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April 16th, 2010

Who will join me in this Second American Revolution?

Des Moines Tea PartyThe following is the speech that James Johnson gave at the Des Moines Tea Party this week.

Today, WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES stand shoulder to shoulder with one another in all fifty states across this great Republic. We stand at city parks and city halls. We stand at county courthouses and great statehouses. We stand in large cities and small towns. And we stand for one reason: to send a message to our government that “We the People” are taking back our country.

Today, we are engaged in a great civil war, a war not only of ideas but ideals; a clash not only of cultures but of kingdoms, a struggle not only for the soul of this nation but for the survival of Western Civilization.

Today, you and I woke up in a country that our Founding Fathers would not recognize; for you and I woke up to a government that our Founding Fathers did not give us. Our Fathers gave us a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

But today, we have a government that comes at the people; like a many headed monster rising out of the sea, a hideous hydra viciously attacking our liberties, savagely trampling our rights, and brutally assaulting our values; a bloated bureaucratic beast that is determined to tax every dollar that we earn, steal all the savings that we have, seize every business that we own, and spend every dollar that it can.

It is a government of small men and small minds, mental midgets who are drunk with power, addicted to their own arrogance, intoxicated with their own incumbency, and WE THE PEOPLE have had enough!

But Freedom is on the march! For at this very moment, there are more copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States being printed, purchased, studied, and discussed than at any point in American history.

Across the fruited plain, from sea to shining sea, people are forming Constitution Clubs, Liberty Leagues, Federalist Forums, and Founders Clubs. High schools and colleges are seeing a tremendous movement led not by faculty but by students, all centered on these Two Great Documents.

And since our present government is not using the Constitution, let me take a moment to advocate for it. The Constitution is a simple document, and can be read in less than ten minutes.

ARTICLE I creates a citizen legislature, public servants elected by their fellow citizens, with all lawmaking powers reserved to them exclusively.

ARTICLE II creates a chief executive, with all enforcement powers vested in his office.

ARTICLE III creates a judiciary, not equal to the first two branches, but with considerably lesser powers. The executive branch has the power to nominate judges, and the legislative branch has the power to confirm or to remove. The judiciary is not empowered to interpret the law, but rather to apply the law that the citizen-legislature has passed, and which the duly elected chief executive has signed.

ARTICLE IV affirms that the States created the federal Union, and guarantees the citizens of each state the right to a Republican government.

ARTICLE V reserves all amendment powers to the citizens of the states through their legislatures.

ARTICLE VI affirms that only the Constitution and treaties made by the United States are the law of the land; it does not give “law of the land” status to court opinions, or to legislation that is inconsistent with the Constitution.

The BILL OF RIGHTS are the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution; they do not grant rights
but rather affirm them as unalienable, given to us not by government but by God. And altogether, this Constitution has been amended 27 times in the course of two centuries.

But let me say something about how not to study the Constitution of the United States. Do not study it without the Declaration of Independence.

For the Declaration of Independence is the Republic’s Charter; the Constitution is its By-Laws. The Declaration was written in 1776 during the First Continental Congress; the Constitution was written 11 years later during the Second Continental Congress.

The Declaration gave birth to the Constitution; the Constitution receives its validity from the Declaration. The Declaration is the Moral and Intellectual Foundation upon which the American Republic rests. It is meant to be the preeminent and controlling document of all American legal theory.

This is why Conservatives love the Declaration of Independence; for it contains all the principles of the Conservative Movement: belief in God, Divine purpose, Natural Law, Natural Rights, the sweep of history, the definition of tyranny, unalienable rights, the purpose of government, private property, free enterprise, civil justice, the just war theory, and everything in the Bill of Rights.

This is why the Founders believed that the Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people, and that it was wholly inadequate for the governance of any other.

And this is why Leftists, who now run our government, hate the Declaration; because it unmasks the very tyranny that presently reigns over us, and seeks to reduce us to nothing but slaves. But we will not be made slaves. For we were born free, and we will die free.

Leftists have long used the ideological void of the Constitution’s structure as a Trojan Horse to sack the City on a Hill that our Forefathers built. Leftists utterly detest the Declaration, and they have completely driven it out of American law schools, American courts, legislatures, Congress, and even the White House; because it deals with the moral nature of life, the moral responsibilities of man, the moral directives toward government, the moral imperatives of a free and just society, and a Moral Supreme Judge, before whom they must stand in eternity.

But this should not surprise us, that the Left hates the Declaration. After all, why should the Party that hates God, that hates life in the womb, that hates private property, that hates free enterprise, that hates guns, that hates free speech, and that hates American Exceptionalism like a document that advances such ideas?

The Constitution is a functional document; it is the technical scaffolding by which the principles of the Declaration are put into law. The Declaration is intellectual; the Constitution is practical. The Declaration is our very reason for existence; the Constitution maintains our existence.

So if a law passed by Congress, or an executive order issued by the President, or a court opinion issued by Judges runs contrary to the principles of the Declaration, then it runs contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. In other words, if it is not Declarational, then it is not Constitutional.

And it is time to repeal every law, every executive order, every court opinion that violates the principles of liberty for which our Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. It is time to rediscover our Founding Principles. It is time to recommit ourselves to American Values. It is time to rise up and take our Country back.

Who will join me in this Second American Revolution?

Photo by Dave Davidson

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About the Author

James M. Johnson
James M. Johnson is the president of the Iowa Republican Assembly, which works to get constitutionally minded conservatives elected to leadership positions in the Republican Party, and to elective office on the local, state, and federal level. He has worked on over 50 political campaigns and holds an M.A. in public policy with a concentration in political communication.

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