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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, April 11, 2014

PASSIVE RESISTANCE

"I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register"
-State Senator Tony Guglielmo

The United States has over 314 million people living in it, officially.  Unofficially its about 317 million, approximately; no one is exactly sure how many undocumented and illegal immigrants are in the US at the moment.
Of those hundreds of millions of people, the Obama administration is celebrating 7 million folks signing up to the ACA, or "Obamacare."  That's like having a room of 100 people and 2 sign on to your club.  Whee?
The fact that the 7 million number is deeply questionable is really beside the point.  Its been over half a year since the signups were started.  The deadline of March 31 to avoid a "surcharge" came and went (and was extended), which is partly why the big publicity push for the alleged 7 million; they looked like idiots because almost nobody's signing up.
That's how citizens of a country deal with laws they don't like.  By passive resistance.  Its long been known that if the bulk of a population ignore a law, there's nothing the government can do about it.  Sure, they can jail and attack some high profile people, hoping to intimidate the rest into obedience, but that's pretty much it.
And people are just resisting this law.  They don't see any need for it, they don't like what they know about it, and when they look into it, most find they have to pay not just more but a lot more for the same coverage they had before the "Affordable" Care Act went into law.
So people just are not signing up, and the president continually violating the constitution by extending the law over and over are only encouraging this behavior.  Clearly there's no urgency about signing up, and it looks like this thing will be delayed forever, as long as there's another election coming; and there's always another election coming.
Another case of passive resistance is Connecticut.  The state legislature passed draconian gun control laws and the governor signed them into law.  According to the Associated Press:
...beginning April 1, long guns cannot be sold or transferred without one of the following documents: a permit to carry pistols or revolvers, an eligibility certificate for pistols or revolvers or a long gun eligibility certificate.

State police say those documents also will allow people to buy ammunition. Anyone who wants to buy ammunition and not additional firearms will only be required to obtain an ammunition certificate.

