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October 2004   roderick beaman
The American Civil Liberties Union, Inaction Speaks Louder Than Words By Roderick T. Beaman


By: Roderick T. Beaman

The American Civil Liberties Union presents itself as the protector of the Constitution and the individual and that its agenda is nonpartisan. Its record shows otherwise. ACLU's website is informative; its lists of causes eye opening. Criminal justice, drug policy and privacy right cases, especially electronic privacy rights, are all valid constitutional concerns that should interest libertarians. Most of the others raise eyebrows and give pauses.

Capital punishment is a debatable topic but its elimination can be accomplished just as well on an individual state basis. By the wording of the Constitution, it is evident that the Founding Fathers accepted it. ACLU, of course, regards itself as superior to the Founding Fathers.

The website goes on to list rights such as disability, homosexual, prisoner, reproductive, and women's, as well as religious liberty, along with racial equality and HIV issues as among its concerns. Almost without exception these issues either expand the role of the federal government in some aspect of our lives or are assaults upon our traditional values, and often both.

'Rights of the poor' is another of their issues. Translated it means welfare rights. In the 1960s, when several states instituted residency requirements for welfare benefits, ACLU sued to overturn them and won. The relationship between a residency requirement and a constitutional issue is very weak, indeed. Characteristically, ACLU displays no concern for the working stiff who has to support these benefits through his taxes.

Taxpayer rights? In fact, ACLU doesn't even mention taxpayer rights on its home page. Ask the average American by what he feels more threatened, the IRS or a cross on a town emblem, what does anyone think his answer will be? But let one misanthropic publicity seeker protest the inclusion of a religious symbol on a town flag, especially anything remotely suggesting Christianity, and ACLU files suit.

Racial equality and disability rights are two of the biggest levers the government uses today to insinuate itself into the minutiae of human interaction and the economic process. ACLU sees no problem with using them against business.

Under its 'ISSUES' column, ACLU also has no links for the following issues - weapons rights, property rights, states' rights and gold backed currency, fiat money and inflation being the most insidious form of wealth confiscation by the government. All of these are crucial to the rights of the individual and an ultimate check upon the power of the federal government yet ACLU sees no danger.

ACLU solicits no weapons ownership cases despite the single most blanket declaration of a citizen right in the Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms. When compared to the extent to which it distorts the First Amendment in its assault on religion, it makes one wonder how it can keep a straight face. ACLU actually endorses gun control. Weapons rights of the people is the single ultimate check upon the power of the government, allowing as it does for the possible overthrow, acknowledged by even that ultimate liberal, Hubert Humphrey.

One of the most important provisions of the First Amendment is the right of the citizens to petition the government for the redress of grievances. For years, Bob Schulz's We The People organization has been trying to compel the federal government to demonstrate how, legally, income taxes apply to the people, in general. It is their position that there is no statutory requirement to file returns and pay taxes. No matter what you think of their case, it would seem that an organization like ACLU, that claims it defends the Constitution to protect the people, would want to join the effort to compel the government to answer the petition but you'd be wrong. I submit the reason is simple. The income tax is a bedrock of communist and socialist principles.

The assault on property rights by all levels of government, through zoning and land use laws, have met with little opposition by ACLU. Indeed, its members seem to applaud them. It did file a brief in support of private property rights in Poletown, Michigan. The town was seeking to condemn some housing to allow it to be taken over by a developer to produce higher tax yielding properties. The case has now been decided against the town by the Michigan Supreme Court. But in almost all other cases in the country, including Kelo vs. City of New London, ACLU has largely sat on the sidelines. In Kelo vs. City of New London, the City wants to do the same. ACLU is silent on this and has been silent in a similar proposal in Rhode Island. One can only conclude that ACLU sees no threat to liberty in loss of property rights that thread through the entire Constitution.

ACLU's website shows no concern for the Tenth Amendment, also a crucial piece of the federal concept. It has been the goal of every totalitarian government of the twentieth century to destroy the autonomy of local governments.

Norman Thomas, six-time Socialist presidential candidate and Earl Browder, Chairman of the Communist Party of The United States of America, both realized that their economic goals were accomplished in this country without eliminating free speech. One of the Rothschilds once remarked that if he could control the economy of a country, the people could keep their free speech. ACLU has never seen any danger inherent in the assaults upon of free enterprise that have characterized every presidency since Franklin Roosevelt's. Indeed, its causes echo the communist agenda espoused by none other than Karl Marx.

To her credit, Nadine Strosser, current national director, has said that ACLU should review its position on guns rights and property rights, yet its position remains unchanged and those two points are far from all that should concern libertarians with a regard for the entire Constitution. There is an explanation, and I submit only one.

If you assume that ACLU is a communist/socialist tool, all is explained. Hatred of God and religion, confiscation of weapons, destruction of private property rights, silence in capitalism between consenting adults and all the rest of its platform are explicable through communism/socialism, the complete subjugation of the people to the government. ACLU qualifies as 'useful idiots' in Lenin's lexicography. I further submit, this is the only explanation.

While there is reason to hope that ACLU can change, I submit that there are far better ways for libertarians to expend their efforts than in trying to make common cause with this organization.


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Dr. Roderick T. Beaman is a board certified family osteopathic physician who practices in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a published poet, has composed a blues song and is trying to have his first novel published. It deals with the dangers of big government. He offers anyone who wishes to dignify the trash he writes with a comment, to do so. He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

He can be reached

Published in the October 14, 2004 issue of Ether Zone. Copyright 1997 - 2004 Ether Zone.

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