6th Street, Lake Travis, a nice city.

    Dallas, not so much. Or as I like to say, I spent a week there one day. I have some nice friends, there, however.

  45. In response to #30-

    According to the article linked to in the original post:

    Perry told reporters following his speech that Texans might get so frustrated with the government they would want to secede from the union. “There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”

    I watched the entire Perry speech (on youtube) and not once does he even hint at secession. It’s pretty much a patriotic American speech.

    The same article said:
    A spokesman for Hutchison said the senator was in Houston for an event promoting her amendment to make permanent the Texas state sales tax deduction on federal filings. “The senator is on the front lines in Washington against the Obama administration and their unnecessary spending,” said Hutchison campaign manager Rick Wiley.

    From the article it appears that Perry and Hutchison are BOTH against the spending policies of the Obama administration.

    In response to this:
    “Here’s my question: Is this an extension of the ‘real Americans’ language we saw in the last election? Is that the direction of the Republican party? Are there enough ‘real American types (I’m looking at you, avisitor) to make them politically viable?”

    The tea parties might have been better attended by Republicans, but the Republican Party did not stage them or sponsor them or fund them. They were organized by regular citizens living across the country who posted the locations and times for their gatherings and anyone who wanted to attend brought their own signs and opinions. They were attended by Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Libertarians and the majority of organizers made it clear that they did not want the focus to be on Parties or partisanship…they want the focus to be a return to the values and principles of our Founding Fathers and our founding constitution.

    It remains to be seen if “real Americans” become politically viable or not, but lack of viability has never stopped “real Americans” in the past and if there are any left, it won’t stop them now either. If America is ever going to be great again, it is going to have to reintroduce the same principles and values that made it great before, and people are going to have to be willing to stand up against corruption and fight for truth and righteousness whether they stand a chance of “winning” or not.

    Joseph Smith once said “It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular [and I add politically viable or not], I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.”

  46. kevinf –

    Spend some time in Tarrant County. Downtown Ft Worth is great. The Kimbell and Bass Hall are great cultural fixtures. We even have the second-best team in the MWC, for all of you BYU fans (that would be Utah, and then TCU.)

    We have smallish wards in NE Tarrant County. Some of the streets in our ward have 6-7 members; it’s practically like a Zion ward. Our school districts are amazing and our children are well-schooled.

    I’ve commented elsewhere on this, but in my school district, parents routinely take anti-football stances on things like “artificial turf”. We even have vocal democrats at Church…

    Heck – even the Dallas Cowboys abandoned Dallas County for Tarrant County, and we’ve had professional baseball (OK, at least semi-pro :) since 1973.

  47. Aaron Brown says:

    I’d happily trade in Texas for, say, British Columbia. The scenery is much better, there are no Texas bees, or fire ants, or antlers on the front of gaudy Cadillacs. And the U.S. and Canada would each lose a fundamentalist polygamous community, while also each gaining a fundamentalist polygamous community. Win-Win. Who’s with me?

    By the way, isn’t this whole discussion basically moot anyway? With state governments and courts changing the definition of marriage with each passinng day, it’s surely only a matter of time before Orson Scott Card and his followers bring down the government, at which time, we’ll have to recreate a new political system anyway.

    AB

  48. queuno,
    >We even have the second-best team in the MWC, for all of you BYU fans (that would be Utah, and then TCU.)

    As a lifelong hater of all things byu, you have now earned a permanent place on my good side.

  49. avisitor –

    It won’t matter, anyway. Perry is toast in 2010, and we’ll restore decency to the Statehouse. Maybe even a Democrat! (although, it’s Senator Hutchison’s to lose…). The secessionists in Texas have long overestimated their audience…

    There is nothing to see here. Move along.

    (Although – there is a running joke that we’d like to separate Austin off as a separate state. And Longhorn fans would like to partition off College Station.)

  50. I’d happily trade in Texas for, say, British Columbia. The scenery is much better, there are no Texas bees, or fire ants, or antlers on the front of gaudy Cadillacs. And the U.S. and Canada would each lose a fundamentalist polygamous community, while also each gaining a fundamentalist polygamous community. Win-Win. Who’s with me?

    Our BBQ brisket and ribs are better, though.

    Anyone planning an eating trip through Texas, here’s your Bible, with ratings to plan your trip around: http://www.fullcustomgospelbbq.com/

  51. William H. says:

    Maybe the Texans could draft some sort of document asserting their independence. They could say something like this, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

  52. I’d happily trade in Texas for, say, British Columbia. The scenery is much better, there are no Texas bees, or fire ants, or antlers on the front of gaudy Cadillacs. And the U.S. and Canada would each lose a fundamentalist polygamous community, while also each gaining a fundamentalist polygamous community. Win-Win. Who’s with me?

    Or heck, let’s kick Texas out and try to get Iceland. They are having real tough times right now on their own. Joining up with us might be better for them. And Iceland, I hear is really really pretty. Not as self-centered as so many Texans are either. (that’s a generalization, and not meant to imply all Texans, just a characterization of Texans’ notion of “Texas first.”)

