Boycott, Emigration, or Armed Revolt: When and How Do Patriots Respond to Tyranny?

When do we take up arms against an oppressor? Such is the troubling question our Founding Fathers answered with muskets in April 1775 and in the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. Such is the troubling question David Newquist takes up in his latest blog post, which discusses ignorant and anti-intellectual Trumpism in the historical context of the Holocaust and Black Lives Matter.

Newquist points to a new NRA ad that encourages people to join the gun-rights lobbying group by saying we liberals and leftists “assassinate real news” and “bully and terrorize the law-abiding” with a “violence of lies.” Vox explains the obvious call to arms:

It’s not hard to figure out what the narrative is here. A liberal insurgency is destroying American society. The “only way” to protect yourself from this surge in left-wing violence (a made-up threat, to be clear) is to donate to the NRA — an organization that exists solely to help people buy guns [Zack Beauchamp, “This Chilling NRA Ad Calls on Its Members to Save America by Fighting Liberals,” Vox, 2017.06.29].

Newquist says such absolutist rhetoric leaves him wondering we should respond by leaving America, boycotting certain businesses, or resorting to violence:

People in America of differing politics, creeds, and ethnic groups don’t like each other very much. Their dislike is sparked by defamations in the social media and confirmed by reports of behavior of fellow humans in the traditional press. Violence by mass shooters,  shootings of unarmed people by the police, shootings of the police by ambush,  and menacing insults spewed out by the president all contribute to a sense that people have to make a decision. And that decision is whether it is time to walk away from America,  make economic decisions on the basis of politics,  or stand their ground and resist with violence. Or choose all three, so that history will not need to ask why they didn’t resist [David Newquist, “Voting with Feet, Billfolds, and Guns,” Northern Valley Beacon, 2017.07.05].

I’m ready to boycott any business that supports tyranny or anti-intellectualism. Much as I would enjoy putting my French to daily use, I’m a long way from taking up President Emmanuel Macron’s ballsy invitation to come to France and Make Our Planet Great Again.

As for violence, I will never take up arms except as a last resort against oppressors who themselves have given up on civil discourse and resorted to violence against me.

Democracy and discourse can still work. In America, democracy and discourse are the only acceptable means for resolving our differences of policy and principle.


24 Responses to Boycott, Emigration, or Armed Revolt: When and How Do Patriots Respond to Tyranny?

  1. Donald Pay

    We still have a functioning constitutional system. So, no, violence is not an option.

    Funny, isn’t it, that after Obama supposedly ushered in tyranny, and there were conservatives shouting about “2nd Amendment solutions,” Trump still won the electoral college. Was the election rigged the wrong way, or did Trump really win? Well, Trump and many Republicans don’t really want to find out the answer to that question. The attempt to centralize voter information so that Republican operatives or Russians can ruin the next few elections, or end elections altogether, will erode our constitutional system, however. Then we may be forced into more extreme measures.

    For now, the 1st Amendment, the Courts and the States are functioning to limit any tyranny that passes out of the Republican-led Executive and Legislative Branches. The people have risen up, protested, written letters and petitioned for redress of grievances. The Legislative branch, ingeniously jiggered to frustrate too quick a move to tyranny, has not been able to slip as much bad legislation through as many had feared. The Courts have blocked laws and executive orders that go too far. States simply say “no” to questionable federal overreach.

    There will be victories and setbacks as Americans resist peacefully, but we still have all the peaceful tools we need to stop tyranny.

    We liberals aren’t cowards, like the conservatives who quickly shout, “2nd Amendment solution,” as soon as they lose an election. We are patriots, who trust the American people. A majority did, after all, vote for Trump’s opponent.

  2. I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendment, we all have the right to keep and bear arms. We all have a responsibility to defend our communities, our state and our nation. There are times to take up arms against an invading force.

    and…
    There is a time to stand down.

    We have a system in place, it is far from being prefect, but it works. This system allows everyone to take part in the discussion of the issues. Everyone has the right to march in protest of whatever, everyone has the right to contact their legislators, or even run for office themselves.
    Our system has issues, however nothing is so bad that it requires an armed response.

  3. “I’m ready to boycott any business that supports tyranny or anti-intellectualism”

    Wow! Right up there with “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Watch out Hobby Lobby. . .

  4. mike from iowa

    There is a system in place, alright. A system perpetrated by wingnuts to prevent legally registered voters from voting. There is another system in place to redraw congressional districts to give incumbents the best chance of winning re-election even when the opposition party garners the most votes.

    Then there is this little problem with foreign entities interfering in the electoral process. Then there is the problem with incumbents who refuse to come home and get an ear full from their constituents because they get their widdle feelers hurt getting yelled at.

    Then there are too many people who claim to fight for the little people that take yooge campaign contributions and vote against there constituents wishes.

