I have been involved in a rather loud and largely uncivil clash with a fellow named Mike Vanderboegh over the idea of revolution and being prepared. Mike took umbrage at some comments I made in a recent Knox Report and launched a full-out assault upon his perception of my position and my character. I was a bit taken aback by the whole thing because whenever Mike would get away from the name-calling and talk about his actual position on the issues at hand, I tended to agree fully with what he was saying. Now, in the wake of last night's election results, Vanderboegh has sent out a rather lengthy missive about the immediate and short-term future. While I could quibble with a couple of the finer points, I won't because on the serious issues – the things that really matter, Mike's assessment and his counsel are spot on. I think his essay, while lengthy, is worth sharing and encourage everyone to read it. — Jeff
by Mike Vanderboegh
5 November 2008
"Change has come to America." -- Barack Hussein Obama
If I may, I'd like to begin my first essay of the Obama regime by thanking
U.S. Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, for clarifying matters.
As reported in Michael Calderone's Politico.com blog, there was "an emotional
moment on ABC News, as Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights leader John
Lewis told Charlie Gibson that today's election was 'a nonviolent revolution.'"
Well, yes, thank you. But revolution against what? Overturning what? The
name-calling, nervous-nellie opposition bloggers within the dyspeptic "Second
Amendment community" have been accusing us Three Precenters of seeking a
revolution. My thanks to Rep. Lewis for reminding us that the revolutionists,
Gramscian and otherwise, are on the collectivist side of this argument, thus
proving my point that we are in fact Restorationists. All we seek is the
restoration of the Founder's Republic.
Death Knell: "The masks are going to come off."
There is of course much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the
"pragmatists" about the utter failure of their politics. Indeed, as I know from
personal emails, there is even despair and some panic in some of my fellow Three
Percenters. I am grateful to my good e-friend "thedweeze" for forwarding the
commentary below from Perry de Havilland in London.
(Found at http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2008/11/obama_in_the_wh.html)
It says much of what I was going to say and does it more clearly and with
Unlike many, well, most of my compatriots, I am not filled with a deep sense
of gloom and foreboding at the prospect of the most left wing president
since FDR gaining the Whitehouse. In truth, I can see many reasons to think it
may well be a far better outcome than if a Big State Republican like McCain won.
Of course Obama will bring an avalanche of policies that will be truly
appalling and quite wicked, of that I have no doubt, much like his predecessors in
office in that respect. As the global economy continues to come unglued,
everything Obama does to deal with the mounting crises will I fact make things
worse. Civil liberties will be hammered, all in the name of 'fairness', and
the flood of regulations pertaining to every aspect of economic life will grow
into a drowning ocean.
And that is actually the good news.
Why? Because in truth the Republicans under John "I support the bailout"
McCain would scarcely have done much better. The economic global meltdown is
only just starting to roll: if you think the sub-prime mortgage crisis was the
biggie, just wait until you see the fallout from the fun and frolics of the
impending mess in other areas, such as debt swaps. This is all going to get
worse, a lot worse, and Obama is going to do absolutely everything to dig the
holes deeper. Looking back on this period ten to twenty years from now, the
Republicans crying into their beer tonight will be saying "thank Christ it was
not us in office then".
The lesser evil is not going to win this time and much as it may not seem
that way now... or any time soon I suspect... in the long run this has a far
far better chance of leading to the rebirth of a genuine pro-liberty,
pro-market political culture that the gradual incremental surrender of recent times
Many will find the glee of the statist left over the next few days and weeks
hard to endure, but to be honest I have been walking around with a grin all
day. Finally the era of gradualism is over and the masks are going to come
off. The USA has voted for statism and it is going to get exactly what it voted
for at a juncture in history where it will very quickly be impossible to
hide the cost of those votes.
Obama is not the start of a new era, he is the death knell for the old one.