  53. Texas went down that road before, @51.

    http://www.lsjunction.com/docs/tdoi.htm

    (Of course, they immediately tried to join the Union. The only went Lone Star because Washington politics denied them immediate entry…)

  54. The tea parties might have been better attended by Republicans, but the Republican Party did not stage them or sponsor them or fund them. They were organized by regular citizens living across the country who posted the locations and times for their gatherings and anyone who wanted to attend brought their own signs and opinions. They were attended by Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Libertarians and the majority of organizers made it clear that they did not want the focus to be on Parties or partisanship…they want the focus to be a return to the values and principles of our Founding Fathers and our founding constitution.

    Seriously, let’s just move on. just ridiculous.

  55. Queuno, I <3 you.

  56. Texas is one of the few states that could successfully secede, if the federal government was willing to let them. However, it is probably far from their best interest to do so.

    Remember, the federal government spends approximately 20% of GDP and Texas would have all those resources to perform the functions previously performed by the federal government. With a long coastline, a significant industrial infrastructure, and few potential security problems it certainly wouldn’t be a disaster. Business would probably suffer however.

  57. Queno, re Tarrant County, is that where they bottle the Cane Sugar Dr. Pepper? If so, one more plus.

  58. #57. Nope its further south

  59. Julie M. Smith says:

    They bottle it in Waco.

    (A surprisingly nice daytrip, between the Dr. Pepper museum, the zoo, and the museum on campus.)

  60. I have to tell you my thoughts on Texas.

    1. Lots of great golfers come from Texas — so it can’t be that bad of a place;

    2. Lots of great food in Texas, between BBQ and Tex-Mex — so it can’t be that bad of a place; and

    3. My wife hails (at least in part) from outside Dallas, so it can’t be that bad of a place.

  61. #52. Hmmmmm…. Lyle Lovett, Bjork, Lyle Lovett, Bjork. Tough call.

    Can Utah have NASA?

  62. RE: #40- I was in the Texas Roadhouse in Killeen, and a cricket fell into my drink from the rafters- waitress just shrugged and said it was cricket season! The only “nice” part of Texas is Austin, and I’ve been to most far-flung corners of the state both by car and helicopter.

  63. John Mansfield says:

    Why would NASA need to leave Texas? The Russians launch from and land in Kazakhstan.

  64. Mark Brown says:

    More good things about TX:

    Willie’s 4th of July picnics

    Smoked brisket

    Luckenbach

    South Padre Island

  65. Mark Brown says:

    And this man.

    http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/

    Where else can you have a bumper sticker that says “My governor is a Jewish carpenter”?

  66. As a new texan it is a little weird when people joke about the idea.

    Which constitution are we to be patriotic to? The one that had state representatives picking the senators? The one before federal taxes? the one before civil rights?

  67. Mark Brown says:

    That is what is so funny, britt. People who want to get back to the original intent of the constitution don’t seem to be aware that the founders never heard of Texas. So Texas is unconstitutional, according to their worldview.

  68. Molly Bennion says:

    When I get homesick for Texas, especially for the people, the music and the food–preferably together as at the Salt Lick, Gruene Hall, any number of great Austin spots, ah heck, all over Texas, a beloved Texas lifer tries to make me feel better with “but don’t forget the rednecks.” Still, I feel foolish to have passed up another SXSW and bluebonnet season and chance to be with my “ya’ll come!” Texas friends.

  69. John Mansfield says:

    I’m pretty sure Thomas Jefferson had heard of Texas. He thought he bought it.

  70. avisitor says:

    Steve Evans Says:

    “avisitor, wouldn’t the protest against anticonstitutional behavior by the government have been appropriate, say, a few years ago?”

    Is your point here that since everyone was willing to let past administrations get away with it, we should all be just as willing to let current and future ones do it too?

    Many tea party organizers share the same opinion that in the past Americans seemed to think that things would eventually work out or that our founding principles would save us on their own. They haven’t, and we have reached a point where it is futile to point fingers and blame one party or another any longer. That’s been the “American response” for too long and it obviously isn’t working.

    I said:
    “If the government continues to ignore the voices of at least half of its voting citizens, and continues to act in unconstitutional ways, secession of one or two states will probably the least things we have to worry about.”

    You said: “Seriously, reread that last paragraph of yours — you sound like a traitor. Go ahead, take up arms already! Storm the White House!! Nutter.”

    I think you need to reread it.

    Maybe you see absolutely nothing wrong with a government that ignores at least half of it’s voting citizens and acts in unconstitutional ways. Maybe you think that any “normal” or rational or intelligent person should agree with you and just remain silent and inactive about it.

    History proves that perfectly normal, healthy, sane people eventually get fed up and say enough. They start with voicing their opinions and trying to get their point across when they are only frustrated enough to be vocal about it. Normal, sane people expect that if their government is also normal and sane, it really will be concerned about ALL citizens equally, and is more than willing to listen to their discontent, take their concerns seriously, and do all they can to resolve them.

    How many normal, sane Americans are there today that believe that their government is also normal and sane and capable? If the government is none of those things, it would be irrational and insane to expect Americans to keep dealing with it in the same old ways while expecting different results.

