Written by Michael Boldin
As the federal government relentlessly attacks the Constitution, the only way that liberty can win in the long run is if people refuse to give in. Here at the TAC, we’re not giving in; we’re ramping up the pressure.
We believe that nullification – any act or set of actions that render a “law” null and void, or just unenforceable in a particular area – is the path to victory. Whether the issue is the right to keep and bear arms, health freedom, or the right to grow hemp on an American farm rather than importing that product from China – or anything in between – people around the country can be successful with nullification on issues important to them.
Increasingly, people are doing just that. In 1996, when California became the first modern state to nullify so-called federal “law” by legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, it took two full years before another state followed suit. Today, there are 19 doing the same. When Governor Sam Brownback signed the Kansas 2nd Amendment Protection Act into law nullifying all federal gun control measures this year, it took another state – Missouri – just a few short weeks to pass a similar law.
In 2005, when George Bush and the Republicans gave us the unconstitutional “REAL ID” act, it took over tw0 YEARS for any state to even consider a law refusing compliance. Eventually, nearly two-dozen states followed this path. On December 31, 2011 – when Barack Obama signed the unconstitutional National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) claiming the power of “indefinite detention,” it was just a matter of weeks before states started considering measures to reject and nullify that abomination. In the first year, Virginia passed a bill into law, and this second year, other states will likely follow suit – most prominently Michigan, Alaska and possibly even California.
In the seven short years since the Tenth Amendment Center was founded (June 25, 2006, that is), the TAC has changed the national political discussion. Well, that’s how Tom Woods put it when he interviewed me on the Peter Schiff show a few months ago. Maybe he’s right.
I do know that the examples above show that in the years TAC has relentlessly pushed our message of resistance to unconstitutional federal acts, people around the country have learned that the first response to an unconstitutional federal act should be something other than a phone call to congress, or a march on DC, or a lawsuit, or a campaign to vote the bums out. They’ve learned that the first response, the “rightful remedy” as Thomas Jefferson put it, is resistance on a state level – nullification. More and more people are learning that if there’s a cause they believe in, James Madison’s advice in Federalist #46 is the way to accomplish it. In that paper, Madison advised us to a few things, most prominently:
- refuse to cooperate with officers of the Union
- use “legislative devices” to create “very serious impediments”
Madison also told us that if several adjoining States would do the same it “would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.”
In other words – the feds cannot enforce their “laws” without the help of our states and local communities. Judge Andrew Napolitano affirmed this a few months ago when he said that such actions would render so-called federal laws “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here).
In fact, so many people have learned and accepted this process that today a majority of mainstream voters are in favor of nullification. What amazes me is how much we’ve been able to accomplish with so little. When the Southern Poverty Law Center or MSNBC attacks the Tenth Amendment Center as radical or dangerous, they have tens of millions of dollars behind them. Here, we raise a paltry few thousand dollars each month. That’s not to say that every dollar and every gift you’ve made is not greatly appreciated – it’s just a comparative fact. We don’t have big money, a TV station, or support from the mainstream media. We don’t have millions of dollars or any corporate backers. We have great donors and members who likely struggle against leviathan like we do – but they keep the TAC financially afloat. And while this organization will never be a cash cow like many of the DC think tanks that oppose us, we have something far more important. We have powerful ideas. As the saying goes – ideas can move mountains. And, ideas are bulletproof.
But, in order to have a successful campaign to nullify unconstitutional acts, we need to couple ideas with powerful tools. Ideas alone have moved mountains, but a great set of tools to go along with those ideas will make mountains move a little faster.
Hopefully I can explain.
When someone visits TenthAmendmentCenter.com and learns that Jefferson and Madison advised people to say NO on a state or local level, they often don’t know how to put that into practice. In fact, up until a few years ago, most people had no idea whatsoever. But once TAC started providing model legislation for people to use on a state level and gave them some simple instructions to send it to their state legislators, we saw a sharp increase in the amount of nullification efforts going on around the country. So, we added more model legislation, and we’ll continue to add more in the near future (NSA spying possibly?). We’re now also providing people with legislation to use locally – model nullification ordinances on a few key issues that people can work on in the county, city or town. And we’re seeing more and more people having success getting nullification campaigns started close to home. It’s a long-term, multi-prong strategy to take the feds on at every level possible. Since they don’t have the manpower to enforce all their laws – the more we resist on every issue possible at every level possible – the faster that liberty is going to win. In essence, this is taking the Cloward-Piven strategy – an statist plan to overwhelm the system to effect “a guaranteed annual income” for everyone - and using it to restore the Constitution.
With increased federal mandates, debt, and massive welfare rolls, I’d say these people have been pretty effective. You see, part of what we hope to do more of in the coming years is learn from our enemies. And our goal is to overwhelm them in reverse – nullify at every level and every turn possible.
While our model legislation, our action alerts by email, and our legislative tracking maps have all proved pretty effective at bringing in some early success, vaulting nullification to the mainstream, TAC is still far from providing effective tools for people to get active in support of nullification in their area. If we were able to have this available right now, I believe we’d see at least double the results that we’ve seen so far. Here’s what we need to have available for people, and what we’ve hired some great developers to start building this week.
On top of it, most organizations that offer this kind of service require you to register for an account and log in. We simply won’t do that. You CAN get an account if you want special updates and access, but if you prefer to visit us privately, we want you to have the freedom to do that. In fact, I’d recommend that you use IXquick for searching and even the TOR browser for everything if you don’t like being watched. That way you’ll be able to visit our website, find out what’s going on and what needs to be done for a specific issue without anyone knowing – including us – and decide if you want to take action from there.
This is just a brief overview, but it’s an important part of what we’re working on to make available for you to use so you can take concrete steps to nullify in your area. You’ll be able to easily share this new tool with others so they can do the same, multiplying the effort.
The short version? We want to make it as easy as pie – because the simpler it is, the more grassroots activism we’ll see, and the greater the results will be. This is going to run us about $20,000 – which we can’t afford. But, our developer has agreed to a plan where we can release this project in phases. The first $3,000, which we are able to afford right now, will be public this summer. It won’t be the full automated system, but with some work and support from people helping out behind the scenes, it will most certainly be the start of a powerful tool to take the nullification movement to the next level.
Read through the following document to get a more detailed overview of the new Tenther Action Center which is under development today. Help us fund this awesome toolkit – HERE. Thank you for supporting our work – and participating in the movement. No matter how dark things may seem today, I believe the future is bright.