The Aldrich Alert
Gary Aldrich

A Publication of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty

The Right Of The People Peaceably To Assemble

by Gary Aldrich - Volume 1 Issue 27 November 27, 2000

Amendment I of the US Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Not too long ago, the New Left marched, and yelled, and shouted, and threatened. They also demeaned, and cursed, and they threw human feces at the "pigs," and called for their deaths.

They burned American Flags while saluting the Red Chinese, the North Koreans, Fidel Castro and North Vietnam officials. Today, very few Sunday news show talking heads say much about it, other than to remark that these outrages were evidence of "democracy in action."

Many media talking-heads (some obviously fond of their radical pasts) amazingly agree that the New Leftís often violent and highly objectionable, illegal activities were the natural, appropriate, and predictable conduct of "peaceful war protesters." There isnít any conduct - it seems - that deserves condemnation by the mainstream media, as long as that conduct is used in the furtherance of Progressive Liberalism.

But watch what happens when just a few well-dressed, well-mannered angry Conservatives "assemble peaceably" to protest the theft of a national election! The scolds on the Left (and sadly as well as predictably, a few on the Right) - line up to question their motives, and decry their tactics, after being led gullibly in that direction by a former "peaceful war protester." I understand the Leftís knee-jerk reaction. Likewise, some so-called pundits of the Right never seem to disappoint the left, as they toss a few stones of their own, aimed at their own.

Tony Snowís question on Fox News Sunday to Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, on Snowís so-called conservative morning prime-time news show, was an example of how shallow some really are in their stated beliefs, " ... but Governor Keating," Snow implored, searching for an answer he wanted, "donít you agree that the people (Conservatives) in Dade County were acting a bit over the top?"

I have a question for Mr. Snow: "Tony, what were you doing during the Sixties? Do you have any recollection about the violent tactics of the "New Left?" How could an informed media powerhouse such as yourself be aware of the actions taken in those days - the unrelenting, uncompromising use of violence by the New Left - then have the gall to suggest that what we saw on television in Dade County this past week was "over the top?"

Those of us who have long memories (perhaps with the exception of Mr. Snow) will never forget the Sixties, a time when the raised middle digit was a well known way for thousands of Lefties to "honor" our Flag, our President, our institutions, the CIA, the FBI, and the thousands of men in uniform who were dying in Vietnam.

That, sir, defined "over the top." But it was their Constitutional Right to do most of those things, even if their terribly rude and violent behavior caused many of us to want to throw up.

In one Sixties march on Washington, DC, the National Guard set up 50-caliber machine guns in the hallways of the Department of Justice, fearing that more than 500,000 "peaceful war protesters" would overcome the guards at the gates. These rioters, now recalled as "peaceful war protesters," were intent on burning the hated place down.

Meanwhile, a young Bill Clinton was leading an anti-US parade on foreign soil, a "general" engaged in a very well organized and orchestrated "peaceful war protest."

Wholesale destruction of cities, universities, banks, indeed any place which symbolized tradition or American values, was the order of the day, as the New Left used then misused the First Amendment to push their socialistic agenda forward. Where was the mainstream media then, and do they remember any of this now?

Those illegal riots, rallies, or violent marches - those less than "peaceful" gatherings of the New Left worked! Over the years, the New Left has scolded, whined, threatened, shouted, bullied, bludgeoned, harassed, intimidated, coerced, bombed and burned their way into power.

Who could ever forget the "armies" of the Black Panthers, as they waltzed around with high-powered rifles in an extremely violent display of anger and hatred?

Astonishingly, yesterdayís Second Amendment warriors are todayís gun-hating pacifists, but in those days, werenít you in fear of your lives and your property? You bet you were! How afraid are you today of the protesters in Miami, with their Dockers and their department store Polos with those cute little alligators?

Does short hair, ties and good manners cause you to hide your children from the TV set? Do you recoil at their well-articulated shouts, slogans free of Sixties-style obscenities, and the absence of threats to your well being? Are you shocked?

Or, are you gladdened like I am, to see some Baby Boomers, and others who represent your point of view, marching on our streets, for a change!

Make no mistake about it! The New Left meant to shock and to scare the Hell out of you when they conducted their rallies. Theirs was a well-known, often used political tactic. In fact, they perfected the use of shock, anger, and hatred, and they are using those same tactics still.

And it upsets them very much when you use some of their tactics - even if you are being polite and kind, and especially when you are winning!

The New Left shifted the politics of this nation dramatically toward the left in ways that many believe illegitimate, but where were the media scolds then, to point out that this was not "the American way?" Where are they now? Have they conveniently forgotten the crudeness, the rudeness, the violence or the hate?

The liberals in the media may have forgotten, but many of us never will. Why? Because we must not! Because the Democrat Party has embraced the dirty politics of the New Left, and they have continually used these same tactics to attack and defeat those on the Right.

And, they are using those tactics right now, in an attempt to steal an election in broad daylight!