    But allow this nutter one question. How do you react when homosexuals, or blacks, or women organize to give voice to their frustrations and fears? Do you label them as “nutters” or use the gender/racial slurs that equate with calling someone a traitor in a political discussion? Or were they spared denigrating slurs because you were on their side?

    I just ask so I’ll know how things work here. From what I’ve seen so far, I understood that there was an extremely low tolerance for profiling or stereotyping people. I have a hard time believing that thread responses here would have been humorously and well-received if someone had ever suggested that the four states that allow gay marriage be sawed off the continent and left afloat, or that the participants in the Million Man March intended to storm the White House with deadly force.

  71. I think this is a dangerous game you are all playing. I don’t personally know a lot about Texas, but I know you don’t mess with it.

    So I am sitting this one out.

  72. Mark Brown says:

    Maybe you see absolutely nothing wrong with a government that ignores at least half of it’s voting citizens and acts in unconstitutional ways.

    avisitor, I think the point is that this is just how democracies work. Most elections are decide by very narrow margins so half of the electorate is always mad. And charging an administration with unconstitutional acts is hardly new, it has happened to every president in my lifetime.

    As for your arguments about original intent of the constitution, you’re not making much sense. Do you favor the part of the original constitution which allowed people to own slaves, or the part which allowed women to be denied the right to vote? Or is it just when tax rates go back up to where they were under Reagan that you get touchy?

  73. I don’t need to reread it, it’s still crazy. From your “at least half” assertion to your “unconstitutional” assertion, you paint yourself as a nut who reads the Constitution like the Bible but does not know a thing about constitutional law. And now that you’re raising the specter of homosexuals, blacks and women, comparing your own conveniently-raised-during-Obama-but-really-I’ve had-them-all-along tax gripes to their decades of discrimination and oppression, I know you’re a nut.

  74. queuno, we won’t judge Texans by your governor if you promise not to judge Utahns by Chris Buttars. Deal?

  75. Matt Page,

    I don’t personally know a lot about Texas, but I know you don’t mess with it.

    But that’s EXACTLY why we mess with Texas, because they dare us to mess with Texas. It’s like the line from Israel in the 70s “Don’t f*** with the Jews!” Well, you practically invite it!

  76. Peter LLC says:

    46:Our school districts are amazing and our children are well-schooled.

    Yes, but how is their grooming and manners?

  77. Peter, brings to mind the Lake Wobegon motto, “all the children are above average”.

  78. Peter LLC says:

    History proves that perfectly normal, healthy, sane people eventually get fed up and say enough.

    And boy do they ever!

  79. I could end this in a day: Just say the USA will not play them in football. (They would be like Cuba and baseball).
    But lighten up. It only 95% of the Texans that give the rest a bad name.

  80. Well Dan (75), you can be contrary and defensive if you want to. We all have to make our own choices.

    But as for me and and my house, we will not mess with Texas.

  81. avisitor:

    I think Jon Stewart said it best: I think you’re confusing “tyrrany” with “losing the election…” You’re in the minority now. It’s supposed to taste like a $#!+ taco.

  82. I ate one of those once.

    Last time I go to that Del Taco!

  83. avisitor says:

    Steve,

    Amazing. I must have failed to make my point clear, and as the one at fault, please allow me to clarify.

    The references to homosexuals, blacks and women had NOTHING to do with tax gripes at ALL. My point was that there is a term for people who are only supportive and civil towards minority groups whose opinions they agree with and who hurl insults and intolerance at those whose opinions are different. It’s called BIGOTRY.

    Bigotry is an ugly vice that causes people to be tolerant of the rights and viewpoints of groups they agree with (in my example blacks, women, homosexuals) but intolerant of rights and viewpoints of groups they don’t agree with (in my example Texans, Floridians, tea party attendees). as nutty, anti-american, rightwing nutjobs.

  84. jjohnsen says:

    “Is your point here that since everyone was willing to let past administrations get away with it, we should all be just as willing to let current and future ones do it too?”
    I think his point is the teabaggers seem to be more anti-Obama than anti-big government spending or anti big government, otherwise why did they pass up plenty of opportunities to protest those exact things for eight years.

    Your posts are ridiculous.

  85. Aaron Brown (47)-
    I only hope that the new government he creates is called the IF and has Colonel Graff running the show.

  86. avisitor says:

    Jeremy-

    I don’t care which party the President of the US is from-I sincerely and completely do not, as long as his primary goals and actions are in the best interest of everyone in this nation. There should never be a “minority” of Americans who want the same thing.

  87. avisitor,

    You bring up a good point, though your tone does not invite a reasoned discussion. Still I will attempt a reasoned reply.

    1) The cost of bigotry is not the loss from that bigotry, but the inability to compensate for it. If a white person loses out to a black person due to affirmative action in a racist society, there are other racists out there to offer a substitute job. Mathematically speaking, total opportunity is not the sum of individual opportunity, but one minus the product of lack of individual opportunities. One bigot out of many has effectively no power to oppress. Only when most people are bigoted does opportunity decrease (and then exponentially).

    2) It is less painful for 100 people to lose $1 than for one person to lose $100, especially if the short straw goes to a historically oppressed person.

