I may offend some good friends by posting this, but it has to be said.
“It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.” – Publius, Federalist Paper No. 9
For those who haven’t heard, Operation American Spring is a group of so-called patriots led by retired Col. Harry Riley, who are planning to demonstrate in Washington on May 16th. Their announced aim is to oust politicians they deem corrupt, and to replace them with politicians they like. OAS is claiming the authority of the Constitution and Declaration, to “throw off the bonds” of an unjust government and to redress grievances. There’s just one problem. Transferring power by these methods is totally unconstitutional. If we follow this lead, we can forget elections and voter sovereignty.
Any group of citizens can collect in public to air grievances and urge a course of action. They can speak to create a tension in the mind of the community. But OAS can’t claim to be restoring our constitutional republic by inviting ten million people to show up in Washington to throw people out of office outside the electoral process. Be they ten or ten million, no one voted for them to represent America; and they certainly do not represent the Tea Party, which has from the start been a constitutionalist movement. Riley and OAS represent only themselves.
In the Federalist Papers, Publius warned against exactly what OAS is, a faction: “…a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens…” (Federalist Paper No. 10).
PubliusThe Founders took great pains to create a government that would prevent the changeable passions of a group in frenzy from imposing their will on the rest of the country.
Dr. Mickey Craig of Hillsdale College, puts it succinctly:
“The Constitution, while it is a popular government, it is a form of popular government which recognizes the disease of popular government, and has put in place institutional arrangements that will make it less likely that a factious or tyrannical majority will form and lead to the loss of liberty for the country.”
Operation American Spring is taking its cues from the populist Occupy and Arab Spring movements. The first brought destruction and anarchy to the streets of New York City and elsewhere. The second lead to the installation of one of the most tyrannical, fanatical leaders in Egypt’s recent history. This is horrifying enough. But more, they are preying on the well-meaning patriotism of many in the Tea Party movement, trusting that these same folks won’t see that OAS is completely antithetical to how we change power in America.
They are using the genuine and understandable frustrations of patriots who are fed up, citizens who see government out of control and want to do something to bring us back from the brink; from unsustainable debt, a government that won’t enforce our laws, a tyrannical health care policy that infringes on our liberties, and an economy and foreign policy that are in the toilet. They want to do something – something with faster results than our republican form of government allows. So here comes OAS with a call to action, miming Constitutionalism and encouraging the people to rise up and kick the corrupt bastards out via Washington sit-in.
constitution imaeThe slow, deliberative nature of our electoral process exists to temper the passions of just such a furious mob with its great potential for violence and anarchy. The constitution guarantees the peaceful transfer of power through the consent of the governed. It doesn’t matter how many papers OAS submits to Congress to get the Obama administration and John Boehner to resign. They can’t usurp and disregard our electoral process. To do so is to destroy the civil rights of the rest of the country who voted in 2012 and who certainly have a stake in November, 2014.
As Publius says in Federalist Paper No. 54, “This constitution will only work if the people choose men of wisdom and virtue to occupy the offices.” Where there are corrupt politicians, it is our duty as citizens to vote them out and vote in better representatives. Where there is voter or election fraud it is our duty to expose it and to stop it by requiring the same government-issued photo IDs we need to do everything else in our lives. Where millions are persuaded to vote for corrupt politicians and destructive policies, it is our job as citizens to persuade them otherwise. Where these problems are addressed we can begin to right the ship and save our country, no revolution needed.
Either Col. Riley and OAS are totally ignorant of what they are claiming to represent, or they are deliberately hijacking constitutional patriotism to enact what comes down to a coup – and mere months before our next election. Isn’t it ironic that a group claiming to restore our constitutional republic won’t use constitutional methods to do it?
Patriots from coast to coast should soundly reject Operation American Spring for exactly what it is: a tyrannical faction that is illegitimate, destructive, and unconstitutional.
Jude Eden is a Hillsdale College grad, a Jewish Marine Corps Iraq War Veteran, cancer survivor, musician, conservative activist and the wife of a legal immigrant. Follow on Twitter at @Jude_Eden
16 thoughts on “Why Operation American Spring is Unconstitutional”
You really should have read the entirety of article ten a opposed to picking a few quotes. As with most libs the facts you use are selected and twisted to need. That paper speaks of the dangers of pure democracy, not public protest and redress of grievances.
Research will make you seem less ignorant, you really should try it.
I am sure your grasp of the constitution is the same, nonexistent.