I agree, although I hasten to add the little prayer, "From his mouth to
"Entering the Grey Zone"
Some of you might think that de Havilland and I are engaging in pollyannaish
wishful thinking given the crisis we are about to face. However, it is not
only gunnies of various stripes who are panicked at the thought of an Obama
presidency. An old friend of mine called me the other day to report that an
FBI agent in the west had confessed his fears at church last Sunday. Obama,
he worried aloud, was going to shove him and his agency where he did not wish
to go. They were, he feared, "entering the grey zone." Now there is more
than one way to interpret those words, but he made one thing explicit. He had
zero interest in dying for the cause of gun confiscation. No doubt such tho
ughts are flickering through many minds in the federal law enforcement
bureaucracy at this moment. This is something for us Three Percenters to keep in
mind. He fears the scenario of my novel "Absolved."
You know, Absolved is but the first of a trilogy. I will make a tiny news
ripple here by saying that the titles of the follow-on books are "Resolved"
and "Dissolved." As with everything else I write, this is grounded in the
history of the Founding generation. On 7 June 1776, Richard Henry Lee of
Virginia presented a three-part resolution to Congress, which read in part:
RESOLVED, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and
independent States, that they are ABSOLVED from all allegiance to the
British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of
Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally DISSOLVED.
As a scribbler, I love the English language. We use one word in so many
different ways and having so many different meanings that they become elements
of logical poetry. (Sometimes illogical poetry if you believe any of my many
critics.) Take the word "resolve."
Here are some definitions of resolve on the Web:
decide: bring to an end; settle conclusively; as in "The case was decided"
conclude: reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation
purpose: reach a decision; as in "he resolved never to be fooled again"
answer: understand the meaning of; as in "The question concerning the size
of Senator Schumer's ego cannot be answered"
make clearly visible; as in "can this image be resolved?"
find the solution; as in "solve an equation"
resoluteness: the trait of being resolute; as in "his resoluteness carried
him through the battle"
Resoluteness, purpose, decision, visibility, solution. These are multiple
meanings but each has black-and-white clarity. And make no mistake, it is our
resolve which will carry us through "the grey zone." Let others doubt. We
Three Percenters must not. We must be purposeful, resolute and decisive,
even when the "pragmatists" are running around like chickens with their heads
cut of, or slumping disconsolately in the corner as if someone pulled the plug
on their video game.
No "Fort Sumters"
My Wolverine Grandpa used to say, 'When in peril or in doubt, run in
circles, scream and shout." He usually said it ironically when someone nearby was
doing exactly that. He also would offer, "It might help if he flapped his
arms." This is what is happening in many corners of our nation today, and it is
exactly and precisely what we must not do. Here, I think, is what we must
1. "Take not counsel of your fears." In the coming period many rumors will
sweep the blogosphere. Imminent danger will perceived from a million
different directions. But here is how we should conduct ourselves.
"Wilson, I'm a damned sight smarter man than Grant; I know more about
organization, supply and administration and about everything else than he does, but
I'll tell you where he beats me and where he beats the world. He don't care
a damn for what the enemy does out of his sight but it scares me like hell."
-- William Tecumseh Sherman as recalled by James Harrison Wilson, in Under
the Old Flag.
Now Sherman wasn't saying that Grant should fail to seek through
intelligence-gathering or scouting what the dispositions and the intentions of the enemy
were. He was saying that you don't let your fears affect how you fight the
enemy in front of you. Sherman also recalled that Grant worried less about
what the enemy was going to do him and more about what HE was going to do the
the enemy. As Three Percenters we must only react to what we see and know and
not some rumored threat. Above all, we must not lose our cool. We must
always remain under control, and ready.
2. Work on the credibility of your deterrence. Deterrence only works if
it's credible. We must ready ourselves for whatever comes. That means training,
physical fitness, building up logistical bases, more training, marksmanship
competence, organization, more logistics, more training. We have our enemy's
promises that they will negate any possibility of our using the standard
methods of politics against them. They have won the "majority vote" decision.