    Suppose there is a social gathering of white people that invites a black person, who refuses to come out of bigotry. The party still goes on. Party goers are bemused but get over it. Bigotry is real but impotent. The effect is dilute.

    Contrast that with the case where the white people refused to allow the black person to attend. Bigotry is focused and devastating.

    3) Power is majoritarian, not proportionate, in this country. Contrast that with places like Iraq or Lebanon, where distinct subgroups are allotted a proportionate share of power. With disproportionate power comes disproportionate burden to be more gracious than “to the victor go the spoils”.

    4) The biggest flaw of the notion of “silent majority” is that it is never a majority (real majorities are silent in words, not in successes). Every tea party combined would pale in comparison to a hastily called million-person pro-immigration or service workers union rally in LA. Middle class nobodies gave hundreds and thousands of dollars each for and against Prop. 8, totaling some $80 million. Where is the comparable grass roots financial commitment to Tea Party politics (without the guiding hand of Fox News)?

    Far be it for me to rescue someone from a self-pity party, but may I presume to offer an inconvenient truth. Women do not grab their purse when you get into the elevator. When you kiss your wife in public, bystanders do not accuse you of making a political statement. When the government “unjustly” taxes 1/3 of your pay, you are still better off than the person earning so little that they are taxed only 1/4 of their pay. When you are done working a 12-hour day, you need not fear that federal agents will swoop in and send you (but not your citizen children) back to Mexico.

    Grace is forgoing a right because others need it more. Grace is ennobling and empowering, not jealous and mean. If it’s good enough for Jesus, perhaps you could try it on for size? Since this is an LDS blog, I just thought I’d ask…

  88. 62 – Texas Roadhouse.

    No Texan eats at a Texas Roadhouse. We put those up to trap the turrists. The only I’ve ever eaten at a Texas Roadhouse was in Pittsburgh, I think.

    There were probably 50 better places in Killeen.

    I’ll second Julie’s recommendation about Waco. The Dr. Pepper plant is great…

    If you want a great visit, go hit Brenham. You’re 12 miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos, *and* you can go visit the Blue Bell Creamery. Just awesome.

  89. Steve Evans says:

    Dan Weston FTW.

  90. avisitor says:

    jjohnson,

    Plenty of people were angry about the government spending of the Bush administration, yet not even Democrats/liberals took the initiative to protest it.

    Since Obama’s proposed budget more than doubles the deficit of Bush’s *, and since the beginning of the tea parties coincides with Obama’s release of his budget, it could very well be that for many people, the line between not doing anything and doing something lies between Bush’s big government and big government spending and Obama’s HUGE government government and HUGE government spending.

    *Based on the “independent analysis” done by the “nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office” and reported in the Washington Post 03/21/09

  91. Steve, I beg you…ban his ass.

  92. William H. says:

    Having been to numerous tea party protest in my area, I can testify that a good portion of the crowd is just as displeased with the Republicans as they are the Democrats. In fact, Republican politicians were booed at several of the larger protest.

    Most of the people I spoke with, including many of the organizers, are part of the Ron Paul faction of the Republican party. I don’t know if you remember this or not, but we were ridiculed by the mainstream Republicans during the presidential primaries.

    The Republicans and the Democrats are just different wings of the the same bird flying in the wrong direction.

    Now I must go and prepare for the End the Fed rally tomorrow at the regional Federal Reserve bank.

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)

  93. “Steve, I beg you…ban his ass.”

    No, don’t. Sometimes the worst punishment is just to let people speak for themselves and let their statements remain public.

  94. I say we let them succeed.

    And let GWB be there head of state.

  95. Their! I mean their!

  96. Steve Evans says:

    Yes, Brad, but we’re ALL being punished here.

  97. I love how conveniently it’s forgotten that Alexander Hamilton, the founder of the first national bank, and almost certainly the man to whom Jefferson was referring, was also a founding father. We’ve been having much the same debate about economics and the proper role of the government in the economy and in relation to taxes from the founding of our nation. I’m sure we’ll continue to have this debate as long as our nation exists. With or without Texas.

  98. William H. says:

    “Uh, yeah. Please don’t leave me stuck behind the Cowboy Curtain.”

    “…you sound like a traitor. Go ahead, take up arms already! Storm the White House!! Nutter.”

    “Seriously, let’s just move on. just ridiculous.”

    “I don’t need to reread it, it’s still crazy.”

    “I know you’re a nut.”

    “Your posts are ridiculous.”

    “Steve, I beg you…ban his ass.”

    “You’re in the minority now. It’s supposed to taste like a $#!+ taco.”

    Then Dan Weston tells avisitor, “You bring up a good point, though your tone does not invite a reasoned discussion.”

    Thanks for the laugh!

  99. William H. says:

    ESO,

    GWB said that the Constitution was just a “G!@#$%&d piece of paper”. Not exactly the type of guy supporters of the constitution would like as their leader. The great majority of people I spoke with at the tea parties would identify more with libertarianism than the neo-con agenda we’ve had for the past eight years.

    Repeal the Patriot Act. End the war on drugs. Bring home the troops. Restore the tenth amendment. Stop the bailouts. Make government smaller. All of these were sentiments I heard at the tea parties. These are all issues in which Obama and Bush share a common view.