You’re calling me a lib? That’s amusing. I’ve even had a paper of mine cited by Commander Charles Kerchner.
What paper are you referring to? The word “democracy” is nowhere indicated in what Trevor Loudon wrote, much less distinguishing between “pure” democracy, which is irrelevant as we are no sort of democracy at all. However he does talk about the will of the people, specifically the consent of the governed, and the importance of elections, when elections really were are not all that important to the terms of government, contrary to what we are led to believe currently.
The idea of repairing the systemic corruption infesting all 3 branches of government, and distortingthe Constitution itself, by simply voting harder, is not only unreasonable to expect, but implicitly supports the idea that government might be legitimized in whatever it might do by the outcome of a vote, which is both dangerous and untrue. Again, we are no sort of Democracy, but rather a Constitutional Republic.
An oft used quotation from Madison’s Federalist #10: “Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
It’s pretty clear Madison is in no way supporting any sort of democracy. It should be recognized that the current turmoil in American society, and our ever-decreasing freedoms, are the result of the fact that we more resemble a democracy in philosophy than we were ever intended to be. You would probably be surprised to learn that Madison therein also condemns today’s Progressive Marxist ideology in all but name, in fact in the very next sentence.
While I have great respect for Trevor Loudon, he’s quite a bit off the rail here. Generally he’s correct about his criticism of OAS, but he errs in regard to his representation of the Constitution and Publius.
First, under the Constitution, voters are not in any way “sovereign”. We are deliberately not any sort of a Democracy. Only the States themselves are sovereign, at least in theory and that is fundamentally the source of the conflict occurring around the Bundy Ranch.
Second, those “factions” that Madison describes in Federalist #10 are not quite as Trevor represents them. Ostensibly the goal of OAS is the restoration of the Constitution, unfortunately the easy path was to for Colonel Riley to not directly reference that Constitutions and the plethora of violations of all three branches of government, with the corruptions being institutionalized in all three branches, through various agencies, and corruptive to the Constitution itself. If you examine the operationamericanspring.org forum, you will see my name on various topics in the constitution section, as well as a topics discussing the framing of demands to specific violations of the Constitution.
Unfortunately OAS and Col Riley took the easier route, indicating those persons most egregiously in disregard of the Constitution, rather than engaging the daunting labor. Demanding the restoration of the constitution and adherence of the government to its limited enumerated powers, is itself not any sort of “faction”, but rather what Madison recognizes as the commonly shared interest that all Americans allegedly have – an equal guarantee of our individual freedoms; this is the only legitimate perspective and no sort of faction.
We Americans have been factionalized by the federal government itself engaging in things it has no constitutional authority whatsoever to engage, perhaps the greatest of which is claiming de facto ownership of each and every citizen, and being able to determine their health care, but also the claim the federal government can write laws, any law, applicable to within the sovereign States themselves, when this is nowhere supported by the Constitution. Unfortunately the federal government has actually entered into the business of picking winners and losers, and dictating the terms of our lives, which was precisely what the Founders sought to prohibited – the very definition of tyranny. Andrew McCarthy had an excellent article addressing this titled “Empty Promise”.
Finally, the “consent of the governed” happened upon the ratification of the Constitution, and is not what occurs with each election. Again, these United States are not any sort of a Democracy, and no amount of populist majority in a vote can change the legitimate terms of government. The only thing resolved by voting is who occupies vacancies – that’s it. It is just such a belief that the “consent of the governed” happens upon elections that has corrupted our form of government, providing ever expanding criminal grasp of that government.
Elections are not Constitutional anymore. Too many people cheat. Cheating and people voting who are not eligible pretty much make them invalid, now you see the result of organized Voter Fraud ~
George Washington was breaking the law too, the colonists were illegally breaking away from the crown!
Like many others, I don’t think there is any other constitutional way.
Obama delunda est.
The center cannot hold.
If our government continues the way it has a free people will have no choice but to hold a “Million Armed Man March on DC”, for the purpose of petitioning Congress to redress grievances.
It is Constitutional. The 1st Amendment reads “…right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. Keep it peaceful.
Jacob, you and the rest of the OAS crowd have set yourselves up gor colossal failure and disappointment, not to mention being an embarrassment to the Grassroots movement!
you cant just switch words and expect people to listen.. the tyranny is in the government this act is not tyranny
operation american spring may 16th!! show up america
you are a stupid worker for the government this is the only and last thing we can do to get power back to states the people!!! you trevor are a disgrace to america. and this is coming from a high schooler!