ten·ther ˈten-thər noun
1. A person who supports the Constitution: every issue, every time, no exceptions and no excuses.
2. Those who actively use the principles of decentralization to advance the cause of liberty.
see also: Tenther Movement
Ron Paul is out. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are not going to win. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney represent the classic “lesser of two evils” situation. Rocky Anderson and Virgil Goode are barely a blip on the radar.
Look, I’ve heard all the arguments in this Presidential election. A vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama. A win for Romney means the right will go back to sleep like they were under George W. Bush. The lesser of two evils is still evil. And more.
Like every other Presidential election, people everywhere are shouting from the rooftops: “This is the most important vote of your lifetime!” But all these arguments are missing the point entirely.
The 2012 Presidential election is not a make-or-break election. America, as the Founders envisioned, has already been broken for a long, long time.
That’s no understatement, either. Pick a clause of the Constitution, and it has likely been violated to the point of nonexistence. Read through the Bill of Rights and you’ll see how few of those essential liberties are truly in place today.
We live under a Federal dictatorship of sorts. Sure, you get to choose your oppressors every few years, but those people still claim the power to do plenty. They tell you what kind of light bulbs you can own and how big your toilet can be. They will arrest you for growing a plant in your backyard and fine you for not purchasing an insurance product. They relentlessly spy on you, monitor phone calls and read emails.
They drop bombs wherever they want around the world; Constitutional requirements for Congressional declarations of war are now considered an anachronism. If they don’t like your opposition to what they do, they’ll use a drone to watch your every move, then kidnap you and keep you in a secret military prison. They call that one “indefinite detention.”
We now have free-speech zones; business and environmental regulations that should be the purview of the States or the people; corporate bailouts; and endless excuses for the lies, rules and failures. It’s never-ending. And, all the while, officials keep debasing the currency in the hopes that their house of cards continues to stand.
Ole King George would have salivated at this kind of power. But, today, some people seem to think that simply casting a vote every few years is all they need to do to advance the cause of the Constitution and your liberty.
So what’s a good Tenther to do on Nov. 6?
Like my friend Steve Palmer wrote in a recent article, the No. 1 most important thing is not what happens on Nov. 6. What really matters is:
… what we do on 364 other days of the year. If we go back to sleep because we’re happy that the winner is wearing a red jersey or a blue one, we’re doomed to be exploited. If we stay vigilant and ensure that the use of force by government is limited to its Constitutionally legitimate role, then society will bring the blessings of prosperity to all of us.”
I’m not trying to talk you out of voting for one of the Presidential candidates — or even into voting for a different one. More than 90 percent of potential voters are already dead set on who they’re going to vote for — or against, most likely.
My goal here is to encourage you to do more. Since you’re already set on who you’ll be voting against, spending time reading, watching or complaining about any of the candidates is nothing more than a daily soap opera. You can certainly spend your time far more wisely — and help us all in support of the Constitution.
Here’s my list of the top-five things a good Tenther can do this election season.
5. Vote For Good State And Local Candidates
It seems like everyone forgets about the little guys. But these are the people who can change the world. Like the Constitutional structure that the Founders gave us, a revolution in thought and action isn’t a top-down proposal. It’s bottom up.
So check out your State and local campaigns and vote for people that support the Constitution and your liberty. There are some great ones out there, surprisingly enough. Here are a few examples:
Aaron Libby is running for re-election in the Maine State house. He’ll be introducing one of the strongest Obamacare nullification bills in the country.
John Logan Jones is also in Maine — and a strong challenger, too. He was well-positioned to run for Congress, but recognized the absolute need for State governments to take “an activist role in reasserting powers” stolen by the Feds.
My friend Anthony Rice is running for city council in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. And Mark Hopp is running for county commissioner in Alamance County, N.C. These are the kind of guys who will have absolutely no qualms pushing legislation to nullify the National Defense Authorization Act (like 16 communities around the country have already done) and just about anything else on a local level.
David Simpson is running for re-election to the Texas State house. He’s been leading the charge to nullify unConstitutional searches and seizures by the Transportation Security Administration.
Bernie DeCastro is running for sheriff in Marion County, Fla. And Ray Seidel is running for sheriff in Lincoln County, N.M. Both of these guys have been endorsed by Sheriff Richard Mack; and, if they win, they could establish some of the freest counties in the country.
Matt Shea is running for re-election to the Washington State house. He’s a relentless supporter of the Constitution and has worked on legislation to nullify NDAA and Obamacare and worked in support of sound money and more.
Read. Learn. Share. As more people learn about Constitutional principles, the more good people will take action locally, where real change can be affected.
“Nullification: The Rightful Remedy” is a power-packed DVD that can introduce people to these issues in less than 90 minutes.
Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty is the essential guide to the Tenther movement. It’s the owner’s manual.
Liberty Classroom’s State Nullification: What is it? is a fantastic, free resource.
3. Lobby Your State And Local Representatives
Hammer away at your local politicians. They usually get ignored; so when they start getting just a few calls to support a particular issue, they’ll start paying attention. Call the ones you know are your opposition, too. Sometimes, politicians are so slimy that they have absolutely zero principles. (OK, sometimes is too modest.) Those people will change with the wind. If you press them, you can make things happen.
2. Vote To Nullify
There are ballot initiatives in play around the country. You can vote to ban Federal or State insurance mandates in Montana. You can drive a truck through the unConstitutional drug war in Colorado, Oregon and Washington State. You can stand up for healthcare freedom in Florida, Alabama and more.
Check those referendums and vote “yes” on anything that defies Washington, D.C. Every crack in the armor will make us stronger.
The most important thing you can do right now is organize. This really encompasses all the previous four, and will make every future effort even stronger. Educate people in your community. Build strong support networks for local candidates and referendum campaigns. Get teams of people together to lobby those already in office. And build strong campaigns and coalitions to nullify unConstitutional Federal acts.
You can use the Tenth Amendment Center’s Nullify Obamacare Organizer’s toolkit (pdf) to help you along. It’s a free, 17-page document filled with ideas and methods that work. And, no, you don’t have to focus only on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; you can use these time-tested strategies on whatever issue is most important to you. You might even want to head up your own nullification campaign.
Bottom line? The time to act is now. Not next year or next fall. Not next month or next week. Today, not tomorrow. Right now.
If all you’re doing is voting, you’re not doing enough. Please start doing more. There. I said it.
While I know that statement will likely irritate some people, I firmly believe it to be the truth. And on truth, Thomas Jefferson couldn’t have been more right:
“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”