  100. Latter-day Guy says:

    98, huh. When you see them all together like that, it’s pretty interesting. Not that ‘avisitor’ couldn’t be crazy, he might be raving, even though his #90 does make a reasonable argument to explain the situation.

  101. William H. says:

    Kristine,

    Do you support our monetary policy being determined by a private bank?

    How much power would you have if you could print and control all the money?

    As Mayer Amschel Rothschild said, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”

    Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan responded to a question poised by Jim Lehrer on the proper relationship between the Federal Reserve and the President of the United States. Greenspan responded:

    “Well, first of all, the Federal Reserve is an independent agency, and that means, basically, that there is no other agency of government which can overrule actions that we take. So long as that is in place…then what the relationships are don’t, frankly, matter.”

    Ah, pure, unadulterated, unaccountable, power.

  102. William H.-
    I’m not a big debater in threads, because I lose my cool too quickly, so I’ll be short and then I’m done:

    I gather from the comments above that you are not a big fan of the Fed. That’s fine, I am not a big Fed lover either; however, your charges against it seem to be based on its independence from the government, rather than the mere existence of a central bank. If you don’t understand the importance of having the money supply be independent of the influence elected officials, you need to take a stroll through the histories of the many nations who dissolve that independence. It is not pretty.

  103. avisitor says:

    Dan Weston-

    Again-I clarified that my point about “bigotry” wasn’t about taxes, now let me clarify it also is not about income, jobs, or who gets invited to parties and who doesn’t.

    I define bigotry as someone who is intolerant of opinions that do not agree with their own-and the term has never been exclusive to racists,sexists and homophobes. It also applies to those who subscribe to partisan politics.

    If it is even remotely possible to apply my point to what you said, it would go something like this:

    1)
    “One bigot out of many has effectively no power to oppress. Only when most people are bigoted does opportunity decrease (and then exponentially).”

    The opportunity to post/participate in this forum decreases in relation to the number of people who want to oppress those whose political opinions differ from their own.

    2)
    Going along with your party analogy- The public is invited to attend a social gathering hosted by people who seem to put a lot of effort into being viewed as opposed to bigotry of any kind. A guest is called names and treated with disdain for defending the political opinions held by some citizens living in Texas and their right to demonstrate if they see fit. Is the bigotry exhibited real but impotent, focused and devastating, or just ironic and hypocritical?

    3)
    I have no power in this forum so according to you, the burden of being gracious is not mine.

    4)
    “Middle class nobodies gave hundreds and thousands of dollars each for and against Prop. 8, totaling some $80 million. Where is the comparable grass roots financial commitment to Tea Party politics (without the guiding hand of Fox News)?”

    A grassroots movement is not defined by whether or not it requires a financial commitment.

    The vast majority of the money donated by middle class nobodies for or against prop 8 went through specific “guiding hands” such as organizations like “ProtectMarriage.com” and “Focus on the Family” that requested donations to order to pay for advertising and campaigning fees.

    So far, no funding has been needed for Tea Parties because public demonstrations usually don’t require funding at all. “The less than middle class nobodies” (*see below) that are organizing these demonstrations are volunteers donating their own time and using free websites (like meetup.com) to announce the individual gatherings in their areas. Participants pay for their own signs, transportation, time off work etc. To date there has been no professional advertising and no campaigning.

    Obama has defined middle income (middle class) as between $150,000 and $250,000 a year. This week he promised that families making “$250,000 a year or less will not see their taxes increase by a single dime”. These would be the same “middle class nobodies” you were talking about. While it’s none of your business, the inconvenient truth is that my married-filing-jointly taxable income for 2008 was “so little that I was taxed only 25% of my income”. Don’t bother holding a pity party in my behalf though… I don’t feel unjustly taxed at all.

    The point here? IF all the people who attended tea parties are paying out more than 1/3 of their income in taxes (and feel that amount is unjust) then their taxable income for 2008 was somewhere between $200,300 and $357,700. The “median” income in Texas for 2008 ranged between $49,000 and $59,000, putting the average Texan in the 15% tax bracket. So either the crowds were made up of “LESS THAN middle class nobodies” * or they were the “elite” of Texas cleverly disguised as truckers, veterans, homemakers, and other “average” people.

  104. Steve Evans says:

    William H., welcome. We’re like this all the time, so enjoy. I am shocked — SHOCKED — that you are a Ron Paul supporter.

  105. Steve Evans says:

    P.S. loved your turn on American Idol.

  106. Arrived late, and want to know where the signup sheet for the Dan Weston fan club ended up. I’m going to borrow whole the explanation of bigotry in the future.

  107. P.P.S. a friend recently described LDS Ron Paul supporters on the internet as “all part of the same homeschooled pod people freakfest nutjob Red Dawn commune.” That sounds improbable to me.

  108. Wolverines!!!

  109. Jeremy,
    If you need Dan Weston, he can be found at zokwezo.blogspot.com (in the event that he doesn’t respond)

  110. At the risk of losing my hero status here, let me acknowledge that avisitor has repaid reason in kind. It would be ungracious of me not to concede that:

    1) It takes either courage or narcissism for avisitor to take on everyone else…though I will not speculate either way, as it is entirely possible that he possesses both.

