[This article by Tim Baldwin has my full agreement and support. – Ed]
by Tim Baldwin, Liberty Defense League
For most of my life, I have been saturated in what some people call the “liberty movement” (though when I was a child, that term was not really coined). I have observed and actively participated in politics with my dad, Chuck Baldwin, since I was a child (I am 34 now).
So, I am no stranger to the “liberty movement” culture. Just as the Apostle Paul was familiar with the customs, practices and philosophy of the Roman Jews and had the authority to speak to them, I am as familiar with the “liberty movement.”
I am sadly compelled to say, I am very disappointed in what I see in the “liberty movement.” Here is what I see as some fundamental problems with it.
Consider the recent Article V discussion that has been highlighted by Mark Levin in his book, The Liberty Amendments (which I highly recommend you read). I have written on using Article V too and agree with Levin that the only way to change the jurisprudence of our constitutional law (specifically put, to redefine what the Courts have defined regarding Congress’ power under the commerce and tax power) is for the people to change it through amendment.
To be clear, there is no other way to do this and fix the constitutional structure that encourages federal abuse of power.
Until certain federal and state powers are redefined in the Constitution by the States through Article V, Congress will continue to act accordingly (meaning, to regulate in all cases whatsoever), regardless of what pet remedies you think are the answer, like recalling public officials, voting, state nullification, the militia, informed juries, coordination, impeachment, civil disobedience, etc. None of these remedies correct the jurisprudence created by the Judiciary. None fix the inherent diffusive congressional power structure developed over time, which makes Congress essentially accountable to no one.
Most constitutional scholars that have updated their research beyond what the John Birch Society and The Eagle Forum proposed in the 1960’s and 1970’s agree that Article V permits a limited convention and agree the time has come to use Article V to restore Federalism. The United States Attorney Generals under Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan stated the same. President Ronald Reagan advanced using Article V to reign in federal power. The United States Senators in the 1970s and 1980s proposed bills that set forth the procedures of calling a States’ amendment convention, which stated that Article V’s purpose was a limited convention—not a so-called “runaway.” Constitutional scholars have rightly said, “the Article V procedures for amending the Constitution are ‘a domestication of the right to revolution.’”
Like any sane person, I strongly prefer we use Article V as a means of constitutional revolution instead using violence, which many in the liberty movement foolishly advocate. That is, their answer lies somewhere along the lines of the militia and civil disobedience, both of which only invite death and yet DO NOT change the constitutional structure and jurisprudence as they exist today. They reject what George Mason said concerning the usefulness of Article V, that “it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence.”
More than spewing the froth of stupid rebuttals to what is real scholarship on Article V, the “liberty movement” is comprised of people who would have you killed for proposing we use Article V. I had one such person (a supposed leader in the liberty movement) propose this lunacy. This person, in an attempt to “prove me wrong” on Article V, sent an article of a person who tried to prove Mark Levin and Rob Natelson wrong. I responded to him as follows (in part):
I have already read this–what is really “junk science.” I am disgusted by his so-called “logic.” I have studied constitutional scholars from all areas of political thought (liberal and conservative). I see NOT ONE that accepts this guy’s arguments. He offers nothing new and introduces no evidence to rebut Levin or Natelson. He only offers what most of the conspiracy types offer–fear and no answers.
This person then said the following to me.
I guess the question I would ask is this; If you are wrong will you submit to some form of punishment – I mean are you willing to stand for a firing squad if you are wrong? Because it’s a radical form or treason in my view to mislead people only to ultimately destroy the greatest protector of God Given rights ever written by man. And I want to know if you are sure enough in your scholarship to put your life on the line if you are wrong? Because that’s what the men who wrote the Constitution did. Well Are You willing? I will hold you to it.
His comment epitomizes the problem with “liberty movement”—it is breeding radicalism, extremism and ideas that are, in fact, ANTI-LIBERTY. I responded to his statement, saying, “your statement is ABSURD!” But he continued the idiocy,
Only if you are full of B-O-L-O-G-N-A (Like I thought – It seems your spine is as flexible as the people we have in power now… See – You don’t really believe it… Otherwise my suggestion would sound patriotic) Let’s put it up for a vote!
Expressly stated, this “leader” in the “liberty movement” believes that if it were put to a vote among the “liberty movement” folks, I would be killed for advocating using Article V because to them, it is treason. Is this the “liberty movement”! If so, COUNT ME OUT!
