When I give talks, I usually highlight the gross difference between current government action and what the Constitution says government can do. This leaves my listeners enlightened in ways they had previously been in the dark, but also leaves them asking the following question:
“Given that the government violates the Constitution so egregiously, what can we actually do about it?”
I’ll be frank. There aren’t many good answers to this question. I wrote an article not long ago detailing a few things that we can do, but beyond that, I’ve not traversed too frequently into the political action realm (aside from encouraging people to vote), but today I’m going to give you a few actionable tips that you can take if you want to personally fight for liberty.
Now, I’m a millennial, which means that I haven’t lived as long as many others and therefore I have less direct experience to draw upon. This means I much rely more upon knowledge and study of history rather than personal experience. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as much as it is merely a real thing.
So, within my knowledge of human nature, history, and my expertise in politics, I’ve come up with five actionable steps Americans can take to help preserve liberty.
One: Impart Your Love of Liberty to Your Kids
This is perhaps the most simple but important choice you can make in the fight for liberty. Liberty is lost when there is no one to fight for it. Many in my generation and in generations below me don’t even know what real liberty is. However, there is a remnant of young adults who still adhere to and cherish liberty. As long as there are people in the United States that cherish liberty, there will always be hope. The best way to make sure there are people in the United States who cherish liberty is to impart our appreciation for it, and our knowledge of it, to our children and grandchildren.
Two: Complain Against the Correct Adversary
I commonly hear people complain that this or that store made them wear a mask, or that a business forced them to walk a certain direction down certain aisles, along with a variety of other complaints. While I empathize, I want to help turn our attention away from the businesses and on to government.
In other words, businesses can do what they want. In fact, isn’t that what is so frustrating about the businesses having to close or force social distancing? They no longer have a choice in the matter. That’s the key point, businesses are just as much victims to arbitrary power as we, as individuals, are. Most of these businesses have no choice in the matter and may, in fact, be punished for our unwillingness to comply with the standards they are forced to force upon us while shopping there. Complaining about the businesses does nothing.
Complaining about government with arbitrary power? That means everything.
We need to take the fight to real source of the problem: government.
Three: Replace Partisan Rhetoric With Constitutional Education
Now we all fall victim to this at times. It’s easy to get caught up in partisan rhetoric, to feel as if your party is the only party and that the opposing party is the enemy and destroying the country. Both parties do it. It’s an age old mobilization technique. Get people to feel as if they are in a fight with an enemy and they are more likely to take action.
The problem is, when we resort to party politics (and I myself am guilty of this) we throw out any chance of helping those who don’t agree with us to hear and listen to aspects of our argument that are not overtly partisan and critical for people to hear—most importantly, aspects of our arguments that have to with the Constitution. By claiming our party is flawless and far superior to the opposing party, we cripple our ability to call our own party out for violating the Constitution when the ability to do is critical.
I’ll just give one example. People on the political right are currently up in arms about an oppressive police force closing down private businesses and arresting citizens for not wearing a mask. Those on the right complain about the growing, dictatorial power of the police.
Likewise, on the political left, people are protesting and fighting against an oppressive police that violates rights via unwarranted search and seizures, no knock warrants, unjustified frisks and the like—particularly aimed at minorities. Those on the left complain about the growing, dictatorial power of the police.
So, BOTH those on the political right AND left are complaining about the same thing: an oppressive police force that is acting unconstitutionally. And yet, those of the right mock and deride the left for their concerns while those on the left applaud the police for doing what infuriates the right.
What neither side recognizes, or perhaps is unwilling to recognize, is that both of these problems can be solved by the same thing: following the Constitution.
We must change our language and arguments to encompass all Americans because we all share in the need to be protected from government by the Constitution.
Four: Write/Call/Approach Local Politicians and Law Enforcement
How many of us truly capitalize on the incredible access we have to local politicians and local law enforcement?
Likely few to none of us. This simple action can change so much. Local politicians are the politicians that make the policies that most affect our daily lives, our cities, our towns, our local parks, our local businesses and the like. What if a strong contingency of well informed Constitutionalists made their presence known to the local politicians and local law enforcement, reminding them of their job and who they must serve and punishing them if they do not do as the Constitution directs?
This is something you can do!
Five: Stock Up On Guns
One of the key reasons this country is rarely ever invaded on the mainland is this: Americans have guns, a LOT of guns. There are about 393 million guns in the U.S. citizenry right now, making the U.S. the leader of gun ownership in the world. It’s no surprise that countries are reticent to try anything against the U.S., but it’s also no wonder the U.S. government is reticent to strip liberties too quickly. An armed citizenry is a dangerous citizenry and one that external and internal threats must consider before doing anything drastic.
Though owning a gun does not change politics directly, it increases the collective strength of the citizenry while also protecting you individually should external or internal threats decide to take that drastic step. It is both a preventative step and, if necessary, a useful active step should prevention fail.
These actions are simple but effective and if all Americans were to start applying them to their daily lives, we’d see a dramatic change in this country.
Even Mark Twain recognized the value of active citizenship in our American Republic when he said:
“Citizenship is what makes a republic – monarchies can get along without it.”
Indeed, let’s make our republic.
The Liberty Belle