When I instruct at Project Appleseed events—something I don’t get to do as often as I would like—the shoot boss typically gives a benediction, reminding us of the bloody sacrifices that that first generation of Americans made in order to win a liberty we all too often take for granted.
One of my favorite shoot bosses typically wraps up his benediction by noting through a voice strained with emotion that, “the Founders were forced to use the cartridge box, and risked their lives and sacred honor, to win us the liberty to use the soap box, the ballot box, and the jury box.”
The jury box ensures a fair trial by our peers. the soapbox is, of course, the freedom of speech. the ballot box is our right to vote and elect our leaders in fair and free elections.
Unfortunately, all four of those boxes seem to be under attack.
James O’Keefe and Project Veritas have unveiled irrefutable evidence today that Democrats across my native state of North Carolina are rabidly in favor of supporting voter fraud in order to win elections, including the North Carolina senate race between incumbent Kay Hagan and challenger Thom Tillis.
It is stunningly obvious that North Carolina Democrats today are eager to facilitate felonies in order to size power, and they think nothing of invalidating the votes of lawful American citizens.
Sadly, this isn’t remotely unusual.
Voter fraud in neighboring Tennessee just a half century ago resulted in fed-up voters returning to the cartridge box to restore order from attempted tyranny in what became known as the Battle of Athens.
American citizens—many of whom had just returned form fighting the Germans and Japanese—had to take up arms against an attempt by McMinn County Democrats who literally attempted to steal an election by taking ballot boxes at gunpoint.
Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, herself a Democrat, wrote of the conflict.
We in the U.S.A., who have long boasted that, in our political life, freedom in the use of the secret ballot made it possible for us to register the will of the people without the use of force, have had a rude awakening as we read of conditions in McMinn County, Tennessee, which brought about the use of force in the recent primary. If a political machine does not allow the people free expression, then freedom-loving people lose their faith in the machinery under which their government functions.
In this particular case, a group of young veterans organized to oust the local machine and elect their own slate in the primary. We may deplore the use of force but we must also recognize the lesson which this incident points for us all. When the majority of the people know what they want, they will obtain it.
Any local, state or national government, or any political machine, in order to live, must give the people assurance that they can express their will freely and that their votes will be counted. The most powerful machine cannot exist without the support of the people. Political bosses and political machinery can be good, but the minute they cease to express the will of the people, their days are numbered.
This is a lesson which wise political leaders learn young, and you can be pretty sure that, when a boss stays in power, he gives the majority of the people what they think they want. If he is bad and indulges in practices which are dishonest, or if he acts for his own interests alone, the people are unwilling to condone these practices.
When the people decide that conditions in their town, county, state or country must change, they will change them. If the leadership has been wise, they will be able to do it peacefully through a secret ballot which is honestly counted, but if the leader has become inflated and too sure of his own importance, he may bring about the kind of action which was taken in Tennessee.
If we want to continue to be a mature people who, at home and abroad, settle our difficulties peacefully and not through the use of force, then we will take to heart this lesson and we will jealously guard our rights. What goes on before an election, the threats or persuasion by political leaders, may be bad but it cannot prevent the people from really registering their will if they wish to.
The decisive action which has just occurred in our midst is a warning, and one which we cannot afford to overlook.
It seems that Mrs. Roosevelt’s warning is going unheeded in the Tarheel State, and elsewhere.
Corrupt political machines blinded by an all-consuming thirst for power, are subverting the very Constitution they are sworn to protect.
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Curiously, politicians, pundits and members of the media loyal to this sort of “progressive” corruption and tyranny are up in arms over a comment made by Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who merely recognized Mrs. Roosevelt’s beliefs generations later.
In a recently unearthed video from a 2012 National Rifle Association meeting in Iowa, Ernst explained her devotion to her Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter in particular, and to her gun rights in general. “I believe,” she said, “in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
The Left reacted to her statement a little like the squealing hogs Ernst talked of castrating in her famous ad, and with about as much care and rationality.
Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg said that Ernst declared “she would shoot first and ask questions later if the government violated her rights.”
“In the American system,” Paul Waldman of The Washington Post scolded, “we don’t say that if the government enacts policies we don’t like, we’ll start killing people.”
Ed Kilgore of the Washington Monthly alleged that the point of these kind of statements is “to intimidate liberals, and ‘looters’ and secular socialists, and those people.” (Yes, Bill Maher must be terrified.)
And Paul Begala accused her of toying with treason.
I have a word of warning for you, Ms. Carlson, Mr. Waldman, Mr. Kilgore, and Mr. Begala.
Joni Ernst, a military veteran, swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, a vow that she still honors today.
She understands that to respect that oath one day, she, other military veterans, and cognizant citizens might been required to return to the cartridge box once more if the soap box is shattered by corruption, the jury box is rendered worthless, and the ballot box is terminally compromised by those who seek to rule our citizens, instead of represent them.
As Mrs. Roosevelt so astutely noted after the gunfire subsided in Tennessee, the American people will be heard, and their will shall be done, one way or another.
Whether that can be accomplished peacefully, or must regretfully be accomplished through the use of arms, is entirely dependent upon the conduct of the government itself