To paraphrase George Patton, I thought I'd stand up here and give y'all a chance to see if I'm as big and bad a "mad dog militia terrorist" as Rachel Madcow, Chris Matthews, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Medved and Billy Jeff Clinton say that I am.
You know I'm grateful to them for all the free publicity, especially from ole Billy Jeff. You know, when you're denounced by a serial perjurer that has special meaning, and you know that you have arrived. But there's one thing I want to straighten out right here and now. Billy Jeff says that we are, we Three Percenters, are "unhinged and disgruntled." But that's not true. You see this? (Holds up a small gate hinge) Here's my hinge. All right? So I am not "unhinged." I have my hinge. You notice? There's three holes in each side.
Now as far as being "disgruntled," I am reliably informed that in the Commonwealth of Virginia it is illegal to show your "gruntle" in public. That being the case, and if it's true in Virginia it must be true in Alabama, and I intend to go back to Alabama and live my life in peace for as long as God gives me, you ain't gonna see my "gruntle." That's between me and Rosey, my beautiful wife, so I don't care what Bill Clinton says.
Now as they said, my name is Mike Vanderboegh and I'm a Three Percenter. George Washington was a Three Percenter. Three percent of the population of the American colonies took the field against the King in the American Revolution. They were actively supported by another ten percent of the population with another twenty percent for the Revolution but willing to do no more than just say "rah, rah." Another third of the population supported the King. In fact, by the end of the war there were more American colonists in the forces of the King than there were in the forces of the Revolution. And the other third of the population blew with the wind and took what came. Kind of like today.
As I say, my name is Mike Vanderboegh but lately I could be mistaken for Emmanuel Goldstein of the "Two Minute Hate" in George Orwell's 1984. Everybody I think wants to hate me. I think it's because across the political spectrum I scare them. I don't know why. I mean, I'm just a fat old scribbler who's got congestive heart failure and diabetic feet. Maybe it's the cane.
But, no, seriously I understand why. I understand why I scare them. I understand why YOU scare 'em. And understand that -- YOU. SCARE. THEM. The people who put up the "We Are Everywhere" stickers. The people who threw some Three Percent bricks through some local political party windows. They scare them. They scare the bejeezus out of 'em. And I'll tell you why.
My call to break the windows of local Democrat party headquarters, even though it was answered by just a few people across the country from New York to Alaska, caused the talking heads to begin denouncing me in prime time, and I started receiving death threats by phone and email, and some fellow from Virginia claiming to be Dick Cheney sent me a powdery substance in an Easter card. . . You know there must be a special place in Hell for people who profane Easter cards.
But the fact that I called on folks to start pushing back -- pushing back against the last 75 years where it is WE who have been pushed back from the natural exercise of our liberties -- of our God-given, inalienable, natural liberties. . . It scared these political mandarins. It scared these elitists. They believe that they know what's best for us.
But it is in fact our own fault that we are in this situation. Each time these revolutionists of gradualism cut another piece off of the Founders' Republic, off of the Constitution, each time we backed up, grumbling, but we didn't shove back. We have not shoved back. So, why should we expect that they're going to quit shoving?
By calling for this limited campaign against the windows of local political offices, I hoped to make them understand that this situation was coming to a fundamental break where people -- the guilty and innocent alike -- were going to begin dying for their own stupid failure to comprehend the real situation that we are all in.
For wars are always started by people who think they won't start, that they can't start. They are started, usually by clueless, arrogant, grasping people, people with a hunger for power, no matter how they cloak it in good intentions -- people who believe they have a right to tell other folks how to live, what to buy, where to go, how to act and insist that they pay for the privilege, that WE pay for the privilege, and that WE like it or lump it. They start the wars, these wannabe tyrants, because they think they can get away with it, they think that they will not be opposed, or that the opposition will be minimal. They start them because they think that in starting them there will be no PERSONAL consequences for them for starting it.
This is what i was trying to accomplish with my call to break a few windows. I was trying to get the attention of people -- who are pushing this country toward civil war -- that they should stop before somebody gets hurt.
