An Open Letter to Oath Keepers

Let me see if I’ve got this right. At some point in your life, you decided to join the military, or law enforcement. At the time, you had an idea in your head that this was a noble goal, that you would be helping your fellow man. After all, you took an oath to do just that, right? Well, not exactly, you took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, but at least in your own mind, the two concepts were synonymous.

It’s easy enough to believe that. The worst abuses that we see, appear to be violations of that oath. Checkpoints, gun control, PRISM, certain interpretations of the tax code, summary execution on the streets, presidential warmaking, this list could go on awhile. So you, unlike your colleagues, are going to take that oath seriously. You are not going to blindly obey orders. You are the defenders of the republic. You will protect the citizenry from these evildoers that are your colleagues, and keep your oath.

Now, even as an anarchist who doesn’t have all that much use for constitutions, I have to admit, this sounds pretty good. I mean, I don’t think government should (or does) exist at all, but I would have a hard time arguing that we wouldn’t all be better off without the unconstitutional authorities being exercised.  So, to this extent, kudos to you.

On the other hand, your oath to defend the constitution, combined with your career choice of initiatory force, sort of puts us at odds for a number of reasons that I’ll outline here, with a sincere request that you analyze them honestly. We both know that what’s happening now is completely unacceptable, and whatever public statements you or your organization may make, we both know that this may well come down to force of arms. This means that good men, perhaps even you or I, will die, and none of us want that sacrifice to be in vain.

It is extraordinarily important then, for us to determine what we want to come out of that conflict. If we are to risk death and imprisonment for “freedom”, then we had best have a pretty clear definition of what exactly “freedom” is. We are not the first people to say that we would kill and die for freedom after all. The Nazis, Mao Tse Tung, North Korea, the USSR, Pol Pot, and a long list of power hungry authoritarians and dictators have all said exactly this. What a terrible tragedy it would be if you and I went down in history as part of that list…

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