    2) It is true that, as a guest, avisitor has been welcomed rather less warmly than I…though if brevity be the soul of wit, then he has no wit and I have no soul. Perhaps if words were taxed like tea, I too would join him on his crusade.

    3) avisitor has clearly demonstrated that a persistently ill-mannered guest can try the patience even of a Saint.

    4) It is not the fault of Californians that a six-figure income is merely middle class. Nor is it the fault of Texans that they are “LESS THAN middle class nobodies”. Can’t we all just get along?

    And Scott, as if I wouldn’t respond…you should know me better than that!

  111. I’m not stalking, I just really liked his comment.

  112. re # 45, so let me see if I get this right — the tea parties were arranged and put together by “community organizers”?

  113. For the record Steve, I am an LDS Rupaul supporter.

  114. #88. Have you ever been to Killeen? I spent 4 hellish years living there. Maybe if you count fast food, you might get close to 30. Oh yeah, you could always go to Luby’s, just don’t sit next to the front window.

  115. William H. says:

    re: 112

    I worked with the Campaign for Liberty, and various meet-up groups that were organized during the Ron Paul campaign to get the word out about the tea parties. This was long before Fox News, and the mainstream Republican party jumped on the bandwagon, and tried to shanghai our movement.

    The consensus of those I spoke with was that the Republicans and Democrats are the same thing. Their rhetoric might be different, but their actions are the same. They both subscribe to the philosophy that big government=good. Liberty and personal responsibility=bad. We’ve been fighting over these same principles since the war in heaven.

    Lucifer was a big government guy. :)

  116. William H. says:
  117. #88- I lived 4 hellish years in Killeen. If you included fast food, there might have been 20 eating establishments, so we took the Texas roadhouse. That Luby’s where all those folks were killed was still there too. Ah, Texas memories.

  118. William – your movement has been shanghaied. If you had held a tea party on April 15, 2008, maybe those of us who self-identify as “left leaning” would accept your insistence that you aren’t just sore losers. As it is, your timing and the people you are in bed with demonstrate that you are thoroughly partisan, even if you don’t see yourselves that way and never have. Perception is reality, dude, and when you’re in bed with Fox News, it pays to remember who’s the Top and who’s the Bottom.

  119. William H. says:

    Actually, Ann, our movements first tea party was December 16th, 2007, when we raised over $6,000,000.00 for Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul, if you remember, was a harsh critic of GWB’s policies. One reason why Fox News tried to keep him from debating other Republican candidates, and why they ridiculed him when he did.

    Just because you try to link us with Fox News does not make it so.

    And to the person that posted the William Hung clip under my screenname, LOL!

  120. Fox News is the one linking you with Fox News, not me.

  121. re: 113

    Oh YEAH! First Bloggernacle reference to RuPaul ever, and it wasn’t by me. Awesome.

  122. Latter-day Guy says:

    “…it pays to remember who’s the Top and who’s the Bottom.”

    No comment. That just needs to be memorialized, I think. Thank you, Ann.

  123. “I love how conveniently it’s forgotten that Alexander Hamilton, the founder of the first national bank, and almost certainly the man to whom Jefferson was referring, was also a founding father.”

    And he exerted, by several orders of magnitude, more influence on the drafting and ratification of the Constitution than Jefferson did.

  124. nasamomdele says:

    “…it pays to remember who’s the Top and who’s the Bottom.”

    It may be only me, but I have zero clue what this means. I guess if there was just one other laughing…

    And this post has been a great example of what not to do/say in so many ways.

  125. William, my point was that there’s a lot more diversity of opinion among the founding fathers than they’re typically given credit for by those citing the Founding Fathers. Treating them like some monolithic body, which you were doing, is inaccurate and does them, and us, quite the disservice.

    Our constitution was forged out of some pretty intense debates, and a lot of the issues that caused all the conflict continue to this day, chief among them the vision of what this country should be. Jefferson’s ideal country would have been composed primarily of yeomen farmers, and would have stayed small and not attained the international significance that the USA has today. I suspect Jefferson’s ideals are really the ones you’re referring to when you cite “The Founding Fathers.”

    But there were other ideas for the direction this nation should take–Hamilton wanted us to become powerful on the international stage, which was why he pushed for a national banking system and why he pushed for a strong federal government. His vision is probably much closer to what we’ve achieved, and our society has benefited significantly from that vision, materially and socially.

  126. Dan, You’re right–I know you better than to suggest you might not respond. I confess that it was little more than a self-serving way of saying, “Hey! I know this guy!” after your great comment.

    I am so ashamed.

  127. re: 124
    That’s probably for the best, nasamomdele. Your temple recommend might be put at risk.

  128. Texas sure has a habit of picking some piece of work elected officials. Yikes.

  129. Mark Brown says:

    And let’s not forget Betty Brown (R. Terrell), who thinks Asian citizens ought to just use different names in order to make it easier on the rest of us regular Amurkins.

