The Latest Leftist Smear of Patriots and Constitutionalists
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
The communistic rabble-rousers at the left-wing hate group known as the Southern Poverty Law Center have produced yet another libelous smear of well-meaning Americans who would like to see their Constitution enforced. This time the smears, lies, false innuendo, character assassination, and hate are directed at all those who believe that part of the definition of an American patriot is one who believes in the founding fathers’ philosophy of limited constitutional government.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a far-left hate group whose modus operandi is to attempt to censor criticisms of big government in America by calling people names. If you are a Jeffersonian who believes that limited and decentralized government is better than unlimited, centralized, monopolistic government, then they will label you a racist, a slavery defender, or worse. If you are a Ron Paul constitutionalist, they will insinuate that you are probably a terrorist who would like to blow up government buildings. If you are not a leftist, then you are, by definition, a "hater." If you are a critic of the welfare state, it is because you hate poor people. If you are a critic of the government school bureaucracy, it is because you hate children. If you are a critic of racial hiring quotas (which are supposedly illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964), then you are a racist. If you oppose socialized medicine, it is because you hate sick people. If you are a critic of the Ponzi scheme known as "social security," it is because you hate old people. There cannot possibly be any intellectual reasons to doubt government intervention; all criticisms of intervention are motivated by hate and nothing else according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
With the advent of the TEA Party and the Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives, the SPLC issued one of its cartoonish "intelligence reports" on "The Year in Hate," bemoaning the "explosive growth" of "the radical right." Everyone on the "right" is a "radical extremist." There are no radicals or extremists on the left in the eyes of the extreme radical communists at the SPLC.
A recent SPLC "intelligence report" attacks so-called "patriot groups" in America. As is its usual practice, the SPLC digs up a tiny piece of information about one or two mentally deranged lunatics somewhere in America who gripe about the government and supposedly claim to be "patriots," and then insinuate in their "report" that ALL individuals and groups who label themselves as patriots are probably just as crazy – if not dangerous.
An earlier example of this sleazy and dishonest tactic is how the SPLC issued an "intelligence report" on "radical right-wing extremists" who were running for political office throughout America in 2008. This report included a picture and brief description of a man who clearly sounded like a mentally deranged crackpot who was running for town council in a small village of a couple hundred people in a Western state. Then right next to that was a picture and similarly ominous warning about one Rand Paul, who at the time was running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky. Get it: Crazy Mountain Man = Rand Paul = Ron Paul.
According to the SPLC the "patriot groups" are characterized by "a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories." They are "conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy." That is, they are accused of spreading conspiracy theories about governmental misbehavior, with the clear implication that these people are crazy. But of course there are political conspiracies. American antitrust laws contain the words "conspiracies in restraint of trade." Nearly everything that goes on in Washington, D.C. is in fact a conspiracy on the part of some special interest group and a member or members of Congress who design legislation to benefit that group at the expense of the general public. For example, when President George W. Bush imposed 35 percent tariffs on steel imports, it was the result of a conspiracy by domestic steel manufacturers and their unions, along with their congressional supporters. The higher price of steel benefited them at the expense of all purchasers of steel and products made of steel, which became more expensive because of the tariff.
Political conspiracies are pervasive, but the SPLC wants people to believe that the kind of conspiracies the "patriot groups" believe in are of a different kind – that they are of the "Martians have been living among us for 50 years and the government has been covering it up" variety. Anyone who is skeptical about the alleged "virtues" of unlimited governmental growth is simply crazy – or so the SPLC would have the public believe.
An integral part of the Obama administration’s strategy for remaining in power is to recruit surrogate groups to suggest that any criticism of the administration’s policies are probably the work of racists who simply cannot tolerate a (half) black president. Thus, the SPLC condemns the patriot groups as being motivated primarily by "the prospect of four more years under a black president." Presumably, a black conservative or libertarian president would be just as alarming to the patriot groups according to the SPLC.
Not only are patriot groups supposedly motivated by racism; some of them are also probably conspiring to murder the president according to the SPLC, which soberly announced in its "report" on patriot groups that "an angry backlash developed that included several plots to murder Obama." Such plots are said to be the work of unnamed "Patriot and hate groups." The SPLC "report" cites as one of its main sources of information on patriot groups a convicted felon described as "a longtime neo-Nazi."
The SPLC’s patriot group report is ridiculously sloppy in its methodology in that it includes as "groups" such things as a single individual with an internet radio show that bemoans the loss of constitutional liberty in America, or a book about the decline of constitutional liberty. Two "patriot groups" that are especially demonized are Oath Keepers, an organization of current and former military and law enforcement and firefighting personnel, whose members pledge to reaffirm their oath to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution, and the Constitution Party.