Fine. But if we are to avoid conflict, we must convince them of how little
this actually buys them in the way of power. We do that by building up the
armed citizenry, one three-man buddy team, one six-man fire team and one squad
at a time. Don't advertise. Friends and neighbors will do nicely. And
remember, you're doing this in case the deterrence doesn't work. This is as
real as it gets, folks. Act like it.
3. No "Fort Sumters." This means exactly and precisely what it says. We
must not fire first.
Neither were the leaders of the Confederacy eager to start a war. Jefferson
Davis and his cabinet, sitting in their offices in Montgomery (Alabama), much
preferred to negotiate until they got their way. They always had, after all.
In fact, Southerners in general considered Northerners to be incapable of
standing up to them. They had seceded thinking the North would "just let them
go." Should it come to civil war they were confident that the great European
powers, desperately needing cotton for their mills, would intervene on the
side of the Confederacy. The one possibility the South never considered was the
one that actually happened: that the North would actually fight an all out
civil war rather than let the Union be shattered and that England and France
would not come to the aid of the South. Lincoln's adroit handling of the matter
left Montgomery with few choices. If they attacked Fort Sumter, they'd lose
both their moral high ground and their Northern allies. -- Joe Wheeler,
Abraham Lincoln, Howard Books, 2008
We don't fire first, nor second, nor perhaps even third. This does not mean
we can't defend ourselves. We must. What it means is that the rest of
don't react until everyone understands that it is collective self-defense. We
must not cede the moral high ground. If the Confederacy had not fired on
Sumter, what would Lincoln have done? Whatever it was would have cost him the
moral high ground and political legitimacy. And for the brave new world of
imperial presidency that he was embarked upon, that might have led to an entirely
different result. Division in the North, perhaps even impeachment. It is
our enemies who are the revolutionists and the aggressors. Take a stand on
familiar ground and their appetites will do the rest. They will come to us.
Just be ready. Then when it is apparent, ACT, at once and collectively, on
familiar ground of our own choosing and in enlightened self-defense on a large
scale seeking only the criminally culpable. Which brings me to another
component of the moral high ground.
4. And no OKC Bombings. The terrorist bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal
Building on 19 April 1995 was more than the operation of "lone wolf"
McVeigh, but I am not here to argue that largely undiscovered history. Even if we
accept the FBI explanation for it (and I do not), McVeigh targeted a building
filled with non-combatants including a day care full of babies that could be
plainly seen from the street or in a cursory reconnaissance of the building.
It was simple terrorism and was used by the Clintonistas to discredit all
their enemies, up to and including Rush Limbaugh. So here's a warning for all
you people who are seduced by the dialectic of The Turner Diaries. If you
claim to fight monsters, it is important not to become one yourself. And I say
to my fellow sheepdogs, that if you find someone who claims to be one of us
turning feral, rip his throat out. This is the latest installment of the
eternal struggle between sheepdogs and wolves. Sheepdogs do not prey on sheep.
They kill wolves. Keep the difference firmly in mind.
5. Be patient. The raids do not begin tomorrow. It will take some time for
the new regime to begin to suck up it's courage, lay the "legal" predicate
for it's unconstitutional actions, tighten it's grip and begin to squeeze. We
still have time to prepare, recruit, organize, train. If, that is, we have
As a good old friend of mine just reminded me, this is not new. Like the
Israelites, the American people have asked for a King and one has been given to
them. But I recall that the Founders went into battle, crying "No King but
Jesus!" My agnostic and libertarian friends would doubtless choke on the
last two words of that battle cry. Let us at least agree on "No King!"
Let us also be prepared, trained, and patient -- but holding on ready. Let
us never cede the moral high ground nor become the monsters we fight. But if
our enemies insist upon it, let us fight for and let us win the restoration
of the Founders' Republic.
In a word, let us be resolved.