by Ed Sperry, Col USAF (ret), Stevensville
The old map makers gave such a warning to sailors as they entered uncharted waters. We are entering uncharted political waters and we may need to be wary of dragons. The primary election in which I hope you are going to vote will determine our compass setting for years to come. Which fork in the road we take will be determined in this primary; not in November. I remind you that Marcus Aurelius and John Muir both observed that ‘all things are connected’. That simple truth applies to politics. With that in mind; here are a few words about the choice you face.
You have a choice in conservative candidates for Representative in Montana District 88 which essentially covers Stevensville and Florence. The choice is between Wayne Rusk and his opponent. They are as different as night and day. Wayne is inclined or open to advocating using the constitutional means of solving urgent issues of government. His opponent is committed to something called ‘nullification’. Let me briefly discuss the differences. The long term effects will impact each of us and even our great grandkids.
The wonderful Boston Tea Party is a proud part of our history. It was an act of nullification. It helped stir things up in the colonies and sure teed -off the King of England. On the other hand, there is a current series of nullifications that we may not all agree upon as worthwhile. The complete loss of our control of our southern border and resulting control by the Mexican cartels is in fact possibly the greatest nullification ever achieved. It is so overwhelming in effect and scope that we don’t recognize it for what it is. We aren’t seeing the forest for the trees. All protocols and laws have been nullified by our friends in Washington. That’s a real win for nullification by the left.
Gutting our major city centers by riots which we witnessed in 2020 is another perfect example of nullification gone to its ultimate extreme. Remember the 100 nights of riots in Portland! For a conservative to advocate nullification as a framework for political action is to risk such behavior in the future by the opposite or conservative side. My point is simple. Neither extreme is acceptable. Both will inevitably lead to chaos.
Since our Constitution will allow both the left or the right to exercise nullification, can any citizen expect reasonable legislation to be the outcome of both sides competing in nullification? There is a better answer. It’s clearly stated in article V of our Constitution.When our Congress is hopelessly deadlocked and incapable of getting it’s house in order Article V says that we should call for a Convention of the States. Yes, the same Constitution that the nullification advocates claim to love and support also tells them how to go about fixing our problems. Why can’t they see it?
States have conventions all the time. We have been taught to be afraid of it running wild and changing the Constitution. In fact it can only make resolutions which may correct an errant federal establishment. These resolutions would require ratification by three fourths of the states. It is a chance to correct things in an orderly, prescribed constitutional manner. How else will you ever get a change to control the federal budget, the overreach with environmental issues, the creation of the Department of Education, set term limits and stop the ever increasing rate of growth of the Feds? All this is feasible and the time is right.
Congress has had its chance to get its house in order for years. It can’t do it. The Washington establishment will never give up its powers. In fact if we don’t act the chance may well never appear again. So let’s get real. Forget nullification and go for changes in the manner encouraged and prescribed by our Founding Fathers. It’s time to join the 19 other states which have called for the Convention of States. Nullification efforts may have an occasional use but they will never resolve ,but mosts likely only agitate, the growing mess.
Yes, there is a direct relationship between Helena and Washington. Vote for what the Founding Fathers provided. Vote for Wayne Rusk.