And where are the other “liberty movement” leaders to denounce this kind of extremism in the “liberty movement”?—assuming they disagree with this pitiful display of “liberty”. Are they too afraid to splinter “the movement” for fear that “mainstream” folks will remain in power? Are they afraid the “liberty movement” will quit supporting their pet liberty project and go to the next doomsday prophet?—like a preacher who caters his message to keep the mass of congregates attending and giving tithes to that ministry.
Are they, like those they unceasingly criticize as evil, prioritizing the pragmatics of political parties and results above the principle of denouncing all evil regardless of its source? Are the “liberty movement” leaders willing to overlook the idiocy coming from their own followers? As I see it, the political party of the “liberty movement” is as much willing to put up with “lesser evils” for the sake of having their day in the political sun.
Wake up!—those of you who claim you want or know about liberty! Liberty, as much as any other description, is about Reason, but the examples above epitomizes irrationality and lunacy. People who are infatuated with, as Dr. Edwin Viera said it,
“Martial law and the confiscation of firearms is just around the corner”…“Surveillance cameras…”; “constant NSA, CIA, and FBI surveillance…”; “FEMA camps…”; “drone strikes…”; “blah, blah, blah…”
demonstrate, more often than not, that they have nothing to offer America but doom-and-gloom hysteria. They lead America not into Reason but into Reaction. They can only advise you, “bar your windows, stock your food, form a militia, buy more bullets, get ready for the invasion,” blah, blah, blah. Of course, if you are a part of the “liberty movement,” you MUST NOT support anything that comes from “mainstream.” It is like a religious cult—“anything ‘mainstream’ is evil and the source of all our problems; reject mainstream, reject mainstream!”
This is why they go so far down the road of cult-like irrationality that they reject using the very remedy provided by our Founders in Article V to restore our republic. They propose, “Mark Levin is evil; Mark Levin is promoting using Article V to restore the republic; therefore, Article V must be evil.” How foolish! This and the logical idiocy of, “they don’t follow the Constitution now, so why would we amend the Constitution for them not to follow,” ruin the credibility of the “liberty movement” and hold the Constitution hostage to their own unrealistic ideas about how to “save America.”
For years, I have heard people in the “liberty movement” proclaim how everyone else in America is ignorant and only they know what true liberty is. These people are fools and identify themselves as political morons: the knowledge they display on liberty, law, philosophy, the constitution, and jurisprudence can only be described as elementary at best and at times downright ridiculous.
I, for one, am ready for a real liberty movement—where people leave their emotions with Jericho, Revolution, or Braveheart playing on TV; leave their conspiracies in the books trying to show how the Founders were evil masons controlled by Satan himself; avoid the absurd the-US-is-a-corporation theory and other theories that lead nowhere; actually study and apply the Enlightenment Philosophy (no, John Locke is not the only philosopher in that era) and apply real political science; and do not distort religion to justify the narrowness of their political dogma; just to name a few examples.
If you see something wrong with this “liberty movement,” then maybe you see what I see. Maybe you want more depth, understanding and reason in political analysis and constitutional solutions. Maybe you are looking for other people who want Federalism restored, want Congress’ commerce and tax power limited and redefined, and want political science to truly be brought back into the discussion among conservatives. Maybe you are looking for people who know that to work liberty, something other than endless criticism and preparing for doomsday is the needed. If so, then you have an ally in me, and I hope to help you in a real liberty movement.
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 “Madison’s argument that popular elections are sufficient to insure that minority interest groups do not pose a serious threat to the public interest is simply wrong…The basic institutional checks designed by the framers of the Constitution to limit the power of interest groups have long since eroded.” E. Donald Elliot, Duke Law Journal, Constitutional Conventions And The Deficit, 1985 Duke L.J. 1077, 1094-95 (December, 1985), quoting, Dellinger, The Legitimacy of Constitutional Change: Rethinking the Amendment Process, 97 HARV. L. REV. 386, 431 (1983).
 Elliot, Constitutional Conventions And The Deficit, quoting, Dellinger, The Legitimacy of Constitutional Change: Rethinking the Amendment Process, 97 HARV. L. REV. 386, 431 (1983).
 1 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, 202-03 (M. Farrand rev. ed. 1937).