  130. Ugh. No, Mark, let’s forget that bleeping idiot.

    By the way, Rep Barton bragged on twitter that he “baffled” the (Nobel prize-winning) Sec. of Energy in that clip. guffaw!!

  131. William H. says:

    Kristine,

    Did you disagree with the Jefferson quote I posted?

    Do you think it’s preferable for congress to delegate it’s authority to issue currency and regulate it’s value to a private bank? Why don’t, we the people, print our own money without interest?

  132. I asked a ward member from Killeen about restaurants there and he said that you should have gone to Big Hoss Bar B Que. I couldn’t find a rating for it, but that’s where a local swears by…

  133. I think the TEA partiers lost a bit of their luster when they attract these people (this is from Chicago): http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm36/bsmechanic/teaparty08.jpg

    Godwin’s Law…

  134. For the record, I beat queuno to the punch on the sidebar…

  135. avisitor says:

    queno,

    This entire issue is the result of media misrepresentation of his response to a question asked by an AP reporter (who used the word secede in her question, NOT Gov. Perry) following his Wednesday speech. (which can be viewed in it’s entirety on youtube)

    The Associated Press reported this the following day:

    “A day later, Perry said he found the fascination with the remark interesting.

    ‘I refer people back to my statement and I got a charge out of it,” he said. “I was kind of thinking that maybe the same people that hadn’t been reading the Constitution right were reading that article and they got the wrong impression about what I said. Clearly I stated that we have a great union. Texas is part of a great union. And I see no reason for that to change.’ “

  136. William H. says:

    re: 134

    queuno,

    Do you really want to go down that road? O.K. then….

    I know that you believe that I’m just a racist, teabagging, redneck. That I hate all black people. That my brain doesn’t function properly. I know this because Janeane Garofalo also disliked the tea party protest, like you, and since you share a common view then what she says can also be attributed to you. Right?

    I also know that you liken gay activist to radical Muslims. How do I know this? Well, you go to an LDS church, an Chris Buttars goes to an LDS church, so what he says must reflect upon the beliefs of all those that go to the LDS church. Right?

    Come on, queuno, you can do better than that. It’s a rather juvenile argument to point to a few signs, out of tens of thousands, and then try to liken the entire group to the actions of a few.

  137. avisitor says:

    William-

    To those who think that “perception is reality”-it seems perfectly natural to perceive themselves as being one of the good guys; on the side of right, and correctness and progress. Everyone or anything that might prove that their perceptions are inaccurate or unreal is viewed as a threat to how they prefer to view the world.

    To those who think that reality is the state of things as they actually exist-it is natural to strive to perceive yourself as objectively as possible and keep your beliefs in line with valid evidence. You welcome information even if it reveals flaws in your convictions because the ultimate goal is to discover what IS right, and correct.

    People like you believe the Rasmussen Report when it states “51% of Americans viewed last week’s tea parties as favorable-32% as Very favorable, 19% as somewhat favorable, 15% viewed them as somewhat unfavorable, 18% as Very unfavorable, and 15% weren’t sure.”

    People like you can accept that “83% of Republicans viewed them as favorable” along with “28% of Democrats and 49% of Americans who are unaffiliated with either party.”

    You and I may not share the same party affiliations or group memberships, but what we apparently do share-along with “70% of US voters ” is the opinion “that big government and big business work together against investors and consumers” because “71% of Democrats believe that big government and big business are on the same team [or as Ann would say-in bed together] along with 69% of Republicans and 69% of those not affiliated with either party”.

  138. Sigh. William, at least you’re admitting that the only founding father you bother to count is Jefferson.

  139. If a pollster called me and one of the choices to solving our political dilemmas was to “hang every politician in Washington” I’d probably pick that one, as would I bet more than 25% of the population.

    Would I really be in favor of a lynch mob or is it just rhetoric?

    Would I really be in favor or Texas or Utah or Arizona, etc. succeeding? Probably not at the present time. But the idea of removing ourselves from the entangle mess of the federal government that grows more and more day by day with no effective representation, even though we are actually “represented” is appealing.

    It’s becoming increasingly clear to a lot of people that the government is growing to such an extant that the only way out is collapse. I see no way of getting rid of hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats, secretaries and the associated support staff, technicians etc whose sole purpose is to serve themselves, and their positions, even though they are almost all decent people. It grows and grows and grows with no accountability while providing less and less return.

    The reality is at some point, most likely even already, the government is providing less and less benefit for every dollar it spends (ie removes from the economy, you and I).

    This is not an argument against roads, or health care, etc.

  140. avisitor says:

    Sam,

    Every great civilization in history has “fallen” because of corruption and wickedness, and we know that even this country is not immune from that fate if we forget God and His laws. Economic turmoil is one of the signs of the times and no scripture indicates that things eventually get better, more peaceful, more fair, more prosperous for us.

    So I’m a nutjob, but so is/was every other disciple of the Lord that has cried repentance or voiced warnings to a given society that has become too corrupt. How many times has He commanded His followers to separate themselves from such societies when they fail to listen? If the eventual goal to build Zion and dwell there is viewed as the ultimate “secession”… from the world, I pray to God to be among those crazy enough to make it happen.

