Today, I stood in the balcony overlooking the New Hampshire House of Representatives and witnessed the death of a dream or the birth of a movement. The choice between life and death lies with those who stood with me in that balcony and with those who gathered in the cold and wind to show their support for HCR 6.
Yes, HCR 6 was defeated today; however, that does not mean that our movement must also be defeated. When the vote was announced, the balcony broke out in cries of “You don't represent me!” and “You're fired!” and “See you in November!”. Were these the screams of a dying soldier or those of a newborn infant taking it's first breaths in the harsh reality of its new world? Again, the choice lies with those who support Liberty and believe in the Constitution and the power of the states and people to govern themselves.
When I drove to Concord this morning, I went with the hope that I would bear witness to the House of Representatives sending a clear message to Washington that we would no longer sit idly by and let our rights be trampled upon. When the vote was first announced to uphold the committee's ITL recommendation on HCR 6 that hope died. As I listened to the cries of my fellow patriots and heard their disappointment, I felt my own sense of disappointment grow. As I walked back to my car, talking with a friend, I felt something very different, the rebirth of hope. What I had thought to be death cries became the first cries of a healthy child. Like any newborn, we are still reeling in shock. Still trying to assimilate to this strange new world. Still screaming our anger at being thrust out into the cold. Also like that infant, we are faced with a choice . . . do we continue to scream, to cry, to fear or do we seek succor and nurturance, do we begin to assimilate to the world and learn to live in it instead of hoping for a return to the womb we have been thrust out of?
My choice is for life, for learning, for moving forward and building on what was started today. Fellow supporters of HCR 6 may have decided by this point that I have lost my mind or that I attended a different event than the one they were at; however, they would be wrong on both counts. We stand at the beginning of something great; we have something to build upon.
More than 150 representatives voiced their support for HCR 6. These men and women clearly stated that they will not let the federal government trample on the rights of the States. Granted, this was not enough to pass HCR 6 and more than 250 representatives did not make such a statement; however, I do not believe that all 250 of these men and women were voting to allow the federal government to continue grossly overstepping its boundaries. The opposition to this bill did a masterful job of casting a vote for HCR 6 as a vote for secession, which it was never intended to be. In fact, the text of HCR 6 does not include the word secession and nullification does not appear until the very end of the text. When nullification is mentioned, it is most often refers to the nullification of specific statutes or orders, which are beyond the powers of the federal government to legislate. Even when nullification of the Constitution as a whole is mentioned, this action is to be taken only in response to the abuse of power by the Federal government.
The message I heard today was not that New Hampshire will allow the federal government to dictate legislation above and beyond the powers granted by the Constitution, but that the legislators of this great state are not willing to make a blanket decision regarding all federal actions and the state's response to those actions. The message I heard is that we will have to fight one battle at a time; that we will have to address the various federal abuses of the constitution individually. As an example, Representative Rollo stated today that he did support the legislation to ban Real ID in New Hampshire even though he spoke in favor of the ITL recommendation. This is the birth of hope. Others who spoke on the floor today stated that they would not vote to overturn the ITL recommendation, but that they did support the principles that HCR 6 is based on. Again, this is the birth of hope. Other representatives pointed out the questionable procedures within the committee and the inconsistencies in the committee's decision. This too is the birth of hope. Representative Coffey and others pointed out the inconsistencies between what the opponents of this bill were saying today and what they had done in the past. Still more hope.
I suspect that the coming days will see more reasons for hope. When the roll call vote is published, I would not be surprised to find that sponsors of legislation that is based on the same principles as HCR 6 voted to uphold the ITL recommendation. I would not be surprised to see that Representative Rollo is not alone in his stance against both HCR 6 and Real ID. I believe that what we saw today was not the death of State's rights and Liberty, but the refusal to make a blanket statement about how New Hampshire will behave in the future.
In closing, I call on the people of New Hampshire and the people of the many other states where similar legislation has been introduced to let this be the birth of a movement. Look at the laws the federal government has enacted, identify the ones that are in violation of the United States Constitution and urge your representatives to nullify these laws both at the state and federal level. My friends, we only lost today if we choose to give up this fight.Tweet
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