Friday, August 28, 2009

The Three Percent Doctrine

"“I’ve never seen anything like this!”: He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.


We will not disarm.

You cannot convince us.

You cannot intimidate us.

You can try to kill us, if you think you can.

But remember, we’ll shoot back.

Your move.
- The doctrine of the Three Percent, Mike Vanderboegh.

Jonathan Martin of the profiles a Florida “blue dog” as he conducts town hall meetings on health care in the Panhandle here.

Some snippets:

Rep Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) is a skilled politician who has pretty much seen it all! A Deep South Democrat who’?s managed to dispatch all opponents in his conservative-leaning Panhandle district since winning election in 1996. But as he fended off gnats buzzing through the August humidity after a morning fending off angry constituents at a town hall meeting here, Boyd confided that the depth of the unease spurred by the health care debate had caught him by surprise.

“They may be in a minority, but they are a larger minority than we’ve seen in the 20-plus years that I’ve been doing this,” said Boyd of the standing-room-only crowds who have been showing up to shout, boo, mutter and, in one case, hand him an actual stack of pink slips since he returned home for recess. “I’ve never seen anything like this.” . . . But for all the cries of Astroturf fakery and ginned-up crowds, a ground zero view in a district like Boyd’s underlines that a very real sense of anger and frustration is bubbling over as summer wanes. . .

“People are scared,” Boyd said twice, trying to explain what would drive his constituents away from home and work and out into the broiling Florida sun in the middle of the week to see their congressman.

I’ve been interviewed by a lot of reporters working on stories this past week and all of them are variations on a theme: “Why are (substitute convenient label here: gun owners, right-wingers, conservatives) so ANGRY?” And by angry they mean angry enough to train with weapons, go to a town hall armed, shout down their elected congressman, any of a thousand things that they see but cannot understand because it is not within their world view. They simply cannot comprehend.

I guess they ask me because I’m viewed as the quintessential “angry white male,” although why escapes me. ;-)

I try to explain, speaking slowly and using small words. It goes something like this:
Part of the interest in revitalizing the armed citizenry idea comes in part from the political threat to all our liberties, not just our firearms rights. The other motivation is the perception of an existential threat to the society, the nation and even to the civilization. I point out that when you have a government that engages in printing money and monetizing the debt, it is clear to anyone who knows a little history and economics that societies which have engaged in that suicidal behavior before have been plunged into chaos and tyranny. Can you say Weimar Republic? I knew you could.

And yes, this perception creates fear. It is a fear born of the realization that for a very long time, feckless, grasping leaders of both political parties have been paddling our nation’s canoe toward the falls as fast as they could go, with no thought for what lies at the bottom.

So those concerned with garden variety issues like the health care reform are motivated not just be worry over medical treatments or who’s going to pay for their medications. They see in it two very different competing visions of how society and government are supposed to work. And the Obamacare plan looks like tyranny to them. And worse, it looks like economically unsustainable tyranny.

Mussolini made the Italian people happy, or at least, less unhappy, about giving up their liberty because he made the trains run on time. Obama’s actions so far promise not only tyranny but inefficiency. Not just less freedom but more chaos. Where is the trade-off? There is none. It is as if Dumb and Dumber are running the show with iron fists (”AND YOU DAMN WELL BETTER TAKE IT IF YOU KNOW WHAT”S GOOD FOR YOU”).

Their actions violate both the rules of economics AND, more critically, the rule of law. When Obama takes over the auto industry, firing executives and stiffing creditors in violation of the rule of law, why, gunowners and ordinary people ask themselves, should we expect to be treated any differently?

Too, I said, this is the culmination of almost three decades of government misbehavior, over the reign of at least four imperial Presidents, and people have been paying attention. In the 70s and 80s, gun owners didn’t pay much attention to the militarization of the police and the excesses of the war on drugs, because those miscarriages of justice happened mostly in the cities, where the victims were black and poor. “Too bad,” we would say, “but they shouldn’t live in neighborhoods infested by criminals.”

Then came Ruby Ridge, Waco and a host of other lesser outrages and all of a sudden gun owners discovered what it was like to be poor and black. In the eyes of the Clintonistas WE were now the criminals. Just as a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, a libertarian is a conservative whose rights have been violated by a predatory state, making him realize that maybe the ACLU had the germ of a good idea anyway — rights are for all, and if we want to be protected in our homes, our property and our liberty then maybe we ought to start watching out for the other guy’s rights, too.

This was why folks in the Constitutional Militia movement were among the loudest voices during the Bush years against both illegal immigration — which we viewed as horribly corrosive to the rule of law — and the ill-named PATRIOT Act. We knew, that just as the bad laws of the Weimar Republic laid the predicate for Hitler, Bush was preparing the way for whatever tyrant wannabe came after him. (We expected Hillary, we got Obama. Go figure.) There were some folks then who thought that waterboarding was just for Islamofascists. Now they have a different take on it.

(I’m just waiting for John Ashcroft to be drug off under the PATRIOT Act, shouting the whole way, “It doesn’t mean this! I helped write it, it wasn’t meant for this!”)

The Founders understood (at least after the Alien and Sedition Acts) that you should never pass a law that you wouldn’t be willing to see your own worst enemy enforce upon you.

The rule of constitutional law protects us all. Diminishment of the rule of law threatens us all. The Obamanoids are hacking root and branch at the rule of law, ergo, people are concerned, frightened and angry at the offenders. They want them, most of all, to stop.

And they are frightened by the dangerous hubris of any man who would say, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Here, the reporter always pipes up, “But isn’t it partly because Obama is black?”

I sigh, and ask, “Why is it all about race with you guys? Liberals are more obsessed about race than a Nazi Gauleiter.”