  141. LOLZ avisitor, you get mad props for associating yourself with the great prophets of old. Thanks for the warning — now go live in your cave and watch it all come down.

  142. avisitor says:

    Kristine N.

    FWIW- When I speak of a return to the principles and values of the Founding Fathers, I mean the ones that they reached consensus on, fought for, and incorporated into our national documents. I also automatically assume that when someone else refers to the “principles of the Founding Fathers” that they are talking about the ones they held in common, as a group.

    I KNOW that they all held diverse opinions on many issues, and that the reason there were so many discussions and debates was because it took them a very long time to reach a place where they were mostly in agreement (to the extent it was possible) on the final product.

  143. avisitor says:

    Steve,

    Look, you don’t like me. You don’t have to. I am prepared to continue to turn the other cheek. But I am curious as to why you are so angry with no apparent cause? What prompts you to respond to the sincere opinions of fellow members who speak the truth to the best of their knowledge with “thou fool!”?

    As Latter-day Saints we have been commanded to strive to be of one heart, one mind, one purpose, so I’m fairly certain that we should be more in agreement with each other than in opposition. I’m even more certain that the Lord’s command to His Saints regarding His prophets is to follow them-even in the difficult stuff like laboring all of our days “crying nothing but repentance” to this generation.

    If you are my brother, and you believe in the same Lord and gospel that I do, then my sincere wish is to reconcile our differences, whatever they may be.

  144. avisitor,
    I haven’t been following the conversation, but I think that if I am reading you correctly, you are noting that you are only doing what the prophets of old have done. If that is so, then it seems like you are taking that mantle upon yourself. You may not be, but the rhetoric implies that.

    Generally speaking, folk only adopt the airs of the one crying in the wilderness if they assume that they are in a wilderness. It’s not nice to call this blog a wilderness.

  145. avisitor says:

    John C.

    You pretty much have to follow the conversation to read me correctly, and even then…. My comments in this thread have (for the most part) been a) in defense of minorities who exercise their constitutional right to demonstrate publicly, no matter what their cause might be and b) to point out the hypocrisy of fighting against some forms of bigotry while embracing others.

    As far as our individual obligation to stand as witnesses of God in a blog, or in the wilderness, or anywhere else (rather than living in our “caves”) I will end by pointing out the words spoken in General Conference just weeks ago by Elder L. Tom Perry:

    “…missionary work becomes the responsibility of each of us as soon as we have been warned, verses 7–10 of section 33 teach us to open our mouths.

    Verse 7 leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind who has memorized section 4 of the Doctrine and Covenants that the Lord is talking to us about missionary work: “Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.”

    “Then comes the injunction—three times—to open our mouths:
    “Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.

    “Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.

    “Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (vv. 8–10).

  146. avisitor, we’re probably not in disagreement at all over much. But your tone is completely wrong. Do you talk like that in real life? Do you have any friends to whom you present extensive blockquotes from general authorities to prove a point? Come on.

    In other words, you need to communicate with us like a real person. Quit calling everyone to repentance and start being a human.

  147. avisitor,
    Why on earth are you witnessing to me? I already believe in the Gospel. That is what is presumptuous about your tone. You are still calling the blog a wilderness.

  148. avisitor says:

    Steve,

    You want real? Ok! Let’s get real.

    Children tend to openly make fun of people who talk differently or act differently, or believe in things that they don’t. They don’t know much about the world except that they hate change and anything that makes them emotionally uncomfortable must be bad.

    Teens mock people behind their backs and smile to their faces. They avoid people who talk differently or act differently. They know everything about everything, they reinvent themselves and their world constantly and anything that makes them emotionally uncomfortable is someone else’s fault.

    Mature adults know that the world is full of people who talk and act differently, and they learn how to appreciate and sometimes celebrate those differences without compromising their values. They realize how little they know and they truly want to learn more and become better people. They welcome change because it gives them new opportunities to learn and grow. They understand that emotional discomfort is part of life, isn’t necessarily bad, and most often indicates that something in their lives isn’t as it should be.

    I may be crazy but I tend to seek out mature friends. Currently, most of them are people who love truth and wisdom in any form they find it-be it one profound sentence or an extensive block quote from a general authority. When my friends learn something true or discover something they think has inherent value, they’d rather share it and look stupid than be guilty of not passing it along for others to benefit from. My friends don’t openly insult strangers and they rarely presume things about people because they’d rather wait until all the evidence is in and judge righteously, than be guilty of slander or liable against an innocent human being.

    We may have less in common than you thought, and if your real life is nothing like mine, I am truly sorry for you.

  149. avisitor says:

    John C.

    I am not witnessing to you. I did not call this blog a wilderness. The only one making presumptions here is you. Good grief.

  150. Steve Evans says:

    avisitor, that was your most human-sounding comment so far. Keep it up. What you are experiencing is the chafing and stress that accompanies not being immediately adored by everyone who reads your words. It is one of the reasons I helped to start this site. If you stick around, and act towards us as if you were a guest at a party at our house, I think you might start enjoying yourself. But just like any party, we don’t treat quarrelsome strangers nicely.

    Anyways, glad to finally get a piece of the real avisitor, even if it was cantankerous and angry.

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