    Should I go on?

  5. Donald, I am pleased so far to see the checks that Constitutional processes have placed on Trump’s tyranny. However, I am dismayed that some of his abuses are so hard to check that the director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, felt the need to retire because the rules his office has to enforce aren’t strong enough. But he’s not quitting; he’s taking a job with a private legal group that works on election law. We have plenty of civil avenues along which to fight this bad President.

    I’m not going to take away MC’s cherished Second Amendment rights. But I will continue to point out how mostly useless the Second Amendment is in solving the problems before us. The fact that NRA members and dupes spent eight years under Obama stocking up on guns didn’t stop Trump from seeking the White House to boost his ego and his profits, and it’s not stopping him now from abusing his power.

  6. bearcreekbat

    Old Sarg, I am not sure how you have connected the prosecution of the Amish fellow with Obama, but I have to ask something.

    Do you think this guy would feel the same way about our government’s treatment of undocumented immigrants who are arrested, removed from their families and deported even though they have committed no crimes (or crimes no more serious than the felony committed by the Amish fellow, such as the misdemeanor of crossing the border without documentation) nor hurt anyone?

    By the way, before you subscribe to this fellow’s youtube channel you might want to check out the film “The brainwashing of my dad.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/movies/the-brainwashing-of-my-dad-review.html

  7. Porter Lansing

    BCB … Don’t even consider believing anything that ‘Ol Sarge person posts unless it is verified, at least twice. He has a history of trying to mislead and misdirect the truth. That’s called lying and so many from the right do it here. I’ve busted Troy Jones for lying. I’ve busted Stace Nelson for lying. I’ve busted Pat Powers for lying. I’ve busted Deutsch and Schoenbeck for lying. Cory has busted dozens of Republicans for lying. Why, even the SoDak U.S. Representative openly tried to mislead the entire voting public, saying healthcare insurance went up when it really went down. It’s just a game to “these of no integrity”. The “real” game is exposing the lies and that’s become passé. Just assume all on the right (except Don Coyote) are trying to hoodwink us with half truths, misdirection and deception.
    ….. e.g. Are we supposed to believe that guy put on the label of his balm what’s actually in it? The FDA doesn’t let charlatans like him walk free when they endanger our safety.

  8. mike from iowa

    The Girod case started under dumbass dubya (2001) and continued under Obama in2012 for some reason. What seems strange is most of the outlets screaming about this are right wingers.

    When you start looking at the case from different rw positions there must be a ton of stuff missing. Small details like maybe reality or truth or something.

    My best guess is this guy got poor advice from a rw law firm that used his case to further their agenda. They seem to have had a habit of doing just that when Clinton was Potus and continued the trend investigating NRC, the Clinton Foundation and anything/everything ever involving the Clinton name.

  9. mike from iowa

    Nrc should have been HRC. My bad.

  10. Don Coyote

    Consumer boycotts for the most part don’t work or have very limited success. Even the much ballyhooed boycotts of Montgomery buses by the NAACP and the table grape boycott of Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers saw only minimal success. Certainly there are a few businesses I won’t do business with but I certainly don’t believe that my stinginess is going to matter one iota in whether those companies succeed or fail.

    From Freakonomics:

    http://freakonomics.com/podcast/do-boycotts-work-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

  11. Roger Cornelius

    We’ve always had fringe groups that wanted to overthrow the government regardless of who is president, the only thing that really changes for them is time and the possibility of a new cause.
    Even POTUS Trump said recently that he would like a government shutdown in September when funding runs out, this is a threat to shutter the government by a sitting president should be considered an act of treason.
    Would a government shutdown that lasts for an indefinite time period where elders and the disabled don’t get their Social Security and other needed functions of government be an a cause for violence against their government?

  12. Roger Cornelius

    That is true coyote, economic boycotts don’t always work, but we are in a different historical time from Montgomery.
    What does work today is bad press, a lot of bad press. Businesses have been forced to change their advertising campaigns and operating methods when they do something illegal or immoral.

  13. mike from iowa

    Shutdown wouldn’t hurt Drumpf any. The only people he cares about is himself and Putin, apparently. Product boycotts worked against right wingers pretty well. Not so much when right wingers tried to get people to boycott the left.

    Anybody catch Pence at NASA proving he can’t read?