This is also the theme of my novel, Absolved. It is titled after this quote from John Locke that the Founders embraced:
“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.”
Writing about the fictional run-up to a civil war, I am trying to avoid a real one. I hope people will read Absolved and class it as a "useful dire warning" as David Brin calls the genre. By warning folks of the unintended consequences of their actions, I hope to avoid them myself.
And, oh, by the way, for those of you who have been flogging me about when Absolved will be done -- here it is. (Holds up a thumb drive.) My part is done, and it will be sent off to the editor and publisher next week.
But whatever I have written over the past few years -- including my call to adopt the tactics of the Sons of Liberty of old and break windows -- this is my motive: I want to avoid a civil war -- the worst of all wars -- because I know from history what one looks like and they are the sum of all evils.
For this is what the other side does not understand. This is what the forces of the King of England did not understand on 19th of April 1775.
WE ARE DONE BACKING UP.
Not one more inch!
You know, years ago I was a civil war re-enactor and one Sunday coming back from an event, two friends and I stopped at a gas station in a little Mississippi town.
When we pulled up, there was a big guy there, missing a few teeth, who was whipping a dog with a busted fan belt. (And it wasn't even his dog.) All the poor dog could do was cringe and yelp. I was driving and I pulled up to the pump. We didn't know it but someone inside the station -- not wanting to get personally involved -- had called the cops, but it was Sunday and the nearest Sheriff's car was miles away. In fact, they didn't get there while were there. They told us. They thanked us. But they didn't want to get involved.
We hadn't been stopped for more than a few seconds when my buddy Chris, who was about half the size of the dog-whipper, took it all in with a glance and said, to no one in particular, "Oh, HELL NO!"
Any of you from the South, you probably know what that means. "Oh, HELL NO!"
Just three words: "Oh, HELL NO!" It was an observation. It was an announcement. It was a battle cry. And without further ado Chris launched himself across that parking lot -- and he's only about half the size of this toothless fellow -- and he stripped that broken fan belt out of his hand and he commenced to whaling on the guy. Of course, the two of us were looking pretty rough from a weekend and it's Sunday -- all grizzled and dirty and dressed in funny clothes -- and we go to back him up. When this fellow starts to recover -- and he decides, "Hey, I'm bigger than this guy, I'm gonna beat him" -- and then he sees the two of us coming up, he decides that he's had enough and he jumped in his car and drove off.
Now this is a quintessentially Southern thing, this "Oh, HELL NO!" All right? You gotta say it just like that. Let's practice it. "Oh, HELL NO!" The accent's on the "HELL!"
It is indeed a uniquely AMERICAN thing. When you hear it -- where I come from -- you know that somebody's gonna get beat, stabbed or shot. And the guy who takes the beating, the knife blade or the bullet undoubtedly deserves it.
"Oh, HELL NO!"
For you can push Americans only so far.
There is a great truth in the movie Michael Collins, where the Irish freedom fighter, played by Liam Neeson, is speaking to an election crowd in 1918. He tells them, in part:
"They can jail us. They can shoot us. . . BUT . . . we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire! That weapon is our refusal! Our refusal to bow to any order but our own! Any institution but our own!"
This is a great truth, this is an enduring truth. For no one can be enslaved without giving his permission. Whether out of fear, out of cowardice, out of a desire to not be "confrontational" -- the slave gives his assent to his master.
But we are AMERICANS.
We are the folks who say, "Oh, HELL NO!"
This is something that the enemies of the Founders' Republic do not understand. They extrapolate from their own cowardice and, knowing that they themselves have no principles for which they are willing to die -- life being the most important thing to them -- they cannot fathom that there are other people who are certainly willing to die for a principle. And i think I see some of them here today.
And so, because they cannot understand folks who have an entirely different worldview from them, folks who do not believe that the government should have the supreme power over the people -- folks who believe like the Founders that government should be small, safe and limited -- because they cannot understand us, they call us names, they try to marginalize us, and they think that we are merely posturing, that we will never seriously push back against their infringements of our liberty.
