[Editor’s Note: Jeff Roberts, VP of the Oregon III%, co-wrote the below article. — KP]
One look at the headlines in any given week will lead the average liberty loving, constitution carrying patriot to believe that really tumultuous times are just around the corner. The fact is, they’re already here. Our own government has been selling our nation’s sovereignty and our constitutional rights down the road at a reckless pace for years now,and as the effects of those acts pile up, patriots are becoming restless.
All of us have run into “that guy” in our group; the one who’s always just a little too eager to start the Second American Revolution, and “take our country back” and “get back to the Constitution,” etc. Don’t we all wish it were that easy? Then there’s the guy who loudly announces to anyone–online OR off–who will listen that “it’s too late, y’all can vote with your ballot box and soap box, I’m voting with my ammo box.” And we can’t forget the guy who seems to live on Facebook, posting inflammatory memes and making vaguely worded statements that could easily be taken as veiled threats if you didn’t know the guy…and maybe even if you do know the guy.
Are these people crazy? Federal provocateurs? Too lazy to take effective action prior to “shots fired?” Hormone imbalance? Or just fed up Americans? It’s hard to know, and maybe even impossible. These are difficult questions…and they’re the wrong questions to even ask. The right questions, however, are possibly even more difficult–and more necessary.
Our goal in this article isn’t to create division for the sake of drama or dissent, or even to cause sincere patriots to become outcasts. We do, however, want to stress the importance of maximizing effectiveness while mitigating liability and failure. We must succeed in this endeavor; therefore, we must act and speak and train–at all times–in a way that not only furthers the cause of liberty, but brings credit to its name. As previous TOWR articles point out, a decentralized partisan/guerrilla movement needs public support. That’s a precious commodity that we are doing far too much to damage lately, and we should be working to gain it.
As it becomes more and more commonplace for patriots to find themselves present during tense confrontations in close proximity between American constitutionalists, out of control government, and other less savory entities such as the BLM (both groups), so-called refugees, Daesh operatives, inner city gangs and just about every other disruptive group a sick imagination can concoct, we must be vigilant for ways that we can help garner that public support. Perhaps even more importantly, we should be vigilant about the ways that we are hurting that effort.
These days the role of an American patriot isn’t limited to a group of guys training in the woods twice a month and reading the New American Magazine. Patriots are increasingly taking active stands against tyranny and civil unrest in very public ways, ranging from rallies to providing security against looters in Ferguson and Baltimore, or standing guard in places like the Bundy Ranch, Sugar Pine Mine, and Operation Big Sky, where miners and ranchers were being threatened with seizure of property without due process. In other arenas, patriots are standing up and becoming involved with local, county, state, and even national government–a long overdue but extremely critical step.
Heinlein wrote that “specialization is for insects;” indeed, patriots of today must be able to perform far more tasks than simply firing a weapon. Everything from medical skills to communications, history, philosophy, law, religion, prepping, security, computer literacy, intelligence and a host of other skills and tasks are necessary for today’s patriot to have a working knowledge of. We never know when those skills will be needed; some patriots fulfilled one job at Sugar Pine, another in Montana, and hold still another position within their groups at home. We can be called upon at any time for a variety of potential situations, and some patriots who remain”gray” may be performing other functions in the underground resistance. As Mike Vanderboegh, the founder of this Three Percent movement, wrote, “that is what a citizen does — he fights on every battlefield to best of his ability and resources.”
With this ever evolving role that we as patriots are finding ourselves in, can we afford the loose cannons, impulsive individuals, hot tempered patriots or borderline sociopaths within our ranks? Can we afford to allow these folks to be part of our networks, our supply chains, our inner circles, our training groups?
And what about those who are publicly advocating or supporting violence, such as the calling for (however sly and oblique) the deaths of various elected officials and/or law enforcement on social media? Should they have a place in our networks and our groups?
The federal government’s new obsession is the charge of “conspiracy,” and one of their biggest evidence collection avenues is social media. That means when you’re scrolling through your feed and see your fellow group member Big Mouth Larry putting up yet another meme or rant advocating the slaughter of cops or the assassination of elected officials, you shouldn’t just roll your eyes and scroll on by, or click like, or even just ignore it. You should ask yourself, “Do I really identify with what’s being proposed here? Is this what I want to publicly advocate?”