Also beginning Tuesday, hunting licenses will no longer be accepted for the purchase of long guns.
These laws were loudly and extensively protested and opposed by the people of Connecticut, who voted these guys in to begin with.  That's how it works, people: you put them in power, why didn't you think about that before you voted?  But they aren't happy with these laws.
Connecticut isn't exactly a crime-ridden, violent state.  Only about 16% of the state actually owns any guns, and in 2010, the state had only 2.7 gun murders per 100,000 people.  Their murder rate is one of the lowest in the country overall.
Over 100,000 people own guns covered by the new law in Connecticut.  Of them, just under 50,000 have bothered to register.  One deadline has already passed, December 31.  The second was April 1.  The bulk of the gun owners have made it very clear they are not going to be registering anything, and think the law is idiotic.  The law refers to weapons with high-capacity magazines as "assault weapons," which is a good sample of the mindset.
Assault weapons is a nonexistent gun category except in the minds of leftist lawmakers.  It sounds scary but means nothing except "guns that make me scared."  But the press jumps on that kind of thing because they know little about guns and it sounds impressive and scary.  Who would oppose registering scary guns unless you're one of those bitter clinger types?
Here again we have passive resistance.  You have your law, and I have my decision whether or not to comply.  I choose not to comply.  Come for me if you want.  Its happening more and more these days.  And the people passing these new laws are the same ones that tore up their draft cards in the late 60s and early 70s; they should be familiar with the concept.
Cliven Bundy in Nevada was doing the same thing.  An area he and his family have been using for grazing cattle in for generations was declared protected lands because some turtle was found there and declared threatened.  The 600,000 acres of public land were declared "federal property" to protect the turtle in a massive land grab.  Of course, failing to pay his tribute to Senator Reid probably contributed to the response as well.  Bundy refused to stop grazing his cattle there, so the Bureau of Land Management send 300 men with guns to force his cattle off and keep him away.  
What the BLM was doing with snipers and gunmen to begin with is a matter of some concern.  In the past, they used to rely on local cops and the sheriff to handle this kind of situation but increasingly, the federal government is finding that local sheriffs are reluctant to help them.
So they started arming up their agencies to handle it on their own.  See, Sheriffs are actually very powerful.  They can tell anyone what to do in their jurisdiction; they are basically the highest authority outside the president in a given location and on their job.
Bundy has called on the local sheriff to arrest the BLM guys on trespassing and theft charges, because they are rounding up and "holding" his cattle, even on his land.  Recently, a clash between people supporting Bundy and the BLM officers ended up with folks being tasered and assaulted, including a pregnant woman and a cancer victim.
Bundy, along with many others, have decided "you pass your laws, and if you want to, come enforce them on me, but I've had enough."  How far this goes we'll see, but the truth is, people are, I suspect, getting a bit tired of the continual encroach of the federal government on their lives.  Its gotten worse and worse for decades, and lately has gotten out of control.  In the west, we've put up with the federal government taking more and more land for 100 years or more. 
Some speculate that a civil war is on the horizon; that eventually one event will shake the people out of apathy and all hell will break loose.  Others say we're already in a civil war - a cold civil war that began with the Eich firing at Mozilla.
Look back at recent history.  In 2004, the left pushed the idea of homosexual "marriage" by using county commissions to declare the concept legal, and gleeful activists rushed in to get "married."  The US reacted by over a dozen states passing constitutional amendments defining marriage as one man, one woman.  President Bush and Republicans all across the country won comfortable elections, dominating the state legislatures, governors, and US congress.  People saw what the left was trying to do and responded negatively.
In 2006, California, one of the most left-leaning states in the Union, voted for just such a constitutional amendment, and it won by a comfortable margin - so strongly that a recount and lawsuits were not even attempted.  The left went berserk, screaming hate and attacking people that supported it - well, politically comfortable ones, like Mormons, not blacks and hispanics that supported the bill by huge margins.
When the left has lost culture war battles, their response is not "well maybe we should calm down and try something else, or at least move more slowly" it is "double down and scream harder!!!!"  And so we've gotten to the point now that someone lost his job for donating to the campaign to pass that law eight years ago and having the audacity to not recant apologize.
That's where we are as a country: one side has decided full speed ahead on their agenda, no matter how radical, extremist, and outside the country's desires it is.  They have decided they're going to get all they want and damn anyone who gets in the way.
And so far, its worked.  If a vote was held in California now, the proposition would probably lose.  Homosexual "marriage" has gone from heteronormative oppressive concept to "well if you want, I guess" to "if you even question this concept, you're a hateful bigot" in five years.  In 2008, President Obama declared total opposition to the idea to get elected, but in 2012 he announced he was all for it to get reelected.
How far will things go, what happens next?  Just about every pundit is claiming the Democrats are going to be demolished in the next election.  I'm skeptical, but maybe so.  Its possible, if unlikely to me, that the nation has had enough and is going to start pushing back.  It is possible that the left pushed too hard, too fast, and were too arrogant about it and now there will be a backlash.
But honestly, I don't believe it.  Just because Democrats are increasingly unpopular doesn't mean Republicans by default are more popular.  As long as the Democrats can convince people that the GOP is worse, they stay in power no matter what they do.
And relying on the level of information and understanding in the public to fight this argument is not a winning strategy.  However it turns out, I don't see a big shift coming, though.  Internet Apathy and an overall level of ignorance and leftist cultural triumph are too well-seated.  People (somewhat gleefully, I fear) waiting for the war to start are going to be very disappointed.
Because the left has figured out how much people will submit to, and they haven't reached the limits of it yet.  Sure, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry and the rest would have picked up their rifles decades ago.  Sure, they would not even recognize their country any more.  But when the choice is between putting yourself and your livelihood at risk or staying comfortable, entertained, and provided for, almost nobody is going to pick that first choice.
And ultimately, even if the Republicans win a huge sweeping victory, does anyone, anywhere think it would be different?  That the Obama administration will in response back off their agenda?  That he would in any way be slowed or concerned with these events?  Or that the GOP would fight or slow any of this?  Because I don't.
Because the Republican Party always works with the next election in mind, and there's always another election.  They're afraid to do or say something they think might hurt their chances of being reelected, but its always either an election year or leading up to one.  The Democrats have decided no to concern themselves with that.

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