Saturday, May 29, 2010
Accusations of Sedition
Lately, we have heard cries of "sedition" from supporters of the Obama administration, and from supposedly objective news reporters, who are showing their partisan colors with every word that comes out of their mouths. These accusations are heaped upon the heads of those who dare to criticize the current occupants of the executive branch, or who characterize their actions as dictatorial or imcompetent. It seems that the supporters of the Obama administration are floating the idea of sedition as a trial balloon for the possible instatement of some new version of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Unlike President Bush, who's support of the Patriot Act shows his contempt for rights but who nevertheless responded to protestors by saying "It's their right", the Obama adminstration has made no effort to correct the zeal of his supporters for tyranny.
Few of those who throw this word around so lightly understand the principles upon which our government is founded, and therefore are ignorant (at best) of the reason why throwing this accusation around is met by contempt from those who are so accused. Earlier today, I responded to the report of such an accusation on a message board I visit infrequently. There, the moderator reported that he was being accused of sedition by the Daily Kos because he had referred to Obama as "Der Fuhrer". And yet only a Fuhrer, that is a tyrant, would supress the free speech of free people via accusations of "sedition."
Here is my comment:
The concept of "sedition" does not properly belong to the legal tradition of a free society. To see why, consider the definition of sedition from Dictionary.com:
1. Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state.
In a free society, any authority the state has comes from sovereign individuals. The state is not sovereign; it is the individual that is sovereign. And sovereign individuals do not owe allegiance to any state, or to any executive or representative thereof. We owe our honor and loyalty to the Constitution that protects our rights. Our rights do not come from the state, and they cannot be taken away from us by the state. Nor can we voluntarily surrender them. That is what unaLIENable means.
Further, according to the Constitution, the government receives any power it has as a matter of duty and privilege; the government has no rights. Rather, "We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union . . ." have from our status as sovereigns, granted the federal government a limited set of duties and privileges for the purpose of protecting our rights. Since liberty is one of those rights, we are at complete liberty to say anything we want about the government that We the People have created, and that extends to the liberty to criticize and lampoon the president and his appointees. By standing for election, the president has put himself if the public eye and must expect to be roundly criticized at his every move by citizens jealous of their right to free speech. If he can't stand the heat, he should get the hell out of the kitchen, as Harry Truman used to say.
This is why the American people objected so strenuously to John Adam's errant signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, and why one of this cabinet secretaries stated that he could walk from New York to the Canadian border by the light of his own buring effigies. This is why Woodrow Wilson is considered a tyrant who greviously exceeded his duty and violated the rights of those who voiced their disagreement with the US entry into WWI, when he ordered the Sedition and Espionage Act. And this is why the Patriot Act of 2001 is unconstitutional.
Sedition cannot rightly be a crime in a free society in which each individual is sovereign whose rights are protected by a Constitution such as ours.
If Chairman Obama really wishes to rule as the thin-skinned king he seems to identify himself as, he should go to a country that defines its people as subjects, and conduct his coup d'etat there. He will get no sympathy from the proudly free and sovereign people of the United States.
In this blog, as well in other places, I have dared criticize Obama's policies, and I have used words applied to him and his minions that emphasize how tyrannous and dangerous I believe those policies to be. To paraphrase the immortal words of Patrick Henry to the Virginia House of Burgesses in response to the Stamp Act, I now say:
"If this be sedition, make the most of it."