Which brings us to today. What is it about law-abiding American citizens, exercising their God-given and inalienable right to arms, announcing their adherence to the ancient concept of righteous self defense -- folks who believe that a right un-exercised is a right that has been lost -- what is it that so excites our opponents to condemn us, to vilify us, to try to marginalize us, indeed, to seek to disarm us?
It is this. . .
It is only CITIZENS who have arms.
Serfs, indentured servants and slaves do not. Bearing arms is the mark of a citizen, and the elitists who run the various parties, as one corrupt administration follows another, find citizens extremely inconvenient to their plans. You must CONVINCE citizens -- by force of argument, by appeals to reason or fact or even emotion -- but you must CONVINCE them. You cannot order them about as serfs.
For CITIZENS have arms, and citizens can say, and after a long train of abuses and usurpations, "Oh, HELL NO!"
AND WATCH OUT WHEN THEY DO.
Gentlemen and ladies and Nancy Pelosi too.
WATCH OUT WHEN WE DO.
The ability to say "No!" is the difference between a free man or free woman and a slave. Slaves cannot say "No!" and remain slaves. Indeed, over the long span of history, this is how slaves ennobled themselves and freed themselves -- by saying "No!" and meaning it -- regardless of all dangers, regardless even if it meant their deaths. They said "No!" and became free, even if for an instant. Finally, throwing off their yokes, they died as Spartacus and his followers, as free men and free women.
It's a funny thing about this word "no." The collectivists have taken to calling the GOP, "the party of no." Probably because they never heard a Southener say, "Oh, HELL NO!"
I don't know where they've been these past fifteen years, but in my experience the GOP is the party of "well, you know, you'd better not do that, but if you insist, then well, okay, we'll just catch up in the next election cycle."
Pat Buchanan had at least this much right: the two dominant political parties have acted as two wings of the same bird of prey.
And so it has fallen to the people, to the Tea Parties, to the Open Carry movement, and all the other manifestations of righteous resistance to cumulative tyranny to say, "Oh, HELL NO!"
You can say that, right? "Oh, HELL NO?"
"Oh, HELL NO!"
That's getting better.
You'll have to work on it, though.
This is as the Founders intended it. It is why they left us the Second Amendment. Not that we derive our natural, God-given rights from a piece of paper, however much revered. That piece of paper merely codifies that which cannot be taken away without our consent. They may change what it says on the piece of paper, but that does not change the eternal truth of liberty.
And it sure doesn't prevent men and women -- free men and free women -- from saying, "Oh, HELL NO!"
And that exclamation point is important. If you say "no" softly, tentatively, apologetically, some people -- obtuse, arrogant, greedy, evil people people -- take it as a "maybe." Some of them take it as a "yes."
You know the anti-rape activists have popularized the saying of "No means no" -- as if chanting it like a mantra somehow provides potential rape victims with magical powers. But I tell you, when someone says "No means no" and says it while packing a firearm to back up the sentiment, the argument is OVER.
So we who intend to remain free must say it -- as I think we are all saying it here today -- Loudly. Proudly. Emphatically.
We must say it as the Spartans did at Thermopylae.
We must say it as did the Jews at Masada.
We must shout it as the Texans did in defiance at the Alamo and in triumph at San Jacinto.
We must scream it as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto did 67 years ago today.
We must say it calmly but forcefully like the veterans of the Deacons for Defense and Justice said it to the Klan when they guarded the advocates of non-violence -- with the muzzles of their MILITARY rifles and their MILITARY pistols that they brought home from their service in America's wars -- and said to the Klan.
"NO! You will not kill today!"
We must shout it as the veterans of McMinn County, Tennessee said it in 1946, as they prevented a corrupt political machine and its bully-boy sheriff from stealing another election in the "Battle of Athens."
We must say it as the Founders did at Lexington and Concord and on the long, bloody road strewn with dead King's men back into Boston.
We must be stubborn if we wish to remain free.
We must emulate the Founders.
We must be resolute.
We must be defiant.
We must be AMERICANS.
We must say, gentlemen and ladies, "NO!"
And not just "NO!" but "HELL NO!"
And I thank you for your time.