Today I want to lay out a very simple test I’m calling The Tyranny Test. It’s a timeless test that worked 100 years ago, it’ll work 100 years from now, and it’ll work today because it’s based on our basic rights as humans.
The founders of our country understood these basic human rights as the foundation for freedom and for a nation of free people, and they wrote the First and Second Amendments of our Constitution succinctly and unambiguously to avoid confusion or tampering with our rights.
When they wrote the Constitution, they were essentially attempting to develop a tyranny-free country—a country not based on ethnicity, nationality, culture, or individual identity. Rather, it’s our commitment to certain ideals and to freedom that makes us American.
It’s hard to find a country around the world that has such a melting pot of cultures but that’s able to rally around an ideal—the freest people in the freest country on earth.
Let’s Review the First and Second Amendment
The founders of our country sought to crystalize our freedom by identifying our natural rights to freedom and then limiting what the government was and was not allowed to do with those rights.
They wanted to create a country that was, in a sense, tyranny proof. That’s why the Constitution was created to be the highest law in the land—with the First and Second amendments ensuring that that law resulted in freedom rather than oppression.
The First Amendment limits the government’s ability to take away or infringe upon our right to:
- Practice our own religion
- Speak freely
- Report and hear the news
- Peacefully get together
- Petition the government about things they think the government is doing wrong
The Second Amendment provides a fail-safe against oppression in the event that physical force and violence were enacted against the people by a tyrannical government. It limits the government’s ability to take away or infringe upon our right to:
- Maintain groups of men and women (i.e. Warrior Poets) who are disciplined, trained, and ready to defend the Constitution and the people the Constitution was designed to protect.
- Keep and bear arms—more specifically “keep and bear” the kinds and quantities of weapons that would actually defend against the tyrant of a particular generation. In other words, back then, citizens had the same weapons as the military. Should things be any different today?
In case you’re not familiar with 18th century weapons of war, understand that a big cannon ball blasted into a crowd could easily kill and wound more people than someone today with a fully automatic M16. Individuals and militias had cannons and even warships. The Second Amendment was not limited to muskets any more than the First Amendment was limited to quill pens. The Amendments are technology proof.
The Second Amendment is about protecting the people from a tyrannical government. So it stands to reason that the citizens would need similar weaponry to that which a military soldier would have access to.
If people are only allowed to have slingshots while the soldier has a machine gun, you can see that the whole purpose of the Second Amendment would be completely emptied of its power. You’ve got to have the same resources.
I understand some of the concerns here—such as evil people doing evil things with weapons. Let me be so bold: we can survive evil people doing evil things, but what we cannot endure is a tyrannical government.
The Constitution was not designed to ensure our safety. It was written to protect our freedom. In the words of one of the greatest of the Founding Fathers:
“Those who give up a little essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
This Is Still A War of Ideas
Now, obviously I’m not anticipating that the American people will need to get into a physical confrontation with the U.S. Government. Right now we’re in the war of ideas (as I outlined in a previous post), which is where the fight against tyranny begins. Ideas have immense power.
Tyrants seeking to convert people from a free people to a dominated people will rarely attack these rights without churching it up a bit.
You freedom will die by a thousand cuts at the feet of a god called Good Intentions, but the result is always the same. You’ll become a slave to the state–a massive, powerful, manipulative state. If you don’t believe me, look at Venezuela, Cuba, or Russia.
And if you still wonder whether “safety” is a useful tool for tyrants, check out China’s “Social Credit System” sometime.
The Tyranny Test
The question we face now is whether the ideas that formed our Constitution are under attack by ideas that lead to tyranny. Here’s a test (and some answers) to see if the Constitution is in danger of being undermined by tyrannical rule.
- Can we speak freely?
Do you feel heard or do you instead find this muzzle of political correctness as you walk a tight rope of all the things you can’t talk about for fear of offending someone? Are books being banned or canceled? Is there a free exchange of ideas at universities or are students and faculty being silenced or forced into compelled speech?
- Do we still have the right to report and hear the news?
The Washington Post recently reported that less than 7 percent of journalists in the mainstream media (The Post, New York Times, etc.) could be considered conservative. Why is it that Ben Shapiro gets more engagement than the entirety of CNN News and yet rarely (if ever) trends on Twitter or YouTube? It might be that all the other left-leaning institutions of power (Hollywood, universities, Big Tech) are all supporting the left’s narrative and working tirelessly to keep opposing views from being seen.
And let me just add–regardless of how you felt about Trump– How many negative pieces were done on Donald Trump? Thousands. How many positive? Zero. In four years? Not one positive thing to report?
- Are we allowed to peacefully assemble?
COVID-19 was a nearly perfect vehicle for playing on our fears and desire to be “safe.” You probably saw news of churches and other religious gatherings being broken up by police, etc. (while riots were allowed and, in some instances, encouraged in the midst of the pandemic). But what about now? Most of us have either gotten the virus or the vaccine, so why can’t we get together or go to church?
- Are we still able to petition the government about things we think the government is doing wrong?
Dennis Prager noted recently that the bigger the government you have, the smaller the individual becomes. So while we’re technically allowed to speak out against government wrongdoing, the immense power and size of the federal government means that our voices are becoming increasingly—in the words of T.S. Eliot—“quiet and meaningless.”
When you have a president who won’t hold press conferences while he silently crams through laws by executive order (the practice that Biden now engages in, but previously called tyrannical), the right to oppose him quickly disintegrates.
- What about freedom of religion?
It’s true. No one is being thrown into prison yet for reading their Bibles. But what if you, a business owner, don’t want to bake a wedding cake for a particular type of wedding?
Religion is the toughest one to topple. Freedom for religion is the greatest hurtle to the tyrant. It’s the one that falls last, but it must fall—to the tyrant, no allegiance will be permitted that’s higher than that of the government.
- Do we still have the right to keep and bear arms and be ready to defend the freedoms and the people we love?
I’ll let you think about that one, but let me just say this:
You can be a good American and be personally against guns, but you cannot possibly be a good American and be against the rights of the people to own guns. Our Constitution makes us Americans, and to oppose the Constitution is to oppose America. One could argue that any law contradicting the Second Amendment is an illegal law.
In other words, you get to have your guns and ammo. And because we Warrior Poets are loving protectors of the innocent and lovers of freedom, I encourage you to get guns and never, ever give them up. Bury them before you surrender them, but never give them up.