Instead of relying on the fevered ramblings of a former neo-Nazi/convicted felon, as the SPLC "researchers" do, if one wants to know what a patriot group like Oath Keepers is about, a good place to start would be the organization’s own Web site. Reading what is on the Web site explains why the SPLC is so alarmed about the spreading popularity of Oath Keepers.
Unlike Nazi war criminals who famously pleaded that they were "only following orders," Oath Keepers clearly states that "we won’t just follow orders" if those orders involve violating the clear language of the U.S. Constitution. These are men and women who all took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not destroy it. The organization publishes a "Declaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey" which is a listing of ten things that are clear violations of the Constitution. In other words, these are people who believe that the police and the military should never become an armed goon squad for lawless, criminal, and tyrannical politicians. The SPLC apparently disagrees with them quite vehemently.
What is it that Oath Keepers believes the police and the military should not do? They should not assist in confiscating firearms from law-abiding Americans for one thing. Nor would they conduct warrantless searches of the American people, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The military should not be used to detain American citizens as "enemy combatants." If they are accused of a crime by the government, then they should be treated like anyone else who is so accused and be put on trial before a civilian jury.
The Constitution only allows for the imposition of martial law in any state if it is first requested by the governor and legislature of that state. Oath Keepers pledges to enforce that part of the Constitution as well. Nor will Oath Keepers use deadly force against the people of any state who peacefully resist the federal government when it passes legislation that is clearly unconstitutional. Oath Keepers believes the federal government has no legitimate authority to murder dissenters, in other words. Or to blockade American cities, force any Americans into detention camps, as was done to Japanese-Americans during World War II and as neoconservative celebrity pundit Michelle Malkin advocated for Muslim-Americans in her recent book, In Defense of Internment.
Oath Keepers opposes the use of any foreign troops, under the auspices of the United Nations or anyone else, on American soil; oppose the confiscation of private property; and they pledge to defend the free speech rights of the American people by refusing to follow orders to censor free political speech.
In light of all of this, it is easy to see why the SPLC is so alarmed that it smears Oath Keepers with language about presidential assassination and terrorism. Like the Obama administration, the SPLC favors the unlimited and explosive growth of government so that America moves closer and closer to totalitarian control. Oath Keepers favors constitutional freedom, the mortal enemy of totalitarians everywhere.
It is equally easy to understand why the SPLC would also issue an over-the-top, hate-filled attack on the Constitution Party and everyone associated with it. On its Web site the Constitution Party publishes its "preamble" which declares, in the language of the Declaration of Independence, that all human beings have God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It then states that "freedom to own, use, exchange, control, protect, and freely dispose of property is a natural, necessary aid" in realizing our "inalienable rights" as human beings. And, moreover, "that the legitimate function of government is to secure these rights through the preservation of domestic tranquility, the maintenance of a strong national defense [as opposed to offense], and the promotion of equal justice for all."
Even more shocking to the communistic rabble-rousers at the SPLC must be the next statement in the Constitution Party’s preamble that "history makes clear that left unchecked, it is the nature of the government to usurp the liberty of its citizens . . . . therefore, it is essential to bind government with the chains of the Constitution and carefully divide and limit government powers to those assigned by the consent of the governed."
It should be obvious to anyone reading this article that if the SPLC had its way, and Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, and George Washington were to come back to life, they would immediately be designated as "enemy combatants" and sent to the Guantanamo Bay Gulag to rot. In case anyone doubts this, it is useful to recall how, upon assuming office, the Nazi-esque Secretary of Fatherland Security, Janet Napolitano, issued a "report" about potential "terrorist" organizations that included just about every conservative and libertarian think tank in America, even the Heritage Foundation. The source of Napolitano’s "report" was the Southern Poverty Law Center. This was their wish list. It was a bold attempt to censor, once and for all, all voices of dissent to the unlimited, unconstitutional growth of government. A political firestorm forced Napolitano to ditch the "report," even pulling it off the internet. The incident was very revealing, however, in that it demonstrated how the state would like to use the "war on terror" as an all-purpose excuse to destroy freedom of political speech, and how the Southern Poverty Law Center (which does not even practice poverty law, by the way) is one of its primary tools of tyranny. What any of these political activities by the SPLC has to do with "poverty law" – the ostensible reason for the organization’s tax exemption – is anyone’s guess.
Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com