This past week, Senator Joseph Lieberman was on the lawn of our Vice Presidentís mansion and mourned the lack of civility in Dade County, Florida. On soil protected with the spilling of much American blood on foreign battlefields, Lieberman used ground on which he had no legitimate claim.

Next, he brazenly stated that there was something illegitimate in the way that a few concerned Dade County citizens took loud and vocal exception to laws that were being broken by Dade country officials!

You see, the good citizens of Dade County decided to object to the blatant, illegal attempt to take a vote examination into closed rooms, thus forbidding access to news media and the general public. For some reason, Lieberman thinks their objections are a serious problem.

Nobody was arrested, nobody was harmed, and no property was taken, or broken. This was the very essence of peaceable assembly and free speech. No laws were violated, and yet Lieberman went on to demand, "Vice President Gore and I call on the demonstrators, and all who may be organizing or encouraging them, to stop these activities immediately. And I hope that Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney will join us in this call."

An appropriate reply to Liebermanís obnoxious statement might be, "Stuff it!"

Years ago, the citizens of Dade County insisted that "government in the sunshine" was what they wanted, so they passed numerous laws to guarantee that important government business was always conducted in the open - in the "sunshine."

This way corrupt government action could be kept to a minimum, and partisan mischief could be minimized. When an attempt was made to hide the process from the people in this case, the people strongly and vocally objected. Rightfully so, Joe!

Speaking of years ago, what was Joe Lieberman during with his spare time in the Sixties? On August 8 of this year, Tom Baxter, a reporter writing for the Cox News Service gave us some hints:

"In his younger days, Lieberman organized anti-war rallies, but the mature man is identified among the Washington scolds who decry violent video games, dirty rap lyrics and other signs of moral decline. Thatís part of the reason heís a good antidote to Clinton."

So, the Senator Lieberman who now seems hurt, repelled, shocked and afraid of harsh words spoken in Dade County, once worked with the likes of Bill Clinton - to organize mobs - to encourage violent rioters? Rioters, who then spit on cops, ripped and burned draft cards, turned over police cars, and in many ways give the rest of America, the "Finger!?" Say it isnít so, Joe!

All this time weíve been led to believe that a future Senator Lieberman was attending classes, or feverishly working on his Orthodox-ness, while pondering the ways violence might be curbed. What a fraud! What sheer poppycock!

If thereís anything true about todayís Democrats, itís this: New Left Democrats are notorious liars, obnoxiously brazen thieves, and hypocrites of the highest order.

Sadly, this group now includes even the "conscience of the Senate," Holy Joe. How thoroughly power corrupts! Itís very sad. In fact, itís so pathetic.

Hereís a message to our side: Defend the Constitutional rights that we have! The First Amendment is for all Americans on the Left, and the Right! Being passionate about your beliefs is as American as apple pie, and thank God we still have some people who care enough to go out there and get involved. Donít criticize them, Mr. Snow! Join them!

Sometimes getting angry is appropriate and normal, like when your rights are being stolen from you! Some of us on the "Right" like our passion and we use it in legitimate ways. Whatís going on right now is not for TV entertainment! No, this is about our lives and our future. This presidential election - many believe - is for all the marbles! So, why shouldnít we behave that way?

And, with all due respect, Senator Lieberman shut up! Good citizens have a right to protest, and the Constitution that seems to scare you now, (but not in your past, apparently) gives us that precise right. Senator, Americaís leaders obtain and maintain respect the old fashioned way: They earn it! This is America, get used to it!

For the good of the country, Senator Lieberman, concede - right now! Even if Al Gore cannot face the glorious music of his defeat, at least you can do the right thing.

Finally, Senator, please get your scrawny rear end off of our US property until you have earned the right to stand there. Stop using the Vice Presidentís mansion as a prop for your symbolic photo op! Better men than you have earned the right to speak there. They were legitimate winners, and they were inaugurated, and then they were entitled to use our best federal properties for their political events.

Right now, you are standing on Vice President-elect Cheneyís front lawn, and I donít think he would appreciate the way you are misusing his hard fought, hard won property.

And, if you ever do get to be vice-president, Senator Lieberman, I suggest you drop the holier than thou attitude - we know what youíve done to shove your leftist views down our throats. You exercised your Constitutional Rights when you organized "peaceful war protests."

Iíd like to remind you, sir, that you were able to do this because many brave fighting men died to ensure that you continue to enjoy those rights. Today, you and your political party - yes, the Democrats - seek to deny those same fighting men and women their right to vote. Mr. Lieberman, have you no shame, sir?

Friends of Patrick Henry in South Florida, Rock On!

But make our children proud of whatever you do, and say! Remember that the New Left will never forgive you, but know that we love you for what you are doing.

Oh, and watch out for the IRS!

Then prepare to take a train, plane, or automobile to Washington, DC, so that we may celebrate democracy together - on Friday, December 1, 2000 - on the steps of the US Supreme Court. See you there at 11:00 am, and bring your signs - itís going to be a long day! Letís show the "Dirty Left Dems" how to use the US Constitution responsibly, and with some Compassionate Conservatism!

Weíll give them a gentle shove out the door!