(This is where they always pipe up and tell me they’re not political. I invariably laugh.)

Look, I tell them. I mean really LOOK. Look who Obama has surrounded himself with. They’re Clintonistas, or worse. Personnel is policy. And the worst of these in our mind is not Rahm Emanuel — that faux tough guy from Chicago who thinks he’s got everyone by the balls, and will, until someone sticks a .45 in his face and he’s one expletive away from his brains being blown out, at which time he will break down in tears and whimper like a little girl — but rather Eric Holder, the nation’s new “top cop,” a term that makes us want to laugh and puke at the same time.

Look at HIS resume, I tell them. Look at it from our point of view. Holder participated at all levels of the Clinton cover-up machine, most especially Waco.

And Waco was the original sin. We saw what happened there. We noticed most especially that no one was held to account for mass murder but the victims themselves. We noticed, and we remember.

We understand that Waco Rules still apply. And we understand that it will be Eric Holder who does the applying.

Which is why we have put him, and them, on notice. There will be no more free Wacos.

This is what the political class, the elites of the country, do not give us credit for. We actually have the intelligence and the memory, to recognize patterns of governance over time, from decade to decade, AND have discussed these things, absorbed the lessons and made . . . let’s call them adjustments, in our thinking and our preparations.

Like I said, there will be no more free Wacos.

Contrary to our “better’s” sneers, people are actually smart. But most are so busy with their daily lives, that they don’t pay attention to politics, which they see as sordid and unworthy. But when people lose their jobs, and they see a crisis, then they pay attention. And when they pay attention, and they understand what is happening, they start flocking to town halls. And writing letters to the editors. And, some of the, clean their rifles and await events.

It is ironic, I tell these reporters, that the same politicians who only yesterday were bemoaning that citizens weren’t involved, now cannot run away fast enough now that citizens ARE involved.

But give the people, our people, credit, I tell the reporters, they are not stupid. Angry? Yes. Afraid? Rightfully so. But not stupid.

“Our people,” the reporters always ask, picking up on the nuance, not “the people?”

No, I yell them. We are now two peoples, sharing a national border and a common language but little else. We are a divided nation, perhaps even more than in 1861. For example, if we cannot agree on the sanctity of life, does it matter that we agree on trivial stuff?

One people have a world-view that tells them that it is government from whom all blessings flow. For the other it is God and hard work and not necessarily in that order. One side wants the ability to tell the other side what to do and tries incessantly to get the government to do it. The other side simply wants to be left alone, for government to get out of the way of private enterprise, uphold the rule of law, and the right to life, liberty and property, and to otherwise keep its long nose stuck firmly on its ugly face and out of plain sight.

These are irreconcilable visions, I tell them. One or the other is going to win. It cannot be both.

You know, I point out, they call us gun nuts, fanatics, all manner of insulting things, dehumanizing things. And they call us racists. Why? I mean, the black guy in Phoenix was toting an AR and the media goes out of its way to crop the image so it is harder to tell he's black. Why? Because their world view is able to grasp that theme, that narrative. No one who disagrees with them can possibly be rational because they believe themselves to be the ultimate rational people. And what does a “rational” society do with “irrational people?” They put them in an asylum. And if they are perceived to be armed and dangerous enough, they are killed.

Do you see no hope of avoiding conflict? they always ask. Yes, I say, if the other side sees the unintended consequences of their actions and backs down. This is a slim possibility, I tell them, but it is a possibility. It has, I point out, happened before.

Really, they ask skeptically, when?

In the 1960s with the advent of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, I tell them. Martin Luther king and others in the “non-violent” civil rights movement despaired of getting the federal government to enforce the laws it had passed. But then came the Deacons and the prospect of armed conflict with the local governments controlled by the Klan and the White Citizens Councils. When the Deacons picked up their guns, it wasn’t just about the Klan beating heads with the cooperation of local police that they controlled anymore. Now the Deacons were going to shoot back. And, “well, would ya lookit that,” then the Feds decided they needed to get between and enforce those laws. Gandhi had NOTHING to do with it.

The Deacons said, “If you ain’t gonna do something about these murderous racist crackers, we will.” And the Feds said, “Well, if you feel that way about it . . .” and went in and did it.

Now, with people exercising their rights, going armed to public gatherings and town hall meetings, we see something we have not seen in a long time. I understand how liberals are astonished about it. I’m a little astonished myself. I didn’t know if we still had it in us to ACT like free people. Now it seems we do. So our hope is that they will back off. But will they?

You are looking at, I tell them, the tip of the iceberg. The people that the administration will find most troublesome as they go farther down this lawless, tyrannical road are not those who blog, or go to town meetings or write letters to the editor. If these folks get angered by events, they reassure themselves of their skills to handle what will come by going to the range and making sure their rifle is still sighted in or by putting back some more ammo or by teaching their teenage sons (and daughters) how to shoot, move and communicate.

In the unlikely event that the government is successful enough to imprison, silence or kill the last demonstrator, blogger and radio talk show host, it will be these people who emerge from the crowd, put a bullet in some henchman’s eye, and fade back again.

These people understand that having been “out-voted,” they can still vote. They are the rest of the iceberg upon which the great ship Leviathan, like Titanic, will of its own forward movement, rip out her hull below the waterline and sink to the bottom of history.

So, I tell them, the anger you see is not one tenth of the anger that’s out there. And that other none-tenths you will not see until it’s too late. So back off, I say, leave us the hell alone, and we won’t have to go down this bloody road.

I usually sum up the Three Percent doctrine this way:

We will not disarm.

You cannot convince us.

You cannot intimidate us.

You can try to kill us, if you think you can.

But remember, we’ll shoot back.

Your move.


Also see:
The Most Difficult Essay I Have Ever Read