When Big Mouth Larry comes to your meetings and rants about how “everyone wants to be a patriot until it’s time to do patriot stuff,” note what Larry considers “patriot stuff” and ask yourself if those actions are things you support. If Larry thinks blowing things up is possibly a good use of his time, you need to have a very long talk with yourself.
“Is this how I want to represent the Three Percent and the American Patriot?”
Before you answer that, let us quote the Three Percenter Catechism:
These four principles — moral strength, physical readiness, no first use of force and no targeting of innocents — are the hallmarks of the Three Percent ideal. Anyone who cannot accept them as a self-imposed discipline in the fight to restore the Founders’ Republic should find something else to do and cease calling themselves a ‘Three Percenter.’
Take a look at how prosecutors rely on social media as evidence, and keep in mind how the spiderweb of networks and contacts and ‘friends’ (the Facebook kind) connects you to people. Do you agree with what people are saying in your networks on social media? Are you willing to face investigation, arrest, or even charges of conspiracy for being “associated with” someone who uses social media to spout things you may not even agree with?
Look at how many people have taken deals in recent months, selling out their so-called “allies” to the federal government in order to get reduced sentences. Are they all informants or agents? No, but the result is the same, isn’t it? Before you chime in with, “But I know my group is solid,” consider this: Are you willing to go to prison, to spend the rest of your life in general population with murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals, to back up that statement? Not to downplay the toll that incarceration takes on the soul of a free man, and how tempting the “deal” may be. If it’s at the expense of your allies and the resolve of other patriots, however, then that becomes a losing strategy.
Are you that certain that your allies will not sell you out, truthfully or otherwise? Are you that sure that their big mouth is just talk? Are you that certain that they’re not going to pin their own actions on you? Are you that positive that Big Mouth Larry is just blowing off steam, or that the other person in the group who’s now hanging out with Larry and encouraging his fantasies is not on another side?
Can you afford to have a guy on your front line that may start a fire fight with police or leftist protesters over a verbal confrontation?
Are you willing to have your cause and organization be represented to media and the rest of the world through the words, appearance, actions, and attire of that one guy? If you decide to keep him in your group, you better hope that you are, because experienced left leaning, sensationalism driven media reporters will instinctively hone in on “that guy” and plaster his face, extreme views, and socially repugnant behavior all over the public airwaves, further causing loss of credibility to our movement towards constitutional liberty.
Then there’s the most obvious of all. Has it ever crossed your mind that the guy who’s always proposing extreme, unlawful, ill-conceived plans that seem highly unlikely for success might not be on your side? Ever consider that the one who’s always offering to help with or set up acts or events that are generally coupled with a high probability of of serious blowback to the movement with little tangible value as a tactical objective, might be setting your group up for arrest or worse? Not every zealous group member is playing for the other side, but his battle for our republic, however, requires cooler heads, and a lot more critical analysis of our objectives to effectively win. We don’t need rash, anger-driven actions, performed by people with little discipline or regard for consequences at this critical time in our nation’s history. We need to be moving forward in a bold, resolute, clearly defined and well-planned moral fashion.
We aren’t here to answer these questions for you. They need to be answered at a group and individual level. If you’re a leader of some kind, you owe it to your group to keep them effective, and out of unnecessary risk. Having the types of people in your group that are described above is unnecessary risk. If you’re a member or individual, the decision is still there for you to make. What will you allow yourself to be associated with? Make the call, and make the necessary changes.
If you’re the guy we’re writing about, consider the following. Make sure that your plan of action is going to help ensure victory and liberty, not just start a fight that will alienate us all from the critical component of public support. We all may differ on the best way to go about securing our liberty, but we should all be able to agree that the best course of action is one that is moral, honorable, and holds to the precepts we believe. From Mike’s Valediction:
If any of our traditional liberties are to be saved it will be on a local basis of community, county and church, secured by your own efforts, your own organization, with your own friends and neighbors according to the principles enunciated by the Founders. I envisioned the Three Percent movement with that local focus in mind, as a philosophy, a discipline, of the armed citizenry.
Be disciplined, be focused.