  14. Porter Lansing

    Hear, hear Roger. If by “work” does Coyote mean does a consumer boycott hurt the company’s profits? Then, probably not. Although, often a consumer boycott will nudge the offending company to change what makes even a small group of their customers choose not to spend there. And after all, we liberals don’t want to bankrupt anyone. We want things to be done properly and we’ll use our money as passive aggression.
    https://hbr.org/2012/08/when-do-company-boycotts-work

  15. “I’ve busted Troy Jones for lying. I’ve busted Stace Nelson for lying. I’ve busted Pat Powers for lying. I’ve busted Deutsch and Schoenbeck for lying. Cory has busted dozens of Republicans for lying.” everybody’s a liar, America needs more government, you can kill babies and it’s ok, Islam is a religion of peace, Trump stole the election, LBGQT is not a choice, Christianity is stupid, there is no God, only the government can provide health insurance, Republicans want millions to die, the temperature of the earth will kill us all in 3 years, only posts with links are true, we have worse health care than Europe and Canada, drone, drone, drone. . . You need to take the bucket off your head. . . Stout, I mean Porter. . .

  16. beaver: “Do you think this guy would feel the same way about our government’s treatment of undocumented immigrants who are arrested, removed from their families and deported even though they have committed no crimes”

    If they are “undocumented” they broke the law. If you break the law you have committed a crime, If you commit a crime you are a criminal. If you are a criminal then you are not part of a civilized community. If you are not part of a civilized community you are uncivilized. If you are uncivilized you are “wild”. If you are wild you are dangerous. If you are dangerous you have the potential to harm the innocent. If you harm the innocent you should be removed from the civil society. This is why rational people don’t give a monkey a loaded gun, swim with sharks or allow uncivilized criminals to remain in our communities. If you can’t understand this then there may be no hope for you. . . On a lighter note; a friends 25 year old daughter did not receive her tax return. Turns out an illegal used her number to borrow money from the bank. Now instead of the IRS sending someone to arrest the illegal and get the falsely borrowed money back the IRS wants the young lady to prove it wasn’t her or no refund. . . Looks like she did her part in filing. If the government won’t do their part is it a representative government?

  17. Porter Lansing

    OH, I get it. Stout and Porter are both ales so you though it would be clever. I agree. Very very clever. You know what else is clever, folks?
    This poster (might be a person – might be a computer in the Middle East with a SoDak cell phone IP address) isn’t OldSarge. No, it’s not! It’s OldSarg. My research shows that “Sarg” is an acronym for Syrian Arab Republic Government. “Old” is an acronym for Overseas Liaison Diplomat. That makes this entity a spy for the Syrian government. Hmmmm ….. clever but not too credible. شما در حال گران.

  18. bearcreekbat

    OlSarg, but didn’t the Amish guy also break the law? Why is government bad for prosecuting the Amish guy for breaking the law, but good for prosecuting the immigrant?

    As for your story, when you say “an illegal” are you referring to another Amish guy who previously broke the law, or perhaps a speeder like Noem, or maybe someone who violated a parking ordinance? Can you clarify what you mean by “an illegal?”

    I certainly would hope you don’t use the term in a manner similar to the German’s use of “useless eater,” with the intent to dehumanize a particular identifiable groups of humans (perhaps immigrants in your case?) in an effort to get others to ignore their humanity and support harming them. Likewise, I hope you aren’t using it as a slur, like the “n” word, in the hopes of hurting and frightening children of immigrants.

    I seek clarification because I believe “illegal” is an adjective and is properly used to describe an action rather than a person.

  19. Porter Lansing

    Stace Nelson got ahold of his wife’s cell phone, registered in the Philippines or one of his step kids’ cell phones from overseas, is another probability to OldSarg’s identity. The sentence structure and a few key words are very similar to Nelson’s. I could spend $5.00 and run some of the posts through the similarity detection software I used to prove Jones and Powers post under the name Anonymous but why spend the money? Nelson or a Syrian spy? Either way, the cred of the posts is minus ten.

  20. Porter Lansing

    PS ….. You can also tell a lot about a FreePress poster by when they post. If you go back one or two years you can see that Stace Nelson posts at the same time every weekday and the same times on Saturday, rarely on Sunday. The times show that he works on his farm and comes in or takes a break at mostly the same times daily. Guess what? OldSarg posts at exactly the same times that Stace Nelson used to post here. Why did Stacey leave us? I know he personally asked me not to talk to him anymore but he’s not alone in that request. I’m no stalker so I’m happy to oblige him and Schoenbeck and Jones and Powers and Hoffman and a few I’ve forgotten. I see Ms. Dore and Mr. Deutsch now preface their post by speaking directly to Cory. This is code for, “Don’t challenge me, Free Press readers.” LOL

  21. Richard Schriever

    Hey Sarge – ever go “just a little” over the speed limit? How about taking a “little extra” on a tax deduction?

    If you break the law you have committed a crime, If you commit a crime you are a criminal. If you are a criminal then you are not part of a civilized community. If you are not part of a civilized community you are uncivilized. If you are uncivilized you are “wild”. If you are wild you are dangerous. If you are dangerous you have the potential to harm the innocent. If you harm the innocent you should be removed from the civil society.